Liberty Versus The Tyranny Of Socialism With Walter E. Williams

Liberty Versus The Tyranny Of Socialism With Walter E. Williams

Jason Hartman hosts Walter E Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and author of American Contempt for Liberty. They discuss issues of liberty and society today. They go into why America is becoming a country of people who hate liberty and are becoming more selfish. Walter discusses how we can solve our problems by telling the government to get out of the way more than telling them to help.

Investor 0:00
You know, my passion for real estate really has taken over my, my passion for technology. So it’s been it’s been really fun that you know, over these six years, getting closer and closer into real estate to the point that I can really, you know that it’s my day job now focused on real estate, you know, hosting co hosting with you, the women investing network podcast, which is a lot of fun, amazing guests going into that being able to have the time to participate in the venture Alliance, mastermind group, which I adore, and it has added an incredible amount of value to me, and then also being able to have the time to go to like, I’m going to the Oklahoma City property tour that’s coming up, and I’m super excited about that. Welcome to the creating wealth show with Jason Hartman. You’re about to learn a new slant on investing some exciting techniques and fresh new approaches to the world’s most historically proven asset class that will enable you You to create more wealth and freedom than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who’s actually been there and done it. He’s a successful investor, lender, developer and entrepreneur who’s owned properties in 11 states had hundreds of tenants and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to your financial independence day. You really can do it. And now here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the complete solution for real estate investors.

Jason Hartman 1:36
Welcome to Episode 12, seven b 1270. And you know what that means. This is a 10th episode show where we discuss a topic of general interest. And today we have a very famous guest with us, Walter E. Williams. So we will get to him in just a moment. You’ve heard him on the radio before. He’s got lots of writings out there and very powerful If a guy’s been around for a long time, but you know, I was talking the other day on maybe the episode about two days ago or something like that, about my long time theory or not really theory but statement about the middle class disappearing and how it’s being hollowed out in the US. And one of our investment counselors, Sarah just posted an article from the wall street journal about this exact issue. It’s entitled families go deep in debt to stay in the middle class. Wages stalled, but cost haven’t. So people increasingly rent or finance what their parents might have owned outright. And that is the way it is it is a sad state of affairs. It is getting increasingly difficult and complex to hold one’s own in this world today. Whether that be time or money or socio economic class or really all of the above, because hey, they’re all connected at its own level. And that’s what we’re here to do to help you improve your standard of living and improve your lifestyle. So we will continue to share a much more about that. But it’s just not as it seems a lot of times things are more nuanced, more complex than one might think on the surface. And if you happen to see that article, there are a couple of good graphs and they’re talking about student loan debt and mortgage debt. It’s really a sad state of affairs. This is not to be confused with the investment grade debt that I am recommending. This is a completely different topic. This is debt out of desperation, really rather than investment goals. So very, very different thing. Well, peloton, I was talking about them the other day as well and how these businesses are built on quicksand. Right. And there I was reading an article today about it. How investors really need to see in an IPO like this, the kind of exceptional risk tied up in that, and the way they categorize the business model. It’s just it’s just amazing. You know, we’ve these, a lot of these businesses are just not even real businesses. They’re packaged to basically be split up and sold the Wall Street as the executives like I talked about the other day, taking almost $22 million each every year in their salary on a company that loses money, ridiculous opportunities zones. We’ve talked about that many times. And I created commandment number 21. Yes, it was originally 10 commandments than it was 20. And now we’re up to 21. And I announced that on the show several months ago when we were in Savannah, Georgia, and that was, thou shalt avoid manias. Well. One of the manias is this opportunities, own mania and Like I’ve said, I think it’s highly overrated. We’ve got another episode coming up on that. And sometimes the best investments are the ones you don’t do. Right. And there are a lot of promoters out there promoting this opportunities own stuff. In article here from Adam data. We’ve had them on the show a few times over the years, and they’re in bloom class with Adam has spoken at our meet the Masters event. And then one of our other events as well. It talks about how half of the homes in these opportunities zones are far below the national average in terms of home prices. And look, I get that’s the point of an opportunity zone to redevelop and gentrify these areas. Now, they never really talked about all the bad side effects of that gentrification and how it displaces all these people. But forget about that for a moment, because that’s not really the topic. The real question for investors is, Will this be a good investment or is it just driven by taxpayers? fits in the tax benefits really aren’t even that great. They’re just not, they’re just not a big deal. You can get almost the same benefits by doing 1031 tax deferred exchanges. Of course, disclaimer, check with your tax advisor for details. I am not qualified to discuss taxes in any great degree of detail. But this is just not that great. And a lot of these areas are so blighted that it’s a wonder if they ever come back. And we we’ve profiled many blighted areas over the years, and a lot of them they just don’t come back. And if they do come back, it could take decades, decades. I mean, how much time do you have to wait right? There are much better things you can do with your money, just another highly overrated thing, a highly overrated thing. We will continue to discuss that and more stuff on future episodes, but today is a 10th show, so we’re not going to talk that much about real estate. And we’re not going to talk that much about investing. We’re discussing topics of general interest. So let’s dive in and go to our guest and talk to Walter Williams.

