John Stossel & Commentary
Home     Back
-- The Soviet Union operated under strict Communism for 79 years
-- Privatize Everything - 11/06/13

 The Soviet Union operated under strict Communism for 79 years. In the mean time, relying on individual initiative and the opportunity to use that ability, the West literally swamped the Communist systems. As soon as the Soviet Union split apart the satellite nations, having become independent, clamored to join the west. Their economies grew by leaps and bounds over the previous central controlled Communist systems.

Yet, in America, we now have millions of little Marxist pouring out of out universities ran by covert Marxist professors, then there are some that are not covert at all.

Stossel tells us of how continuing to do things the way American has for 230 years will continue to work out:

 Privatize Everything

November 6, 2013     by John Stossel

The market is fine for some things, people will say, but other activities are too important to be left to the market.

Or too complicated.

Or too fundamental to our democracy.

I say: Privatize everything.

To some of you, that will sound callous -- but failure to privatize services, keeping them in government hands instead, is what impoverishes and kills people. Nothing compassionate about that.

There are all sorts of services that people think the market can't handle. It's like they have some sort of mental block. President Obama says that without government, we can't put out fires. But almost half the people government pays to fight wildfires work for private companies. In parts of America, private companies also put out house fires. They get to the fire sooner.

The city of Sandy Springs, Ga., contracted out most of its services. Residents were surprised to notice that the streets got cleaned faster, and traffic lights were synchronized. It's not that the old government workers were lazy -- they just didn't have the same incentive to find better ideas. They figured they'd never lose the job if they just did what they'd always done.

Some things ought to be done by government: things like running courts, policing pollution and protecting the border. But most everything else should be left to private actors.

Government offers guarantees on paper and promises in speeches. But government rarely delivers. Private companies did brilliant Internet work for President Obama's election campaign. But when it came to his health insurance website, the president put government in charge. We saw the result.

Markets aren't perfect, but they allow for a world where prudence is rewarded and sloth punished, a world in which more people take risks and innovate. That's a world where people prosper.

Some prosper instead of waiting -- and sometimes dying -- while hoping government will eventually get things right.

Take organ donations.

Regulations forbid buying and selling organs, so the market cannot operate. Desperate patients must wait and hope someone gives out of sheer generosity, that someone dies at just the right time, and that hospital administrators bump their case to the top of the list.

In the U.S., 100,000 people are on waiting lists for kidneys. Kidneys make up 80 percent of the organ shortage. We have two kidneys but only need one. Donors could save many lives, but not enough choose to donate. By contrast, in Iran, there's often a waiting line of willing donors . That's because in Iran, it's legal to sell organs. It's the rare thing that Iran does right.

People still buy and sell organs even when it's illegal, so we get headlines like "Girl smuggled into Britain to have her 'organs harvested”. Surely, it is better if organ exchanges -- like any other exchanges -- take place voluntarily.

In America, we let people sell blood. And sperm. And eggs. Why not kidneys? Why do politicians recoil at the idea of a legal market? Fry-Revere says, "I think it's just, old habits die hard."

Home   Top