Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Walter Williams is brilliant

Seriously. Go read The 20 Greatest Quotes From Walter Williams. Here are a few. Hat tip: Glenn

Walter Williams is a veteran, a professor of economics at George Mason University, a syndicated columnist, a fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh and an author of eight books. Williams has one of the finest minds in America as you’re about to see as you read these quotations.

20) How many times have we heard “free tuition,” “free health care,” and free you-name-it? If a particular good or service is truly free, we can have as much of it as we want without the sacrifice of other goods or services. Take a “free” library; is it really free? The answer is no. Had the library not been built, that $50 million could have purchased something else. That something else sacrificed is the cost of the library. While users of the library might pay a zero price, zero price and free are not one and the same. So when politicians talk about providing something free, ask them to identify the beneficent Santa Claus or tooth fairy.

19) During the first Reagan administration, I participated in a number of press conferences on either a book or article I’d written or as a panelist in a discussion of White House public policy. On occasion, when the question-and-answer session began, I’d tell the press, “You can treat me like a white person. Ask hard, penetrating questions.” The remark often brought uncomfortable laughter, but I was dead serious. If there is one general characteristic of white liberals, it’s their condescending and demeaning attitude toward blacks.

Leftists appeal to people’s covetousness, which is always easy, but they don’t realize that the math just doesn’t work:

17) Households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would bring in about $1.9 trillion. That would keep Washington running for 190 days, but there’s a problem because there are 175 more days left in the year.The profits of the Fortune 500 richest companies come to $400 billion. That would keep the government running for another 40 days, to mid-July.

America has 400 billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.3 trillion. If Congress fleeced them of their assets, stocks, bonds, yachts, airplanes, mansions and jewelry, it would get us to at least late fall.The fact of the matter is there are not enough rich people to come anywhere close to satisfying Congress’ voracious spending appetite.

14) If we look to benefits only, we’ll do darn near anything because there’s always a benefit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 43,443 highway fatalities in 2005. If we had a maximum speed law of 15 mph, the death toll wouldn’t be nearly as high, probably not even as high as 500. You say, “Williams, that’s a crazy idea!” You’re right, but let’s not call it crazy; it’s more accurate to say: saving some 43,000 lives aren’t worth the cost and inconvenience of a 15 mph speed limit.12) A more insidious effect of minimum wages, as racists everywhere know, is that it lowers discrimination costs. Say a white and a black were equally productive and an employer prefers white workers to black workers. Since he has to pay $9 an hour no matter whom he hires, the cost of discriminating against the black worker is zero. But if it were legal for the black worker to offer a lower price, there’d be a cost to discrimination.11) Many law professors, and others who hold contempt for our Constitution, preach that the Constitution is a living document. 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.7) Maybe your college professor taught that the legacy of colonialism explains Third World poverty. That’s nonsense as well. Canada was a colony. So were Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In fact, the richest country in the world, the United States, was once a colony. By contrast, Ethiopia, Liberia, Tibet, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan were never colonies, but they are home to the world’s poorest people.

I would add that Kenya was a colony and, despite what Obama’s dad thought, it is one of the best nations in Africa.

4) Poverty in Egypt, or anywhere else, is not very difficult to explain. There are three basic causes: People are poor because they cannot produce anything highly valued by others. They can produce things highly valued by others but are hampered or prevented from doing so. Or, they volunteer to be poor.

3) What’s just has been debated for centuries, but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well, then, tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you – and why?

2) Suppose I hire you to repair my computer. The job is worth $200 to me and doing the job is worth $200 to you. The transaction will occur because we have a meeting of the mind. Now suppose there’s the imposition of a 30 percent income tax on you. That means you won’t receive $200 but instead $140. You might say the heck with working for me — spending the day with your family is worth more than $140. You might then offer that you’ll do the job if I pay you $285. That way your after-tax earnings will be $200 — what the job was worth to you. There’s a problem. The repair job was worth $200 to me, not $285. So it’s my turn to say the heck with it. This simple example demonstrates that one effect of taxes is that of eliminating transactions, and hence jobs.

1) Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.

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End of an era

We canceled our subscription to the Houston Chronicle (at least the daily portion; we may keep the Sunday paper). I have read the newspaper daily since I was 10. But I noticed that we were reading it less and less and some days I almost “precycled” it by putting it in the recycling bin without reading it.

I’ve been displeased with the Chronicle for years. The leftist mentality pervades everything, including the Lifestyle section. They have run multiple nostalgic fluff-pieces on things like Playboy magazine and the Deep Throat movie. Seriously.

But I get much more accurate news online via blogs and such.  Yes, the Internet has a lot of nonsense, but one of the beauties of it is that over time you can determine which sites are credible and then have a package of blogs and sites that you can trust.  The system works.  I stay well informed on both sides (you can’t escape the Leftist media).  Sadly, too many people only read the Liberal media and their stereotypes of conservatives.

And we’ll save a few bucks as well.

Lakers to work with churches on fighting blasphemies

The Los Angeles Lakers will work with Christian churches on ways to keep blasphemous slurs out of basketball.

The Lakers and the church announced a partnership Friday, three days after Kobe Bryant was spotted on a national television broadcast yelling a common blasphemy in frustration over a referee’s call. Bryant was fined $100,000 by the league, and the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history issued multiple apologies.

“We want to reaffirm our commitment to all our fans and our appreciation for the support we receive from all segments of society,” Lakers spokesman John Black said. “We also understand the importance of positive messages in helping us convey this. We appreciate the input we’ve received from Christians the past two days, and will look forward to working with them on ways to help educate ourselves and our fans, and to help keep language like this out of our game.”

Christians said their churches will advocate zero-tolerance policies for blasphemy at sports events, similar to a policy adopted by the New York Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium.

“In light of this blasphemy, there is a real opportunity to build support for our community and educate fans of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the NBA about the use of such words,” Barrios said. “The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a positive step, and we look forward to working with them to create messages from players and coaches that combat bullying.”

Churches said NBA executives also have agreed to meet with the organization to discuss educational tactics for the NBA’s young fans.

Bryant cursed and used the blasphemy when referee Bennie Adams called a technical foul on him during the third quarter of a victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night in Los Angeles’ regular-season home finale.

Bryant apologized personally to Christians, who had issued a statement condemning Bryant’s words.

Oh, sorry, my mistake.  What the headline really said was Lakers to work with GLAAD on fighting gay slurs (click the link for the real article).  Using the names of God and Jesus in vain in sports, media and entertainment will continue on as usual, with no apologies.  Perhaps the “tolerance & acceptance” crowd could branch out and use the names of Allah and Mohammad as curse words for a week and see how that works out.