Jason Hartman 7:17
It’s my pleasure, welcome Dr. Walter E. Williams. You’ve heard his name. He is a professor at john M. olan, distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University. He’s the best selling author of up from the projects, race and economics, Liberty versus the tyranny of socialism, and his most recent book, American contempt for liberty. Walter, welcome. How are you? Well, thank you. I’m doing fine. It’s good to have you on the show. Does America really have a contempt for liberty watching the news? It would, it would sort of seem so

Walter E Williams 7:48
we have a deep moral problem in our country. And the moral problem is that most Americans think that it’s okay for the Congress of United States to forcibly use One American, to serve the purposes of another American. And indeed, that accounts for roughly two thirds to three quarters of the federal budget. That is, when I say forcibly using one American to serve another. I mean, that is Congress is taking the earnings of one American and give it to the farmers giving into food stamps, bailing out businesses, foreign aid, and that’s the forcible use of one person to serve the purpose of somebody else and, and indeed, the forcible use of one person served the purpose somebody else is a fairly good working definition of slavery,

Jason Hartman 8:34
couldn’t agree more. You didn’t mention health care, but of course, that’s all over the news for the last decade. You know, people somehow think they have a right to that or right to force other people to pay for their health care.

Walter E Williams 8:46
That is right. A lot of people don’t know the what a right is versus a wish that is a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. And it does not impose an obligation on you. That is my right to free Free Speech imposes no obligation on another person except that I’m non interference. But if you say I have it right to something I did not earn Well, that does impose an obligation on another. That is, it requires another person not to be able to keep as much as he did earn because the government takes it away from him and gives it to me. And so it’s a misuse of this term, right? Man, if I, if we use my rights to free speech, if we use the same term that people say rights to health care, well, my right to free speech would require others to provide an auditorium for me to provide microphones microphone, my radio station would require others to pay my airfare, hotel accommodations, etc. Center. So

Jason Hartman 9:46
yeah, absolutely. I mean, we also have the right to peaceably assemble. But that doesn’t mean that when you want to have an assembly or demonstration that other taxpayers have to pay for your travel to get there and your hotel room to stay there, right.

Walter E Williams 10:00
That is absolutely right. When people say about healthcare, I like to say the terminology that they wish everybody had healthcare. And I also wish wish that as well.

