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Race and Economics

Walter Williams is interviewed by Lew Rockwell.
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From his stepfather’s urging that he go early and stay late to his own hardworking experiences in the market, Walter Williams concludes that racial discrimination alone has never been the barrier that people say it is. In his forthcoming book, Race and Economics, Dr. Williams views minimum wage as effective racism, the Davis-Bacon Act as super minimum wage regulation, discrimination as an act of choice, and prejudice to be simply a decision made with incomplete information.

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  1. I’m a big fan of Williams. However, I’m reading through “State Against Blacks” and I see no mention of the actions of the Federal Housing Administration that spearheaded redlining. These are the types of action that cut off Blacks from access to capital and are part of the decline of Black neighborhoods. Does he mention these acts in other books or works? If not, than I feel writer James Clingman has a more realistic libertarian perspective.

    Also, I was slightly disappointed by Rockwell’s perspective in the interview. Part of the reasons I’m an anarchist is that I believe the government sets up artificial barriers that prevent self determination.

  2. I don’t have any specific reference for that, but I haven’t read all of Williams’ stuff all the way through, so I can’t really say. Rockwell is generally pretty good on the question of the state itself, of course, but on economic questions he’s a bit of a vulgar libertarian and comes close to being a mainstream conservative. The Rockwell/Mises people are frequently very critical of perspectives like Carson’s or the distributists. They oppose corporate welfare and mercantilist trade arrangement like NAFTA, so there’s a big difference between them and the neocons, but they don’t really follow through with an examination of the implications of their critique and how such interventions might have impacted existing economic arrangements.

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