Good Intentions 1of3 Introduction and Public Schools with Walter Williams

Walter Williams’ PBS documentary Good Intentions based on his book, The State Against Blacks (1982). The documentary was very controversial at the time it was released and led to many animosities and even threats of murder. In Good Intentions, Dr. Williams examines the failure of the war on poverty and the devastating effect of well meaning government policies on blacks asserting that the state harms people in the US more than it helps them. He shows how government anti-poverty programs have often locked people into poverty making the points that: – being forced to attend 3rd rate public schools leave students unprepared for working life – minimum wages prevent young people from obtaining jobs at an early age – licensing and labor laws have had the effect of restricting entrance of blacks into the skilled trades and unions – the welfare system creates perverse incentives for the poor to make bad choices they otherwise would not Dr. Williams presents the following solutions to these problems: Failing Public Schools – Give parents greater control over their children’s education by setting up a tuition tax credit or voucher system to broaden competition in turn revitalizing both public and non-public schools Minimum Wages – Remove the minimum wage from youngsters to give more young people the chance to learn the world of work at an early age instead spending their free time idle an possibly falling into the habits of the street Restrictive Labor Laws, Jobs Programs 

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25 responses to “Good Intentions 1of3 Introduction and Public Schools with Walter Williams”

  1. AshillaBeige

    Essentially, you’re wrong. There’s plenty of room for development in the US, but because of regulations and the welfare state, there is no way to expand or innovate. And giving to charity does not necessarily make you a good person if you’re just giving to make yourself feel like a self-righteous wad.
    Another reason for the failing quality of teachers as you mentioned is because of the teachers union. It is nearly impossible to fire a teacher for incompetence, or even sexual harassment.

  2. cpblackangel88

    A voucher system will give these kids a chance to succeed. The public schools in the slums the children are forced to go to,because parents can’t afford to send them to better schools. If they had a voucher system they can afford to send them to a school with a better crowd and will teach them the way they want. Or better yet they can just take that money and go to a class filled with 10 people and learn twice as much and it makes them happy.

  3. BlacksAreBeautiful

    People shouldn’t have to send their children away to school with better crowds. What does that really mean anyway? The fact is, the biggest enemy to public school education is the Amer, Federation of Teachers. When you have educators who wish to improve their schools via curriculum improvement, uniforms, etc. its that union who serves as the biggest impediment. Brooklyn Boys and Girls HS with Frank Mickens was stressed to no end by the union while he only wanted to improve his school.

  4. cpblackangel88

    Well you do realize that under a voucher system that parents could pretty much afford to send them to schools with any crowd. Now I believe if you want to fix the public schools you need to get rid of the teachers unions which keep on jacking up the price. Also we should get rid of the Department of Education to make it so we get rid of the mandates on public schools. This would make it so local government runs it and they can teach job skills best. Yet competition is good and vouchers work.

  5. BlacksAreBeautiful

    again, if the existing schools were brought up to a high standard, no need to send the children away. There is a component that is very rarely discussed, and that is the curriculum itself. Garbage in, Garbage out.

  6. cpblackangel88

    Public schools in America today are awful. You say high standards,but I see low quality education. I go to a private high school,because I can afford to. Now I see parents who’d love to send there kids to private school,but they simple can’t afford it.I see kids from my grade school start out as good kids and when they go to public school they become bad. The public schools have an unfair advantage over private. If there’s a product and your forced to pay for it why would you by another product.

  7. BlacksAreBeautiful

    We already agree that the existing schools are awful. The solution is not to send everyone to schools that are working, but rather, bring those failing schools up to par with the successful ones. Its really not that difficult.

  8. cpblackangel88

    Well I agree with you that we should be making are public schools better,but it can not be done by what we are currently doing.If history in business has taught us anything it’s that competition is good.Competition creates lower prices and better quality for the consumer.The problem is that under the current way public schools are run your forced to pay for a worse product and they can tell the competitor how to run there school.We need more competition and that will get everyone what they want.

