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by Walter E. Williams

    When you send your youngster off to college, you might not mind that they will have to walk on eggshells, respect taboos, snitch on fellow students for politically incorrect jokes and learn to use ad hominem arguments as a means to attack ideas they find "disagreeable." If that's your preference, you can choose from a wide variety of America's top-ranked colleges. If you want to send your youngster to colleges that are seriously committed to civil and diverse debate, pick up a copy of the June 2019 edition of Reason magazine for some guidance.
    Professors Debra Mashek and Jonathan Haidt authored "10 Colleges Where You Won't Have to Walk on Eggshells." Mashek and Haidt are, respectively, faculty members of Harvey Mudd College and New York University. Haidt is the co-founder of the Heterodox Academy and Mashek is its executive director. Heterodox Academy is nonpartisan and boasts a membership of more than 2,500 faculty and college administrators who advocate for open inquiry and civil disagreement on college campuses and in academic disciplines.
    The Mashek and Haidt article discusses 10 colleges in alphabetical order. Among them is Chapman University, whose president, Daniele Struppa, is "an outspoken advocate of academic freedom and freedom of speech." Struppa has little tolerance for the political correctness so prevalent at most of the nation's colleges.
    The University of Chicago has set the gold standard on free speech and open inquiry. In 2014, it created its "Statement on Principles of Free Expression" (aka the Chicago Principles). Those principles provide the framework for thinking about the importance of dissent as well as the role of the university for establishing the platform for debate. University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer says, "We have an obligation to see that the greatest variety of perspectives is brought to bear on issues before us as scholars and citizens." The Chicago Principles, or substantially similar ones, have been adopted by 55 schools across the nation. In June 2018, the University of Chicago received Heterodox Academy's Institutional Excellence Award in recognition of its stellar culture and support for open inquiry.
    Other colleges listed in the Mashek and Haidt article, where students won't have to walk on eggshells include Arizona State University, Claremont McKenna College, Kansas State University, Kenyon College, Linn-Benton Community College, St. John's College, University of Richmond and Purdue University. It's worth noting that Mitch Daniels is president of Purdue University and former two-term governor of the state of Indiana. Daniels and his interim provost Jay Akridge wrote this message to the Purdue community: "At Purdue, we protect and promote the right to free and open inquiry in all matters and guarantee all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen challenge and learn."
    In my opinion, it is truly a tragic state of affairs when free speech and free inquiry require protection at most institutions of higher learning. Indeed, it has been freedom in the marketplace of ideas that has made the United States, as well as other western nations, leaders in virtually every area of human endeavor. A monopoly of ideas is just as dangerous as a monopoly in other areas of our lives such as monopoly in political power and the production of goods and services.
    At the end of Professors Mashek's and Haidt's article, they come up with a few suggestions for parents. Visit the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education website to find out about a particular college's agenda to suppress free speech. By all means, check out the Heterodox Academy website. Search the college's website for terms such as "open inquiry," "freedom of expression" and "free speech." Examine the college's calendar of events to see whether speakers with diverse opinions are invited. Visit the campus. Talk with actual students about their experiences. In this article, Mashek and Haidt give specific questions to ask. I'd add to their list of things to do on a campus visit: Talk to the local police, bartenders and hospital people about the college. They might give you insights that an admissions officer would choose to keep hidden.
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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by John Stossel

    Both Republican and Democratic politicians want government to "do more" to give parents paid time off.
    "This is not a women's issue. It's a family issue," says Ivanka Trump.
    "Every worker in America should be guaranteed at least 12 weeks," says Sen. Bernie Sanders.
    "That's a very arbitrary number! Why not 14 weeks? Why not 26 weeks?" asks Independent Women's Forum analyst Patrice Onwuka. She opposes Sanders' plan, saying government one-size-fits-all policies don't meet most parents' needs.
    When Onwuka had a baby, IWF gave her six weeks off with pay. She wanted more time off, so she supplemented her maternity leave with vacation time and "personal days." In my newest video, she says she was glad "to be able to customize the time off."
    Of course, government programs are hard to customize. But that's where the U.S. is probably headed.
    "Just us and Papua New Guinea!" complains comedian John Oliver, sneering that those are the only two countries in the world that do not require paid time off.
    "It's disingenuous," responds Onwuka, pointing out that most American workers already get paid parental leave. "Seventeen percent," she says, and the number "jumps to 60, 70, 80 percent when you consider people have sick time off, overtime or all-encompassing personal time."
    In other words, companies and workers already are working this out -- voluntarily, without government telling them how they must handle it.
    "Paid leave is spreading," says Onwuka, and not just for high-earners. "Chipotle workers, CVS workers -- Walmart workers started to get paid leave."
    Why would CVS and Walmart provide this voluntarily?
    "For an employer to attract good talent or retain talent, they need to offer benefits that really resonate with workers. Paid maternity and paternity leave is one of those benefits."
    Arrogant politicians claim they must tell ignorant businesses what's good for them. President Obama and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand both claim mandated parental would be "good for business."
    But business owners know better what's good for business. Most, as Onwuka pointed out, offer paid time off, but not all do. Every business has different needs.
    In truth, mandated leave is not only bad for most businesses, it's bad for many women. That's because such mandates could make hiring a young woman a risk.
    "If an employer has a young woman of childbearing age in front of him, he's thinking, OK, I have to provide paid time off," Onwuka points out. He hires "another employee who's a male."
    Sure enough, in California, the first state to mandate leave, a study from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics found women of childbearing age were more likely to be unemployed.
    In Europe, lots of women work, but most work in lower-level positions -- probably because companies worry less about leaving those positions empty for months if the woman takes her government-dictated parental leave.
    "American women are more likely to be in senior-level positions, managerial positions, than women in Europe," says Onwuka. "Twice as likely. And it's very much tied to these mandates around paid leave."
    American politicians make it sound as if companies will face hardly any new costs if leave is mandated. "It's such a small amount of money -- the cost of a cup of coffee a week," says Gillibrand.
    "$1.61 a year," said Sanders, sounding even more optimistic.
    He probably meant to say "per month" and "spread over all employees" but even that's not true. In California, the estimated cost is already $12 a week. And government programs grow.
    Can't we just leave government out of it and let employers and employees work this out to meet individual needs?
    Apparently not, because now even "conservative" politicians want government to "do something."
    Senators Marco Rubio, Joni Ernst and Mike Lee propose that parents be allowed to tap into Social Security savings for childbearing expenses.
    But Social Security is fiscally unsustainable already. Allowing parents to take out money early will make that worse.
    At least the Republican plan wouldn't be mandatory. But give me a break -- can't we ever say something is not government's job?
    America's already $22 trillion in debt. We don't need another government program.
    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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by Walter E. Williams

