Man Versus the State

Economist Walter E. Williams reflects on his long career battling Jim Crow, big government, and liberal orthodoxy

On May 29, 1963, Private Walter E. Williams of the U.S. Army’s 30th Infantry Division wrote a letter to President John F. Kennedy denouncing the pervasive racism of the American government and military. “Should Negroes be relieved of their service obligation or continue defending and dying for empty promises of freedom and equality,” Williams demanded of the president. "Or should we demand human rights as our Founding Fathers did at the risk of being called extremists....I contend that we relieve ourselves of oppression in a manner that is in keeping with the great heritage of our nation.”

It wasn’t the first time Walter Williams came out swinging against the government and it wouldn’t be the last. A self-described “crazy-ass man who insisted on talking about liberty in America,” Williams ultimately established himself as one of the country’s leading libertarian voices, serving as the chairman of George Mason University’s economics department from 1995-2001, writing a nationally syndicated column that now appears in over 140 newspapers, and filling in as a regular guest host for talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh. (Williams is also a trustee emeritus of Reason Foundation, the non-profit that publishes this website.)

In Up from the Projects: An Autobiography, the 74-year-old Williams offers a revealing and sometimes hilarious account of his rise from Philadelphia’s Richard Allen housing projects, where his neighbors included a young Bill Cosby, to “brown bag” lunches at the White House where he gave advice to President Ronald Reagan and his staff.

The author of seven books and dozens of academic articles, Williams is perhaps best known for his rigorous, fact-based argument that the free market is a force for racial equality. “Instead of racial discrimination and bigotry, it is the ‘rules of the game’ that account for many of the economic handicaps faced by blacks,” he wrote in his groundbreaking 1982 book, The State Against Blacks. As Williams explained, those rules included occupational licensing laws that prevented African Americans from working in numerous trades, pro-union legislation that gave monopoly bargaining power to racist labor unions, Interstate Commerce Commission regulations that effectively barred black truckers from competing on the highways, and other insidious, state-sanctioned barriers to entry. His 1989 book South Africa’s War Against Capitalism brought the same scrutiny to the infamous apartheid regime, which, Williams pointed out, maintained white power by denying political and economic liberty to black South Africans. There was nothing laissez-faire about it.

Today, Williams’ analysis of discriminatory state action is widely accepted among academics, including by many scholars on the left. For example, in his 2005 book When Affirmative Action Was White, liberal Columbia University political scientist Ira Katznelson observed that “policy decisions dealing with welfare, work, and war during Jim Crow’s last hurrah in the 1930s and 1940s excluded, or differently treated, the vast majority of African Americans.”

Williams made the same point more than 20 years earlier—and he paid a price for upsetting the liberal consensus. As he recounts in Up from the Projects, he was the target of frequent personal attacks. “I could never really get angry at the old Stepin Fetchits and Aunt Jemimas, for they were uneducated and simply practicing acts of survival. But I have nothing for contempt for people like Williams and his collaboration with the conservatives,” sneered George E. Jordan of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (in what turned out to be a plagiarized column). Former NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Hooks was just as ugly, describing black libertarians like Williams as “a new breed of Uncle Tom.”

These grotesque attacks are demonstrably false. Williams waged a one man battle against Jim Crow from inside the army (where he was nearly court-martialed for challenging the racial order) and continued to fight racist government action as a distinguished scholar and teacher. A principled liberal would celebrate Williams’ efforts even while disagreeing with some of his free-market conclusions.

But Williams isn’t out to settle those old scores here. Up from the Projects narrates the highs and lows of his life with a healthy dose humility and self-deprecation. “Much of what I’ve achieved has not only been a result of hard work and sacrifice but luck and chance as well,” he writes. That includes “being at the right place, or even the wrong place, at the right time.”

It’s a good lesson for anyone trying to make their mark on the world. But more importantly, Williams’ long fight for individualism reveals the answer to that question he posed to President Kennedy back in 1963. “Should we demand human rights as our Founding Fathers did at the risk of being called extremists?”

Yes, we should.

Damon W. Root is an associate editor at Reason magazine.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Walter is a great and courageous man.

  • Yeah||

    His daughter Wendy was a freak.

  • ¢||

    -martialed.

    Literate.

  • persistantvegetativestatesman||

    You've got that wrong. It's Wendy O'Williams. I think she was Irish.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Gotta luv WW.
    I recall an account he gave of being in the army, and ignoring some briefing or instruction in a class. When his superior officer asked him what he thought his duties were, he said "to integrate this unit. When I show up, I'm done."

    Also, his response to smoking bans, in this case in airports: to ignore them and keep smoking.

