Walter E. Williams

Posted November 19, 2014

Suppose you saw a person driving his car on the wrong side of a highway, against the traffic. Would you call him a stupid and/or incompetent driver? You say, "Williams, what kind of question is that? Of course he's one or the other!" I'd say, "Hold your horses. What are his intentions?" If the driver's intentions are to cause highway calamity, one can hardly call his actions stupid or incompetent. Given his intentions, he is wisely acting in a manner to achieve his objectives.

Posted November 12, 2014

It would be unreasonable to expect a student with the reading, writing and computing abilities of an eighth-grader to do well in college. If such a student were admitted, his retention would require that the college create dumbed-downed or phantom courses. The University of North Carolina made this accommodation; many athletes were enrolled in phantom courses in the department of African and African-American studies. The discovery and resulting scandal are simply the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a much larger problem.

Posted November 05, 2014

In more than three-quarters of the 56 Atlanta schools investigated, teachers changed student answers on academic achievement tests. Cheating orders came directly from school administrators. The cheating was brazen.

Posted October 29, 2014

Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

Posted October 22, 2014

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.

Posted October 15, 2014

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.

Posted October 08, 2014

This kind of anti-American teaching might help explain why some Americans have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Posted October 01, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), sometimes called ISIS or IS, is a Sunni extremist group that follows al-Qaida's anti-West ideology and sees a holy war against the West as a religious duty.

Posted September 24, 2014

How many times have we heard laments such as "women are 50 percent of the population but only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs" and, as the Justice Department recently found, "blacks are 54 percent of the population in Newark, New Jersey, but 85 percent of pedestrian stops and 79 percent of arrests"?

Posted September 17, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that in Germany, multiculturalism has "utterly failed."

Posted September 10, 2014

At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.

Posted September 03, 2014

There are things that really puzzle me. Some life insurance companies charge lower premiums if you haven't made a life-shortening lifestyle choice. Being a nonsmoker is one of them. Actuarially, that makes sense because the life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.

Posted August 27, 2014

Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination?

Posted August 20, 2014

According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents.

Posted August 13, 2014

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge's website of "the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever" for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration. He said Drudge "is doing his best to stir up a civil war. I mean, shame on Matt Drudge."

Posted August 06, 2014

Gen. William T. Sherman told the 1879 graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy, "War is hell." There's no nice war, and that's why war should be a last alternative.

Posted July 30, 2014

Riley points out that there has been significant achievement among the black middle class but that wide black-white gaps remain with respect to income, educational achievement, unemployment, labor force participation, incarceration rates and other measures.

Posted July 23, 2014

There are some areas of black life in which excellence can be found without the slightest hint of racial preferences. Young blacks dominate basketball, football and some track-and-field events despite the fact that there has been a history of gross racial discrimination in those activities. Blacks are also prominent in several areas of the entertainment industry. Those observations mean that racial discrimination alone is not an insurmountable barrier to success.

Posted July 16, 2014

The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2012 losses because of personal identity theft totaled ?$24.7 billion.

Posted July 09, 2014

During last year's budget negotiation meetings, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner, "We don't have a spending problem." When Boehner responded with "But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem," Obama replied, "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."