'Tis the season for giving.
Had today's politicians and opinion-makers been in power four centuries ago, Americans might celebrate "Starvation Day" this week, not Thanksgiving.
The Pilgrims started out with communal property rules. When they first settled at Plymouth, they were told: "Share everything, share the work, and we'll share the harvest."
The colony's contract said their new settlement was to be a "common." Everyone was to receive necessities out of the common stock. There was to be little individual property.
Marty the Magician performed magic tricks for kids, including the traditional rabbit-out-of-a-hat. Then one day: "I was signing autographs and taking pictures with children and their parents," he told me. "Suddenly, a badge was thrown into the mix, and an inspector said, 'Let me see your license.'"
In "Harry Potter" books, a creepy Ministry of Magic controls young wizards. Now in the USA, government regulates stage magicians -- one of the countless ways it makes life harder for the little guy.
John Stossel is the author of No They Can't! Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed . For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2013 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
The market is fine for some things, people will say, but other activities are too important to be left to the market. Or too complicated. Or too fundamental to our democracy.
I say: Privatize everything.
I've always avoided reporting on the Federal Reserve. I know it's more important than much of the stuff I cover, but it's so boring. How can I succeed on TV reporting on the Fed? Fed chairs even work at being dull.
Alan Greenspan said he tried to be obscure because he didn't want to spook markets. He called his obfuscation "Fedspeak." It's a far cry from the clarity of his language -- and principles -- when he was young and a disciple of libertarian Ayn Rand.
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network, and the author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2013 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
What would you think of a person who earned $24,000 a year but spent $35,000? Suppose on top of that, he was already $170,000 in debt. You'd tell him to get his act together -- stop spending so much or he'd destroy his family, impoverish his kids and wreck their future. Of course, no individual could live so irresponsibly for long.
These days, being seen as a victim can be useful. You immediately claim the moral high ground. Some people want to help you. Lawyers and politicians brag that they force
others to help you.
This turns some people into whiners with little sense of responsibility.
Government wants you to play a role in the "shutdown" of the federal government. Your role is to panic.
People say public schools are "one of the best parts of America". I believed that. Then I started reporting on them.
Now I know that public school -- government school is a better name -- is one of the worst parts of America. It's a stultified government monopoly. It never improves.
Most services improve. They get faster, better, cheaper. But not government monopolies. Government schools are rigid, boring, expensive and more segregated than private schools.
Invent something and the first thing that goes through some people's minds -- especially politicians' minds -- is what might go wrong.
3D printers now allow you to mold objects right in your living room, using patterns you find online. It's a revolutionary invention that will save time, reduce shipping costs and be kind to the earth.
But what critics see is: guns! People will print guns at home! Well, sure.