    He doesn't seem to care much about doing what other people want him to do.

  • Old Mexican||

    Former NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Hooks was just as ugly, describing black libertarians like Williams as "a new breed of Uncle Tom."


    The usual tactic of the lefty is to rely on character assassination rather than argumentation, as they have no good cogent and ethical argument to justify wholesale theft. And affirmative action IS theft, no matter if benefiting whites or blacks or pinks.

  • Justice Sotomayor||

    Whitey just needs to learn his place.

  • Raven Nation||

    When I was in grad school one of my conservative/libertarian friends asked a prof - who taught civil rights - what he thought of Walter Williams. The prof responded "he's an idiot." I mean, what a true intellectual response.

    And, on a follow up, if one defines an Uncle Tom as someone who does what the white man wants them to do in order to get along, then where (politically) might one find a lot of Uncle Toms today?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck the left and their bullshit "Uncle Tom" racist labeling technique.

    Guarandamnedtee you Herman Cain gets labeled the PC equivalent of "house nigger" now that he's running for president.

  • herp||

    I thought "the left" indicated one's stance on economy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, it also applies to their need to smother us with the motherly influence of the state... similar to the right's need to smother us with the fatherly influence of the state.

  • JohnD||

    The NAACP is the most racist organization in America.

  • Old Mexican||

    The author of seven books and dozens of academic articles, Williams is perhaps best known for his rigorous, fact-based argument that the free market is a force for racial equality.


    His PBS television series (available on YouTube) explained how free markets and investment raises the standard of living for all people, including black Americans, and how the "benefactors" in government made things worse for many minorities, through welfare dependancy and styfling regulation that made it more difficult for black entrepreneurs to start up businesses.

  • Almanian||

    Thanks, OM, for the tip. Didn't know he'd done a TV series. I learned about him from his hosting of Limbaugh's show, and later started seeing his columns.

    Look fwd to seeing the TV shows - thanks again for the tip.

  • Jim||

    Where's that poster who was ranting on some article yesterday that blacks were genetically inferior to whites, using IQ scores as his evidence? Mr. Williams seems to be smarter than any white person I've ever met on the hardcore left or neocon right.

  • ||

    Sounds like Walter Block...

  • tarran||

    Got a link? Because the Walter Block I know has never claimed that.

  • ||

    Walter Block has never said that and does not believe that.

  • Realist||

    I very much like Walter Williams and think he is very intelligent. But that does not mean all blacks are intelligent. As much as you may not like the fact, it is a fact that blacks in this country. on average score considerably lower on IQ tests. It is more than an article, there are a number of books written on the numerous studies of racial difference in IQ. But i would never say blacks are genetically inferior.

  • ||

    Assume for a moment that IQ tests are culturally neutral (BIG assumption). Assume further that they measure all aspects of intelligence (another big assumption). To what degree does intelligence really affect ability to be useful to and successful in society? I have known a small but still disturbing sample of people who had very high IQ scores, and who were in general as useful to society as a tire made of eggshells.

  • Realist||

    "Assume for a moment that IQ tests are culturally neutral (BIG assumption)." This is a silly liberal canard.
    "Assume further that they measure all aspects of intelligence (another big assumption)." I agree that IQ tests do not measure all aspects of intelligence, but so what they measure some.
    "I have known a small but still disturbing sample of people who had very high IQ scores, and who were in general as useful to society as a tire made of eggshells."
    "disturbing sample" I am not sure what a disturbing sample is.
    Do you think intelligent people are useless? Or that IQ tests are useless?

  • Joshua||

    Have you ever been to a Mensa meeting? I could not distinguish a difference between the portion of completely worthless people in that environment than in any typical gathering of people.

  • Joshua||

    Now that I think about it further, the entire notion of a persons utility is distasteful. Your usage of this notion indicates that the individual is "of use" to somebody other than themselves. My libertarian sensibilities say to me that a person should only be put to use by him or herself.

    So yes, intellingent people are no more useful to me than dumb people, as long as they are self-sufficient.

  • JohnD||

    It doesn't seem to be a matter of genetics as much as an attitude amoung young blacks (especially male) that think going to school and making good grades is a "whitey" thing. Until young blacks lose the thug / gangster mentality, they will be trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence.

  • Realist||

    "It doesn't seem to be a matter of genetics as much as an attitude amoung young blacks (especially male) that think going to school and making good grades is a "whitey" thing." And you think that's not genetic???

  • bob||

    Stupid comment. An "attitude is about the least likely thing to be genetic"

  • Realist||

    You know nothing of genentics!

  • ChrisO||

    In a better world, Walter Williams would have been the first black president.

