Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Watch 20/20's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics

From John Stossel:

This Friday (10 p.m. ET), I get the entire "20/20" hour for a special: John Stossel's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics.

There's tremendous excitement about this year's election. People say that their candidate will fix America. Barack Obama inspires idol worship that's usually lavished on rock stars. At the Republican convention, one man told me John McCain was like Superman.

Give me a break. Obama and McCain would have to be a combination of Superman, Santa Claus and Mother Teresa to do what their supporters say they will do. Even if they were, politicians cannot direct our lives and solve our problems. This faith in political solutions thrives in the face of repeated government failure:

Big farm bills have raised the price of food and squeezed out small farms. Campaign finance reform has made it harder to challenge incumbents. FEMA can't deliver water to a hurricane-ravaged New Orleans as well as Walmart can. Medicare has a $35 trillion unfunded liability.

Politicians' "fixes" usually make things worse. Yet the media and the political class call for more government control. Do we really need a president to plan our lives? No. Most of life works best when YOU are in charge.

David Boaz, senior vice president of the Cato Institute, points out that most change doesn't come from politicians. "It comes from people inventing things and creating. The telephone, the telegraph, the computer -- all those kinds of things didn't come from government. They came from people. Most of life -- our families, our romances, our jobs, our travel, our learning -- is outside the government sector. We think sometimes of government as being so important -- and it can interfere in our lives in a lot of ways -- but if the government just protects us from rapists and murderers and foreign armies, and leaves us alone to run our own lives, we'll be better off."

Amen to that.


At 10/14/2008 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stossel is the best. i don't know how he has managed to convince a major media outlet to allow him to share his libertarian views for so long but i love him for it. will definitely be tuning in friday.

At 10/15/2008 11:16 AM, Blogger Arman said...

"We think sometimes of government as being so important -- and it can interfere in our lives in a lot of ways -- but if the government just protects us from rapists and murderers and foreign armies, and leaves us alone to run our own lives, we'll be better off."
Yeah, right! The faith in the benevolence of the (market) force is quite unwarranted. You deny the existence of the dark side! That will not protect you from its power to confuse and defeat you.
The market depends on consumer spending, and yet the market works towards lower prices, especially on labor which dries up consumer spending. Markets do not work well at all without some governing influence.
The market forces are the same everywhere. The difference between the US and other countries can not be found in market forces, but is only found in government influence.
Adam Smith did not write an intellectual treatise, but a propaganda designed to polish the image of the industrialist. Studiers of Smith have no comprehension of how economics works, but only are convinced of how special entrepreneurs are.

At 10/15/2008 5:11 PM, Blogger Living_on_the_Edge said...


Every time I have seen a "dark side" to a market it was caused by regulations or protections created by government.

This crisis was brought about directly by the Federal Reserve's monetary and credit policies.

Your faith in "the benevolence of" government is what is actually unwarranted.

What we have is by no means a free market, it is in fact very near in form and function the same as El Dulce's in 1930's Italy.

At 10/16/2008 4:00 AM, Blogger Arman said...

"Every time I have seen a "dark side" to a market it was caused by regulations or protections created by government."
The greatest time of market deregulation was the 20s. This led into the 30s. When the government finally set labor standards back up with the NRA in 33, the economy immediately went from steep decline to solid growth.
The depression was gotten into with right wing policy. The depression was gotten out of with protection of labor.
You see only what you want to see. You dismiss all correlations that don't conform to your world view. The "education" that is based on the propagandist Adam Smith results in a brainwashing that seemingly renders the student incapable of considering reality.

At 10/17/2008 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for putting up this show for people to watch. I get so tired of explaining to myself how neither Obama nor McCain will truly help us. All the promises made today are all the same promises made from previous presidents. Does history teach us anything? Apparently not. You are incredible and smart!

At 10/17/2008 11:15 PM, Blogger Robin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/18/2008 11:15 PM, Blogger Mike_Mac said...

The kind of arguments arman makes are the kind make by Marxists and socialists, easily debunked with real world experience...every experiment in socialism has failed miserably, resulting in death and destruction of massive proportions. To wit, the USSR, Red China, Cuba, Germany's Third Reich, Italy's Fascists under Musolini, etc, etc. Re arman's comments on the 1930s depression, he needs to get his facts straight. In fact, government mismanagement, under Hoover and FDR, exacerbated and prolonged the depression. During the 1920s, the Federal Reserve (formed by our US government in 1913, the same year our income tax was enacted after the Constitution was amended) had kept interest rates and bank reserve requirements low, and increased the money supply by about 60%, which in turn, caused a huge runup in the stock markets, while US investors were buying on margin. Then in 1929, realizing it's "error" the FED began to raise interest rates, which caused the crash, margin calls, and the bank panic. Google the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, minimum wage and the Davis-Bacon Act, you will find that these government interventions actually exacerbated the depression by increasing prices, and reducing price flexibility, and not allowing the free market to work. Even FDR's deficit spending, the so-called pump priming, could not end the depression. We have only two choices, more free or less free.

You should note that we went off the gold standard in 1933, thus enabling the FED to do even more mischief with the money supply. The FED stopped publishing the M3
figures in 2005, I think. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shenanigans. Housing prices ran up too quickly to unsupportable levels. Government causes these crashes.

Please do your homework!


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