Jason Hartman 10:11
Yeah, absolutely. You know, is there any going back from the world we live in now? It just seems that we’ve gone the pendulum always swings back and forth throughout the decades throughout the centuries. But it seems as though as Bill Bonner says, politics always lists like a ship listing a sailboat, you know, to the left, right. It doesn’t seem like there’s really any going back because once you have this situation where people have voted themselves, the Treasury nobody’s gonna ever give that up, right? You have these iron triangles that just get they just can’t be broken. It seems like

Walter E Williams 10:47
yeah, I think you’re right. And some people ask me, Well, what can be done and I asked the question is a question back at them, I say are American people any different as human beings From the Romans, the Portuguese, the Spanish, the British, these are great empires of the past. But they went down the tubes, mostly for the same reason, bread and circuses. And are the American people any different and I suggest that American people are no different from people who were citizens of those great empires in the past, right? Yeah,

Jason Hartman 11:22
I would agree. But people are going to argue, look, we’re a rich country. I mean, you know, nobody should be without health care. Nobody should be living on the street. We have enough and interestingly, the people who say that they don’t seem to want to contribute their own money to the costs. That’s right.

Walter E Williams 11:40
I personally believe that we should help our fellow man and helping one’s fellow man by reaching into one’s own pockets to do so is praiseworthy. Helping one’s fellow man by reaching into somebody else’s pockets is worthy of condemnation. And for the Christians among us, they have to remember that When God gave Moses the eighth commandment, he didn’t I mean, Thou shalt not steal unless you got a majority vote United States Congress.

Jason Hartman 12:09
That’s a good way to put it. I love it. But it’s so sad. In other words, it would be funny as it weren’t so sad.

Walter E Williams 12:15
And by the way, in 1887, at Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in London, if someone had suggested that Great Britain would become a third rate nation, challenged on the high seas by a six rate nation, Argentina and almost lose, you would have been put in the insane asylum, that it was inconceivable that the

Jason Hartman 12:38
Great Britain would ever go down the tubes. It was the mightiest nation on the face of the earth. They used to say that the sun never set on the British crown. Now, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. We’ve got this huge problem. You know, you talk in the book about the national Ponzi scheme. Are you referring to Social Security or just the general financial mismanagement of the country?

Walter E Williams 13:00
So security is it is a Ponzi scheme. And it would be illegal if it weren’t done, done by anybody other than Congress.

Jason Hartman 13:09
Bernie Madoff actually made a comment that that’s where he got the idea. I don’t know if he was just being sarcastic, but it’s pretty interesting. So talk to us a little bit about the economic side of the equation, because this all plays into economics. And many of our listeners are, are interested in that, you know, these politicians as you talk about exploiting economic ignorance, they think it’s just give out goodies and get reelected. That’s basically the game by votes. Where are we and where are we going? Is the tide turning it all with the president administration or

Walter E Williams 13:44
I don’t think the tide is turning. I think if anything, it’s getting worse, and doesn’t have anything do so much with the French President ministration. But it turns out that among so many Americans, socialism is becoming increasingly attracted to them. Bernie Is is pushing it. And you look at the former governor of Colorado said that socialism is not the way and he got booed out of the sign. I saw that

Jason Hartman 14:09
clip. That’s unbelievable. Yeah.

Walter E Williams 14:11
And the issue is is that people don’t know what socialism is. That is socialism is government ownership and or control over the means of production. And wherever that has been tried, it has led to ultimate disaster. And we see it in our own backyard in places like Cuba, and most recently, Venezuela, and you’ve seen all over the world. And you know, like the Nazi ism, Hitler’s was the National Socialist Labour Party. That’s what Nazi saying

Jason Hartman 14:41
everybody forgets that Hitler was a socialist, and with a lot of free with a lot of promises. Yeah. Well, I mean, socialism and it’s ugly, big brother communism are responsible for the deaths of easily over 100 million people in the last century.