  • Paul||

  • Obama the jaunty golfer||

    Only to turn into a racist when I was running against Bill's Hillary.

  • ||

    Calling Bill Clinton the "first black president" is a vicious smear against blacks.

    -jcr

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I'd take Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Larry Elder in any combination.

  • Funny Guy||

    That's what she said.

  • Edwin||

    "the free market is a force for racial equality"

    Except that when you start with an ownership/property rights scheme that was already heavily slanted against blacks, it isn't a free market. The vast majority of all land was owned by non-blacks, and very few titles to anything else either was owned by blacks, since they had been brutally opressed - couldn't acquire physical or even human capital. So when the CRA was passed, it was not a free market.

  • sevo||

    "The vast majority of all land was owned by non-blacks, and very few titles to anything else either was owned by blacks, since they had been brutally opressed - couldn't acquire physical or even human capital."
    Yes, they were. By law. And so you propose more government interference, right?
    It always works so well....

  • ||

    Wait, so your exception to the free market creating racial equality is... something that isn't a free market?

  • Audrey the Liberal||

    A lefty's reasoning is different from that of a square's.

  • Paul||

    Win.

  • Edwin||

    that's the point, which is why I just said it, understand numbnuts? No matter what you idiots say, America wasn't and was not going to be a free market. Southern Whites already had plenty of leverage in the economic realm to continue massive opression of blacks. Only getting rid of Government-statute discrimination wasn't going to change that.
    Which is why we passed the CRA.

  • ||

    Don't be it's porn.

  • ||

    I love how people on the left love to claim that capitalism is inherently racist, but then when we point out that racism was actually enforced by government fiat most of the time, they then turn around and argue that simply getting rid of the racist government intervention could never get rid of racism, so we must double down on government expansion if we really hate racism.

  • sevo||

    Edwin|1.29.11 @ 1:24AM|#
    "No matter what you idiots say, America wasn't and was not going to be a free market."
    You stupid shit, you don't even know what a free market is.

    "Southern Whites already had plenty of leverage in the economic realm to continue massive opression of blacks."
    That's the reason they had to pass Jim Crow laws, right shit-for-brains?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'll bet Edwin and Orel are in favor of reparations.

    Which is a stupid fucking idea.

    Which is why only stupid fucking people espouse reparations.

  • ||

    I maintain that while we do not owe African-Americans reparations for Slavery, we do owe them reparations to decades of allowing their children's educations be held hostage by a shrill concatenation of incompetent Lefties, union hacks, and swine.

    What we owe them is the return of control of their schools, along with PRIVATELY DONATED (so there will be no elected biffledinks screwing with it) money for scholarships and improvements. If they then piss those opportunities down the nearest drain, so be it. They have been "helped" enough.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sorry, but I can't even go for the voluntary contribution idea. All the people responsible for those transgressions have been dead for decades.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hypothetical for those in favor of reparations:

    Immigrant to U.S. becomes a bona-fide citizen on the same day he/she is presented with a bill for reparations.

    I say "fuck no, I'm not paying this" if I were in this hypothetical pair of shoes.

    Then, I would renounce my newly-minted membership and move back to my old country, just for good measure.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Let me apply this lesson to something else. Apples taste delicious and are good for you except when the apples are not apples but pinecones. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  • Ghost of Christmas Future||

    How 18th Century, and fallacious, of you. Care to come into the present, at least?

  • ||

    And why is that, Edwin.. because of government, perhaps? Nah, that couldn't be it..

  • Edwin||

    not really - more because of society. You see, and this may come as a shock to you, the government had racist policies because people were racist back then.
    The difference between you idiots and the normies is we don't like to pretend that we can suddenly change everything with one stupid simplistic philosophy. Things need to actually get done in the real world.

  • Edwin||

    As in,
    here's the libertarian proposition:
    "Hey there! So yeah, we've taken title to almost all the land there is here, we've made sure you've never gotten a fair shake in the market so you could never gain any skills, connections, or just plain old property. But we're sorry now. Here in this one city hundreds of miles away from you we wrote a law that says the government can't discriminate against, but everybody else - you know, all those people who run our entire economic world - still can. So it's all OK now! We're good now, right? Right."

    and before you even say it, yes anti-discrimination laws are also just laws written in D.C., but because of their nature and broadness, they are much more enforceable (than just a ban on government discrimination) and their effects much more pervasive. The effect is immediate - with stated policies of discrimination being outright illegal, businesses had to let blacks in. There was no way to effectively discriminate. And the social pressure (or outright violence) that could have been applied to this or that one or few inetrmingle-ists disappeared once everyone had to let blacks in (the segregationalists couldn't intimidate EVERY business).

