John Stossel

Assuming government stays out of the way. Our current "leaders" are full of promises about "protecting" workers and industries, creating new "green" industries, and starting worker-retraining programs. For example, Hillary Clinton promises government support for "research (to) stimulate the development of new technologies and life-saving medicines [http://tinyurl.com/37zo3s]." Mitt Romney wants "to initiate a bold, far-reaching research initiative -- an Energy Revolution, if you will. It will be our generation's equivalent of the Manhattan Project or the mission to the moon [http://tinyurl.com/3a92ut]."

The media lap it up, apparently believing that no one will produce unless our wise leaders create an inducement. Nonsense.

The market would deliver the goods if government doesn't impose crippling regulations and tax away everyone's capital to fund its coercive utopian schemes. I like what Henry David Thoreau once said: "This government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way."

George Mason University economist Alexander Tabarrok has another way to demonstrate the benefits of spreading prosperity. Tabarrok wrote in Forbes [http://tinyurl.com/32hqw3] recently that the bigger the market, the more worthwhile it is for companies to make products that require costly research and development, such as medicines and chemicals. As the Chinese and Indians become more able to buy things, businesses everywhere will find it profitable to make products that yesterday weren't profitable enough. The result will be cures for diseases and other products that make our lives better.

Tabarrok takes this a step further: "Amazingly, there are only about 6 million scientists and engineers in the entire world, nearly a quarter of whom are in the U.S. Poverty means that millions of potentially world-class scientists today spend their lives trying to eke out a subsistence living, rather than leading mankind's charge into the future. But if the world as a whole were as wealthy as the U.S. and were devoting the same share of population to research and development, there would be more than five times as many scientists and engineers worldwide."

When it comes to being wealthy, the more the merrier.


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