John Stossel

He's wrong about that, too. As I wrote in "Give Me a Break", Jersey City, New Jersey's water tasted foul and failed safety tests. City workers said there wasn't much they could do. In fact, water prices would have to be raised ... just to maintain the lousy service they had.

So Jersey City turned its water system over to a for-profit company. Within months it had fixed the pipes government workers said couldn't be fixed, and for the first time in years, Jersey City's water met the highest cleanliness standard. Taxpayers saved $35 million.

The private company could do it better and cheaper because their skills were honed by constant competition.

Private competitors innovate or die. Government workers do what they did last year. That's why I want the private sector to provide my health care. Pursuit of profit will give us our best medicines and medical devices. I'll pay you $1,000 if you can name one thing government does more efficiently than the private sector.

Moore laughed at me, saying, "You are, like, so Thirteenth Century," but he conceded that America's founding libertarian philosophy has made us a rich and innovative country. "Look at everything we've invented," he told me. "I say to my British friends, can you tell me something you invented in the last 50 years. I mean, what have you given us?"

"Can they come up with anything?" I asked.

"No, they have a hard time. That can-do spirit served us well in building this country."

Served? It still does. And will -- if government would just get out of the way.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate