John Stossel recently released his new book "No They Can't: Why Government Fails - But Individuals Succeed" in opposition to the Obama campaign slogan of "Yes We Can". To promote his book John has been doing speaking tours, and one of the stops along the way was today at Southern Methodist University.
His book is a cry for an end to the vast number of regulations and laws passed by government on an almost daily basis; laws that keep piling up to a point where even the most educated lawyers and tax professionals don't even understand them. As such, today's event inevitably attracted many liberty minded and politically active people; particularly a sizable group of Ron Paul supporters showed up flaunting their Ron Paul buttons, T-shirts and pamphlets.
John Stossel even mentioned Ron Paul during his speech, in a supportive manner, which prompted applause from the audience. John also opened up the floor to questions, giving answers promoting smaller government, Libertarian candidates, and his non-profit organization: Stossel in the Classroom - for which he deservedly received a standing ovation. He also noted that while he thinks many taxes could be done away with, he didn't agree that all taxation was robbery, rather necessary to insure government is there to enforce the laws.
The most convincing argument he used for his ideals was Hong Kong; a country that went from an impoverishment to great economic success in just 50 years. Hong Kong accomplished this without any natural resources or special help from the outside world, other than the British Empire enforcing the rule of law while otherwise leaving them alone. In this environment the people of Hong Kong were able to innovate and grow on their own into the major economic force they are today.
While signing books John mentioned that while he used to attack big corporations for their misdeeds and mistakes, he started to recognize that this was not necessarily the root cause of many of the problems he saw. After reading Reason Magazine he realized the real problem had more to do with large government handing out favors, creating regulations that make it harder for new business to start - keeping competition away from big businesses - and putting otherwise peaceful people in jail.
Overall everyone seemed to enjoy the event with the auditorium filled to capacity by obvious fans, and Mr. Stossel talking with them smiling for the camera as they got their pictures taken together.