Quote of the day—Walter E. Williams

Becoming a burden on society is not a problem of liberty and private property. It’s a problem of socialism where one person is forced to take care of someone else. That being the case, the government, in the name of reducing health care costs, assumes part ownership of you and as such assumes a right to control many aspects of your life. That Americans have joyfully given up self-ownership is both tragic and sad.

Walter E. Williams
2009
Who May Harm Whom?
[Via Lyle in the comments.

Read the whole thing. I think the concepts presented have the ability to shut down, in my favor, many of debates that I sometimes get into.—Joe]

10 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Walter E. Williams

  1. I’m not a big fan of Walter Williams. He seems to be more interested in assigning blame than in actually turning things around.

  2. I should hasten to say that I have nothing against assigning blame; I wish a lot more people hated the Democrats! But the assigning of blame has pretty much been done, and now we really need to turn back the socialist state, not philosophize about it.

  3. I can’t say I’m a big “fan”, in that I don’t hunt down every word he says, but every time I encounter his works, I enjoy them. Indeed, my favorite Rush Limbaugh shows (when I can listen to them) are hosted by Walter Williams, or Mark Stein. (Although I like to listen to Rush, I’ve always liked his subs more than I’ve liked him! 🙂

  4. Nice essay. I usually like Walter Williams’ stuff anyway, but he really shines here.

  5. Walter Williams and Mark Steyn both are popular with their target audiences, because they tell them what they want to hear: that they are virtuous people, that most other people are not, and that you virtuous people can’t possibly win (implication being that it’s therefore OK not to try).

    It’s so much easier to believe that you are oppressed for your hard work than to accept that maybe the reason the Left has gained ground is because they were willing to set aside time to work on politics, while most of the Right were explaining that they had jobs and families that prevented them from taking part in politics. (Oddly enough, they seemed to have plenty of time to hang out at the local watering holes).

    Want to defeat socialism? Then get off your ass and work for a candidate. Or draft a candidate. Or run yourself.

    And just for the record, I realize that this doesn’t apply to most of you here, who certainly have done your parts for 2A rights.

  6. No, socialism catches on it’s because it gets repackaged in a patriotic disguise, those who can see through it are branded as extremists who have it out for poor people, and once it gets through Congress it becomes impossible to get rid of because the beneficiaries form a natural constituency just big enough to keep our representatives worried, regardless of party.

  7. Ken; Williams has repeatedly said that his objective is to sell the American public on the “Moral Superiority of Liberty”. To the extent that we have strayed from libertarian principles, of course there is blame, but there are also those principles of liberty he’s advocating all along the way.

    It’s a two-edged sword– identifying the ideal on one hand, while identifying its enemies on the other. Both are necessary and he addresses them both.

  8. Joe; Regarding the shutting down of debate, you’re right. I was in a very long conversation with my left leaning brother in-law. It had gone on for hours, and he was in the process of criticizing Wal Mart for all the various and egregious evils they’ve perpetrated. He was very well versed in the anti Wal Mart (and by extension, anti free market) rhetoric. He does his homework. This could have gone on for days, but I eventually got around to asking; “Who’s rights are they violating?”

    Long pause.

    Wait– different paradigm. Must re-boot to another OS.

    “Well maybe you have me there (you sneaky devil, you).”

    Exactly. Try it next time it’s appropriate.

    Eventually, the other side will come out with some variation on; “Rights aren’t as important as some might think.”

  9. “Walter Williams and Mark Steyn both are popular with their target audiences, because they tell them what they want to hear: that they are virtuous people, that most other people are not, and that you virtuous people can’t possibly win (implication being that it’s therefore OK not to try).”

    While they certainly often tell me what I want to hear, I never get the implication that they think that we cannot win. Indeed, whenever I encounter their writings, it gives me just a little more motivation to go out and try to win!

    The only thing that makes me think that liberty cannot win is to see things like our massive debt looming over us with Social Security and Medicare being a PRIMARY factor of that massive debt, yet also seeing Tea Party folk protest the deficit yet yell “Don’t you DARE touch Medicare!”. I’m not willing to give up, but if the majority really wants socialism, then I’m prepared to hide in my house, teach about the evils of socialism to those who will listen, and hope for a day when civilization–perhaps centuries away–will finally discard their shackles and embrace freedom.

  10. Actually, Williams, Steyn, plus any and all advocates of liberty including our nation’s founders, have embraced the idea that people are virtuous enough to rule themselves in a system that recognizes and protects basic rights. That’s the whole message, right there in a nutshell, and Ken turned it on its head.

    Alpheus; don’t fall for it. Ken was pretending not to understand.

    I’m all for getting off our asses though. I just don’t believe politics is the end-all answer right now unless (maybe) we’re talking local politics.

    This is a difficult one– you cannot help anyone else unless you yourself are strong. You cannot fix anyone else if you need serious fixing yourself.

    What was that quote I heard recently?

    “Be the change you’re looking for” I believe it was. It’s an excellent quote except for the grammar. I’m thinking;

    “Be The Change You Seek.”

    I’m beginning to believe that there is a whole lot more meaning in that quote than I at first understood (or wanted to understand).

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