Walter Williams Against the State Against Blacks

by Don Boudreaux on June 5, 2011

in Hubris and humility, Intervention, Myths and Fallacies, Other People's Money, Reality Is Not Optional, Seen and Unseen, Video

John Stossel devotes an entire show to the work and insights of my great GMU Econ colleague Walter Williams: Segment 1; segment 2; segment 3; segment 4.  (HT to Reuvain Borchardt for the links.)

UPDATE: Kristi Kendall, Stossel’s producers, reminds me that this show featuring Walter will be broadcast again tonight on the Fox News channel at 9pm, and again at 12am, EDT.

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kyle8 June 5, 2011 at 10:54 am

I love Walter Williams. Not only is he a great economist, and a guy with a good sense of humor, but he is also quite approachable. I have sent him several emails asking about book recommendations and he has never failed to reply.

Dan June 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I cannot get enuf of Walter Williams & Thomas Sowell. It is good to hear that Dr. Williams is approachable.

vikingvista June 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

It was an outstanding program. Two American heroes in one show–how can you go wrong?

But who were the managers of public television that permitted programming like “Good Intentions” and “Free to Choose”? It is hard to believe today that there was a time when the CPB wasn’t a propaganda arm of the DNC.

kyle8 June 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm

As I have noticed, the old media have moved ever further leftward as they have gained more competition from the new media.

This has resulted in their increasing market failure.

DaveInCO June 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Hard to watch the Charlie Rangel segment and not want to puke.

vikingvista June 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

If anyone ever doubted that Rangel was a blithering idiot, just watch that segment.

tdp June 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Charlie Rangel and people like him are the reason our urban areas are poor and blighted. The Democrats love to claim that only they think about those poor, underprivileged minorities when they are the ones preying on them for their own gain. The current imbroglio involving several members of DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s council and the Jack Johnson Affair in Prince George’s are just two examples of politicians wiping their rears with taxpayer money through bribes and embezzlement.

Methinks1776 June 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I didn’t. Thank you Tivo for allowing me to fast forward through that blithering idiot’s cartoon voice spewing the nonsense in his cartoon head.

vikingvista June 6, 2011 at 4:02 am

Wise decision.

Dan June 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Why hasn’t Rangel and waters been fully investigated and been thrown in jail, yet. Two criminals.

kyle8 June 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Political correctness and the Democratic party protects it’s own.

Methinks1776 June 5, 2011 at 11:32 pm

He’s been investigated for tax evasion. If you committed the crime he did, you’d be in jail. Since he’s politically connected and dresses like a 1930′s gangster, he’s let off the hook. This is what passes for rule of law around here these days.

tdp June 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm

If a Republican committed that crime he’d lose his seat. Every Republican hit by scandal resigns; every Democrat continues to serve in Congress, screw people over, and live on taxpayer largess.

Reuvain Borchardt June 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

Rangel also debated Dr. Williams years ago on his tv episode of “The State Against Blacks.” As usual, Rangel enjoys ad hominem rather than substantial attacks

whotrustedus June 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I watched Stossel last nite. I’ve seen him several times. I certainly agree with his point of view. But I also find him a bit thin on content. He presents these nice pat little anecdotes but often doesn’t offer any supporting evidences/facts/statistics/whatever. And he wasn’t very strong when he debated with Rangel. His standard response to any of Rangel’s inane observations was “well, Walt Williams says …”. He tended to respond to Rangel’s anecdotes with his own anecdotes, instead of more substantive data.

carlsoane June 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Same reaction I had. If it were a formal debate, I would have scored it in Rangel’s favor even though I didn’t agree with any of Rangel’s theories.

Vance Armor June 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Here is something all of you “conservative Republicans” should consider. Look up — its on the web — the official history of the Mississippi Republican Party. Go to the MRP web site. Go to the archives link and scroll down for the history of the MRP leadership. It only goes back to 1956. This is very telling.

