This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.–TR
John Stossel’s column “A lie, a myth and a question,” appeared in the Elmira Star-Gazette today, Saturday, May 4. Stossel makes a number of claims:
- Thanks to capitalism, more than a billion people no longer struggle to survive on a few pennies a day.
- Economists at Harvard and Berkeley crunched the numbers and found most people born to the richest fifth of Americans fell out of that bracket within 20 years.
- Most of the billionaires (on the Forbes list) are self-made. They didn’t inherit money. They created wealth.
Other than unnamed economists, Stossel cites only one source–Carol Roth.
Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, a “recovering” investment banker, business advisor, entrepreneur and best-selling author. She is also a reality TV show judge, media contributor and host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy.
No experts on social stratification are cited.
Stossel would sell his readers Social Darwinism–the idea that the rich deserve their wealth and the poor deserve their poverty. He fails to justify his wild claims with respected sources. He promotes the libertarian idea that everyone would be better off in a libertarian world. His ideas are false, but it is easier to make wild, unsupported claims than to refute them.
Is Stossel’s claim that “3 out of 4 Americans” will be in the top income quintile at some point in their life believable? I think not.