Gross racial discrimination alone has never been sufficient to prevent blacks from earning a living and bettering themselves by working as skilled or unskilled craftsmen and as business owners, accumulating considerable wealth. The fact that whites sought out blacks as artisans and workers, while patronizing black businesses, can hardly be said to be a result of white enlightenment. A far better explanation: market forces at work.
The relative color blindness of the market accounts for much of the hostility towards it. Markets have a notorious lack of respect for privilege, race, and class structures. White customers patronized black-owned businesses because their prices were lower or their product quality or service better. Whites hired black skilled and unskilled labor because their wages were lower or they made superior employees.
People have always sought to use laws to accomplish what they cannot accomplish through voluntary, peaceable exchange. As will be argued in subsequent chapters, restrictive laws harm blacks equally, whether they were written with the explicit intent-as in the past-to eliminate black competition or written-as in our time-with such benign goals as protecting public health, safety and welfare, and preventing exploitation of workers.
– Walter E. Williams, Ph.D., Race and Economics
Occupational Licensing Increases Prices and Deprives People of Options
When you shop online, vendors usually give you a bunch of different ways to sort your options. Take Amazon: One popular sorting option – especially for customers with low income – is “Price: Low to High.” You’ve probably used it yourself many times. This...