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Commentary By John Stossel

Most Recent Releases

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May 9, 2012

Creating a Risk-Free World By John Stossel

A child leaving home alone for the first time takes a risk. So does the entrepreneur who opens a new business. I no more want government to prevent us from doing these things than I want it to keep us in padded cells.

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May 2, 2012

Keeping Nature Exactly as Is ... Forever By John Stossel

The human brain is torn between simple intuition and the more complex hard work of figuring out the unintended consequences of any policy. Who doesn't like thinking about trees and greenery and happy animals? Who doesn't want to see steps taken to protect those things, all else being equal? But all else is not equal. Civilization doesn't work when central planners treat each tree as if its value is infinite.

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April 25, 2012

The Assault on Food By John Stossel

Instinct tells us to fear poison. If our ancestors were not cautious about what they put in their mouths, they would not have survived long enough to produce us.

Unfortunately, a side effect of that cautious impulse is that whenever someone claims that some chemical -- or food ingredient, like fat -- is a menace, we are primed to believe it. That makes it easy for government to leap in and play the role of protector.

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April 18, 2012

The Economy Needs No Conductor By John Stossel

We spend too much time waiting for orders -- and money -- from Washington.

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April 11, 2012

Can Government Do Anything Well? By John Stossel

I'm suspicious of superstitions, like astrology or the belief that "green jobs will fix the environment and the economy." I understand the appeal of such beliefs. People crave simple answers and want to believe that some higher power determines our fates.

The most socially destructive superstition of all is the intuitively appealing belief that problems are best solved by government.

Opinion polls suggest that Americans are dissatisfied with government. Yet whenever another crisis hits, the natural human instinct is to say, "Why doesn't the government do something?"

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April 4, 2012

Let's Give the Fed Some Competition By John Stossel

Pssst. Want to buy some Stossels? They’re my own currency with my face on them. Why should you trust them? Because I promise to redeem them for gold. And I’m reliable. I have money in the bank and a job that brings in more than I spend.

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March 28, 2012

Job Killers By John Stossel

Politicians say they "create jobs." In fact, only the private sector generates the information needed to create real, productive jobs.

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March 21, 2012

What Is Fair? By John Stossel

President Obama says he want to make society more fair. Advocates of big government believe fairness means taking from rich people and giving to others: poor people; or people who do things politicians approve of, like making "green" energy equipment (Solyndra); or old people (even rich ones) through Social Security and Medicare.

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March 14, 2012

Complex Societies Need Simple Laws By John Stossel

"If you have 10,000 regulations," Winston Churchill said, "you destroy all respect for law." He was right. But Churchill never imagined a government that would add 10,000 year after year. That's what we have in America. We have 160,000 pages of rules from the feds alone. States and localities have probably doubled that. We have so many rules that legal specialists can't keep up.

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March 7, 2012

Vulture Capitalism By John Stossel

Now that Mitt Romney is likely to be the Republican nominee, we can expect new attacks on his "vulture capitalism." That's how Rick Perry characterized his private equity work. Newt Gingrich's supporters ran an ad about Romney's firm, Bain Capital, that said, "Their greed was only matched by their willingness to do anything to make millions in profits."

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February 29, 2012

Prohibition By John Stossel

Unlike Bill Clinton, President Obama admits he inhaled!. "Frequently," he said. "That was the point."

People laugh when politicians talk about their drug use. The audience laughed during a 2003 CNN Democratic presidential primary debate when John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean admitted smoking weed. 

Yet those same politicians oversee a cruel system that now stages SWAT raids on people's homes more than 100 times a day. People die in these raids -- some weren't even the intended targets of the police.

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February 24, 2012

I Tried to Open a Lemonade Stand By John Stossel

Want to open a business in America? It isn't easy.

In Midway, Ga., a 14-year-old girl and her 10-year-old sister sold lemonade from their front yard. Two police officers bought some. But the next day, different officers ordered them to close their stand.

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February 22, 2012

Politicians Fiddle While Fiscal Crisis Looms By John Stossel

Imagine this family budget:

Last year, you earned $24,700. But you spent $37,900, incurring $13,300 in debt, and you were already $153,500 in debt.

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February 15, 2012

Never Trust Government Numbers By John Stossel

President Obama said in his State of the Union speech, "We've already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings."

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February 8, 2012

Government Can't Make Us Happy By John Stossel

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called the pursuit of happiness an unalienable right. This was a radical idea. For most of history, most people didn't think much about pursuing happiness. They were too busy just trying to survive.

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February 1, 2012

Policing the World By John Stossel

With an election approaching and at least some Americans upset about irresponsible spending, the president has finally expressed a political interest in cutting something. He says the Pentagon will spend "only" $525 billion next year. That's slightly less than the current $531 billion.

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January 25, 2012

The Real State of the Union By John Stossel

Has Barack Obama learned nothing in three years? Last night, during his State of the Union address, he promised "a blueprint for an economy." But economies are crushed by blueprints. An economy is really nothing more than people participating in an unfathomably complex spontaneous network of exchanges aimed at improving their material circumstances. It can't even be diagrammed, much less planned. And any attempt at it will come to grief.