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Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media... Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media... by John Stossel
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Give Me a Break Quotes (showing 1-11 of 11)
“Natural gas is highly explosive, invisible, poisonous, and odorless. Yet we accept natural gas, even though it kills not two but 400 Americans a year, because it was introduced before we got crazy about risk. We accept coal, even though mining it is nasty and filthy and kills dozens of people every year. By contrast, we're terrified of nuclear energy. Chernobyl, the worst nuclear power disaster ever, killed only 30 people. Some say the radiation may eventually kill others, but even if that's true, natural gas kills more people every year.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“On September 11, it was government that failed. Law enforcement agencies didn't detect the plot. The FBI had reports that said young men on the terrorist watch list were going from flight school to flight school, trying to find an instructor who would teach them how to fly a commercial jet. But the FBI never acted on it. The INS let the hijackers in. Three of them had expired visas. Months after the attack, the government issued visas to two dead hijackers.
The solution to such government incompetence is to give the government more power?
Congress could have done what Amsterdam, Belfast, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Paris, and Rome did: set tough standards and let private companies compete to meet them. Many of those cities switched to private companies because they realized government-run security wasn't working very well. Private-sector competition keeps the screeners alert because the airport can fire them. No one can fire the government; that's a reason government agencies gradually deteriorate. There's no competition.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“If overpopulation or lack of resources created poverty, then Hong Kong should be poor. Hong Kong has 20 times as many people per square mile as India, and no valuable natural resources. Yet Hong Kong is rich; the average income there is higher than in Great Britain or Canada. This is a recent development. In the 1920s, Hong Kong was as poor as India. But in a relatively short time it became rich because of one key ingredient: economic freedom.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“We began the show by asking: Who did more for the world, Michael Milken or Mother Teresa?
This seems like a no-brainer. Milken is the greedy junk-bond king. One year, his firm paid him $550 million. Then he went to jail for breaking securities laws. Mother Teresa is the nun who spent her lifetime helping the poor and died without a penny. Her good deeds live on even after her death; several thousand sisters now continue the charities she began. At first glance, of course Mother Teresa did more for the world.
But it's not so simple. Milken's selfish pursuit of profit helped a lot of people, too. Think about it: By pioneering a new way for companies to raise money, Milken created millions of jobs. The ignorant media sneered at 'junk bonds', but Milken's innovative use of them meant exciting new ideas flourished.
We now make calls on a national cellular network established by a company called McCaw Cellular, which Milken financed. And our calls are cheaper because Milken's junk bonds financed MCI. CEO Bill McGowan simply couldn't get the money anywhere else. Without Milken, MCI wouldn't have grown from 11 to 50,000 employees. CNN's 24-hour news and Ted Turner's other left-wing ventures were made possible by Milken's 'junk'.
The world's biggest toy company, Mattel, the cosmetics company Revlon, and the supermarket giant Safeway were among many rescued from bankruptcy by Milken's junk bonds. He financed more than 3,000 companies, including what are now Barnes & Noble, AOL Time Warner, Comcast, Mellon Bank, Occidental Petroleum, Jeep Eagle, Calvin Klein, Hasbro, Days Inn, 7-Eleven, and Computer Associates. Millions of people have productive employment today because of Michael Milken. (Millions of jobs is hard to believe, and when 'Greed' aired, I just said he created thousands of jobs; but later I met Milken, and he was annoyed with me because he claimed he'd created millions of jobs. I asked him to document that, to name the companies and the jobs, and he did.)”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“Cornelius Vanderbilt and his fellow tycoon John D. Rockefeller were often called 'robber barons'. Newspapers said they were evil, and ran cartoons showing Vanderbilt as a leech sucking the blood of the poor. Rockefeller was depicted as a snake. What the newspapers printed stuck--we still think of Vanderbilt and Rockefeller as 'robber barons'. But it was a lie. They were neither robbers nor barons. They weren't robbers, because they didn't steal from anyone, and they weren't barons--they were born poor.
Vanderbilt got rich by pleasing people. He invented ways to make travel and shipping things cheaper. He used bigger ships, faster ships, served food onboard. People liked that. And the extra volume of business he attracted allowed him to lower costs. He cut the New York--Hartford fare from $8 to $1. That gave consumers more than any 'consumer group' ever has.
It's telling that the 'robber baron' name-calling didn't come from consumers. It was competing businessmen who complained, and persuaded the media to join in.
