John Stossel

But there really isn’t anywhere else.

We Americans feel entitled, too. We work longer and harder than Europeans, but American students say they are entitled to government loans; industries and their friends in politics insist that housing, agriculture, energy and all sorts of other businesses deserve subsidies; and most everyone expects health care to be free, or nearly free. Many politicians tell people that’s all possible, and some promise more.

But that just moves us closer to the cliff.

Why don’t we learn? Because there are problems that must be solved, and politicians act so interested in our welfare that we believe them when they say, “Yes, we can.” But the educated response to “Yes, we can” is “No, they can’t.” Not when “they” means government.

Our government should be a fraction of the size it is now. Its girth is the result of electioneering politicians who promise the moon to gullible voters while using debt to push the costs onto our children and grandchildren.

Politicians can dream of guaranteed incomes and free medical care, but as economist Friedrich Hayek wrote in “The Fatal Conceit”: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

But saying that government can’t solve our problems is not to say that humanity cannot solve them. When people and markets are left free, we manage to prosper.

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 > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate