Thomas Sowell

Out of this experience came a book titled "South Africa's War Against Capitalism." Over the years, I have used examples from that book in my own writings. This is as good a time as any to acknowledge my debt -- especially since our flawed legal system will not enable Walter to collect.

Another very enlightening book by Walter Williams is "The State Against Blacks." This goes into the many American government policies and practices which have had a major negative economic impact on blacks.

These include minimum wage laws, occupational licensing laws, and regulation of railroads and trucking. None of these is explicitly racial in intent but their actual consequences have included restrictions of employment opportunities for blacks, as Walter demonstrates with hard facts and figures.

Both these books are written in plain English, by the way, a rarity among the writings of economists. The ability to speak this rare dialect has also helped Walter during his appearances on TV programs and as an occasional fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh.

Walter Williams is the only debater to leave Jesse Jackson speechless. On another occasion, he flabbergasted Ted Koppel when a woman on welfare said that she didn't have enough money to take care of all her children and Walter replied: "Did you ever consider that you might have had too many children for the money?"

Although Walter often comes across as hard-boiled on social issues -- he once said that the government has no right to take a dime of his money to spend on someone else --the fact is that he has been very generous using his own money and his own time to help others. He just doesn't want politicians doing it and messing things up.

This is a long overdue tribute to a great guy.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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