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Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? (Hoover Institution Press Publication) by [Williams, Walter E.]
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Restrictive laws are just as harmful to blacks, whether they were written with the explicit intent, as in the past, to eliminate black competition or, as they are written today, with benign goals such as protecting public health, safety, and welfare and preventing worker exploitation."--Chapter Two. Pg. 25

From the Inside Flap

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 bycurrent 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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1629 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LH2CLW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,654 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. W. MacKenzie on May 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Many people see racism as a problem that exists in the private sector, that can be solved by officials in the public sector. Walter Williams turns this popular view of racism on its head. Public policies often put minorities at a disadvantage. Racists often find it easier to discriminate through public policy than through private enterprise. Williams is extending the cost-driven theoretical arguments of Gary Becker on the economics of discrimination. He uses many interesting examples to support the idea that government intervention serves as the primary means of discrimination: minimum wage laws, licensing, and other restrictions on otherwise free markets. These are controversial propositions that will offend some readers. Hopefully most people will read it critically and in so doing benefit from its well reasoned and supported arguments.
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A home-run by Williams. This is another book I wish I could afford to buy for every member of Congress. It explains, clearly enough for a statist to understand, how government policiy has disadvantaged black people in the last 60 years. We are going to pay a terrible price for these bone-headed policies. Get a copy for your legislators as well.

Robert A. Hall
Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
(All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)
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I am a college student who was forced to read Piven & Cloward's work last semester. I remember questioning their theories and wondering why they continued to use blame and resentment as a form to support their assertion that more gov't central planning benefits blacks and minorities. This book proves that all gov't intervention has proven to infact harm blacks and minorities, instead of helping them climb out of poverty. I think this is a great book that would help Blacks to understand that the so called glorious New Deal programs ended up resulting in more unemployment for their race. Don't just listen to the liberal crap universities want to push down your throat. READ, READ AND READ, and then come to your own conclusions.
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This book clearly shows that the government, read democrat, aid for minorities, read black, have harmed rather than helped black economic advancement. Contrary to other fantasies, economic reality would help all minorities advance. Easy reading.
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This book should be read by all old and young. It should be used as an instructional manual in High Schools. But I'll bet it will never be permitted by school boards. Love Walter Williams work and throughly enjoy reading his books. It is very easy to read and an extremely interesting account of US History, US policies/Laws and how they relate to economics. If you care to know the truth of what makes this country tick this is a great starting point.
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This is a brilliant, brilliant book, filled with sharp, original, compelling ideas on every page. Soundly argued and authoritatively supported. Deep scholarship matched with downright common sense. It would be impossible, I should think, for anyone to read this book and not learn something new. One of the best books I have read in years (and I read a lot).
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This book is a thoughtful, well-researched look at how the government's attempts to solve perceived 'racial discrimination' problems have created the opposite of intended results. The author exposes not only the fallacy of much of this thinking, but also how the government solutions have worsened the plight of minorities. To anyone interested in actually helping their fellow American, this is a very valuable work.
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This is a great book. Williams takes on many issues and makes his case well. Fundamental economics can be very counter-intuitive so books like this are useful as explanations and evidence. Highly recommended....everyone should read this.
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