Archive for the ‘John Stossel’ Category

For the Reason magazine, John Stossel argues that Americans are focused too much on negative news:

Longing to be a Victim

America was founded by people who were the opposite of victims, by people with grit. Overcoming obstacles is the route to prosperity — and happiness, too.

Whether people have real physical ailments or just see the economic deck stacked against them, the most damaging thing say to them is: Give up. You can’t make it on your own. Wait for help.

America is full of success stories. But if we obsess over stories about victimhood, that is what we’ll get.


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shutdown theater

Found a great comment by John Stossel on the current U.S. government shutdown:

Shutdown Theater

Government wants you to play a role in the ‘shutdown’ of the federal government. Your role is to panic.

If the public starts noticing that life goes on as usual without all 3.4 million federal workers, we might get dangerous ideas, like doing without so much government. Politicians don’t want that.

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find syria

It is a well-known ploy but still telling: John Stossel asks people at Times Square to point at Syria on a blank map (today 9PM ET). Apparently, many have no clue. Do you?

Find Syria

Find Syria

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John Stossel is not an economist. He studied psychology at Princeton and has been a journalist for the last forty years. But throughout his career, he has done what an economist could not do better: trace and analyze the impact of government intervention.

His discussion with Peter Robinson from Uncommon Knowledge took place about a year ago. Stossel reminds me of my recent post on Jeremy Clarkson, which makes the video all the more worth watching:

The economy is not like an orchestra that a conductor to has to start or a car that needs jump-starting. An economy is people with needs and if you leave them alone they will do amazing, wonderful things to meet those needs. And we take it for granted that a supermarket has thirty thousand products, and they are all cheap, and it is open 24/7, and they rarely poison us.

Robert Hicks said ‘war is the friend of the state’. Well, so is crisis and fear.

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stossel on walmart

John Stossel discusses why many people either love or hate the world’s largest retailer and private employer, Walmart.

In reality, we have trade-offs.

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Recently I found this rather intelligent discussion of inequality issues in the United States. John Stossel talks with Deroy Murdock and Arthur Brooks:

What we have to worry about is mobility, not inequality.

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Recently John Stossel hosted a show called “Illegal Everything” to discuss the absurdities of America’s current business laws. If you thought starting a business was easy, or that opening up a lemonade stand was legal, watch this:

Newcomers should be squeezed out.
(Washington Lobbyist)


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British author James Delingpole uses watermelons as a metaphor for the new green movement. In his book “Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors”, he delves into the background of the organizations and individuals who have sought to push global warming to the top of the political agenda, showing that beneath their cloak of green lurks a heart of red.

As a preview, you can watch him discussing with John Stossel:

Green on the outside, red on the inside.

My favorite comment on Amazon was written by Trendyphobe:

Prior to reading Mr. Delingpole’s new book, I believed that the anthropogenic climate change industry was a multi-billion dollar scam. Watermelons proved me wrong. It’s a multi-trillion dollar scam.

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Talking about utter nonsense, here is another one. Why do doctors, pilots, lawyers, and a great many of other people need licenses in order to be allowed offering their work?

You might argue that they have important jobs and someone ought to check their qualifications before they start working. Well, you are pretty much fooled.

The simple reason why so many occupations require having a license is that licensing reduces competition and thus raises insiders’ salaries. That is why nowadays you find licensing for pretty much everything, from hair dressing to flower arranging. A couple of moths ago, The Economist presented the insane scope of licensing these days in the United States.

From my point of view, Milton Friedman was best to explain both the underlying idea of licensing (how it reduces competition) as well as why licenses -even for doctors and airplane pilots- are completely unnecessary. Read ‘Free to Choose‘ for that matter.

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Studying economics you will come to wonder more and more what people take for granted. The other day, I saw another great clip of John Stossel. He made a case for private roads that you should not miss.

Quoting Mitch Daniels:

Government is a monopoly and we know how monopolies tend to mistreat their customers, having no incentive, no competition to do better.

The main insurance policy we have that the toll roads stay better is the fact that if they [the private road companies] run a lousy road, people will find a reason not to use it and they lose money.

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