    The favorite leftist tool for the attack on our nation's founding is that slavery was sanctioned. They argue that the founders disregarded the promises of our Declaration of Independence "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." These very ignorant people, both in and out of academia, want us to believe that slavery is unusual, as historian Kenneth Stampp suggested in his book, "Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South." But slavery is by no means peculiar, odd, unusual or unique to the U.S.
    As University of Nebraska-Lincoln political science professor David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, "The Globalist," "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom." Slavery was common among ancient peoples -- Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians and many others. Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only during the 17th century that the Atlantic slave trade began with Europeans assisted by Arabs and Africans.
    Slavery is one of the most horrible injustices. It posed such a moral dilemma at our 1787 Constitutional Convention that it threatened to scuttle the attempt to create a union between the 13 colonies. Let's look at some of the debate. George Washington, in a letter to Pennsylvania delegate Robert Morris, wrote, "There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." In a Constitutional Convention speech, James Madison said, "We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man." In James Madison's records of the Convention he wrote, "(The Convention) thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men."
    John Jay, in a letter to R. Lushington: "It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honour of the States, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused." Patrick Henry said, "I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil." George Mason said, "The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind."
    Northern delegates to the Convention, and others who opposed slavery, wanted to count only free people of each state to determine representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. Southern delegates wanted to count slaves just as any other person. That would have given slave states greater representation in the House and the Electoral College. If slaveholding states could not have counted slaves at all, the Constitution would not have been ratified and there would not be a union. The compromise was for slaves to be counted as three-fifths of a person when deciding representation in the House of Representatives and Electoral College.
    My question for those who condemn the Three-Fifths Compromise is: Would blacks have been better off if northern convention delegates stuck to their guns, not compromising, and a union had never been formed? To get a union, the northern delegates begrudgingly accepted slavery. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass understood the compromise, saying that the three-fifths clause was "a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding states" that deprived them of "two-fifths of their natural basis of representation."
    Here's my hypothesis about people who use slavery to trash the founders: They have contempt for our constitutional guarantees of liberty. Slavery is merely a convenient moral posturing tool they use in their attempt to reduce respect for our Constitution.
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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by John Stossel

