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Economist Dr. Walter Williams RIP: Freedom’s greatest defender – ‘Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man’

Daily Caller: Economist Walter Williams Dead At 84 – More here & here.

Thomas Sowell: Farewell to Economist and Teacher Walter E. Williams, My Best Friend

As an economist, Walter Williams never got the credit he deserved. His book “Race & Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?” is a must-read introduction to the subject. Amazon has it ranked fifth in sales among civil rights books, nine years after it was published. …

Holding a black belt in karate, Walter was a tough customer. One night three men jumped him—and two of those men ended up in a hospital.

By VERONIQUE DE RUGY – National Review

The great economist and freedom fighter Walter Williams has died. This is incredibly sad news. Walter was a great communicator of ideas and a prolific, provocative and uncompromising writer. He was the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University. His voice, his happy-warrior demeanor, his cosmopolitan views, his endless fight on behalf of those with no political voices, and his generosity to all of us at Mason will be missed.

David Henderson writes about the news here.

Economic Policy Journal has this tribute. It includes this tidbit:

He was the author of over 150 publications which have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review, Georgia Law Review, Journal of Labor Economics, Social Science Quarterly, and Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy and popular publications such as Newsweek, Ideas on Liberty, National Review, Reader’s Digest, Cato Journal, and Policy Review. He authored ten books: America: A Minority ViewpointThe State Against Blacks, which was later made into the PBS documentary “Good Intentions,” All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa’s War Against Capitalism, which was later revised for South African publication, Do the Right Thing: The People’s Economist Speaks More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty vs. the Tyranny of Socialism, Up From The Projects: An Autobiography, Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed On Discrimination? and American Contempt for Liberty.

If possible, I will update this post with more tributes to Walter. Until then, here is one of Russ Roberts’ EconTalk podcasts with Walter Williams.

R.I.P., Walter.


2019 Walter Williams Column on Green New Deal

Our Planet Is Not Fragile

Excerpt: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” The people at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree, saying that to avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, the world must slash carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and completely decarbonize by 2050.

Such dire warnings are not new. In 1970, Harvard University biology professor George Wald, a Nobel laureate, predicted, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist, predicted in an article for The Progressive, “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” The year before, he had warned, “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Despite such harebrained predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ highest award.

Leftists constantly preach such nonsense as “The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile.” “The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis.” “Remember that Earth needs to be saved every single day.” These and many other statements, along with apocalyptic predictions, are stock in trade for environmentalists. Worse yet, this fragile-earth indoctrination is fed to the nation’s youth from kindergarten through college. That’s why many millennials support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Occasionally, environmentalists spill the beans and reveal their true agenda. Barry Commoner said, “Capitalism is the earth’s number one enemy.” Amherst College professor Leo Marx said, “On ecological grounds, the case for world government is beyond argument.”


Video on his life


More on Walter Williams: 

Column: Fascism and Communism – Walter E. Williams · Dec. 20, 2017

Williams: Before the question, how about a few statistics? The 20th century was mankind’s most brutal century. Roughly 16 million people lost their lives during World War I; about 60 million died during World War II. Wars during the 20th century cost an estimated 71 million to 116 million lives.

The number of war dead pales in comparison with the number of people who lost their lives at the hands of their own governments. The late professor Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii documented this tragedy in his book Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900. Some of the statistics found in the book have been updated.

The People’s Republic of China tops the list, with 76 million lives lost at the hands of the government from 1949 to 1987. The Soviet Union follows, with 62 million lives lost from 1917 to 1987. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German government killed 21 million people between 1933 and 1945. Then there are lesser murdering regimes, such as Nationalist China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico. According to Rummel’s research, the 20th century saw 262 million people’s lives lost at the hands of their own governments.

Hitler’s atrocities are widely recognized, publicized and condemned. World War II’s conquering nations’ condemnation included denazification and bringing Holocaust perpetrators to trial and punishing them through lengthy sentences and execution. Similar measures were taken to punish Japan’s murderers.

But what about the greatest murderers in mankind’s history — the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong? Some leftists saw these communists as heroes. W.E.B. Du Bois, writing in the National Guardian in 1953, said, “Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. … The highest proof of his greatness (was that) he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.” Walter Duranty called Stalin “the greatest living statesman” and “a quiet, unobtrusive man.” There was even leftist admiration for Hitler and fellow fascist Benito Mussolini. When Hitler came to power in January 1933, George Bernard Shaw described him as “a very remarkable man, a very able man.” President Franklin Roosevelt called the fascist Mussolini “admirable,” and he was “deeply impressed by what he [had] accomplished.”

In 1972, John Kenneth Galbraith visited Communist China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Michel Oksenberg, President Jimmy Carter’s China expert, complained, “America [is] doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values.” He urged us to “borrow ideas and solutions” from China. Harvard University professor John K. Fairbank believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, “Americans may find in China’s collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one’s neighbor that has a lesson for us all.” By the way, an estimated two million people died during China’s Cultural Revolution. More recent praise for murdering tyrants came from Anita Dunn, President Barack Obama’s acting communications director in 2009, who said, “Two of my favorite political philosophers [are] Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa.”

Recall the campus demonstrations of the 1960s, in which campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao’s Little Red Book. That may explain some of the campus mess today. Some of those campus radicals are now tenured professors and administrators at today’s universities and colleges and K-12 schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.

Now the question: Why are leftists soft on communism? The reason leftists give communists, the world’s most horrible murderers, a pass is that they sympathize with the chief goal of communism: restricting personal liberty. In the U.S., the call is for government control over our lives through regulations and taxation. Unfortunately, it matters little whether the Democrats or Republicans have the political power. The march toward greater government control is unabated. It just happens at a quicker pace with Democrats in charge.


