Next Show: ...loading...

Repeat After Me, John Stossel: Government Regulation is Often Necessary!

July 21, 2010

My debate with “consumer advocate” and radical libertarian John Stossel on FOX is below. Here’s what we did get to say, prior to the debate being cut short, due to a press conference with Robert Gibbs:

Remember this?

Watch the clip from 6 minutes in to the end.

It was June 1, and I said to Mike Gallagher: “Repeat after me: Government regulation is often necessary. You can’t trust corporations to police themselves.” (Mike wouldn’t repeat.)

The segment ends with me saying, “Newly minted socialist Mike Gallagher and Bobby Jindal. Now you want the Government to clean up your mess.”

This clip frames my debate with John Stossel. Does John Stossel agree philosophically that Government regulation is often necessary? That you can’t always trust corporations to police themselves? Or does he think the free market always solves these problems?

Today, Obama is signing the most sweeping financial reform regulation since the Great Depression. Does Stossel think that the SEC was working just fine under Bush? That Wall Street adequately policed itself in that era?

Today, we have finally a capped a will spewing more than a million gallons of oil daily into the Gulf. Does Stossel think that BP adequately policed itself? Or did we need more effective Government regulation?

I remember watching John Stossel at one point target the FDA. The FDA! Does he really think the free market can handle tainted meat? Does he really want arsenic to be sold openly to the public (next to the candy aisles perhaps)?

Maybe he’s against traffic lights too? (damned Government regulation!) And laws banning lead in children’s toys? Laws banning air and water pollution?

Is there anything he thinks the Government does right?

I will readily concede there are times when Government regulation — like any good thing — goes too far. But, as a general principle, repeat after me, “Government regulation is often necessary. You can’t trust corporations to police themselves.”

C’mon Stossel. You won’t say it. Will ya?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

  • Robt August 1, 2010 6:46 pm

    Hello Mark,
    Seems like you made a very reasonable point over certain Gov’t regulations. I notice in the video how the opposing view is defended and adopted from the FOX (mediator). She ends up supporting the ideological line instead of the obvious facts.

    As in the comments above by Steve, ” oh so government should run everything” .You state sometimes and certain Gov’t regulations and Steve somehow hears you want Gov’t to run everything? Steve takes the position that Gov’t needs to be removed entirely as does your opponent in the video (Mike Galleger) does. As Steve also denounces you when he argues, ” whats traffic lights got to do with it”. Steve projects a utopia thought that those traffic lights materialize and maintain themselves and life would be better without them. That maybe corporations pay for them but certainly tax payers should not or do not.
    I often do we here this over simplified sliver of an argument that is supposed to rectify any problem issue in society? No Gov’t cannot solve everything, No Gov’t does not have all the answers and yes Gov’t does fail. Show me any free market that works? Show me any business left to itself with absolutely no Gov’t that survives? What do people think lobbyists do and who they work for? How much money do people think corporations spend for favoritism that gives them the upper hand on other businesses?
    Who protects corporations and who makes trade deals with other countries to protect these corporations when the outsource their production to foreign lands? And of course, who do they think is in the military that become the blunt instrument to protect these corporate entities in foreign lands with their lives?

    The GOP propaganda that Gov’t is always bad must have them very confused. If Gov’t is so bad, why do republicans want to be in Gov’t and have Gov;t power? They want Gov’t to get between a woman and her doctor over Abortion but Gov’t should not set safety standards for a mining company (industry) which finds profit in the deaths of its workers over the safety implementations of life saving devices and safe practices that Yes, may cost some and may take more managerial conscience and effort for the huge salaries and bonus’s they receive. But I guarantee you, as with the BP explosion and their safety negligence. If it was Steve’s brother or father that was killed ion that oil platform when it blew and he found evidence of corporate greed of safety that caused the death. It would mean more and he would want courts and judges (paid for by tax payers) to be that Gov’t that could resolve his law suit. And he would sue. If he thinks he would have a chance against a multi-national corporate giant with their battery of attorneys by himself in the world without Gov’t, then he would be mistaken and I hope he would never have to experience something of that nature to understand.

