07 November 2012

Book Review

Race and Economics by Walter E. Williams

This is a book I finished a while back. The main theses of the book are: state governments and the federal governments have often held blacks back, and they have done so at the behest of white racists. In throughout the book Williams details just how often the government has gone out of its way to prevent blacks from competing freely in the marketplace, and how it has often encouraged blacks to give in to a large variety of social pathologies.

The main conclusion I draw from the book is this: White nationalists need to shut up about black pathologies. I say this, not because the observations made by many WNs, HBDers, and “race realists” are false; to the contrary, blacks do have a good number of social pathologies troubling them at this point in time. However, this cannot merely be accounted for by race since there was a point in time in American history where blacks were more industrious and less prone to social problems than whites, which Williams points out by noting that, among other things, there was a point in time where blacks enjoyed a lower unemployment and a lower illegitimacy rate than whites. This begs the question: have blacks devolved genetically?

The answer could be yes, in that federal actions would implicitly favor inferior black genetics, or at least remove the Darwinian penalty for inferior genetics. However, this retrogression has occurred over a very short period of time—roughly four generations. The main difference between blacks of today and blacks of, say, the 1940’s, is not genetics but the current government system. Thus, a strong case can be made that government interference in the lives of blacks has caused their retrogression, and not necessarily inherent genetic differences.

Incidentally, a good portion of detrimental government interference into the lives of blacks occurred at the behest of white racists who viewed themselves as the superior race. An example of this is seen in minimum wage laws were specifically designed to price black labor out of the market and give preference to white workers. As a result, the black unemployment rate, which was at the time lower than that of whites, began to skyrocket, and it has not gone to such low levels since.

So, while it is undeniably true that blacks are, on the average, intellectually inferior to whites, they were at one point able to overcome this gap in the marketplace by pricing their labor more cheaply than that of whites. This prevented the pathologies of laziness, handout seeking, and high unemployment. Thus, the current problem with blacks is not that they aren’t as intellectually capable as whites; it’s that they aren’t as intellectually capable as whites and are forbidden from ameliorating this disparity by pricing their labor accordingly.

Thus, the problems facing blacks today are not due to the inherent genetic inferiority of blacks in certain areas of measurement. Instead, a good portion of the problems facing blacks are due to government policies enacted by racists many years ago, which have not been repealed. And so, while WNs, HBDers, and Race Realists are correct in observing the well-documented disparities between blacks and whites, their policies for addressing this matter—which are often racial separation—do not begin to come close to adequately handling this matter. Race and Economics, then, provides a good starting point for figuring out how to enable blacks to overcome their limitations. Unsurprisingly, freedom in the marketplace is one of the recommended solutions.

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