Walter Williams: It’s the Welfare State that Killed the Black Family


Walter Williams was interviewed for The Wall Street Journal and talked about the research he conducted that led him to conclude that it’s the government welfare state that killed the black family, not slavery or racism.

Even in the antebellum era, when slaves often weren’t permitted to wed, most black children lived with a biological mother and father. During Reconstruction and up until the 1940s, 75% to 85% of black children lived in two-parent families. Today, more than 70% of black children are born to single women. “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do,” Mr. Williams says. “And that is to destroy the black family.”

Walter Williams is an economist at George Mason University. He hasn’t always been libertarian-leaning. In the interview he said that he started out as a radical liberal, like so many others. It wasn’t until he started his research, and put aside the way he’d like things to be, that he realized the liberal way doesn’t work.

You should read the whole thing. He discussed the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, when the government started interfering with wage levels, and the negative impact it’s had on employment for young workers, and especially black workers. He also talked about how the unions (which are supposed to be all about helping workers) have frozen black workers out of jobs.

Williams new autobiography, Up from the Projects, is available on Amazon.