Rockefeller got rich selling oil. First competitors and then the government called him a monopolist, but he wasn't--he had competitors. No one was forced to buy his oil. Rockefeller enticed people to buy it by selling it for less. That's what his competitors hated. He found cheaper ways to get oil from the ground to the gas pump. This made life better for millions. Working-class people, who used to go to bed when it got dark, could suddenly afford fuel for their lanterns, so they could stay up and read at night.
Rockefeller's greed might have even saved the whales, because when he lowered the price of kerosene and gasoline, he eliminated the need for whale oil. The mass slaughter of whales suddenly stopped. Bet your kids won't read 'Rockefeller saved the whales' in environmental studies class.
Vanderbilt's and Rockefeller's goal might have been just to get rich. But to achieve that, they had to give us what we wanted.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“When I was a kid, my mother thought spinach was the healthiest food in the world because it contained so much iron. Getting enough iron was a big deal then because we didn't have 'iron-fortified' bread. Turns out that spinach is an okay source of iron, but no better than pizza, pistachio nuts, cooked lentils, or dried peaches. The spinach-iron myth grew out of a simple mathematical miscalculation: A researcher accidentally moved a decimal point one space, so he thought spinach had 10 times more iron than it did. The press reported it, and I had to eat spinach.
Moving the decimal point was an honest mistake--but it's seldom that simple. If it happened today I'd suspect a spinach lobby was behind it. Businesses often twist science to make money. Lawyers do it to win cases. Political activists distort science to fit their agenda, bureaucrats to protect their turf. Reporters keep falling for it.
Scientists sometimes go along with it because they like being famous.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“In the late '80s and early '90s, the media used a few small studies of babies born of cocaine-addicted mothers to convince America that thousands of children were permanently damaged...
It isn't true. It turns out there is no proof that crack babies do worse than anyone else. In fact, they do better, on average, than children born of alcoholic mothers...
It wasn't until several years later that the myth started to unravel. Emory University psychologist Claire Coles had her graduate students spend hours observing 'crack babies' and normal babies. Her students did not see what Chasnoff had seen. In fact, they were unable to tell which children had been exposed to cocaine.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“A group called the Food Research and Action Center wants the government to spend more on food programs. Sure enough, their study found that astonishing numbers of children were 'hungry': 'One in four American children under age 12 is hungry or at risk of hunger in America.'
The report got lots of press. Some reporters spun the report so it sounded worse than it was. Dan Rather somehow changed kids who were 'sometimes hungry' into 'children in danger of starving.'
Starving? The Food Research and Action Center never counted calories. They didn't even ask people what they ate. Instead, they asked: 'Do you ever cut the size of meals?' 'Do you ever eat less than you feel you should?' Naturally, some people said yes to those questions. It didn't mean America is 'hungry', let alone 'starving.' In fact, in America, one of the poor's biggest problems is obesity.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“When America began, government cost every citizen $20 (in [2003] money) per year. Taxes rose during wars, but for most of the life of America, spending never exceeded a few hundred dollars per person. During World War II, government got much bigger. It was supposed to shrink again after the war but never did. Instead, it just kept growing. Now the federal government costs every man, woman, and child an average of $10,000 per year.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“In 1999 the National Research Council concluded that 'the total exposure to naturally occurring carcinogens exceeds the exposure to synthetic carcinogens.'...
The point was that even if organics were pesticide-free, the gain wouldn't make up for the downside of organic food: It's more likely to be infested with bacteria because it's grown in 'natural' fertilizer. Natural fertilizer is the health food business's euphemism for cow manure. (The much-criticized 'nonorganic' produce is grown in nitrogen fertilizers. Although organics advocates sneer at the chemicals, 'chemical' nitrogen is perfectly healthy; air is 78 percent nitrogen, after all. We have a choice between foods grown in nitrogen taken from the air, and 'organic' food grown in cow manure.)”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
“One of the biggest health problems facing America's poor is obesity. You know you live in a good place when overeating is a problem.
Most of the 6 billion people in the world live short, brutal, miserable lives; 1 billion people try to survive on just a dollar a day. They would love to have the lifestyle of America's poor. Ninety-seven percent of American families our government classifies as 'poor' have color televisions and half own two. Seventy-five percent of poor people have cars and nearly half own their own homes.”
John Stossel, Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...

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