America has suffered a great loss with the death of Walter E. Williams, one of the greatest economists of our era. Williams, along with Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell, had a clear understanding of many aspects of liberal-government economic programs that are counterproductive.
Since much of the harm of social programs falls on the poor, it has a disproportional effect on the African-American community. For that reason, those communities will suffer the loss of this extraordinary intellectual, although many might not realize it. Williams and Sowell, both extraordinary Black intellectuals, have had and hopefully will have a great scholarly influence on Black America, as well as others across the world.
Williams noted that a critical way to reduce financial and social damage is to frequently examine the results and measure the evidence. Often assumptions are made which are contrary to historical records and the facts on the ground. For example, he once said, “I thought some laws, like minimum-wage laws, helped poor people and poor black people and protected workers from exploitation. I thought they were a good thing until I was pressed by professors to look at the evidence.”
As an economist Williams was a proponent of free-market economics and he opposed socialist government intervention. Williams believed laissez-faire capitalism to be the most moral, most productive system humans have ever devised.
The writings of Friedman, Sowell and Williams hold a great deal of wisdom and understanding that is missing from today’s education. I very strongly encourage universities and even high schools to elevate learning by focusing more on these men’s scholarly works.
In order to provide more people with familiarity with Williams’ life and work, I suggest a postage stamp be issued in Williams’ honor. A stamp bearing his picture would increase his exposure to the American public and especially the Black community, which suffers enormously from a biased media and uneducated orators.
Fort Lee, N.J.