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The black experience in America naturally gives rise to thinking of today’s black experience in terms of racism and oppression. But the most difficult problems black Americans face, particularly those who are poor, cannot adequately be explained by current racial discrimination. In Race and Economics, Walter Williams argues that many problems are a result of policies, regulations, and restrictions emanating from federal, state, and local governments. It is not free markets and the profit motive that have reduced opportunities, the author asserts; instead, it is the power of vested interest groups, as a means to greater wealth, to use the coercive powers of government to stifle market competition.
Williams debunks many common labor market myths and reveals how the minimum- wage law has imposed incalculable harm on the most disadvantaged members of our society. He explains that the real problem is people are not so much underpaid as underskilled and that the real task is to help unskilled people become skilled. The author also reveals how licensing and regulation reduce economic opportunities for people, especially those who might be described as discriminated against and having little political clout. Using the example of the trucking industry before and after deregulation, he illustrates how government regulation closes entry and reinforces economic handicaps, whereas deregulation not only has helped minorities enter an industry in greater numbers, but also has benefited consumers.
People will not engage in activities, including racial discrimination, says Williams, if the cost is too high. In markets, because transactions are mostly an individual affair, it is unnecessary to win the approval or permission of others; the costs and benefits are a private matter. But in the political arena, each citizen has only one vote, meaning that, unlike the free market, a minority cannot register the intensity of his preference. Further, increased concentration of political power at the national level handicaps minorities in the sense that their votes become diluted. The author ultimately shows that free-market allocation, not political allocation, is what is truly in the best interests of minorities in America.
This book is very well researched and footnoted.
If we in this country really desire to reduce, say, black unemployment, the quickest place to start is to repeal the federal minimum wage legislation.
This book proves that all gov't intervention has proven to infact harm blacks and minorities, instead of helping them climb out of poverty.
This is easily the best book I have read all year. Not just best non-fiction. Best book period.
I've known of Walter Williams for a long time and have been wanting to... Read more
I am still making my way through the book, but Dr. Williams is doing a great job (as usual).Published 2 months ago by Michael F. Holman
Great book, Walter Williams is amazing, he should be an idol in classrooms around the world. The world would be a much better place if the read and understood his ideas.Published 3 months ago by Stephen R. Keierleber
Mr. Williams is perhaps the most insightful columnist of our time. His views are well reasoned and well presented. I thoroughly enjoyed this work.Published 5 months ago by Kerry Jarrell
This book was incredibly informative and addressed issues that I have heard over and over. The problems in our society and identified along with reasons. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Daniel
I never heard of Dr. Williams till he hosted Rush's show years ago. Now I read every column of his as they come out. Brilliant, great writer and most important practical. Dr. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Retired dude
Walter Williams is a fantastic writer. Coming out of the Libertarian economics tradition, he does a beautiful job of showing how minimum wage laws, state mandated licensing, state... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Charles H. Rosa
I'm a big Walt Williams and Thomas Sowell fan so no surprise that I find this book great reading as well. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Thad L McMullen