Rest in Peace Walter E Williams

I was greatly saddened by the passing of Walter E Williams.  He was one of the two authors most responsible for me becoming a Libertarian and free market warrior, the other is Thomas Sowell. Through my teenage years, until I was in my early twenties I was a hardcore progressive/socialist.  It was through an exhaustive amount of reading and research that led to my great political enlightenment.  Walter Williams played a major, and very entertaining, part in that awakening.

As you can see from this quote, which appeared in the February 8 2006 article On Bogus Right, Walter Williams was a very outspoken critic of the federal government, and of the redistribution of wealth.

Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do — redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.

Walter Williams was an Economics professor at George Mason University.  I know he must have been a very informative and entertaining teacher because I’ve watched a great many videos of him speaking and T saw him on TV quite often. He was an outspoken critic of socialism. Here is a  quote from the article Evil Concealed by Money, 19 November 2008.

This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, coercion or taking the property of one person, to accomplish good ends, helping one’s fellow man. Helping one’s fellow man in need, by reaching into one’s own pockets, is a laudable and praiseworthy goal. Doing the same through coercion and reaching into another’s pockets has no redeeming features and is worthy of condemnation.

Here is another quote on the subject from Socialist Promises 25 May 2019.

Socialism promises a utopia that sounds good, but those promises are never realized. It most often results in massive human suffering. Capitalism fails miserably when compared with a heaven or utopia promised by socialism. But any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. Mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist. It turns out that for the common man capitalism, with all of its alleged shortcomings, is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires. By most any measure of human well-being, people who live in countries toward the capitalistic end of the economic spectrum are far better off than their fellow men who live in countries toward the socialist end.

Walter Williams was as big a proponent of free market capitalism as he was a critic of socialism.

Capitalism, or what some call free markets, is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way individuals amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. With the rise of capitalism, it became possible to amass great wealth by serving and pleasing your fellow man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and produce and market it as efficiently as possible as a means to profit. A historical example of this process would be John D. Rockefeller, whose successful marketing drove kerosene prices down from 58 cents a gallon in 1865 to 7 cents in 1900. Henry Ford became rich by producing cars for the common man. 

Here is a quote by Walter E. Williams from All It Takes Is Guts that I’ve shared on social media many times

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?”

The following two quotes are from memes I shared on Facebook.  I tried to track down the source of the quotes but Google failed me.  I’m 100 percent positive they’re accurate. I remember reading them in articles recently,―

Most of the great problems we face are caused by politicians creating solutions to problems they created in the first place

Whether we want to own up to it or not, the welfare state has done what Jim Crow, gross discrimination and poverty could not have done,  It has contributed to the breakdown of the black family structure and has helped establish a set of values alien to traditional values of high moral standards, hard work, and achievement.

I’m going to end this article with a very recent quote from a Daily Wire Article

The biggest casualty from the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with the disease. It’s the power we’ve given to politicians and bureaucrats. The question is how we recover our freedoms.

Spliternet? Spare me.

No, seriously, its not

There has been plenty of discussion about Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of TikTok and the recent executive order that barred working with TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese social media apps. But amid all of this came an interesting article in the BBC accusing the United States of “splitting the internet.” Yup, really.

“It’s shocking,” says Alan Woodward, a security expert based at the University of Surrey. “This is the Balkanisation of the internet happening in front of our eyes.

“The US government has for a long time criticised other countries for controlling access to the internet… and now we see the Americans doing the same thing.”

Dr. Alan Woodward

The article does backtrack a bit and brings up legitimate security concerns posed by China. It sparked my curiosity in Pompeo’s speech, which hasn’t really made the news. So I found the transcript, and Pompeo had outlined five lines of effort for a Clean Internet:

First, Clean Carrier. We are working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies don’t provide international telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations.

Second, we call Clean Store. We want to see untrusted Chinese apps removed from U.S. app stores.

Third, Clean Apps. We’re working to prevent Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular U.S. apps. We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus.

Fourth, Clean Cloud. We’re protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property – including COVID vaccine research – from being accessed on cloud-based systems run by companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent.

Fifth and finally, Clean Cable. We’re working to ensure that the CCP can’t compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect our country and others to the global internet.

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, in a speech on August 5, 2020.

This list doesn’t resemble censorship. Nowhere in the list does the U.S. censor information from other countries, prevent people from being critical of the United States, or otherwise interfere with other countries operations. It narrowly targets tech Chinese companies with known issues while leaving an open door to every other nation. It highlights some significant problems like stealing of COVID vaccine research that not enough people are tracking.

There is this libertarian view that a free and open internet means government’s should have no role whatsoever in the internet. There are plenty of flaws with this idea. The largest flaw is that this view fails to act when an entity like the Chinese Communist Party seeks to dismantle the Internet and subvert it for its own good. The BBC would perhaps brush this off as “market forces,” and to be sure, the UK has stood on the sidelines while China filters Hong Kong’s internet and even the internet at UK universities.

Perhaps better said in the movie Team America: World Police: “Freedom isn’t free.”

You can, and should, limit government involvement and allow the market to drive innovation, but when an obviously dark force threatens to break the freedom of information on the internet, you must act to stop it.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.