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No, They Can't: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 10, 2012
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“As an introduction to a way of looking at the world, No, They Can't is superb. In about 300 highly readable pages, Mr. Stossel whips through countless topics, explaining for each why libertarians think the government does more harm than good.” --The Washington Times
"I love No They Can't. This book sends a message that people need to read.”--Senator Mike Lee
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The second chart, from the Cato Institute, shows the "inflation-adjusted cost of a complete K-12 education, and percent change in achievement of 17-year-olds, since 1970." Costs have gone way up, while reading and math scores, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, have been essentially flat.
Another eye-opener in the book's chapter on education is about how what Mr. Stossel calls government schools "are now more racially segregated than private schools." He writes, "University of Arkansas education professor Jay Greene examined a national sample of school classrooms and found that public schools were significantly more likely to be almost entirely white or entirely minority. In another study, he looked at who sat with whom in school lunchrooms. At private schools, students of different races were more likely to sit together."
I also appreciated the dose of skepticism from Mr. Stossel about his colleagues in the television news industry: "Emmys are silly awards that the liberal media give to people who confirm their anticapitalist attitudes. I won nineteen Emmys before I moved to Fox. I don't win them anymore."
Mr.Read more ›
The facts in this book are generally accurate. Of course, not every argument in this book is strictly factual; there are some value-laden elements. And generally speaking Stossel values individual liberty. Stossel is highly consistent in his defense of individualism/Libertarianism, and this puts him at odds with Conservatives and in sympathy with Welfare State Liberals (on wars-national defense). As such, most potential readers will find something to disagree with here, but this should makes this book a more interesting read. So this book should benefit most anyone interested in economics or public policy. The cost (in terms of money and reading time) is also reasonable.
Most of all, Stossel has considerable charm as a writer and knows how to get his point across. The subject of this book is economics from an Austrian point of view, applied to today's economic scene. Stossel knows that free market economics is a hard sell, because its effects are somewhat indirect and not always visible. Every time he introduces a subject, he acknowledges that the tendency to rely on government appeals to common sense, while the viewpoint he is promoting seems like a vote against progress and the redress of social injustices.
Herein lies his skill as a communicator. He is perhaps the most effective spokesperson for the free market view, and this book - to those who actually read it - is very convincing. Unlike angry, hyperbolic conservatives, he always includes the arguments of those whose views are more widely believed - and taught in schools - the progressive, pro-government position. And then he explains the complexities of economics.
Expressed in the briefest possible form; these are the complexities inherent in classical (or Austrian) economics: the fact that every attempt to stack the economic deck in favor of some group or some disadvantaged minority has unseen side effects that hurt us all. That last sentence sounds abstract and theoretical, but that's only because I lack Stossel's ability to use specific examples and explain this law of unintended consequences in a clear, step-by-step manner. Telling personal anecdotes, he comes across as a humble but principled guy - almost like the hero of a Frank Capra movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Whether you are liberal or conservative this is a must read to understand the Libertarian principals. Easy to read and incredibly informative. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Victor K.
A really well written book, My only complaint is I have watched many a Stossel episode on Fox Buiness so it can be kinda repetitive if your a big Stossel fanPublished 1 month ago by dan
Great read but if you are familiar with John Stossel's reporting over the past 15 years or so you will find you know and understand much of the good information already. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Zac DeG
Is certainly not written in an academic style and sometimes you would like to know the source/evidence. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Thoms
John Stossel is the best! I watch him on TV and had to read his book, it did not disappoint.Published 3 months ago by Abigail H
Typical of Stossel's libertarian views he circles major issues and offers reasonable solutions. While I don't agree with some libertarian theories you have to admit that the media... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Todd Gutschow