Even today’s Mississippi Republican Party refuses to acknowledge the black leadership of the Mississippi Republican Party prior to 1956. Before 1956, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the MRP was led by Perry Howard, a staunch supporter of Robert Taft. In fact, the vast majority of black southern delegates to the 1952 Republican National Convention were Taft supporters. At that time the LARGEST readership of any national black newspaper was that of the Pittsburgh Courier. Who were some of the editorial writers of the Pittsburgh Courier? Well, the very libertarian Rose Wilder Lane. And the irreplaceable Zora Neale Hurston — perhaps the most eloquent black critic of the New Deal and an enthusiastic supporter of Taft in 1952. Taft lost the nomination because of the “credentials controversy” over the seating of certain southern delegates. Lane and Hurston were so libertarian they were critical — or at least not enthusiastic about — the New Dealers’ War as well. Lane was tagged by the FBI. Hurston called Truman “the butcher of Asia” for dropping the A-bombs in Japan.

The Courier promoted the Double V campaign during the New Dealers’ War. Victory against Japan and Germany; victory against Jim Crow in the South. It ran many stories about draft resistance by black “zoot-suiters” who wore flamboyant clothes in opposition to the clothing rationing campaigns during the war, and the intermittent riots between zoot-suiters and on-shore (white) Marines and Army soldiers.

Some of the toughest opposition to the New Deal came from black civil rights leaders. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was called “the Negro Run Around.” Marcus Garvey and even the very collectivist W.E.B. du Bois heavily criticized the way that collective bargaining legislation privileged white union bosses to drive out black workers. Minimum wage legislation was criticized for the unemployment it caused among black workers.

The first president of the NAACP was a libertarian. His name was Morefield Storey, one of the most vocal enthusiasts of the Anti-Imperialist League, which fought against the McKinley-Roosevelt genocide in the Philippines. Storey was a legal genius, and he argued the most important civil rights case of the twentieth century, Buchanan v. Worley (1917), which relied upon the Lochner Era constitutional jurisprudence that privileged liberty of contract and rights of private property under the 14th Amendment. The holding of that case prohibited a Kentucky municipal ordinance from going into effect. The ordinance prohibited blacks from buying property in certain sections of a city, which would have walled-off blacks from certain lily-white areas of the South and border states in a de jure manner, kind of like South Africa’s apartheid system.

Now, I bring all of this up to show that with the advent of the Goldwater-Reagan New Right paradigm of the Republican Party there was a concession of the black vote by the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. The national breadth of party politics in the 1960s and later turned upon national party strategies, and “conservative Republicans,” interested in winning elections, found that a narrative of the Republican Party that emphasized “states rights,” and “local political and cultural norms” and “demonization of welfare queens” was far more effective in shoring up the white vote for the Republican Party rather than a more straightforward anti-imperialist, individual liberty narrative — the Storey, Pittsburg Courier, Zora Neale Hurston narrative — among white southern voters. This “just-a-bit racist” narrative became national party strategy. That strategy is now official history — in the web site showing the archives of the leadership of the Mississippi Republican Party.

tdp June 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Of course. Most of the Republican leadership and media talking heads are still angry that they let Jews and coloreds into the country club. The GOP will never be a major force unless it remakes itself along common-sense, anti-authoritarian lines. Read P.J. O’Rourke in his latest book when he talks about “Where the Right Went Wrong”.

Philat June 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Some of Walter William’s columns are off-the-wall in their absurdity. Some aren’t. Anyone who watches John Stossel regularly should balance that with watching Rachel Maddow just to get the idea that’s there is another side to the alarums that Stossel loves to propagate….

tdp June 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm

The one idea of his I can’t support is that states have a right to secede. Once states signed the Constitution, they bound themselves to the Union in perpetuity. If you don’t want to be part of the US, you should have thought harder about signing the Constitution.

Vance Armor June 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Philat — that is like saying we should “balance” the study of natural selection in biology with the study of “Young Earth creation science,” or, we should “balance” the view that the New Deal was implemented by American Fascists like General Hugh Johnson with the view that the New Deal “got us out of the Depression.”

tdp June 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Not to mention Rachel Maddow’s “side” of the story is given preferential access to most major media outlets and is even frequently the public’s “common knowledge” or “conventional wisdom” about the topic.

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