Posts By Author » John Stossel
16 Apr 2014 12:10 am
“The heavens reek, the waters below are foul … we are in a crisis of survival.” That’s how Walter Cronkite and CBS hyped the first Earth Day, back in 1970. Somehow we’ve survived since then, and most of life got better, although I never hear that from the worrywarts.
Of course, some things got better because of government: We passed environmental rules that got most of the filth out of the air and sewage out of lakes and rivers. Great — but now we’re told that we’re in big trouble because …View More...
Taxing Life Away
9 Apr 2014 12:10 am
It’s tax time. I’m too scared to do my taxes. I’m sure I’ll get something wrong and my enemies in government will persecute — no, I mean prosecute — me. So I hired Bob.
Bob’s my accountant. I like Bob, but I don’t like that I have to have an accountant. I don’t want to spend time keeping records and talking to Bob about boring things I don’t understand, and I really don’t want to pay Bob. But I have to.
What a waste. Once, I calculated what I could do with …
Gambling and Government
2 Apr 2014 12:10 am
Did you fill out a March Madness bracket this year? In many states, if you put money in a pool, that’s illegal!
The NCAA website warns, “Fans should enjoy … filling out a bracket just for the fun of it, not … the amount of money they could possibly win.”
Give me a break. Americans bet more money on March Madness this year than on the Super Bowl. Politicians can’t quite make up their minds about gambling: They approve certain casinos and promote state lotteries but crack down on sports bets and …View More...
26 Mar 2014 12:10 am
We’re told government protects us, but protectors quickly become bullies.
Take the Food and Drug Administration. It seems like the most helpful part of government: It supervises testing to make sure greedy drug companies don’t sell us dangerous stuff.
The FDA’s first big success was stopping thalidomide, a drug that prevented the nausea of morning sickness. It was approved first in Europe, where some mothers who took it proceeded to give birth to children with no arms and legs.
The FDA didn’t discover the problems with thalidomide. It was just slow. The drug …
Spring Clean Government
19 Mar 2014 12:10 am
Spring cleaning is a healthy tradition. If only politicians did it!
When Barack Obama ran for president, he promised to clean house, “I’m not a Democrat who believes that we can or should defend every government program just because it’s there. There are some that don’t work.”
I cheered when I heard that! But politicians always say they’ll get rid of waste. Then, once in power, they spend more. Obama sure has.
“We just need to cut back!” said Obama, the candidate. He promised to end “waste at the Economic Development Agency and …
War on Women
12 Mar 2014 12:10 am
You’ve probably heard that Democratic Party leaders decided that a way to win votes this November is to shout loudly that Republicans wage “war on women.” Politico calls this a “proven, persuasive argument.”
Give me a break. The idea of a conservative “war on women” is as silly as propaganda I was taught in college: Aside from sex organs, genders are exactly equal, said my leftist professors, and any admission of differences between men and women is oppressive.
I was taught that the only reason boys and girls behave differently is because …
5 Mar 2014 12:10 am
This week, President Barack Obama proposed “a budget that will create new jobs in manufacturing and energy and innovation and infrastructure, and we’ll pay for every dime of it by cutting unnecessary spending, closing wasteful tax loopholes!”
What? I must have fallen asleep and woken up in 2008. That could not be something he’d claim after five years in office — years after making similar claims and not delivering on them.
Does he think we have no memory, or that we’re just ignorant? Are these just poll-tested phrases that work because most …
Codgers Freaking Out
26 Feb 2014 12:10 am
America’s most popular cable news host is upset. “Marijuana use, video games and texting (are) creating major social problems,” says Bill O’Reilly. “This is an epidemic that will lead to a weaker nation!”
Give me a break.
Crotchety old geezers always complain about “the kids.” The Boston Globe frets about “Idle Trophy Kids.” The New York Post asks if millennials are “The Worst Generation?” Older folks (my age) complain that young people spend so much time texting each other that they can’t communicate. And because they spend hours playing violent video games, …
Students for Liberty
19 Feb 2014 12:10 am
On Saturday, some 1,500 students from all over the world gathered to discuss freedom at the Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C.
Economist Donald Boudreaux showed the students a department store catalog from 1958 to underscore how the free market, while contributing to income inequality, also dramatically improved the lives of the poor: “The typical American worker back then had to work 30 hours to buy this vacuum cleaner. Today, a worker has to work only six hours to buy a much better vacuum cleaner. And that’s true for clothing, …
The Privileged People
12 Feb 2014 12:10 am
Politicians say, “We’re all equal,” and pretend that they represent everyone. But, in fact, they constantly pick winners and losers. America is now like the place described in George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”: “All animals are equal,” but some are “more equal than others.” “Animal Farm” was about Communism, but today the allegory applies to our bloated democracy, too.
During the “fiscal cliff” negotiations that Congress and the media made sound so tough — as if every last penny were pinched — Congress still managed to slip in plenty of special …View More...
