Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are my two favorite living economists

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Free Canuckistan! Thanks for the link, Binks!

Let’s see some of their recent posts.

Is Obama’s weak foreign policy going to get us killed?

My biggest concern about Jimmy Carter II is for the nations that rely on us to protect their liberties. Our armed forces project strength abroad that safeguards the liberties of our allies against our enemies. Thomas Sowell just nails this point in his post about the dangers of weak foreign policy, a point most of us don’t even think about.

As if it is not enough to turn cutthroats loose to cut throats again, we are now contemplating legal action against Americans who wrung information about international terrorist operations out of captured terrorists.

Does nobody think ahead to what this will mean– for many years to come– if people trying protect this country from terrorists have to worry about being put behind bars themselves? Do we need to have American intelligence agencies tip-toeing through the tulips when they deal with terrorists?

…Repercussions extend far beyond issues of the day. It is bad enough that we have a glib and sophomoric narcissist in the White House. What is worse is that whole nations that rely on the United States for their security see how easily our president welshes on his commitments. So do other nations, including those with murderous intentions toward us, our children and grandchildren.

Who caused the subprime mortgage crisis?

Thomas Sowell writes about who caused the subprime mortgage crisis. And he has a new book out about it, too!

Beginning in the 1990s, getting a higher proportion of the American population to become homeowners became the political holy grail of government housing policies. Increasing home ownership among minorities and other people of low or moderate incomes was also part of this political crusade.

Because banks are regulated by various agencies of the federal government, it was easy to pressure them to lend to people that they would not otherwise lend to– namely, people with lower incomes, poorer credit ratings and little or no money for a conventional down payment of 20 percent of the price of a house.

Such people were referred to politically as “the underserved population”– as if politicians know who should and who shouldn’t get mortgages better than people who have spent their careers making mortgage-lending decisions.

My own comprehensive post on this topic is Democrats caused the recession and Republicans tried to stop it.

What happens when the secular left undermines morality?

I’ve blogged about how atheism cannot ground the rationality of moral values, moral duties and moral accountability. The presumption of materialism is inconsistent with rationality, consciousness and free will which are necessary pre-conditions for non-ephemeral morality. So what happens to civil society when atheists push religion out of the public square? Walter Williams explains.

To see men sitting whilst a woman or elderly person was standing on a crowded bus or trolley car used to be unthinkable. It was common decency for a man to give up his seat. Today, in some cities there are ordinances requiring public conveyances to set aside seats posted “Senior Citizen Seating.” Laws have replaced common decency. Years ago, a young lady who allowed a guy to have his hand in her rear pocket as they strolled down the street would have been seen as a slut. Children addressing adults by first names was unacceptable.

You might be tempted to charge, “Williams, you’re a prude!” I’d ask you whether high rates of illegitimacy make a positive contribution to a civilized society. If not, how would you propose that illegitimacy be controlled? In years past, it was controlled through social sanctions like disgrace and shunning. Is foul language to or in the presence of teachers conducive to an atmosphere of discipline and respect necessary for effective education? If not, how would you propose it be controlled? Years ago, simply sassing a teacher would have meant a trip to the vice principal’s office for an attitude adjustment administered with a paddle. Years ago, the lowest of lowdown men would not say the kind of things often said to or in front of women today. Gentlemanly behavior protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior.

I personally feel alienated by how impolite, unchaste, unromantic and unchivalrous my generation has become.

3 thoughts on “Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are my two favorite living economists”

  1. It’s entirely possible that Sowell is the greatest living philosopher, too–at least in the sense of grasping and explaining the PoMo-ravaged modern world to the benighted masses. (Really, everyone should be forced to read everything the guy writes and it isn’t nearly all economics-related by a long shot.)

    I realize you probably won’t be able to get on board with this summation since you probably have a number of Christian philosophers you’d put above the man, but he has to be in your top ten, worst-case!

    Also: I’ve been known to offer my seat relentlessly on trains, etc., during my time in Los Angeles, and you’d be surprised at how often it’s either flat turned down or derisively so. (The same can be said of offering to carry someone’s groceries and all those other, long-forgotten, small kindnesses to the same effect: all of the elderly are very appreciative but, odds are, the younger females snort and wave you off as if carrying their groceries implies that a. they owe you sex for the action or b. that you’re sullying their ‘manhood’ by asking.)

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    1. I totally agree. He is definitely in my top 10 philosophers list. You people who have not read Sowell, this is clean, cold water. Drink up! For liberals, start with “A Conflict of Visions”. For non-economists, read “Basic Economics” and “Applied Economics”. After that, I’ve read “Inside American Education”, “A Personal Odyssey” and “Black Rednecks, White Liberals”.

      Regarding your point about chivalry, I think one of the major attractions of women is femininity, and a significant part of femininity is women letting men help. Men love to help! Especially when the help involves manly actions, like driving fast, debating about Christianity, or attacking dangerous creatures. Don’t make us wash dishes, though, unless there’s a spider in the sink.

      When I was an undergraduate, I was friends with a very beautiful blonde triathlete named Heather, who could swim like a fish. She used to let me help her do all kinds of stuff, like help with her masters thesis, drive her around and give her answers to apologetics questions for her friends. I would get chocolate chip cookies and such in exchange. She was very good with men and knew how to handle us. Today, that kind of friendship is all gone with the wind! How am I supposed to “be chivalrous” if no one is letting me do chivalrous things? You can’t gain the virtues without the practicing!

      Courtesy is a wonderful game of pitch and catch, but people have to know how to play, or it doesn’t work.

      P.S. – you have to indulge me by listening to one Heather story. One day, we went downtown for lunch and she had written an essay filled with philosophical arguments and Bible verses. The essay argued that I was much too focused on winning arguments, and not focused enough on loving other people. It was awesome, because she read it to me out loud.

      I swear… women seem to be dressing so provocatively these days, it’s like they’ve completely forgotten how to win men over on substance. Here’s some advice for women: 1) let men help you and 2) understand men and express yourself to men on paper. Oh yes – fiscal conservatism is VERY attractive. And if a woman won’t study theology and apologetics to understand and relate to God, what hope does a man have with her?

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