Walter E Williams 14:57
Oh, yeah. easily. Yes. Oh, well over 100 million dollars. And Matter of fact, the greatest murders were Stalin and milestone, they merge more people such that it makes Hitler look like a boyscout the number of people that were murdered, and a lot of people will say, Well, no, we’re not talking about Soviet Union and China, we’re talking about places like Sweden or Denmark, and the minister Prime Minister’s of Denmark and Sweden have said, we’re not a socialist country. That is they have a market but they have a huge welfare state, but they have a free market economy. But in fact, America socialist would not like very much the way Sweden not race that is. Sweden has a voucher system school voucher system. And that’s the last thing that American socialist want. They don’t want

Jason Hartman 15:45
people to have any choices for their education,

Walter E Williams 15:47
right? That’s right. Except with abortion, that’s what they their idea choices with abortion but, but Sweden has relatively little regulation. It’s easy to get a license to operate and again, In the business, and same thing with Denmark, and so socialism has been a disaster. And I think one of the things about it is that it sounds so good. That is everybody from each according to their ability and to each concurrently. That just sounds wonderful. Yeah, but where

Jason Hartman 16:22
it’s failed every place on earth and every time in history, it’s totally oppressive, obviously. But it seems like people can make a better argument for some degree of redistribution. When you have this situation we have now in America where the middle class is getting hollowed out, it seems to be under attack from all sides. The rich are like the super mega rich nowadays. Is it fair to say if you have over 100 million dollars, you should pay a wealth tax of 3% of your net worth every year or something like that.

Walter E Williams 17:00
Well, depends whether you earned it that is if you earn something that’s the term is that is, if you look at the wealthy people in our country, for the most part, they did things that satisfied their fellow man, they did things that made their fellow man’s life better off, such as Bill Gates, me with all the work that he’s done with Microsoft and all this kind of stuff. He became rich, he didn’t take anybody’s money, they voluntarily forked over $400 for his windows program and other programs. And so people who make their filament better off, make his life more livable, make us live longer. I don’t think that they should be held up for ridicule and scorn and mistreated. The big thing in our country or anywhere in the world is that in a free economy and a free market, one becomes wealthy by serving his fellow man. That’s what you’re doing. That’s what I’m doing. We work and we do things that make our filament better off So the people who should have ridicule and scorn upon them are the parasites in our society, the people who seek to live at the expense of other people, the people who seek the business bailouts, or crop subsidies or food stamps, those are the people, the people who are parasites. Those are the people who should have a scorn upon them. And by the way, when people talk about redistribution, that’s what thieves do a thief redistribute income they take from you puts it in his own pocket. Absolutely. And so Congress does the same thing. But we put a nice name on it. redistribution of income.

Jason Hartman 18:41
Yeah, right. And I certainly agree with you Walter with everything you’re saying. We all know though in practice, it’s a lot more complicated, right? things do get more complicated. Look, well, here. Here’s what I’m saying. Just hear me out for one second, okay. And listen, I I agree with you, okay. But the concept of You know, monopolistic practices, crony capitalism, you know, this all just gets really watered down, you

Walter E Williams 19:08
know? And that’s wrong, right? crony capitalism. I agree.

Jason Hartman 19:12
Of course, I don’t either, but it happens and company like Microsoft, because you use the example, these companies nowadays because of the way technology has changed, they can develop such incredible scale. I mean, just look at take it into this realm, and I have a feeling we might agree on this, the big tech companies, right, it seems like there’s arguments on both sides of the aisle to bust these companies up. And I have to tell you, I agree with it. I, you know, I think they’re just too big. They’re bigger than a lot of countries. They control our speech, you have no recourse against Google, if they D platform you Twitter, they can just decide they don’t like what you’re saying. And it’s not like the government, you have no free speech rights.

Walter E Williams 19:52
The point is, if you’re looking for monopoly, the greatest monopoly and the abuse of power is in the federal government?

Jason Hartman 20:01
Of course it is. Of course.