    How many times a day does the right in this country propagate the ideal of, Gov’t needs to get out of the way” Gov’t needs to be small enough to drown in the bath tub” etc.
    Who do you think is going to do the drowning and how does a big country like America defend its Constitution against corporate interests that are huge obstacles to their vision of what America should be like. Like China? Somalia? The corporate world has no heart felt ties to the American Flag! Our Constitution! How we fought and died for our freedoms. As long as they make the profits and reap the exorbitant benefits of Americas resources, they can live well in Brazil or Europe when America’s economy is trashed.

    The wealthy care nothing of civil rights, constitutional laws. They are above these laws and have been. TARP told me that the economy doesn’t only belong to the Elite Wall Street Banksters that are superior to me from inherited DNA. The CEO of Goldman Sachs did not create Goldman Sachs but his outrageous pay we are told is because those like him created their business, BS! That they are the risk taker, BS again when you see that they belly up to the Fed Reserve teller window and get free money to in turn charge us to use? They didn’t take any risks because TARP gave them insurance coverage for their losses. That isn’t risking what they have that is gambling with our money and keeping any winnings yet sticking us with the losses.

    So these so called risk takers really do not risk anything themselves. And when by no fault of your own, your employer lays you off permanently and there are no jobs to be found, its your fault. you should have seen it coming, pick yourself up by your lazy boot straps and get off the Gov’t trough of Unemployment INSURANCE? Did AIG get of f the Gov’t gravy train trough? But AIG is more of a human than I am? And more deserving. They never had to look for work, the GOP showered them with cash.
    It is not that the Democrats spend or the republicans want to cut. It is where the Republicans want to spend and where the Dems want to spend.

    I have a couple of examples for you from the real conservative state of Nebraska.

    House Rep (or) lee Terry has this proposal he wants to pass real bad. It will have Gov;R funding to build a ethanol pipeline to the east coast. This will ease the distribution costs for the corn ethanol growers and ethanol production plants here in Nebraska. He feels it would create jobs and aid in the oil consumption. All that seems OK. But Tax payer flip the tab on building it and pay to maintain it while the ethanol producers reap the profits. Sure there may be some job creation and that is good.
    Now consider (R) rep Lee Terry’s ideology and conservative/republican stances and voting record. He voted for TARP but tantrumed at the Stimulus. Gov’t needs to stay out of health care but said he had a plan Dems spot on that opened up the same insurance opportunity as Congress has. he didn’t know how people would afford his health plan and hinted at Gov’t subsidies. But no idea how to pay for it. For him health care was socialism that should be forbidden to those that are not in congress.
    Just so you understand his irreconcilable ideological differences inside himself.
    The ethanol pipeline sounds interesting for Gov’t stimulus (which he wants Obama to put the rest of down on the debt and cut spending). Its OK for him to spend money where he wants (in Nebraska) but the auto battery plants in Michigan are socialism.
    Now our Senators and house reps all worked on funding for a new VA hospital building and a VA cemetery here in Nebraska. That spending is OK. Actually, its OK with me too.

    Then there is this example, From a truly deep red Nebraska
    -Where Gov’t can’t do anything right.
    -Gov’t regulations are all horribly intrusive, costly, and hurt business.
    -Has Tea party and republican/conservatives in a frenzy over socialism.
    -Corporations have the public interest at best heart always. etc etc.
    -cit taxes, cut spending period. do nothing else the scream.
    From our local paper comes the report “More info is best”, that all Nebraska Senators, House Reps Governor on down want Gov’t funded involvement.

    They have introduced legislation to extend national livestock mandatory price reporting for 5 years. It will also set up a Gov’t system to include pork and dairy products.
    (There has been a similar system in place since 2000 but is lacking). Their response is not cut and get Gov’t out of the way. Oh No!

    These producers complain the lack of appropriate understanding of market conditions because of such a large chunk of the prices were NOT publicly disclosed mainly because of business’s private arraignments in the original system set up by them at the cost of tax payers. The system is to provide better transparency and certainty for the livestock producers (not the consumers). Many producers say they need to know clear pricing information on their livestock to know about contracts, supply and demand.

