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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dr. Thomas Sowell on Dr. Walter Williams: Race and Economics

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Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: I admit that I am fascinated by both Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter E. William. They are great minds of our day and I wish I had had the opportunity to have worked with them or even just have sat at their feet and listened to them.

Regretfully, the democrats have over the decades hijacked the support of of the black community through lies and intimidation and after several generations. Eventually, it became easier to beleive the big lies rather than the truth. And now that control via the democrat party of my grandparents has been totally co-opted by liberals and is on the verge of being totally controlled by progressive socialists. If the black community would stop and listen with their full attention to the voices of Drs. Sowell and Williams, Ken Blackwell, Herman Cain, Star Parker, Dr. Frances Rice, Rep. Allan West, Rep Tim Scott, Michael Williams, Lt Gov Jennifer Carroll and others they would again see the light of liberty and freedom verses the entrapment by fear and hate promoted by the real Uncle Toms serving the interests of the the Democrat Party.

The below article by Dr. Thomas Sowell addresses the work of fellow economists and great thinker Dr. Walter E. Williams who addresses "Race and Economics." It is shared in its entirety for educational purposes because its truth cannot be shortened.

By Thomas Sowell, Real Clear Politics: Walter Williams fans are in for a treat-- and people who are not Walter Williams fans are in for a shock-- when they read his latest book, "Race and Economics." It is a demolition derby on paper, as Professor Williams destroys one after another of the popular fallacies about the role of race in the American economy.

I can still vividly recall the response to one of Walter's earliest writings, back in the 1970s, when he and I were working on the same research project in Washington. Walter wrote a brief article that destroyed the central theme of one of the fashionable books of the time, "The Poor Pay More."

It was true, he agreed, that prices were higher in low-income minority neighborhoods. But he rejected the book's claim that this was due to "exploitation," "racism" and the like.

Having written a doctoral dissertation on this subject, Walter then proceeded to show why there were higher costs of doing business in many low-income neighborhoods, and that these costs were simply passed on to the consumers there.

What I remember especially vividly is that, in reply, someone called Walter "a white racist." Not many people had seen Walter at that time. But it was also a sad sign of how name-calling had replaced thought when it came to race.

The same issue is explored in Chapter 6 of "Race and Economics." The clinching argument is that, despite higher markups in prices in low-income neighborhoods, there is a lower than average rate of return for businesses there-- one of the reasons why businesses tend to avoid such neighborhoods.

My own favorite chapter in "Race and Economics" is Chapter 3, which I think is the most revealing chapter in the book.

That chapter begins, "Some might find it puzzling that during times of gross racial discrimination, black unemployment was lower and blacks were more active in the labor force than they are today." Moreover, the duration of unemployment among blacks was shorter than among whites between 1890 and 1900, whereas unemployment has become both higher and longer-lasting among blacks than among whites in more recent times.

None of this is explainable by what most people believe or say in the media or in academia. But it is perfectly consistent with the economics of the marketplace and the consequences of political interventions in the marketplace.

"Race and Economics" explains how such interventions impact blacks and other minorities, whether in housing markets, the railroad industry or the licensing of taxicabs-- and irrespective of the intentions behind the government's actions.

Minimum wage laws are classic examples. The last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930. That was also the last year in which there was no federal minimum wage law.

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was in part a result of a series of incidents in which non-union black construction labor enabled various contractors from the South to underbid Northern contractors who used white, unionized construction labor.

The Davis-Bacon Act required that "prevailing wages" be paid on government construction projects-- "prevailing wages" almost always meaning in practice union wages. Since blacks were kept out of construction unions then, and for decades thereafter, many black construction workers lost their jobs.

Minimum wages were required more broadly under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with negative consequences for black employment across a much wider range of industries.

In recent times, we have gotten so used to young blacks having sky-high unemployment rates that it will be a shock to many readers of Walter Williams' "Race and Economics" to discover that the unemployment rate of young blacks was once only a fraction of what it has been in recent decades. And, in earlier times, it was not very different from the unemployment rate of young whites.

The factors that cause the most noise in the media are not the ones that have the most impact on minorities. This book will be eye-opening for those who want their eyes opened. But those with the liberal vision of the world are unlikely to read it at all.
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Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Dr. Walter E. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of  "Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Dicrimination."

Tags: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams: Race and Economics, race, economics To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:22 PM - Post Link

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