Walter E Williams 20:05
We support that, to help you understand where I’m coming from. When I think about things, my initial premise starts off with, we each own ourselves that is, I am my private property and you are your private property. Now, if you make the assumption of self ownership, then certain things tomorrow and certain things immoral. The reason why rape and murder is immoral, is because when you violate private property, yeah, right, they to interfere with peaceable voluntary exchange violates private property. And so these companies that are very, very big, if they became big through the Marketplace, as opposed they’re becoming big, through special advantages heaped upon them by government, I have no problem with bigness, that is, the bigness shows that they have been successful in serving the film. And that is Google, while we like everything that they do, they’ve been relatively successful and they, and so long as the government does not prevent others from entering the market to compete with them, then that’s the name of the game. Well, interestingly,

Jason Hartman 21:14
Mark Zuckerberg is calling for regulation. And you know, I think he’s doing that because regulation always has the consequence, intended or not, of keeping other new entrants out of the market. Look at walls. Right? Yeah, exactly. There’s no startup culture on Wall Street. There’s no one that’s going to come and compete with Goldman Sachs. There’s just very little innovation because there’s no startup culture, you know, until Facebook now that they’re huge, and they have the money to comply with the regulations. They’re just going to say, well regulate us and then you know, nobody else can start their own thing you know, to compete.

Walter E Williams 21:52
So who would you blame for that?

Jason Hartman 21:54
Right, but on the way up, I agree with you, you know, they have a product that the public Wanted, etcetera, etcetera. But now that they’re big, they’re abusive. That’s all

Walter E Williams 22:04
they become abusive, because they’re able to use government to rake the rules of the game. They’ve got

Jason Hartman 22:11
lobbyists galore. It’s disgusting. Google, Google and Facebook, especially Google has they have lobbyists coming out of their ears in that company is ridiculous. They’re lobbying government. The handout capital of the world is Washington DC, of course,

Walter E Williams 22:24
we elect these people too often. And they congressmen are allowing themselves to be lobbied and persuaded by these big interests. You blame the Congress? You blame the politician? Absolutely. Yeah. But But you know, you can’t blame a company or a company. You might say, well, gee, they shouldn’t do that. But if they can use their power to do it, well, you have to fight the people who give them the power to do it. You know, it’s just like people blame politicians for our problem. But politicians are doing precisely what the American people elect them to office. Do the American people elect politicians office to give them something that belonged to somebody else, or give them a special privilege that’s denied and other American. So we can say that politicians should be more of a statesman. But that’s what they do in any politician who does not do what the American people want them to do, will be run of office. One example, just as you I’ll do it very quickly, is that if I were running for the Senate, from the state of Virginia, and I go back and forth across the state of Virginia say, look, I read the Constitution, don’t expect for me to bring back eight higher education, highway construction funds, and farm subsidies, etc, etc. Because it’s not in the Constitution. Do you think I would get elected to the office from Virginia? Right? No, I wouldn’t. And the tragedy of it is that the people Virginia would we doing exactly the right thing by not elected me to office because if I don’t bring back billions of dollars hand up money, it doesn’t mean that Virginians will pay a lower federal income tax. All that it means is that North Carolina will get it instead, that is once legalized theft begins, it pays for everybody to participate in it.

Jason Hartman 24:14
Yeah, it’s pretty scary. I mean, we need the idea of lobbying as people have the right to address the government. Right, and to get the government’s here, but with these giant companies with the corporate interest, it’s been it’s just the whole thing’s been maligned. I mean, hardly any individuals go to Capitol Hill to lobby. Right. It’s all commercialized, you know,

Walter E Williams 24:36
is my question to you? Should congressman be in the business of creating favors for some Americans and denying them to

Jason Hartman 24:43
other? Course not.

Walter E Williams 24:45
Okay. So that’s where you focus your energy on these people who are granting favors and, and special conditions to some Americans, because they’re giving a lobby they’re contributing to their political campaigns. That’s what we need to go after. Yeah. And but we’re saying we’re going to blame the companies for using their lobbyists to try to get a special favor from the Congress. And so what we should do, we should get Congress out of the business of granting special favors. And Matter of fact, I was talking to a very famous economist, he’s long deceased Friedrich Hayek, and we’re having dinner. And I said, What do you think we should do? What’s the best thing? If you can make one law that would help all Americans? What would it?

