Liberal suffering & confusion
By Walter Williams
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The liberal world vision and reality are often at variance, for example, with equal pay for equal work. I've often watched “Lockup,” a show that features California supermax prisons, including Pelican Bay and Corcoran. Often, a recalcitrant prisoner must be extracted from his cell through brute force.
I've never seen female guards remove a prisoner. If they are part of the process at all, it's to videotape the extraction for legal purposes. It's my bet that female guards receive the same salaries as male guards while not having to risk injury.
Along the same lines, women on aircraft carriers earn as much as their male counterparts, but I have yet to see women hefting a hernia bar to attach a 500- or 1,000-pound bomb to a fighter jet wing. All of this suggests that liberals are for equal pay for unequal work. Or could it be sex discrimination whereby equally qualified women are denied the opportunity to extract beastly inmates from their cells and load heavy bombs on fighter planes?
Here's another bit of liberal confusion. Liberals deny that raising labor cost through minimum wages reduces incentives to hire. But if you asked a liberal for advice on how to stop rich people from shirking their tax obligations, they'd say raise the penalty.
Ask low-information Harvard University doctors what should be done to stem gun violence and they answer that government should institute “a new, substantial national tax on all firearms and ammunition.” Ask Illinois' Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle how to reduce purchases of bullets and guns. She'd say levy a nickel tax on each bullet and a $25 tax on each gun.
Liberals demonstrate they understand the law of demand — that raising the cost of something lessens the amount taken — but they deny that it applies to labor. That's as ludicrous as suggesting that the law of gravity applies to everything in the universe except cute creatures, such as pandas and puppies.
How liberals identify black people must be confusing to whites. Having been around for 77 years, I have been through a number of names. Among the more polite ones are colored, Negro, Afro-American, black and, more recently, African-American. Among those names, African-American is probably the most unintelligent. Let's look at it.
To identify their races, suppose I told you that I had a European-American friend, a South America-American friend and a North America-American friend. You'd probably say, “Williams, that's stupid. Europe, South America and North America are continents and home to different races, ethnicities and nationalities.” You might suggest that my friend is a German-American instead of European-American. My friend from Brazil is a Brazilian-American rather than a South America-American, and my friend from Canada is a Canadian-American instead of a North America-American.
So wouldn't the same apply to people whose heritage lies on the African continent? For example, instead of claiming that President Barack Obama is the first African-American president, he's the first partially Kenyan-American president. Obama is lucky; he knows his national heritage. The closest thing to a national identity for most black Americans is some country along Africa's Gold Coast. Adding to the confusion, what would you call a white American of Afrikaner or Egyptian descent? Is he an African-American?
Liberals suffer confusion and cognitive dissonance because the rest of us don't help explain things to them.
Walter Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates agree with Barmes on 1-year deal
- Garden Theater developer says plans changing for block’s buildings
- Peduto among mayors-elect to meet with Obama on Friday
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Human skeleton found in Bellevue
- Judge: More info needed about shelter that turned away man with dog
- No one injured in clothes dryer explosion
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Peduto’s latest offer of early retirement to city employees could cost nearly $9M
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line