WALTER WILLIAMS: ‘The biggest casualty from the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with the disease. It’s the power we’ve given to politicians and bureaucrats. The question is how we recover our freedoms’

Walter Williams ‘Fearmongering’ column: 

The big lie, conceived by the Weather Channel in cahoots with environmental extremists, is to get us in a tizzy over global warming, and they’re vicious about it. Dr. Heidi Cullen, the Weather Channel’s climatologist, hosts a weekly program called “The Climate Code.” Dr. Cullen advocates that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) strip their seal of approval from any TV weatherman expressing skepticism about the predictions of manmade global warming, according to a report by Marc Morano, communications director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.

Dr. Cullen has had a lot of help in demonizing skeptics of catastrophic manmade global warming. Scott Pelley, CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent, compared skeptics of global warming to “Holocaust deniers,” and former Vice President Al Gore calls skeptics “global warming deniers.” But it gets worse.

Mr. Morano reports that on one of Dr. Cullen’s shows, she featured columnist Dave Roberts, who, in his Sept. 19, 2006, online publication, said, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.” (See the Morano report at: He didn’t say whether the death penalty should be administered to those found guilty of global warming denial.

Walter Williams: ‘Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong’

Walter Williams: ‘Suppressing Free Speech’: ‘The global warming agenda is a desperate effort to gain greater control over our lives’

Walter Williams: ‘Manmade global warming might turn out to be the greatest hoax in mankind’s history’

Walter Williams: ‘Cap-and-trade is most effective tool for controlling most economic activity short of openly declaring ourselves a communist nation’

Climate Depot Report: Rainforest Factsheet: Clear-Cutting the Myths About the Amazon and Tropical Rainforests‘Reverting back to nature’: ‘For every acre of rainforest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing’

DR. WALTER WILLIAMS: Capitalism has a far better record of promoting the interests of mankind than any other system that we know on earth, including communism and socialism.
MR. MORANO: Dr. Walter Williams chairs the Economics Department at George Mason University.
DR. WILLIAMS: That is, people are always better off under capitalism, I don’t care by what measure you use.
MR. MORANO: Is there a political motive behind these environmental groups?
DR. WILLIAMS: A couple of my friends call them watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside.
We asked former Tribal Chief Mario if he felt the Amazon was in danger.
FORMER CHIEF MARIO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): No, no. The forest is doing very well, thank you very much. We see it every day. We experience it every day. The forest is not in danger of disappearing.
MR. MORANO: We spoke with Chief Samuel about his tribe’s hopes and aspirations.
CHIEF SAMUEL (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The number one concern for all the families that live here is how to survive without means of getting money, without jobs. We survive on exploration of wood in the forest. This land belongs to us. We should be masters of our own destiny.
MR. MORANO: Chief Samuel’s tribe and other tribes have fought hard to raise themselves out of poverty.
TIM KEATING: There’s a lot of misconceptions about poverty and the solutions to poverty. We perceive people to be poor. If they don’t have running water, they don’t have electricity, we think of them as poor. That’s a misperception.
MR. MORANO: Is that a misperception?
DR. WILLIAMS: Well, I think that if people don’t have running water, they are poor. If they don’t have toilets, indoor toilets, they are poor.
TIM KEATING: That’s a misperception. Humans have existed without electricity and running water just fine for many, many thousands of years and geez, I don’t know, we weren’t extinct as a species because we didn’t have electricity.
PROFESSOR WHELAN: Well, perhaps Mr. Keating would like to set us an example by trying to live without electricity and running water. I mean, this is the sort of thing we hear all the time, the idolization of these simple, primitive lifestyles. But I don’t notice the environmentalists opting for these lifestyles themselves.
PROFESSOR WHELAN: I think there’s a very deep-seated need in people to believe that somewhere life is better than it is for us right now. It’s nice to believe that somewhere there is an ideal world, if only we could find the way in.
CHIEF SAMUEL (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Not only here, but I believe the Indians upriver and other places, they have the same thinking I do. We would like more progress and contact with civilization for our tribes.
MR. MORANO: Progress and civilization? A message environmentalists don’t seem to hear.
TIM KEATING: And I think the biggest help that they can give is to try to enable the indigenous people to work with the government to demarcate their indigenous lands as reserves. And this is a really good way to lock up those lands so that these indigenous people can continue to inhabit those lands in the way they always have.
DR. WILLIAMS: I think that what they’re trying to do is trying to make a zoo out of people. That’s what you do with polar bears and apes and chimps. You don’t do that with people. You allow people to be free to interrelate with their fellow man.
MR. MORANO: Former Chief Mario agrees. Should this tribe be isolated from the rest of civilization and sort of modern society?
MR. MORANO: And the environmental movement has long claimed to be champions of groups like the Caboclo.

TIM KEATING: Many NGO’s are working directly with indigenous people to assist them.MR. FERREIRA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): That’s a lie. They do not represent us. They represent their own interests.

MR. MORANO: Chief Samuel agrees. Amused at the notion that celebrity activists like Sting represent his people’s interest.
CHIEF SAMUEL (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I don’t think he’s doing good or bad. He’s just out promoting himself.
DR. WILLIAMS: Those people, they think that they have a better vision on how mankind should live, and they think that they have the right to forcibly impose it on somebody else.
PROFESSOR STOTT: It’s the haves who now have a lifestyle largely rich which enables them to have all sorts of new religious desires and ideas and principles and morals which they are then imposing on other people, who just simply by their nature do not have that position and that ability to do it.
End transcript