My VIP for this week is Walter E. Williams (84), an economist at George Mason University. I am in mourning for this man that I did not know personally other than by his writings. As my regular readers may remember, I have often quoted Williams because I have so much respect for him and his opinions. The world lost a “great defender of economic freedom” as stated by Patrick Tyrrell and Anthony B. Kim at The Heritage Foundation.
Williams left a great legacy of fighting for liberty on many different fronts. I first heard Williams speak when he was a guest host on the Rush Limbaugh radio show many years ago, and I was always delighted to find an article written by him. Tyrrell and Kim published an interesting article about Williams.
As an economics professor at George Mason University, Williams gave numerous speeches at The Heritage Foundation over the years, and he always had fascinating things to say. His mind was sharp and clear as he saw things for the way they are, putting him at odds with those seeking Big Government policies for shortsighted solutions.
There have been only a small number of economists in modern times who have challenged and overturned more wrongheaded economic thinking than Williams.
For 40 years, he argued against the illogic of the minimum wage, racial quotas, and occupational licensing, as well as the welfare state. What drives his liberal critics crazy is his provocative argument that these government interventions hurt the very people they are designed to help.
Williams wrote many columns as well as several books. He wrote a column in December 2019 titled “Why Capitalism Is Morally Superior to Other Systems” in which he defended and explained free-market capitalism to young people.
Free markets are morally superior to other economic systems…. In a word or so, our protest should not be against capitalism. People should protest crony capitalism, where people use the political arena to buy government favors.
If millennials and others want to wage war against government favors and crony capitalism, I’m with them 100%. But I’m all to afraid that anti-capitalists just want their share of the government loot.
Williams always wrote in plain English, but he did it with style. He was a university professor, but he shared his knowledge and good sense far and wide. He was a freedom fighter who will be greatly missed.