Jason Hartman 25:31
What would he say about that?

Walter E Williams 25:33
He said, he would enact a law that Congress cannot do for one American, what it does not do for all Americans. That is he said he gave an example, if Congress pays some people not to raise pigs, then it should give money to everybody in the country. That’s not raising pigs

Jason Hartman 25:52
is a great point. Yeah, the subsidy, the farm subsidies would just go to everybody, not just the farmers, right? Because I’m not You’re not making teas. So why don’t I get some money for not making teas? Right, right.

Walter E Williams 26:06
So let’s see what we ignore. We ignore the fact that all these lobbyists there in Washington that because of the weather there in Washington to twist the arms of Congress and say, if you do this for us will do that for you. Right? And it just does not benefit all Americans equally.

Jason Hartman 26:23
Yeah, no question about it. Walter, give out your website,

Walter E Williams 26:26
Walter E. Williams calm and there’s a lot of my publications there and videos and things like that. That might be interesting to the listener.

Jason Hartman 26:36
Are you still filling in for rush limbaugh? I haven’t been listening to the show lately. But are you still filling tonight?

Walter E Williams 26:40
did that for 20 years? Yeah.

Jason Hartman 26:44
I always enjoyed you and Mark Stein

Walter E Williams 26:46
a lot. Yeah. Mark Stein still does. Yeah. Fantastic.

Jason Hartman 26:49
Just want to ask you, I kind of asked you a lot of questions threw a lot at you. But is there anything you want to say to people just wrap it up for us with anything maybe I didn’t ask you where whatever comments you have

Walter E Williams 27:00
Actually that will solve our problems. only way we can solve our problems as a nation is to convince our fellow Americans on the moral superiority of personal liberty. And the main ingredient for personal liberty is limited government. That’s exactly what the founders of our nation, visualize federal government that was limited in power and scope. And it was Thomas Paine who said that government under the best of circumstances is a necessary evil under the worst and intolerable one. And that’s what we’re facing. We’re facing an all powerful government. we’re encountering some of the problems that you’re that you’re mentioning. We’re counting the the lobbyists and getting special favors and government spending. And just one final point, you know, if you read the Federalist Papers, the federalist papers were written by medicine, john Jay and Hamilton to try to convince the American people to ratify the Constitution. Which was not a very easy job to do. And in federalist paper 45, James Madison was trying to tell the nation what was in the Constitution, what the constitution would provide. And I’m personally quoting him and all these quotes on my website. And he says that the powers that we have delegated to the federal government are few and well defined and restricted mostly to external affairs. Those left with the people and the states are indefinite and numerous. Now, if you turn that upside down, you’d have what we had today. That is the powers of the fence. are numerous. Yeah.

Walter E Williams 28:40
People in states are, are restricted.

Jason Hartman 28:43
That is a sad case. And I hope that tide turns because it is. It is just ridiculous the way it’s gone so far, but I’m glad there are people like you out there, Walter, spreading the word. So thank you so much for coming on. And thank you for inviting Yeah, my pleasure. And it’s Walter Williams calm right that is right. Right everybody check out his his great books and all that some in all the usual places and thanks for joining us. Thank you so much for listening. Please be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any episodes. Be sure to check out this shows specific website and our general website heart and Mediacom for appropriate disclaimers and Terms of Service. Remember that guest opinions are their own. And if you require specific legal or tax advice, or advice and any other specialized area, please consult an appropriate professional. And we also very much appreciate you reviewing the show. Please go to iTunes or Stitcher Radio or whatever platform you’re using and write a review for the show we would very much appreciate that. And be sure to make it official and subscribe so you do not miss any episodes. We look forward to seeing you on the next episode.