Friday, May 07, 2010

Stossel's excellent rant

This was John Stossel's closing monologue at the end of last night's program on government bullying.

There are only two ways to do things in life: voluntary, or forced.

Voluntary's best, and it's most of life. It's how we pick our friends, our religion, career, hobbies, and so on. It gives individuals freedom and flexibility. It leads to constant improvement because when your choices are voluntary, if you want people to attend your school, or baseball game or fly your airline you have to please your customers.

But government doesn't have to please anybody. Government gets to use force. OK, they have to please us because we can make some changes every four or eight years when we vote, but they're usually minor changes. The permanent bureaucracy doesn't change. It. Just. Grows, and exerts more force.

Now - we need some force, we need government to keep the peace; keep people from killing us. Or stealing from us. But why do they get to decide what the rules of baseball should be?

It's telling that Senator McCain had trouble making [the point that it's part of the business of Congress to regulate baseball rules concerning steroid use] ... there's no good reason Congress should be involved. They're just sanctimonious and they want to get their faces on TV. And the public and media encouraged them. America's constant refrain that "there oughta be a law" invites politicians to bully their way into parts of life where they have no business.

Government shouldn't dictate to airlines what they can charge, and why should government tell students [..] that you MAY NOT work as an intern for me? You're not slaves. If you don't like working for free, quit. Do something else. Why do the politicians arrogantly assume they have the right to interfere with our right to make a contract?

And it's not like the government's bullying has such a great track record. The Interstate Commerce Commission used to control all of the airline prices. And the system was awful. Thank goodness Jimmy Carter got rid of it.

Now the government orders you to send your child to this or that school. But then they do a lousy job teaching them.

In fact, I can't think of anything government does better than the private sector. Can you? Can you name one thing that Government does more efficiently than private companies?

I'll give you $100 if you can.

The military and things that Government, only government does, don't count. I'm talking about anything where there's competition. Are government bullies ever better? I don't think so. I've never had to pay this bet. I've offered it for many years.

Who do these politicians think they are? They fail and fail, make life worse and run up horrible debt and then they say they want more power? What hubris!


Remember, only two ways to do things.  Voluntary, or forced.  Voluntary's better.  The Founders understood that, and that's why here in the Declaration and the Constitution they write so much about limiting government's power.    They understood the danger of big government and the bullies it breeds.

It's time to say "politicians, you've gone too far.  Let us lead our own lives.  That's the freedom we deserve."

- John Stossel


Cylar said...

You like Stossel? I'm sorta "meh" about him. I read his book "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity" and he seems to take on a lot of topics that should have been left alone. That is, if he really is this self-styled libertarian that he likes to appear to be.

His book, among other topics, questions the idea that homosexuality can be "cured." Specifically (it's been awhile since I read this), he seemed upset at some church group which claimed to be able to use God's power to quell the homosexual urge.

I don't know for sure if it can be cured or not, but for a guy who's built a career out of railing against Big Government, it seems an odd choice of targets.

He's said other things over the years, which have also rubbed me the wrong way. I can't come up with any examples off the top of my head, but suffice to say he's left kind of a bad taste in my mouth.

I take the guy with a large grain of salt. I can't listen to him unguarded-ly the way I would Rush or Ann Coulter.

philmon said...

Well, you're not going to agree with anybody about everything.

And if you don't know for sure if it can be "cured" or not, it sounds like questioning it isn't necessarily unreasonable.

Now... was he irritated with the church group? Really? Or was the Church group trying to use the coercive power of the government to enforce their view? Or was the church group infringing on the life, liberty, or property of these people without their consent?

I think if you talked to Mr. Stossel about it, he wouldn't have a problem with a group that beleived that. He'd just have a problem with them using the Government to enforce their veiws.