  • ||

    "Here in this one city hundreds of miles away from you we wrote a law that says the government can't discriminate against, but everybody else - you know, all those people who run our entire economic world - still can. So it's all OK now!"

    Seriously dude, fuck you. Nobody is arguing that "it's all OK now." And racist government interventions were not merely vague statutes created by people miles away. They were hard core laws that showed up in the face of blacks on a day to day basis.

    I admit that forcing business to integrate probably had some positive effects, but it also had some negative effects too. Personally, I believe that it was still immoral. I don't think that it necessarily sped up the process of abolishing racism, as racism was generally waning in the US as time progressed. I also believe that forced integration of public schools was probably THE biggest achievement of the civil rights movement rather than the integration of lunch counters, which although symbolic, probably did little to bring whites and blacks together.

    Had the civil rights act simply integrated public services, and left private businesses to make their own decisions about whom they provide services to, the civil rights movement would have trucked along just fine, and we wouldn't be dealing with the long term, negative fallout of anti discrimination laws today. Even if the CRA only integrated public services, the civil rights movement could have still continued protesting businesses that discriminated against people based on race.

    There are clearly lines that we are not going to cross, even in the pursuit of truly noble goals. I'm not going to let the government monitor me 24/7 or ship me off to a re-education camp, no matter what the potential benefit to society could be.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Edwin thinks this is still the 1950s.

  • Shaft||

    This Edwin cat is one Jiiive fuckin' Turkey

  • ||

    shut yo mouth

  • ||

    tkwelge you're a dumb fuck, specifically for saying: "I'm not going to let the government monitor me 24/7"

    they already be doin it...

  • sevo||

    Edwin|1.29.11 @ 1:54AM|#
    "As in,
    here's the libertarian proposition:"

    As in,
    here's the brain-dead asshole's proposition:
    Brain-dead asshole makes up what ever fantasy feeds brain-dead asshole's other fantasies and then asks someone to disprove it.
    Go away, brain-dead asshole.

  • Edwin||

  • ||

    Please don't be his porn.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "You see, and this may come as a shock to you, the government had racist policies because people were racist back then."

    Yes... *back then*. As in "not now".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck off, Edwin. You're not helping.

  • Mr. Mark||

    How would a white who has no land start a business?

  • sevo||

    Mr. Mark|1.29.11 @ 4:55PM|#
    "How would a white who has no land start a business?"

    'Bout the same way as anyone else.

  • Juice||

    Wait, he lived in projects?

    Hypocrite!

  • ||

    As a child.

  • mr simple||

    He probably uses roads too.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I better not find out he's had a social security number this whole time.

  • OrelHazard||

    Wait, some goofy, self-absorbed bastard spent years telling other goofy, self-absorbed bastards exactly what they want to hear?

    Incredible! Well, unlike some others that had that career, at least Walter never took government assistance while decrying it like glibertarian douchebag Ayn Rand did.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2011.....overn.html

    Okay, okay: I really mean Ayn was a minarchist douchebag. As in "minimize the state, just not to the point that my benefits check doesn't get here".

    But about Walter: wait, wasn't he in the Army? Gee, I sure hope he didn't use the GI Bill to get his academic cred. Because that would be just nearly as funny as Ayn Rand Taking State Assistance While Decrying State Assistance.

    http://www.google.com/search?s.....l+security

  • sevo||

    OrelHazard|1.28.11 @ 7:03PM|#
    "Wait, some goofy, self-absorbed bastard spent years telling other goofy, self-absorbed bastards exactly what they want to hear?"

    Oh, look! Self-absorbed asshole finds that people who don't like government got their money back from the government!
    That means, well, it means, sorta, uh, I guess that asshole can't find an argument.

  • sevo||

    Ignore my earlier comment Orel; I am a clown who has a difficult time forming effective counter-arguments, so I just call everyone with whom I disagree an asshole.

  • OrelHazard||

    Ignore my earlier comment sevo; I am a clown who has a difficult time forming effective arguments, so I just call everyone with whom I disagree a goofy bastard.

  • ||

    Glad you two kissed and made up.

  • Bart||

    Orel, I heard Walter Williams kicked his dog.
    Does that make his years of economic research and discourse irrelevant too?

  • Esteban||

    I think the GI bill is a fair reward for military service. It's not like it's just a handout.

  • edi||

    Plus you have to contribute to receive it

  • ||

    Uh, Ayn Rand explicitly argued:

    "The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind. It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration."

  • ||

    But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money

    Since those who took the money spent it immediately, there is no money to "refund". Therefore, claims of "rights" are simply a justification for continued generational theft.

  • ||

    That's roughly akin to saying that someone who demands reparations from a thief who spent what was stolen is asking for a handout.