  9. BlacksAreBeautiful

    when we start to treat schools like a commodity, you end up with what we have today. We shouldn’t be having “competitions” with schools. There should be one standard (a very high one) and whoever can’t maintain that standard, is either revamped (new administrators etc.) or shut down if necessary. I agree with your viewpoint on creating competition, but that should be kept in the world of business, in my opinion.

  10. cpblackangel88

    Well are public schools should be at a very high standard,but the problem is you never make people happy. There are going to be some kids and parents who will wont be happy with there public school. I was talking to a friend who goes to a public school near me. And he says there’s this girl who’s in 10th grade has 2 kids and is pregnant again. How the hell could a parent send there daughter to a school like that? The only way to fix education is to let people choose the best for themselves.

  11. prayfertrey

    The common denominator in all the stories of successful kids is that they come from stable, supportive homes. They have parents who are not primitives. Secondarily, private schools can kick out kids who create an atmosphere of fear and violence. Public schools aren’t allowed to do that. Public school forces you to be around monsters, an affront to dignity we would never suffer as adults.

  12. OrangeCoolius2

    maybe the people who comment on this should do a little more research on public schools. going to one does not count.

  13. cpblackangel88

    Well I go to a private school and it’s far better than the public schools near me. Now I’ll admit that there are some good public schools,but often times there not as good as private schools in that area.

  14. fdny9682

    @BlacksAreBeautiful If you want the schools better dont give the schools money, give it to the kids and let the parents choose

  15. fdny9682

    @BlacksAreBeautiful pipe dream

  16. BlacksAreBeautiful

    Exactly, where did I suggest the schools should get more money? I’m saying, if you’re going to have a “standard” school system, then set the bar high, then make sure that ALL schools meet that standard. If not, keep bringing in new admin until you find someone who can get the job done.

  17. Thisisnotmyrealname8

    Walter Williams is a smart guy, but the main culprit is not the government, but Democrat policies.

  18. oterj0

    Wow! Some 25 odd years later and this documentary is still as true now as it was then. The stats on black illegitimacy and illiteracy are worse. How can Democrats, with a straight face, say they care about minorities and the poor when surely they can objectively see that the pendulum is not swinging in the right direction? For that matter, how can blacks keeps voting for the same politicians that have been destroying their communities for the last 40 years? I don’t get it.

  19. watup2342


  20. TwiztedAnimator

    @Thisisnotmyrealname8 It’s not just Democrat policies as much as it is Socialist / Progressive policies. The Republicans, within the last 40 Years, are to blame as much as the Democrats. They both maintain Socialist / Progressive policies and they both are only in it for Money and Power.

  21. Thisisnotmyrealname8

    @TwiztedAnimator I agree, but I’m just trying to put a hex on Democrats until the elections. Right now, they are the ones embracing the NWO.

  22. TwiztedAnimator

    @Thisisnotmyrealname8 You’re right about that, a good Majority of people on the “Left” are falling into the hands of the NWO. Obama has got them thinking that the Government cares about them, but when Bush was President, they loved talking about how the Government is out to get us. I have known that the Government was out to control us most of my life. No matter who the President is, there is always someone pulling the strings.

  23. Myndir

    @BlacksAreBeautiful Setting high standards means nothing if there are no incentives and discincentives to encourage staff to meet them. In fact, high standards without an incentive system is a problem in itself.

    Firing admin only makes sense if you can break the power of the teaching unions, which would be a benefit of giving more power of choice to poor parents.

  24. Myndir

    @cpblackangel88 Great comment. People go on and on about equality of opportunity, yet dislike a voucher system because of an irrational hatred of private education. I don’t care about equality of opportunity, but I do care about poverty and ignorance in a society. If you want to give power to the people, give them CHOICE, not dependency.

  25. BlacksAreBeautiful

    Well, if you have and maintain a high standard, it should go without saying there are incentives and/or disincentives. But the incentive should be merely to keep your job. Why should people be given bonuses when they do an excellent job? An excellent job is what all those on staff should be doing, and those who can’t or won’t are out. I agree with you 100% about either breaking up the teachers union, or restructuring it so they don’t have so much damn leverage!

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