Curmudgeonalia
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August 15, 2008

Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity

Get out the shovel-Why everything you know is wrong
John Stossel – ISBN – 9781401302542

Those familiar with Stossel know what to expect, and he delivers again. For the unfamiliar, it’s a great time to introduce yourself.

The man is a wonder. He began as a rather typical left-leaning commentator and consumer advocate, out to intimidate corporations and celebrate the role of government in regulating business. He discovered to his surprise and chagrin that he was 180 degrees wrong, and has become a stout, even rigid libertarian who touts the free markets at every turn. Bright man, that!

He destroys myriad myths with facts, comments on how wrong most are about most things. Even a “classic liberal” can learn something, such as the reason Helen Keller was a bad driver. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was a woman. Imagine! (He has a sense of humor, too.)

Amongst myriad things he observes that our “government has grown from the founders’ vision to a monster that sustains itself with constantly increasing taxes, endless meddling, and ever-greater intrusion into what was once private life.” He uses chapters of one to several page assaults to prove it, discussing Dems and Repubs . . . both bad; farm subsidies, PBS, “helping” the needy, “model” behavior of public officials, etc.

He destroys the concept of good public schools, noting that even at the obscene and ever-growing $10,000 per child—which is $250,000 per classroom—schools still fail to educate, and emphasizes the fact that “more money” was supposed to cure the problem . . . and that was before the spending level of $5,000 per child, which was long ago. He does observe that “underpaid” teachers earn an average of $60,000 per year, which is hardly a pittance, especially for a 9 month year, a 6-7 hour day with every week-end, holiday and teacher’s conference “off.” That said, good teachers are still underpaid, however few that might be.

The whole book is filled with such commentary. All of it is logical and corroborated by fact.

As I’ve noted before, many times, one can debate the implications and uses of the facts, but one is not entitled to his own facts. Stossel does a superb job of outlining the facts and offering his interpretations of them . . . and I do agree with him on most of his conclusions. So will you if you read this tome carefully.

Posted by respeto at August 15, 2008 3:12 PM