Monday, May 30, 2016

The Great Walter Block-Walter Williams Confusion

Walter Block
Walter Williams
The following exchange took place between Dr. Walter Block and Girard Newkirk:

From: Girard Newkirk [mailto:xxxxxxx]
Sent: Mon 5/30/2016 12:36 PM
Subject: Intellectual Giant

Thank you  Dr. Williams for being my intellectual hero.  Words aren't a tractable medium to express your inspiration to me.  Thank you Sir!

Girard Newkirk
Vice President-Store Manager
Macy's Eastridge San Jose, California
From: Walter Block []
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 11:49 AM
To: Girard Newkirk
Subject: RE: Intellectual Giant

Dear Girard:

Walter Williams and I are often confused with each other. We look alike (:)) and have similar views on most issues.

He and I are also coauthors. I am honored that I am his coauthor on this publication:

Block, Walter E. and Walter E. Williams. 1981. "Male-Female Earnings Differentials: A Critical Reappraisal," The Journal of Labor Research, Vol. II, No. 2, Fall, pp. 385-388;

Did you mean to send this letter to him, not me? Shall I forward this to him?

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business
Loyola University New Orleans


From: Girard Newkirk []
Sent: Mon 5/30/2016 1:54 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: RE: Intellectual Giant

I'm so sorry Dr. Block although Walter Williams is inspirational to me as well I intended this for you minus the Walter Williams reference.  I normally start my day off by reading both of your columns and my brain crossed.

My most sincere apology.

Girard Newkirk

RW note: Both Walter Block and Walter Williams are great economists.


  1. But which one of them was the chemist in that TV show?

  2. I'll bet both men were amused by this. Dr Block's reply was lovely.