Born in Philadelphia in 1936, Walter E. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University (1965) and a master's degree (1967) and doctorate (1972) in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.
In 1980, he joined the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and is currently the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics. He has also served on the faculties of Los Angeles City College (1967-69), California State University (1967-1971) and Temple University (1973-1980). From 1963 to 1967, he was a group supervisor of juvenile delinquents for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
More than 50 of his publications have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review and Social Science Quarterly and popular publications such as Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. He has made many TV and radio appearances on such programs as Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose," William F. Buckley's "Firing Line," "Face The Nation," "Nightline" and "Crossfire."
He is also the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
In 1981, he began writing his weekly column called "A Minority View" for Heritage Features Syndicate. And in 1991, he joined Creators Syndicate as part of its friendly takeover of Heritage Features.
Williams sits on many advisory boards, including the Review Board of Economics Studies for the National Science Foundation, the Research Foundation, the National Tax Limitation Committee, the Taxpayer's Foundation and the Hoover Institution.
The awards and honors Williams have received are many. These include the National Fellow at the Hoover Institute of War, Revolution, and Peace; the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship; the National Service Award from the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies; and the George Washington Medal of Honor from the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation. In 1984-1985, he received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from the George Mason University Alumni. He is also a member of the American Economic Association, the Mont Pelerin Society and is a Distinguished Scholar of the Heritage Foundation.
Williams participates in many debates and conferences, is a frequent public speaker and often gives testimony before both houses of Congress.
Last week's column discussed the political trade-offs made by black politicians and civil rights organizations that condemn whole generations of black youngsters to failing schools.
Trade-offs apply to our economic lives, as well as our political lives. That means getting more of one thing requires giving up something else. Let's look at some examples.
Every time there's a shooting tragedy, there are more calls for gun control. Let's examine a few historical facts.
Dishonesty, lying and cheating are not treated with the right amount of opprobrium in today's society.
The new college academic year has begun, and unfortunately, so has student indoctrination. Let's look at some of it.
No one can blame you if you start out in life poor, because how you start is not your fault. If you stay poor, you're to blame because it is your fault.
Here's a question: What is the true test of one's commitment to freedom of expression? Is it when one permits others to express ideas with which he agrees? Or is it when he permits others to express ideas he finds deeply offensive?
This week begins my 34th year serving on George Mason University's distinguished economics faculty.
Sometimes I wonder when black people will reject the patronizing insults of white progressives and their black handmaidens.
Why is it that natural gas sells in the U.S. for $3.94 per 1,000 cubic feet and in Europe and Japan for $11.60 and $17, respectively? Why are there natural gas export restrictions? Just follow the money.
What black politicians, parents, teachers and students have created is nothing less than a gross betrayal and squandering of the struggle paid in blood, sweat and tears by previous generations to make possible the educational opportunities that were denied to blacks for so long.
If we put ourselves into the shoes of racists who seek to sabotage black upward mobility, we couldn't develop a more effective agenda than that followed by civil rights organizations, black politicians, academics, liberals and the news media.
In the wake of the shooting of a Nazi officer, Police Capt. Louis Renault played by Claude Rains in the 1942 movie "Casablanca," ordered his men to "round up the usual suspects." Was Renault engaging in some sort of profiling? He may have been, but what is profiling? Let's look at it.
What Egyptian citizens must recognize is that political liberty thrives best where there's a large measure of economic liberty.
As if more evidence were needed about the tragedy of black education, Rachel Jeantel, a witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial, put a face on it for the nation to see.
Our nation's founders recognized that most human abuses are the result of government. Because of their fear of abuse, the Constitution's framers sought to keep the federal government limited in its power.
This is the classic method of busybodies and tyrants; they start out with something trivial or small and then magnify and extend it. If these people are successful in banning the use of Indian names for football teams, you can bet the rent money that won't end their agenda.
I'm not arguing that today's progressives are racists like their predecessors, but they share a contempt for liberty. My question is: Why haven't today's progressives disavowed their racist predecessors?
Why should people have to depend on altruism and voluntary donations to provide something that one day they may need more urgently than food, water, cars, clothing or housing? All objections to organ sales reduce to nonsense, ignorance or arrogance.
In order to understand the liberal and progressive agenda, one must know something about their world vision and values. Let's examine some of the evidence.