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Liberty versus the Tyranny of Socialism

Publisher: Hoover Institution Press • 2008 • 377 pages
4.63 out of 5 • View Ratings Details • 8 Ratings

“Economics, more than anything else, is a way of thinking,” says economist and syndicated columnist Walter E. Williams. As such, the tools of economics can be applied not only to topics commonly thought to be in the realm of economics — such as international trade, regulation, prices of goods and services — but to those which are not, such as racial discrimination, national defense, and marriage.

Now, in his new book “Liberty versus the Tyranny of Socialism,” Williams has selected over 160 of his syndicated columns from the past few years that offer insights into a wide range of issues. “Many of my columns focus on the growth of government and our loss of liberty, but many other columns demonstrate how the tools of economics can be used in ways that ordinary people can understand,” said Williams. Here, Williams offers his provocative views on education, health, the environment, government, law and society, race, and a range of other topics — always with an uncompromising reverence for personal liberty and the principles laid out in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Do we want socialized medicine? Do peace treaties produce peace? What’s wrong with education? What’s discrimination? Do we really care about children? Is this the America we want?

Williams answers these and other questions with his usual unflinching candor. Some of the provocative insights you’ll find in Liberty versus the Tyranny of Socialism:

“I challenge anyone to identify a problem with health care in America that is not caused or aggravated by federal, state, and local governments” (p. 46)

“Academic leftists, and their media allies, are in agreement with many of the stated goals of communism” (p.24)

“There are literally billions of taxpayer dollars being handed out to global warming alarmists, not to mention their dream of controlling our lives” (p. 51)

“A school choice system, in the form of school vouchers or tuition tax credits, would go a long way toward providing the competition necessary to introduce accountability and quality into American education” (p. 89)

“Perennial doom-and-gloom predictions about resource depletion, overpopulation and environmental quality are exaggerated and often the opposite of the truth. Preaching doom and gloom has been beneficial to the political class” (p. 91)

“What should a person do when innovation or international trade costs him his job? Do what the iceman did when Frigidaire cost him his job. Instead of calling on Congress to enact job protectionist measures, he did what was necessary to find another job” (p. 137)

“Despite claims that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, poverty is nowhere near the problem it was yesteryear — at least for those who want to work” (p. 147)

“Almost every area in the international arena has become ripe for misunderstanding and wholesale demagoguery. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of international trade” (p. 165)

“A standard myth is there’s a ‘vicious cycle of poverty’ that makes economic development virtually impossible for the world’s poor nations. . .Thus, it is alleged, the only way out of perpetual poverty is foreign aid.” (p. 201)

“In recent years, state and local governments have been running roughshod over private property rights in ways that would have horrified our founders.” (p. 224)

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