Friday, March 13, 2009

A timely critique of bailout bull

Tonight Libertarian John Stossel is doing a 20/20 special called “Bailouts and Bull.”

Allied with comedian Drew Carey, the preview suggests that the two men present a consistently Libertarian view guaranteed to alternately infuriate the right and left . They argue against a government role

  • suppressing California’s marijuana decriminalization (aka “medical marijuana”)
  • spending money on a border fence (ignoring the Milton Friedman critique)
  • Obama’s new Federal spending on (and control of) preschool (quoting angry parents who claim to be able to educate their kids better)
  • publicly owned highways
Carey (and Stossel) argue that the government shouldn’t be the first solution for all societal problems. Carey has been making this point in a series of videos for Reason.TV.

Carey concluded:
We don’t say, “Well the government needs to run these diners because I’m sick of getting a bad cheese sandwich — If the government ran it, it would be so much better.”

You’d be afraid for your life if the government ran the diners. You would think “Oh no I’d never get another good cheeseburger again if the government ran the diners” because the government screws everything up.
Interviewed earlier this week, Stossel criticized the bailout by saying “look at what happened with something — maybe we should give nothing a chance.” He then quoted the Reason.TV video about using stimulus when “economies have performance issues.”

20/20: 10pm (9pm Central) on your local ABC station.

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