    Now all that sounds reasonable until you talk to a republican/conservative on the general subject of Gov’t’s role in America’s domestic arena. Do you follow this, Am I not right?
    Because these are the same folks after being for bailouts of Wall Street, were vehemently against Obama for his Stimulus. Yet the states took the money quietly as possible. Our Rep/Conservative Governor who touts the Fed Gov’t should balance budgets like the states very quietly took stimulus money because of the states short falls wanted to cut teachers and police. Not a word about his large staff or the fact if you have less police you do not need as many Judges sitting on benches waiting for a case. They won’t downsize the judgeships and force them to hold Court on Saturdays and Sundays with less judges.
    So you see, these conservative Nebraska congressmen and business spend Gov’t money and want Gov’t in their lives. They just think that Gov’t is only there for them and not the public. Republicans have not learned a single economic thing from their economic policies and legislations over the Bush years that brinked collapse of our economy. No remorse what so ever? Yet they are pay rolling more hacks to convince Americans it is all liberal socialistic Gov’t intruding Marxist, Muslim, NAZI, Communist non American Obama supporters that are doing something to you?

    They said Obama was not American Born, then it was He was born in Hawaii but Hawaii is not a state, then the state of Hawaii is lying. Obama was coming for your guns. As their panic drove them to stockpile ammo and the stores could not keep ammo on the shelves fast enough, it was an Obama plan to stop ammo sales. So who still possesses their guns that Obama has not confiscated them from yet?

    I would like to ask of you, next time you are facing a Mike Galleger over Gov’t regulations and corporate responsibility.

    I already know they think all NON republican Americans are not responsible and only non republicans who are down on their luck deserve it because of being lazy.
    But ask your opponent next time, Since Bush cut the regulations and corporations were self regulating, Where was, where is there personal responsibility to Americans, themselves, the world, the environment that the utilize the resources to produce their products, to the public that either lives and or earns their paychecks from said environment.
    Show me where Contrywide, ENRON, Wall Street, BP and the long list all the way back to the Savings and loans debacle to the Great Depression. Where is and where was their personal responsibility?

    Personal responsibility to show they did not have to be put on restriction like a drug experimenting stealing for excitement little misguided child that needed extra parental guidance, intervention and supervision?

    By the way, if Goldman Sachs CEO can simply settle his criminal offense with a monetary settlement with funds from such criminal activity. Why is it still illegal to rob a bank and if I get caught. Simply pay out a cash settlement to the bank with the funds I earned robbing all the banks I had been robbing from, and walk away free with my spoils and tell the media I did nothing wrong?

    A problem the GOP loyalists opposing you have is that when you speak about the deaths in the mining and BP’s platform explosions. They ignore that as a person drive drink and could be intoxicated to the point they are unaware of their actions. If they hit someone while driving impaired like that it is no excuse and there is no sympathy for the driver if he killed someone in that condition.
    But if a wealthy businessman with the power to perform safe or not, take obvious precautions or cut corners to pocket more money. There is NO line drawn to hold them accountable? Criminal Negligence doesn’t apply to a certain wealth class? Indeed, the Gov’t doesn’t hold these truths to be self evident (yet). AS, we are all created equal and equal justice under the law and the law is blind and non partisan? Poppycock !

    And Mark, I know, buts thats why they call it the Hail Mary cause it goes long.


    Jave you considered passing some of your better audo clips to the “Best of the Left”.

    You do have some that would fit nicely with what they produce. it could help with some PR and recognition awareness. Well anyways, there you are.

  • steve brandt sr July 23, 2010 2:52 am

    oh and mark , the crash in housing started in 1996 .. check it out.. HUD ! clinton ! loans made that people couldnt pay back and time. add all that up and see what you have !

  • steve brandt sr July 23, 2010 2:51 am

    oh so government should run everything right mark ? theres a think as “too much” government .well maybe not if your in russia or want to think for yourself ! whats traffic lights got to do with it …