Walter Williams Quotations

Walter Williams

Again, when politicians come to us pretending they're Santa Clauses or tooth fairies delivering benefits only, we should ask what's the cost, who's going to pay and why.

Attacks on private property include, but are not limited to, confiscating the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it doesn't belong. When this is done privately, we call it theft. When it's done collectively, we use euphemisms: income transfers or redistribution.

Charity is reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need. Reaching into someone else's pocket to assist one's fellow man hardly qualifies as charity. When done privately, we deem it theft, and the individual risks jail time.

Customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now, we're paying the price. What's worse is that instead of a return to what worked, many of us fail to make the connection and insist 'there ought to be a law.' As such, it points to another failure of the so-called 'great generation' -- the failure to transmit to their children what their parents transmitted to them.

Democracy gives an aura of legitimacy to acts that would otherwise be deemed tyranny. That is precisely why the Framers gave us a Constitution that sought to protect us against the abuses of majorities. That's what our Bill of Rights is all about, those congressional shalt-nots. It's just too bad that Congress, acting on the will of the majority, have abrogated those protections.

In a free society, government has the responsibility of protecting us from others, but not from ourselves.

I thank God that I received my education before educators and psycho-babblers became concerned about self-esteem; I'm also thankful for having received it before it became fashionable for white people to like black people. It meant my grades were honest.

Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights.

Powerful government tends to draw into it people with bloated egos, people who think they know more than everyone else and have little hesitance in coercing their fellow man. Or as Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek said, 'in government, the scum rises to the top.'

Republicans and right-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to farmers, banks, airlines and other failing businesses. Democrats and left-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to poor people, cities and artists. Both agree on taking one American's earnings to give to another; they simply differ on the recipients.

Saying that the Constitution is a living document is the same as saying we don't have a Constitution. For rules to mean anything, they must be fixed. How many people would like to play me poker and have the rules be 'living'? Depending on 'evolving standards,' maybe my two pair could beat your flush.

The education establishment ... has total control over grades assigned and diplomas conferred. When a diploma is conferred, it certifies that the recipient has mastered high-school level material. A student so certified who cannot perform at the eighth- and ninth-grade levels has a fraudulent diploma. It's like meat sold as fresh and, when you get it home, you find it maggot-laden.

Whether it's individuals or countries, one seldom sees highly productive people poor or highly unproductive people rich unless there are government restrictions and subsidies at play. Making people more productive is the challenge. Whining about income inequality is a cop-out.