  • ||

    Nonsense OralGangBang, it's a sunken cost. I don't begrudge anyone trying to get back all the money that was stolen from them by the government over their lifetime.

  • ||

    Nonsense OralGangBang, it's a sunken cost. I don't begrudge anyone trying to get back all the money that was stolen from them by the government over their lifetime.

  • ||

    Just for shits and giggles I'll play the devil's advocate.

    To wit:

    If we ever end the welfare state an entire generation will have paid in and gotten nothing in return. It could be argued that the money that you pay in is spent 20 years before you ever earned it.

    What you are in fact paying for, and your employer I might add, is for current and present spending. When you retire your money will have been long ago spent. Instead you will be receiving

  • ||

    Squirrel!

    ...money confiscated from the young workers of tomorrow. If your neighbor on the left breaks into your home and steals your teevee, stealing your neighbors teevee on the right isn't morally correct just because you had paid into buying the original teevee. Your money is gone...

    I see, on these here boards, the 'paid in' mentality. Not until that mentality disappears will meaningful entitlement reform happen.

  • ||

    I see, on these here boards, the 'paid in' mentality. Not until that mentality disappears will meaningful entitlement reform happen.

    Wait -- so you're not merely playing devil's advocate for shits and giggles?

  • ||

    Actually, on this issue I am torn. On one hand you pay all of this money in over the course of your working life with an expectation of return. On the other hand it's a scam, your money is gone, and we'll never have meaningful reform until a bunch of people accept that they have been taken.

    That can be hard to take, to know that you have been played for a fool.

    The prevailing mentality is "I paid in; gimme gimme gimme", and that is not sustainable.

  • sevo||

    capitol l|1.28.11 @ 9:50PM|#
    "Actually, on this issue I am torn. On one hand you pay all of this money in over the course of your working life with an expectation of return. On the other hand it's a scam, your money is gone, and we'll never have meaningful reform until a bunch of people accept that they have been taken.
    That can be hard to take, to know that you have been played for a fool."

    Make you a deal right now!
    As an old fart, I'm close to 'getting it back'. I'll pass on the entire amount if you stop taking those taxes to pay for it at the same time. Simple; don't give it to me or the following generation and quit taxing for it now.
    Oh, and for Sy: No I never did vote for it.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    According to Rand, if you advocate/vote for it, you are essentially among the robbers and not the robbed. If you advocate/vote against it, you are among the robbed. There is no way to take this argument as an excuse to vote to keep something going until you get yours back. This would join you with the robbers.

    There is nothing hypocritical about voting to repeal social security while cashing the checks. Why anyone would think that to turn down an offer by the government to give you some fraction of the sum of money it has taken from you would be teaching it a lesson is a mystery to me.

  • ||

    @sevo Your position mirrors mine. I'd say: "I'll give up any future payments if the taxing stops now."

    I don't think most would go for that, they'd want back what they "paid in." I don't think most would be willing to cut their losses like you or I would be.

    @Fisc
    While I appreciate Rand's books the older I get the more I am convinced that as a person she was a crackpot. The thing is that the government steals your money to give to people on ss now, and later will need to steal from others to make payments from you. It is not like the government steals your cash, puts it aside, and then gives it back to you later.

    I think that my teevee analogy above is pretty apt. Perhaps I could think of a more airtight metaphor if you guys see a weakness to my position.

    ....Meth, I will be restarting the Stossel.blog when school quits crushing my testes. Maybe this summer, hope you and fist join me.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Crackpot or not, I'm pretty sure this is right. If I steal forty bucks from you then I owe you at least forty bucks. No ensuing of convoluted hijinks can change this simple fact. You don't have to worry about all the other bad stuff I've done in my life and whether I've squared up with everyone I've wronged before you recover some of your money. You don't have to answer for my crimes against other people just because I didn't keep everybody's stolen money in separate envelopes. It's not your mess to sort out where the original bills went, you don't have to match the serial numbers. On the other hand, If I say "I don't have it anymore but if you help me break into that house over there I'll get you forty dollars" and you do it then you're a thief too.

    RE:liveblog- I believe it was Bon Jovi who said "I'll Be There For You!"

  • ||

    When you play this game with the entitlement recipients, the usual retort is "We paid into it our whole lives, we deserve something back!"

    The mentality that should prevail in retaliation is "You mean, you voted to let congress take your money. Then, you voted in new representatives that raided that fund for decades.. and now there's no money left, you say? Wait, what? You believed them when they said they'd watch over it and never screw you over, you say? You are one gullible motherfucker"

  • ||

    Very good.