Reputation Versus Regulation
5 Feb 2014 12:10 am
Do you like to cook? Throw dinner parties? Many people enjoy that, but paying for the food, plus accessories, is expensive. Would you host more often if you could get your guests to cover the costs?
Or suppose you’d like to go to a dinner party to meet new people in your neighborhood. Or maybe when you travel, instead of eating at restaurants, you’d like to see how the locals live.
Good news! Today both cooks and diners can get what they want. A new Internet business brings them together.
Bad news: Bureaucrats and the …
Re-state of the Union
29 Jan 2014 12:10 am
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday wasn’t what I wanted to hear. This is what the president should have said:
“I cannot imagine what I was thinking when I pushed Obamacare. I now see it is folly to entrust government, which cannot balance its books and routinely loses track of billions of dollars, with even greater power over health care.
“If something as simple as a website is too much for government to get right, imagine what government will do to complicated medical pricing and insurance plans.
“Foolishly, my plan destroyed many …
22 Jan 2014 12:10 am
The Hill, the newspaper that covers Congress, says this year, there will be a major policy battle over “climate change.” Why?
We already waste billions on pointless gestures that make people think we’re addressing global warming, but the earth doesn’t notice or care.
What exactly is “global warming” anyway? That’s really four questions:
1. Is the globe warming? Probably. Global temperatures have risen. Climate changes. Always has. Always will.
2. Is the warming caused by man? Maybe. There’s decent evidence that at least some of it is.
3. But is global warming a crisis? Far …
15 Jan 2014 12:10 am
The big online retailer Overstock.com now accepts payment in Bitcoin. That’s good news for lovers of liberty because Bitcoins give us an alternative to government-controlled money. Bitcoins are a currency created by anonymous, private tech nerds, not by government.
Governments don’t like competition, and our government sometimes bans competing currencies. But as more of us use Bitcoins, and more businesses accept payment in Bitcoin, it becomes harder for government to dismiss the currency as illegitimate, or ban it.
There are two advantages to Bitcoin.
First, it’s harder to trace transactions back to people …
Equality Versus Liberty
8 Jan 2014 12:10 am
President Barack Obama says income inequality is “dangerous … the defining challenge of our time.” The pope is upset that capitalism causes inequality. Progressives, facing the failures of Obamacare, are eager to change the subject to America’s “wealth gap.”
It’s true that today, the richest 1 percent of Americans own a third of America’s wealth. One percent owns 35 percent!
But I say, so what? Progressives in the media claim that the rich get richer at the expense of the poor.
But that’s a lie.
Hollywood sells the greedy-evil-capitalists-cheat-the-poor message with movies like Martin …
1 Jan 2014 12:10 am
My TV producers asked our Facebook audience to vote for a topic they’d most like to hear discussed on my year-end show. The overwhelming winner, for some reason: the education standards program Common Core.
Most Americans don’t even know what that is. But they should. It’s the government’s plan to try to bring “the same standard” to every government-run school.
This may sound good. Often, states dumb down tests to try to “leave no child behind.” How can government evaluate teachers and reward successful schools if there isn’t a single national standard?
25 Dec 2013 12:10 am
If you saw a fat man in a sleigh distributing presents this week, he was in violation of several government regulations.
The Federal Aviation Administration has complaints about his secret flight path. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources might shoot his unauthorized reindeer the way they shot a baby deer named Giggles at an animal shelter this year. His bag of gifts definitely violates numerous charity tax rules.
In real life, government barely lets people give each other rides in cars. But now the Internet has given birth to some exciting new …
Look Back in Liberty 2013
18 Dec 2013 12:10 am
This wasn’t a great year for liberty. A few disasters that government caused:
–Obamacare. It was supposed to “bend the cost curve” downward. The central planners had lots of time to perfect their scheme. For a generation, the brightest left-wing wonks focused on health care policy. The result? Soviet-style consumer service comes to America.
–Government shutdown. The real disaster was the unnecessary panic over it. Zoos would shut down, and baby pandas would starve. The media made it sound like America might not survive even slightly limited government. They were happy to …View More...
11 Dec 2013 12:10 am
I’m annoyed that so many Hollywood celebrities hate the system that made them rich.
Actor/comedian Russell Brand told the BBC he wants “a socialist, egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth.”
Director George Lucas got rich not just from movies but also by selling Star Wars merchandise. Yet he says he believes in democracy but “not capitalist democracy.”
Actor Martin Sheen says, “That’s where the problem lies … It’s corporate America.”
And so on.
On my TV show, actor/author Kevin Sorbo pointed out that such sentiments make little sense coming from entertainers. “It’s …
4 Dec 2013 12:10 am
‘Tis the season for giving.
But when you give, do you know your money will help someone?
Social workers say, “Don’t give to beggars.” Those who do give are “enablers,” helping alcoholics and drug users to continue bad habits. It’s better to give to charities that help the “homeless.” I put “homeless” in quotes because my TV producers have quietly followed a dozen of the more convincing beggars after “work,” and all had homes.
Once, I put on a fake beard and begged for an hour. At the rate money was coming in, …