“Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering, and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.” -- Walter E. Williams
Born in 1936, Walter Williams was raised by his single-mother in the Philadelphia projects. After he joined the Army in 1959 he challenged the racism in the military head on, where it was typical for black servicemembers to be assigned the more undesirable jobs. After leaving the Army he attended California State University and University of California, earning his PhD in economics in 1972. As a student he considered himself a black radical activist and at the time believed government interventions, like minimum wage laws and equal opportunity laws, were beneficial to the black community. But when pressed by his professors to examine the evidence he discovered how harmful they actually were, that they were barriers to black employment especially for low-skill workers. He concluded that the best way he could help members of the black community was to teach them how free markets don’t discriminate on race or any other ethnic trait and so lead to the greatest prosperity and true equal opportunity for all. Dr. Williams is currently the John L. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He is a prolific writer, opposing socialist systems of government intervention, and supporting laissez-faire capitalism as the most moral, most productive system ever devised by humankind.