When Walter Williams Worked for the Carter Administration

A while back I
that John McClaughry, a contributing
here at Reason, has been serializing his
memoirs at the Front Porch Republic site. The most recent

, which covers the Ford and Carter years, continues
the theme of the federal government’s inability to seriously
grapple with the idea of devolving power.

One interesting tidbit involves the National Commission on
Neighborhoods, a Carter-era body where McClaughry served as a token
Republican. The commission was run by Robert Kuttner, later to
become famous as a liberal pundit, and the bulk of its
recommendations, McClaughry writes, amounted to “a massive new
national effort to spend money and issue mandates.” But its report
did include one interesting chapter, he adds: “the one on Legal,
Fiscal and Administrative Obstacles.”

We've secretly replaced their regular economist with Walter Williams.That was because the
corresponding committee was effectively run by me and Bob O’Brien,
aided by our consultant Dr. Walter Williams, libertarian economist
and author (1982) of The State Against Blacks. I don’t
believe that Kuttner was aware of Walt’s libertarian leanings,
but quickly approved his hiring because he wanted more black

Although some statist notions crept in, the major thesis of this
chapter was that neighborhood people were too often handcuffed in
building civil society by obsolete or malicious laws and
regulations that defeated their efforts. Building on my earlier
work for [Office of Minority Business Enterprise], we advocated
rapid and efficient legal recycling of tax-foreclosed properties
into new ownership; a report on home owner’s equity insurance; a
study of carried interest and compulsory unitization of derelict
urban neighborhoods, built on the principles of Texas petroleum
law; transparent land and title information systems; model uniform
conveyancing statues; continuation of five year amortization of
rehab expenditures; tax shelter partnerships and corporate tax
credits for support of neighborhood corporations; various property
tax reforms; privatization of building code enforcement; and
(seriously watered down) joint labor union-neighborhood
organization efforts “to resolve problems arising from the
prevailing wage and work rule provisions of the Davis-Bacon

You can read the rest of the article
. The cast of characters includes both Ron Paul and Dick

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/17/when-walter-williams-worked-for-the-cart

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