John Stossel

The data make that obvious. Poverty in Nigeria and Pakistan is often blamed on "overpopulation." Nigeria has 174 people per square mile! Pakistan 225! But so what? Wealthy Holland has 483 people per square mile. Hong Kong, 6,783. Singapore, 7,252. These are among the richest places in the world. They also have clean environments. When there is the rule of law and economic freedom, more people means more inventions, the cross-pollination of ideas -- and that creates better lives.

Another myth is that we're running out of fuel. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter said gas and oil would be gone in the next decade. Others said by 2000 or 2010.

It didn't happen because as oil and gas get expensive, people search for substitutes. When they are free to profit by doing that, they invent new ways to dig deeper, suck more oil out of the same wells, etc. America now has stores of much more oil and gas than when Carter was president.

There are so many myths. I wrote my new book when I realized that the most dangerous myth is that solutions to our problems will most likely come from government. It's intuitive to think that the wise people in Washington know more than we do. Therefore, they should plan our lives. But the opposite is true.

People freed to pursue their own interests are more likely to solve problems. Government fails, but individuals succeed. Individuals would create prosperity if politicians and bureaucrats got out of the way.

It is time we saw through the big government scam.

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