No They Cant: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed

By Fischer, Raymond L. | USA TODAY, July 2012 | Go to article overview

No They Cant: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed


Fischer, Raymond L., USA TODAY


NO THEY CANT Why Government Fails--but Individuals Succeed

BY JOHN STOSSEL

THRESHOLD EDITIONS, NEW YORK

2012, 306 PAGES, $27.00

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

John Stossel, a libertarian who believes in freedom of action and thought, echoes Henry David Thoreau: "government is best which governs least ... or not at all" Stossel considers himself a skeptic, "suspicious of superstitions," the worst of which is the "intuitively appealing belief that when there is a problem, government action is the best way to solve it." He believes "what government usually does is to make the problem worse and leave us deeper in debt." For every problem the government professes to solve, it invariably creates new ones. If government did nothing, "the miraculous self-correcting mechanisms of the market would mitigate most problems with more finesse and far less cost" In 2008, Democrats ran on the theme "Yes We Can." Stossel says, "No They Can't." In this book, he attempts to prove his stand.

The author hosts "Stossel," his own one-hour weekly Fox Business Network show as well as a series of one-hour specials on Fox News. He appears as a regular on "The O'Reilly Factor" and other Fox News shows. During his 30 years in journalism, Stossel has received 19 Emmy Awards, and five times the National Press Club has honored him for excellence in consumer reporting. Stossel authored two previous books, both New York Times best sellers for several weeks.

Critical of almost everything the government does, Stossel attacks the 160,000-page Code of Federal Regulations containing all the final regulatory rules under which we live; Congress adds several thousand new pages each year. He believes subsidies and regulations created the U.S. housing bubble--easy mortgage terms and guarantees produced an unsustainable housing debacle. He attributes the problems to "crony capitalism, sometimes termed Crapitalism," by which a cozy relationship between government and big business shaped the marketplace. Change can come not by electing a different president or a different Congress, but by "switching to competitive, efficiency-seeking incentives of the free market."

The Constitution limits government's power to interfere with people and their properly--thus it is "on the side of the free market." Under genuine capitalism, individuals make their own choices--everybody wins or the trade never happens. Throughout the book, Stossel proposes to solve most problems by showing how much better a voluntary free market is than government by force. Libertarians do not oppose all rules--"only top-down rules ... that allow a few people to force rules on millions of people."

After years of study, Stossel concludes unions have created a major problem for business. What galls him most are labor laws that grant unions an effective monopoly on jobs and force workers to join. Union dues often go to candidates promising to perpetuate union power and advantage. He especially dislikes teachers' unions--"we will never have a good educational system if we cannot fire bad teachers."

The author would change the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After the bill passed in 1990, employers hired fewer disabled individuals to avoid lawsuits: "lawyers feed off the ADA" Stossel also would change the minimum wage laws. "Only two percent of American workers earn the minimum wage" because at $7.25 an hour, employers can not afford to hire them. Wage minimums tell employers: "Don't give a beginner a chance."

Stossel's faith in free enterprise encompasses fixing health care. In response to ObamaCare, Stossel believes "health care is too important NOT to be disciplined by market competition." Understandably, health care has risen more than twice the rate of inflation--"when someone else pays, costs go up." Threatening bankruptcy within entitlements ("Medicare is a Ponzi scheme") poses the "biggest threat to America's future.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

No They Cant: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.