    Though if pressed for time one could just retort with "You are one gullible motherfucker," for brevity's sake.

  • Raven Nation||

    Serious question: how do you respond to those who say: "we didn't vote for those who wanted to take our money. The money was simply removed from paychecks before it even got to us."

  • ||

    I'd say that that money was spent before they took it out of your paycheck, and the only chance to keep more of your paycheck in the future is to vote for candidates that are serious about reform.

  • Raven Nation||

    Fair enough. But what if you do that & the non-reform SOBs keep winning?

  • ||

    Unless we have another baby boom, or immigration wave, I don't think that the current system is sustainable. We can only vote for free shit for so long. I am sure that the reform movement will be picking up steam in the next decade or so.

    As a libertarian you just hope for small victories, or total collapse leading to a more liberty centric model.

  • ||

    But what if you do that & the non-reform SOBs keep winning?

    You realize that democracy sucks and is incompatible with liberty, and you start rolling your eyes every time you hear some nitwit exalt it as America's highest ideal.

  • ||

    Oh, and also you start trying to figure out if you should be an anarchist or a Mencius Moldbug-style reactionary. (I'm torn.)

  • ||

    I just bookmarked "Unqualified Reservations", so we'll see.

  • ||

    Democracy is not really incompatible with liberty, it's just that what is called democracy by so many is just one group of people scheming against another. So it's not really voting on issues of laws that protect people and property, which would be just government,and so it's not democracy.

    If either through plebiscites or representatives the people only voted on just laws then democracy would be ok. Now if you want to say that due to human nature this is not possible, then how would human nature be overcome to bring about anarchocapitalism?

  • ||

    I'd say that that money was spent before they took it out of your paycheck, and the only chance to keep more of your paycheck in the future is to vote for candidates that are serious about reform.

    So, if someone steals your car, you don't have a right to expect them to return it?

  • ||

    @Fiscal & Bill

    Sure, if someone steals your stuff you sure as shit have should expect it back. Let's say that a guy knocks you down and steals your wallet then immediately hands it to another guy. You complain so the guy who robbed you knocks over another person steals their wallet and hands it to you. If you take it is that a moral behavior?

    Perhaps the analogy has been stretched to its breaking point. My argument isn't that it is good that some people will lose out, but that if ss is going to die people are going to inevitably feel cheated.

    Also, contrary to popular belief, the money that you pay into ss isn't put aside for you; it is being used to fund the program now. It is a ponzi scheme and whoever is paying in at any given time is on the bottom, and we all know what happens to them.

    Like sevo said above, if they offered an opt out where they kept all of the money that I have paid in, I never had to pay anymore ss tax, and I give up any future benefits then I would take that deal.

  • ||

    Not to mention that people get back more than they were taxed ("paid in" as some have said).

  • ||

    Thanks for the honest and considered reply. I agree that some people may inevitably feel (and realistically be) screwed by the elimination of social security. As you suggest, unwinding a Ponzi scheme does that. However, it's not clear to me that that means those people are morally wrong for expecting their money back.

  • ||

    "I agree that some people may inevitably feel (and realistically be) screwed by the elimination of social security. "

    If someone's only retirement plan was a promise of return on investment from a runaway federal government, the same federal government that brought us the Dept of Edu., a subsidized mortgage industry, and the FDA...
    Then, I'd recommend about 8 feet of rope and the nearest ceiling fan at least 8 feet off the ground.

  • Fuck, OR||

    Are you a member of some sort of Hate Group?

  • ||

    What is wrong with using the GI bill to attend college? Isn't using the GI bill simply the collection of deferred compensation? What is wrong with collecting what you righteously earned?

  • Xenocles||

    The new one is just a gimmie.It takes no money out of your paycheck and it applies to all ranks. Example: I'm a zero and I will get a fully-funded bachelor's and master's degree just in the normal course of my career. (Arguably, this could be considered job training, but it's a huge benefit by itself.) But the new GI bill "entitles" me to three years of state-school tuition, which I can transfer to one of my kids or split between them.

    So I'm a bit of a welfare queen. Like John Stossel said about federal flood insurance for his beach house, thanks.

  • ||

    I had to pay 1800 bucks for mine. When did they do away with the buy-ins?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Orel, go fuck Edwin. You're not helping, either.

    I swear to fucking God, you two are part of the reason racism is still an issue. Keep picking the scabs, it'll never heal - just like Sharpton, Jackson, and other race-flame stokers.

    Seriously... fuck the fuck off.

  • sevo||

    sevo|1.28.11 @ 7:34PM|#
    "Ignore my earlier comment Orel; I am a clown who has a difficult time forming effective counter-arguments, so I just call everyone with whom I disagree an asshole."