    "I don't feel safe," says a Harvard student in a video.
    What threatens her? The dean of her Harvard dormitory, law professor Ronald Sullivan, agreed to be part of accused sexual harasser Harvey Weinstein's legal defense team.
    Sullivan and his wife were deans of the dormitory for years, but no matter. Now the professor is apparently an evil threat.
    A group calling itself "Our Harvard Can Do Better" demanded Sullivan be removed from his dean job.
    Sullivan is black, but black activists joined the protest, too. On the videotape, one says, "Dean Sullivan told me to my face that I should view his representation of Harvey Weinstein as a good thing because that representation will trickle down to black men like me who constantly face an unjust justice system."
    Seems reasonable to me. But the privileged Harvard students laugh and clap when the protester goes on to say, "F--- that!"
    Colleges don't show much courage when pushed by student activists. Harvard administrators removed Sullivan and his wife from the residence hall.
    Do the students really "feel unsafe"?
    "They're lying," says Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz in my newest video. "Anybody who says they feel unsafe in the presence of a lawyer and his wife are looking you in the eye and committing the equivalent of perjury. They don't feel unsafe. They've learned the language of the new McCarthyism."
    In other words, people call themselves "victims," knowing they can get results they want by saying they are traumatized by the presence of their enemies. Schools and other businesses, wanting to avoid protracted fights and accusations of sexism, racism or "insensitivity," rush to comply with activists' wishes.
    Dershowitz is mad about what's happened at his school: "The mantra of the day is 'We feel unsafe.' Well, that's just too bad! Learn to deal with it. You're going to have to live in the real world in which your neighbors, friends, relatives are going to disagree with you. If you start using the criteria of 'unsafe' in your life, you're going to be a failure."
    Worse, he adds, "You're going to impose restrictions on the rest of us."
    I told Dershowitz that the students protesting Sullivan were mostly young women. Some had been sexually assaulted. Isn't it reasonable that they not be reminded of that?
    "No, it's not reasonable not to want to face the reality that due process requires that everybody be represented," replied Dershowitz.
    Harvard didn't fire Sullivan from his professor job, only his dean job.
    So I said to Dershowitz: "Don't students have a right to say, 'Look, we're living with this guy. He creeps us out because of what he does. Get somebody else'?"
    "If they could say that," replied Dershowitz, "they could say it about somebody who supports Donald Trump for president, somebody who is a Muslim, who's gay, who's Jewish, you name it."
    Sullivan, who like Dershowitz has defended clients considered monsters by the general public, has long argued, "For the rights of all of us... to be protected, we have to live in a system where we vigorously, vigorously defend the guilty."
    "You get the right to counsel no matter how despicable you are thought to be," explains Dershowitz. "These students would have fired John Adams. They would have not allowed him to come to the Constitutional Convention or write the Declaration of Independence because he defended the people who were accused of the Boston Massacre."
    The new McCarthyism requires that everyone bow to demands of "victims." That's a lot of people.
    On the videotape, one student says she worries not just about her own safety, but the well-being of "survivors, transgender and gender nonconforming people, BGLTQ people, undocumented, DACAmented and TPS people, indigenous people, first generation low-income people..."
    I don't even know what some of those words mean.
    Most of us want to protect genuine victims. But it makes little sense that America, a country where even poor people live longer and better lives than almost anyone in history, has become a place where spoiled children paying $60,000 tuition consider themselves "victims."
    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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by Walter E. Williams

    Presidential contenders are in a battle to out give one another. Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes a whopping $50,000 per student college loan forgiveness. Senator Bernie Sanders proposes free health care for all Americans plus illegal aliens. Most Democratic presidential candidates promise free stuff that includes free college, universal income, "Medicare for All" and debt forgiveness.
    Their socialist predecessors made promises too. "Freedom and Bread" was the slogan used by Adolf Hitler during the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi) campaign against president Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler even promised, "In the Third Reich every German girl will find a husband." Stalin promised a great socialist-Marxist society that included better food and better worker conditions. China's Mao Zedong promised democratic constitutionalism and the dream that "farmers have land to till." These, and other promises, gave Mao the broad political support he needed to win leadership of the entire country in 1949.
    Socialism promises a utopia that sounds good, but those promises are never realized. It most often results in massive human suffering. Capitalism fails miserably when compared with a heaven or utopia promised by socialism. But any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. Mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist. It turns out that for the common man capitalism, with all of its alleged shortcomings, is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires. By most any measure of human well-being, people who live in countries toward the capitalistic end of the economic spectrum are far better off than their fellow men who live in countries toward the socialist end. Why?
    Capitalism, or what some call free markets, is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way individuals amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. With the rise of capitalism, it became possible to amass great wealth by serving and pleasing your fellow man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and produce and market it as efficiently as possible as a means to profit. A historical example of this process would be John D. Rockefeller, whose successful marketing drove kerosene prices down from 58 cents a gallon in 1865 to 7 cents in 1900. Henry Ford became rich by producing cars for the common man. Both Ford's and Rockefeller's personal benefits pale in comparison to the benefits received by the common man who had cheaper kerosene and cheaper and more convenient transportation. There are literally thousands of examples of how mankind's life ha been made better by those in the pursuit of profits. Here's my question !
to you: Are the people who, by their actions, created unprecedented convenience, longer life expectancy and a more pleasant life for the ordinary person -- and became wealthy in the process -- deserving of all the scorn and ridicule heaped upon them by intellectuals and political hustlers today?
    In many intellectual and political circles, the pursuit of profits is seen as evil. However, this pursuit forces entrepreneurs to find ways to either please people efficiently or go bankrupt. Of course, they could mess up and avoid bankruptcy if they can get government to bail them out or give them protection against competition.
    Nonprofit organizations have an easier time of it. As a matter of fact, people tend to be the most displeased with services received from public schools, motor vehicle departments and other government agencies. Nonprofits can operate whether they please people or not. That's because they derive their compensation through taxes. I'm sure that we'd be less satisfied with supermarkets if they had the power to take our money through taxes, as opposed to being forced to find ways to get us to voluntarily give them our money.
    By the way, I'm not making an outright condemnation of socialism. I run my household on the Marxist principle, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." That system works when you can remember the names of all involved.
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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