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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things that happened today: sun came up, tides shifted, John Stossel was 100% wrong

Raw Story: Fox Business host John Stossel on Thursday declared that government programs should be cut based on the false assertion that “no one” died of starvation in the Great Depression before the modern “welfare state.”

Stossel told the hosts of Fox & Friends that he had taken his cameras out on the streets of New York and no one he spoke to had any idea about how to fix the nation’s growing national debt.

“You cut whole departments,” the Fox Business host explained. “Why do we have a Commerce Department? Commerce just happens! Agriculture, farmers do that! You don’t need bureaucrats.”

He added that the Department of Education was also unnecessary.

“Isn’t that part of what the government does in a lot of people minds?” Fox News host Steve Doocy asked. “They need to help people rather than let people help themselves?”

“And when people are needy you want them [to get] help,” Stossel agreed. “But think about the [Great] Depression. That was before there was any welfare state at all. How many people starved? No one.”

“Right, good point,” Doocy agreed.
For future reference, when Steve Doocy tells you you’ve made a good point, you’re probably pretty far off the mark. The report goes on to say that “according to historians Steven Mintz and Sara McNeil, the number of cases of starvation in New York City alone had increased from 20 in 1931 to 110 in 1934.”

So yeah, plenty of people died of starvation. John Stossel is absolutely wrong, because John Stossel is always absolutely wrong. Checking with the actual historical facts would jeopardize Stossel’s Libertarian Utopianism, so no fact-checking was done. He just declared it true — and he probably assumed it was true — because that’s what his ideology tells him. This was the same method he used to conclude that dioxin — a byproduct of industrial bleaching processes and the most toxic chemical known to manwas completely harmless. So if it’s in your food or drinking water, that’s cool. No reason to regulate industry or anything.

Stossel is one deadly “journalist” and should be drummed out of the profession forever. He’s a hack and a propagandist. And his lies have the potential to kill.

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