    Cute. Asshole.

  • sevo||

    ; )

  • David E. Gallaher/Ruthless||

    I was Walter's drooling groupie on more than one occasion of his visiting Cincinnati.

  • ||

    Defending the Undefendable is one of the greatest yet simplest libertarian texts ever.

  • ||

    Oops what am I saying, that's Walter Block...

  • sevo||

    "Oops what am I saying, that's Walter Block..."
    Beat me to it.

  • ||

    The only time I will listen to the Limbaugh show is when Walter is "black by popular demand."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Same here. I tune in just long enough to find out if Walter is subbing - if not, my radio does not go back to that station until Limbaugh is done yapping.

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  • The Mossy Spaniard||

    wtfamireading.jpg

  • Realist||

    Always keep in mind it was, socialist, Roosevelt who started social security.

  • Bob||

    You mean it wasn't that hippo-crit ann-rynd?

  • AlmightyJB||

  • Mr. FIFY||

  • ||

    That made me sick, I actually left a comment.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Looks like they filter their posts.

  • ||

    It is up on my computer, but it says "your comment is awaiting moderation." Here it is(he probably won't put it up):

    Sean Hannity is a piece of garbage whose political beliefs I personally find abhorrent, but I have never heard him call an African American an “Uncle Tom”, or “lawn jockey” because he disagreed with his politics.

    You on the other hand feel that it is appropriate to speak of a man as a tobacky spittin’ klansman would because he happens to be on the other political “team”.

    Why not show some tesitcular fortitude and just refer to any black man that you happen disagree with a n***er.

    It is not enough for an African American to get ahead, he or she must do it your way with your beliefs otherwise they are a “lawn jockey” or “uncle tom.”

    Your award is cute as well, maybe you could share it with Stormfront. Switch off every week, they could award it to a successful black liberal and the next week you could award it to successful black conservative. And you all will feel so superior and smug.

    Trash.

  • ||

    +1,000,000,000

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good post, cap. IF they have the balls to post it.

    Meanwhile, a gem o' stoopid from MM:

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201004140086

  • BTX3||

    Noticed you tirade on my link list.

    Yes, I post most everything that meets my basic posting rules (no profanity, etc) - even by conservatives and bigots - because I like my readers to see just how deeply twisted the new generation of white wine sippin' arugula chewing Kluxxers like yourself are.

    So let's clear up two things quickly. My disagreement with Mr. Cain in this case has nothing to do with "political beliefs" - it has to do with his self-association with folks like yourself.

    Of the two black Republicans elected to Congress, you will find several articles on my blog giving the same award to Alan West - but not Tim Scott. Why? Because Scott is all about business, the business of serving his community. West is about being a Lawn Jockey, attacking perceived conservative enemies such as in his ad hominum attack recently on Keith Ellison.Ergo, fronting for the white wine sipping, arugula chewing bigots like you.

    You ever want your party to get some appeal beyond the Klavern - you need to find some more Tim Scotts, and stop pretending that the Uncle Wallies with his fake numbers, Uncle Tommies (Sowell et al) - and associated lawn ornament types like Hermain Cain and Alan West represent anything except your inbred bigotry.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We aren't racists here, so spare us your whitey-hating bullshit.

  • ||

    Of course you are. You disagree with him, ergo, you and the rest of us are racists.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    True... it's like liberals who use the "it's okay when WE do stupid shit" defense.

  • BTX3||

    Geez...How could I tell?

    You think hiding behind Mr Williams shorts means your sheets don't show?

  • ||

    white wine sippin' arugula chewing Kluxxers like yourself are.

    First of all, you must be confusing me with your intended audience who get the vicarious thrill of reading an author refer to a black man as a "lawn jockey." All the while being safely ensconced in their own inclusive belief system.

    Or perhaps you thought that you had a witty riposte to my tobakky spittn' comment, well you don't sir. Your response so far is off base, and your attempt at an inflammatory insult falls flat exactly because you are so wrong.

    Sorry.

    My disagreement with Mr. Cain in this case has nothing to do with "political beliefs" - it has to do with his self-association with folks like yourself.

    I wasn't aware of my having any association with Mr. Cain, or even that we had similar political thoughts. I also wasn't aware that calling someone out who called a black guy a "lawn jockey" made one a bigot; that is news to me.

    Your poor excuse for a response shows that beyond race baiting you have no justification for your posts.

    Your third and fourth paragraphs would be funny if you weren't so serious. Again, I am sure calling someone an "arugula chewing bigot" or saying they possessed "inbred bigotry" seemed like appropriate bon mots that strengthened your supposed argument; they didn't.

