Who is he: Dr. Walter E. Williams is chairman of the George Mason University Economics Department and the author of over 150 articles on social topics. Some 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. Others have appeared in general circulation publications, such as Newsweek, Ideas on Liberty, National Review, Reader's Digest, Cato Journal and Policy Review.
Dr. Williams is also the author of six books: America: A Minority Viewpoint, The State Against Blacks (the basis for the PBS production "Good Intentions"), All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa's War Against Capitalism, Do the Right Thing: The People's Economist Speaks and More Liberty Means Less Government. Dr. Williams has been named a Hoover Institution National Fellow and a Ford Foundation Fellow.
Dr. Williams has received the Foundation for Economic Education Adam Smith Award, the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation George Washington Medal of Honor, the Veterans of Foreign Wars U.S. News Media Award, the Adam Smith Award, the California State University Distinguished Alumnus Award and the George Mason University Faculty Member of the Year and Alpha Kappa Psi Award.
Dr. Williams characterizes himself as a free-market thinker, holding that such an important perspective is most important to prosperity and free trade. A free person can negotiate and trade with anybody, and if a third party interferes, then that person is much less free and apt to be less prosperous as well. Dr. Williams has been quoted as saying he identifies with Thomas Payne who wrote Common Sense, which he has read and reread. It was a pamphlet that Thomas Payne wrote to rally the American Colonies to rebel against the Crown.
Though black, Dr. Williams has resisted race-mongering. Williams believes in fact that black Americans have advanced more swiftly than any other racial group. Today, Williams points out, black Americans are among the world's most famous people and the world's wealthiest people. If black America were a country, in fact, its GDP would be the 16th or the 17th largest in the world. The US has a black President, as well.
Background: The early 1960s were an important time in Dr. Walter William's life. He got married in 1960 and, having been drafted into the army the year before, saw action in Korea in 1961. Returning from the army having saved $700, Dr. Williams decided to move to Los Angeles where he enrolled at Los Angeles State College.
Dr. Williams received a Bachelor's degree in three years, then transferred to UCLA to study for a Masters degree. In 1972, Dr. Williams completed a Ph.D. in Economics. He attributes some of his success to a tenacious mentor at UCLA, Armen Alchian, who once told him, "You know, Williams, the true test of whether somebody understands his subject comes when he can explain it to someone who doesn't know a darn thing about it."
Dr. Williams, who characterizes himself as libertarian, has kind things to say about anarcho-libertarian economist Murray Rothbard. "I met him a number of times and had nothing but respect for him." Dr. Williams also claims a long-term friendship with libertarian-conservative Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.) who ran for president on the Republican ticket in 2008 and again for 2012. On most issues they agree, Dr. Williams has said, except for the military one. Dr. Williams believes in a more robust military approach to the world, including preemptive attacks when necessary against "people who would do us harm."
|08/01/10||Walter Williams on the Tyranny of the Majority, the US Federal Budget and Free-Market Thinking|