In 2018, California may vote on leaving the US. Regions around the world want independence from countries that control them. Stossel says if people want to secede—let them!
Many Californians are upset about Donald Trump. Some are so upset that they are working to get a referendum on the ballot in 2018. It would ask Californians if their state should leave the United States and become an independent country — which it once was, back in 1846.
But IF they vote to leave — will the rest of America let them? Maybe not, if Spain's reaction to a similar movement is any guide. A region called Catalonia wants to secede from the rest of Spain. But the Spanish government says that is illegal and sent thousands of police to stop Catalonians from even voting about whether they want to leave. The police brutally assaulted many people trying to vote.
Catalonia's regional Parliament responded with a declaration of independence from Spain — but the Spanish authorities then dissolved the parliament and arrested many leaders who favored secession. Other leaders have fled the country and are trying to convince the EU to give Catalonia independence.
Stossel hopes they succeed, because if people don't want to be governed by their government — and would prefer another — let them choose! It also means more governments, and more competition among governments, which should lead to better laws.
As libertarian Michael Strong puts it, "we need lots of experiments. It's funny — in the world of science, we believe in freedom to experiment; now we need to go to the world of government and believe in freedom to experiment." Published on Nov 7, 2017
Produced by Maxim Lott. Edited by Joshua Swain.
Stossel: Fear vs. Risk (Why We Worry About the Wrong Things)
Life in America is safer than ever. Don’t let the media, and politicians, wreck your Halloween!
On Halloween the media scare people with stories about dangerous costumes and poison candy. Most of the stories are not even true.
Lots of things Americans are scared of pose little risk.
John Stossel goes to Times Square and asks people what scares them. Most answered with low-risk dangers, like sharks, spiders, horses, and plane crashes. Common among the answers was the fear of losing control.
Flying scares many people more than driving. That’s because in cars, we feel in control. But there are more than 90 deaths a day from car crashes. No one’s died in an American commercial plane crash in years.
Stossel says it’s not good to fear so much. Fear is a friend of big government. Politicians use our fear to say, “there ought to be a law!”
Yet life in America is safer than ever. Don’t let the media, and politicians, wreck your Halloween! Published on Oct 31, 2017
Stossel: Blackwater and Erik Prince Do Mostly GOOD
Media slam "profit-seeking" military contractors, yet evidence shows they're more efficient and even helped end piracy in Somalia.
Trump recently agreed to send more troops to Afghanistan, instead of adopting a proposal from military contractor Erik Prince that would have meant fewer troops at a fraction of the cost.
How could it be done so cheaply by private contractors? Erik Prince says private is better because the military -- like all government agencies -- is bloated and bureaucratic.
While government once used 35 people for a helicopter resupply mission, Prince did the same job using only 8.
The government is also inefficient because it fails to adapt. Prince says government uses: "equipment that was designed to fight against the Soviet Union [against] an enemy with pickup trucks and people living in local villages".
Contractors, on the other hand, have to compete. You've probably heard about their mistakes from the media, but you probably haven't heard of the successes, like helping to end piracy in Somalia.Published on Oct 24, 2017
The video has the full story on that, and John asks Erik Prince about the attacks on him and profit in general.
Produced by Maxim Lott. Edited by Josh Swain.
Stossel: Hurricane Reconstruction
Is rebuilding after disasters the government's responsibility?
The recent hurricanes took a heavy toll. The cost of rebuilding will be significant.
Politicians from the areas hit now want tens of billions of dollars in aid.
When disaster strikes, the federal government definitely has a role because the feds control resources like the military and other first responders. After Hurricane Harvey, FEMA housed 42,000 people in 692 shelters. After Irma, 13,000 National Guard soldiers helped rescue and evacuate people. That's the kind of emergency response we expect from the federal government.
But why is rebuilding afterwards the federal government's responsibility? Until recently, businesses and charities handled most disaster response.
In 1906, the massive San Francisco earthquake and fire that followed destroyed 80 percent of the city. The city was rapidly rebuilt because it was done by the private sector, not cumbersome bureaucracies. Companies like Johnson and Johnson shipped in rail cars full of donated medical supplies.
After the great flood of 1916, again, businesses immediately stepped in. The federal government did very little. The midwest recovered.
When massive tornadoes swept through Oklahoma a few years ago, volunteers from a charity, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, used bulldozers to clear tornado debris from more than a thousand homes. The charity's director, Sam Porter, said "I don't think there's any kind of disaster that can take place that the non-profit and faith-based groups cannot take care of."
Whether that's true or not, there's no doubt that the private sector does a better job than government. Federal rebuilding creates moral hazards that lead to expectations of even more government help.Published on Oct 17, 2017
Produced by Naomi Brockwell. Edited by Joshua Swain.
Stossel: Baby Salmon Threatened?
CNN reports that the Alaskan Pebble Mine will destroy the wilderness. Stossel exposed this lie two years ago.
CNN just released a two-part "exclusive" on the potential disaster about to befall Alaska: EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is planning to let a mining company destroy pristine Bristol Bay.
The network reported that after a secret meeting took place between Pruitt and Pebble Mining CEO Tom Collier, the agency approved a mine that previously had been rejected by the Obama administration for being too destructive.
In fact, Obama's EPA denied the application to build Pebble Mine before it even saw an environmental impact statement. Pruitt is simply allowing the normal review process to move forward.
CNN made that look like a scandal. The real scandal is CNN's smear.Published on Oct 13, 2017
Produced and edited by Naomi Brockwell.
Stossel: The Working Rich Improve Our Lives
Democrats complain GOP tax plan mostly helps rich people who already “take” wealth from others. Do they, really?Published on Nov 28, 2017
Stossel: Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving! But before you eat that turkey, thank private property! Without it, Thanksgiving would be "Starvation Day." Here's why...