    Actually it seems as though you are feeling defensive because someone pointed out the poor taste of your "award." You probably thought that your award was biting commentary, gritty perhaps. In fact, it merely seems that you are seeking validation from your whooping white audience who also probably think that it is okay to call a black guy a "lawn jockey." And really you have not given any persuasive argument or justification for your name calling other than you dislike these men's politics.

    Take these two sentences that you wrote:

    West is about being a Lawn Jockey, attacking perceived conservative enemies such as in his ad hominum attack recently on Keith Ellison.Ergo, fronting for the white wine sipping, arugula chewing bigots like you.

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    Also, after ergo usually follows a evidence backed conclusion, not a childish "ad hominum(sic)" like you have provided, and previously decried.

  • BTX3||

    Since the majority of my audience is well educated , professional and business owning black folks – I find your assumption about the “vicarious nature” of the award atypical of the sort of stupid assumptions made by your ilk.

    The critique comes from a group who should be from any political movement’s standpoint – exactly the sort of people you would want to attract. Yet statistically, as education level rises the percentage of black folks who vote for, or can tolerate any association with bigots like yourself drops from 8%… to under 2% at the graduate level.

    Yet you continue to pimp lawn jockeys like the aforementioned Mr Cain, and Alan West – as well as Uncle Wallie, and the Thomas’, instead of folks who share any commonality with the vast majority of black professional or business owners.

    When a product turns off 98% of the market, moron – you don’t make it up in volume. Ergo, the role of the aforementioned Jockey suited set isn’t to attract new adherents…

    It’s to provide cover for white wine sippin’, arugula chewing KKK in suits bigots like yourself.

  • ||

    It's as if you copy and pasted your last response, and then added some made up statistics to strengthen your (nonexistent)point.

    You don't even deny that it is in poor taste to call people "lawn jockeys", but that it is justified because you happen to think that they are "lawn jockeys."

    Also, invoking the word "ergo" does not substantiate your premises, nor strengthen your conclusion. If you could please provide any evidence(outside of your own pre-drawn conclusions)that I am a bigot then that would be a solid first step in solidifying your argument. Of course, you would also need to verify that your "lawn jockeys" knowingly provide cover for bigots, and those you call bigots are in fact bigots.

    A tall order indeed. Especially if you have to abandon your rhetorical crutch i.e. your inane arugula comments.

    If you have something substantial to say other than your tired insults, then I would be happy to hear it.

  • BTX3||

    A do run, run, run! A do run, run!

    Dang! Broke another nice new shiny conservative toy.

  • BTX3||

    And BTW - as to those "false statistics"...

    Read, if you can -

    http://www.princeton.edu/~nmccarty/ineqpold.pdf

  • ||

    You don't even know what it is that you are arguing. Do you?

  • sevo||

    "And BTW - as to those "false statistics"...
    Read, if you can -
    http://www.princeton.edu/~nmccarty/ineqpold.pdf"

    And BTW, find if you can which data you cherry picked.

  • ||

    Coherence isn't your strong suit, is it?

  • cw||

    Good work, shit-for-brains!

  • ||

    racist troll is confused.

  • sevo||

    BTX3|1.30.11 @ 1:55PM|#
    "Since the majority of my audience is well educated , professional and business owning black folks –"

    Or not.

  • cw||

    Seriously, what's with calling black men whose politics differ from yours "lawn jockeys"? You are such a douche. Racism is OK when YOU do it, right?

  • ||

    There really are people out there who's hobby it is to archive their political Interwebz Battles?
    Shit, I thought Rectal was just a freak of fucking programming.

  • sevo||

    "It’s to provide cover for white wine sippin’, arugula chewing KKK in suits bigots like yourself."

    Strawmen should only be used with adult supervision; they can be dangerous in the hands of children or idiots.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I count only one bigot on this thread, and it isn't one of our regular posters.

  • sevo||

    I got two. whether they're regulars or not, they commonly get beat down. For good reason; racism (as per brain-dead BT) is the refuge of those for whom thinking is too tough.

  • Mr. Mark||

    Hooah!

  • ||

    Criminal or Great Parent: Black Mother Jailed for Sending Daughters to White School........http://www.theroot.com/buzz/criminal-or-great-parent-black-mother-jailed-sending-daughters-white-school?wpisrc=obinsite

  • sevo||

    URL goes nowhere.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The left claims there is "institutional racism" among us. Would that be the schools who refuse to teach blacks, the drug stores that refuse to sell them condoms, or the churches that refuse to let them get married?

  • Pariuri Online||

    He was Irish, that is for sure.

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    People and nations can say is two kinds of things, but closely linked, does not have the people is no country, no country, the right of people to get to maintain.

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