Last July, Anthony Hervey, an outspoken black advocate for the Confederate flag, was killed in a car crash. Arlene Barnum, a surviving passenger in the vehicle, told authorities and the media that they had been forced off the road by a carload of "angry young black men" after Hervey, while wearing his Confederate kepi, stopped at a convenience store en route to his home in Oxford, Mississippi. His death was in no small part caused by the gross level of ignorance, organized deceit and anger about the War of 1861. Much of the ignorance stems from the fact that most Americans believe the war was initiated to free slaves, when in truth, freeing slaves was little more than an afterthought. I want to lay out a few quotations and ask what you make of them
"The people who are harmed by an increase in the minimum wage are low-skilled workers.... [O]ne effect of the minimum wage law is that of discrimination against the employment of low-skilled workers." -- Dr. Walter E. Williams.
"Most college students do not belong in college" and what's more "some college professors are not fit for college, as suggested by the courses they teach," argues George Mason University's Walter E. Williams.
The stories of the excellent predominantly black schools of yesteryear found in Sowell's study refute the notion of "experts" that more money is needed to improve black education.
Our epidemic of illegal immigration is an attack on ballot-box integrity that goes completely unappreciated, argues Walter Williams.
Maybe liberals and progressives are making the argument that government is no longer a threat to our liberties and hence there is no longer a need to be able to protect ourselves. I'd like to see their evidence.
I receive loads of mail in response to my weekly nationally syndicated column. Some recent mail has been quite disturbing.
Many people argue that liberals, socialists and progressives do not understand basic economics. I am not totally convinced about that.
George Orwell said, "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them." If one wants to discover the truth of Orwell's statement, he need only step upon most college campuses.
"[M]odernity permits liberties previously unknown or unrecognized. Today we're not held to reality."
Liberty requires bravery. To truly support free speech, one has to accept that some people will say and publish things he finds deeply offensive. Similarly, to be for freedom of association, one has to accept that some people will associate in ways that he finds deeply offensive, such as associating or not associating on the basis of race, sex or religion.
One of the wonders of modern times is that reality is often seen as a social construct and therefore optional. Thus, if one finds a particular reality offensive or inconvenient, he just "changes" it.
The Economist magazine recently published "What's gone wrong with Democracy ... and what can be done to revive it?" The suggestion is that democracy is some kind of ideal for organizing human conduct. That's a popular misconception.
President Obama's vision of the world is that of a man brainwashed through an academic vision of multiculturalism, in which American exceptionalism has no place.
New York's schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away. That was Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch's message to New York's governor and Legislature. She said that minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack teaching talent, course offerings and resources needed to prepare them for college and success.
Simply calling for more school resources will produce disappointing results. There are several minimum requirements that must be met for any child to do well in school. Someone must make the youngster do his homework, ensure that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep, feed him breakfast and make sure that he behaves in school and respects the teachers. None of these requirements can be satisfied by larger education budgets. They must be accomplished by families, or all else is for naught.
"Whether one is a conservative or a radical, a protectionist or a free trader, a cosmopolitan or a nationalist, a churchman or a heathen, it is useful to know the causes and consequences of economic phenomena." That quotation, from Nobel laureate George J. Stigler, is how Dr. Thomas Sowell begins the fifth edition of "Basic Economics." It's a book that explains complex economic phenomena in a way that many economists cannot. And, I might add, it provides an understanding of some economic phenomena that might prove elusive to a Ph.D. economist.
Last week's column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards. It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There's no claim that Scalise made racist statements.
Back in the day, when hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their quarry. They would walk on the opposite side of the horse until they were close enough to place a good shot on whatever they were hunting. A stalking horse not only concealed them but also, if their target was an armed man and they were discovered, would take the first shot. That's what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America — stalking horses.
So as to give some perspective, I'm going to ask readers for their guesses about human behavior before explaining my embarrassment by some of my fellow economists.
The Food and Drug Administration can make two types of errors. It can approve a drug that has dangerous unanticipated side effects, or it can reject or delay approval of a drug that is safe and effective. Let's look at these errors, because to err on the side of under- or over-caution is costly.