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Quotation of the Day…

… is from my great colleague Walter Williams‘s March 9, 2016, syndicated column (“The Seen and Unseen“):

Tariff policy beneficiaries are always seen, but its victims are mostly unseen. Politicians love this. The reason is simple. The beneficiaries know for whom to cast their ballots and to whom to give campaign contributions. Most often, the victims do not know whom to blame for their calamity.

Today is Walter’s 80th birthday.

Fortunately for GMU’s faculty and staff – and, especially, for GMU’s students – Walter remains as vigorous, as active, and as engaged as he was when I first met him in 1985.  Walter continues to teach the first semester Microeconomics Theory course for our econ PhD students.  In that course, students learn to think, reason, and ask probing questions.  Few, if any, other PhD-granting economics programs in the English-speaking world require that all of their PhD students take any course such as the one that Walter teaches – which means that few, if any, other PhD-granting economics programs in the English-speaking do as good a job as do we at GMU Econ at teaching our students sound economics (as opposed to teaching them how to use all the high-powered mathematical and statistical tools now available to economists).

A skilled and knowledgeable carpenter with only a hammer, planer, and a few other basic tools will always produce finer products than will someone who, unskilled in carpentry, knows only how to operate all the latest gadgets for sale at high-end tool retailers.  Walter – while unquestionably adept with many high-end economics gadgets – never mistakes knowledge of their operation for knowledge of economics.  And he is among the few living master teachers – and practitioners – of economics.

May Walter live for decades more – and continue to teach and write as he does so well and uniquely.

Here’s Walter’s autobiography.