Tag Archives: Hoover Institute

Walter Williams explains why capitalism is moral in 5 minutes

Who is Walter Williams?

Dr. Walter E. Williams holds a B.A. in economics from California State University, Los Angeles, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from UCLA. He has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980.

Williams was born into an African-American family. His family during childhood consisted of himself, his mother, and his sister. His father played no role in raising either child. He grew up in Philadelphia. The family initially lived in West Philadelphia, moving to North Philadelphia and the Richard Allen housing projects when Williams was ten. In 1959 he was drafted into the military, and served as a Private in the United States Army. Following his military service, he re-entered college as a far more motivated student.

While at UCLA, Thomas Sowell arrived on campus in 1969 as a visiting professor. Though he never took a class from Dr. Sowell, the two met and began a friendship that has lasted to this day.

Watch this 5-minute video where he explains why capitalism is more moral than socialism:

And here’s another 5-minute video where he explains the profit motive:

Now let’s consider another economist, Thomas Sowell:

Thomas Sowell (born June 30, 1930) is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author. A National Humanities Medal winner, he advocates laissez-faire economics and writes from a conservative and libertarian perspective. He is currently the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is considered a leading representative of the Chicago school of economics.

Sowell was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school, and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1958 and a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles, and worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980 he has worked at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of more than 30 books.

Here is a 33-minute interview with Thomas Sowell on basic economics:

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about Christians who focus on only one issue during elections, typically abortion. I consider this to be a weak and short-sighted approach. Even if the main goal you desire is to stop the murder of unborn babies, you would do well to consider your opponent and use every tool available to defeat them in elections. Our opponent on the abortion issue is the Democrat voter. A Democrat is a person who is liberal on social policy – who supports abortion and gay marriage. If you want to defeat the Democrat candidate in an election, then you need to appeal to as many voters as possible on as many issues as possible – not just on social policy. You need to defeat Democrat fiscal policy with arguments and evidence. You need to defeat Democrat foreign policy with arguments and evidence. If you engage every target using every argument and every piece of evidence, you will get more success and win the battle for public opinion.

Let’s face it. We are not going to win elections if we turn only to people who call themselves Christians and try to get them to vote pro-life. There are not enough Christians – and not every person who calls himself a Christians is one. Focusing only on Christians is not going to get the pro-life majority we are looking for. It may be easier to avoid confronting people outside of our church, but it won’t work. A much better idea is to use every argument against every person – Christian or not. And to be able to address objections on every issue – not just one social issue. If the voters don’t care about one issue, then you can argue on another issue. You must be all things to all people so that you can win some by knowing what to say when they ask you for reasons and evidence. Now where have I heard that before?

Here is a full audio course on economics from famous Christian philosopher Ron Nash which I recommend to those who have not yet learned to integrate their Christian faith with economics. His two favorite economists are Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell – he says so in the lectures. In fact, he actually quotes a lot of Walter Williams material from his public lectures on economics, and Thomas Sowell material from his books on economics.

Note: for those who want MP3s of the Thomas Sowell lecture I posted above, here they are:

These are low-quality so they could be smaller for downloading.

Let’s learn economics using videos from Thomas Sowell

ECM sent me these videos from the Uncommon Knowledge web site. Tom Sowell is the official economist of the Tea Party movement.

Part 1 of 5: (Housing Boom and Bust)

Part 2 of 5: (Quantitative Easing and Tax Cuts)

Part 3 of 5: (Health Care)

Part 4 of 5: (Trade, Trade Deficit, Protectionism, Tariffs)

Part 5 of 5: (The Federal Reserve, Bailouts, Keynes)

The fourth edition of his new book is out! Only $25 or less. (One of my readers bought it for me for Christmas, so please don’t buy me one!)

You can translate youtube videos into MP3 using the “vidtomp3” web site. Or I could make them FOR YOU!

UPDATE: Within 5 minutes somebody asked me to make the MP3s for them. So here you go if you don’t like YouTube.

These are low-quality so they could be smaller.

UPDATE: Commenter Jim says:

Downloads of Sowell’s interview are also available in both audio MP3 and video M4V formats.

Videos from apologist William Lane Craig and economist Thomas Sowell

William Lane Craig

Bill Craig
William Lane Craig

First, one from William Lane Craig, called “In Intellectual Neutral”. (H/T Apologetics 315)

It’s 40 minutes long.

This lecture is Dr. Craig’s appeal to the church to use their minds as a way to serve Christ. This is a very passionate and accessible lecture designed to motivate people to take the life of the mind more seriously. His focus is on getting Christians to focus on learning arguments and evidence, so that when they discuss these topics they can appeal to logic and objective reality (science and history) to confirm their views. He is concerned that unless we get good at this, that people will not regard Christianity as a “live option” when choosing their worldview.

I’ve heard this lecture delivered in person at Wheaton College one year when he spoke in the chapel to all the students. It was very moving. But this version is twice as good. This time he’s really letting loose.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

This one features my favorite living economist, Thomas Sowell. (H/T ECM)

It’s 40 minutes long.

Thomas Sowell’s new book is about intellectuals, those who deal primary with words and ideas, not arguments and evidence. These intellectuals have the goal of reforming society based on the ideas that they learn in classrooms. (Sowell is not talking about engineers, medical doctors, accountants, etc. – people who actually have hands-on knowledge in advanced areas)

Sowell is concerned with people who are specialized in one narrow area such as linguistics, and then make pronouncements on public policy or economics without knowing anything about those areas. He argues that intellectuals have a low opinion of people who don’t go to the best schools, but instead focus on practical things. This conviction that other people are stupid makes them want to seize control and force their vision onto the world. The vision of the intellectuals includes metaphysical and moral beliefs.

In addition to what Sowell says in the video, I would expect that these intellectuals also disdain the morality and theology of Christians, whom they see as non-intellectuals, because they never hear reasons why people believe in Christianity and Christian morality in their Ivy-league classrooms. This absence of a defense is what causes them to be so aggressive about trying to marginalize what they view as unfounded beliefs and antiquated moral rules. Maybe they would not be so aggressively secular and collectivist if we were all as prepared to give a defense as William Lane Craig is?

More economists

If you like what you see in these videos, you might want to consider reading one of my favorite papers by economist Robert Nozick entitled “Why do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” He uses a similar definition of intellectuals as being “wordsmiths”, rather than engineers, entrepreneurs, and doctors. My other favorite living economists are Walter Williams (#2) and Jennifer Roback Morse (#3).