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thank you creative destruction. thank you free enterprise for allowing it to happen. that is our show. ♪ee you next week. >> social justice -- >> social justice -- >> social justice. john: social justice, something leftists talk about. >> social justice is code for good things no one needs to argue for, and no one dare be against. >> save the whales. >> gays in the military now! >> free nelson mandela. >> they freed him already. john: what's the enemy of social justice? >> capitalism is really what is the oppressive force. john: so what must people do? >> spread those resources. john: when that's tried, people have to wait in endless lines for their social justice. >> [inaudible] john: social justice -- >> if we don't get it --
john: that's our show tonight. ♪ ♪ >> and now, john stossel. john: are you for social justice? i want to say i am because if i'm not, wouldn't that mean i'm for social injustice? that sounds terrible. it's why social justice is such a powerful slogan. it usually means, well, i'm not clear exactly what it means. it can mean so many things. jonah goldberg explains that in this video for prager university. >> ask ten lib calls to tell you -- liberals to tell you what they mean by social justice, and you'll get ten different answers. that's because social justice means anything its champions want it to mean. social justice is code for good things no one needs to argue for and no one dare be against. john: except me.
excuse me, i want to be against it, because those sweet words, social justice, really mean the state gets to use force to take money from some people, give it to somebody else, and also it gets to boss everybody around even more. >> the self-declared champions of social justice believe the state must remedy and remedy all perceived wrongs. anyone who disagrees is an enemy of what is good and right. john: one of those enemies of the good and right is the president of the ayn rand institute. he seems to be an enemy of what's good, because he says it's immoral for a government to take people's money and give it to others. but podcast host jesse meyerson says that's exactly what a moral government ought to do. go ahead, jesse, you first. >> there is no such thing as a market free of government intervention. in order to have an economy, commerce, finance, complex trade, debt resolution -- john: some governments enforce
fairness. >> a massive government, the largest government programs are contract enforcement, property rights and resolution of debt. without those -- [laughter] john: the biggest programs are entitlements. >> the biggest program are entitlements, the regulatory agencies that actually reject contracts, they tell us that we cannot contract. [laughter] unless we abide by some guidelines or some bunch of bureaucrats have determined. i can't take whatever drug i want, i have to get permission from the fda. i can't, i can't build whatever automobile i want, ask google, you have to get permission -- john: all right. let's go back to this, the moral thing -- and i think most people agree with jesse on this -- is that life's unfair, government should step in and make it better. and you, the ayn rand, sounds horrible, selfish. don't. >> i want government to leave us alone so that individuals can pursue their own happiness voluntarily dealing with other people through trade. look. >> look, even by libertarian
standards in order for a market to be free, so-called, there has to be exit from the market, right? voluntary. you have to voluntarily enter the market and exit from the market. we simply in a system like capitalism where you do not have guaranteed access, you do not have an exit from the job market. >> you cannot exit the job market without separating yourself from the means of your own subsistence. if you wanted a truly free market where you could exit, you would guarantee the access to everyone. john: you wouldn't have to work because you'd have an -- >> somebody else would work for you, because somebody has to work in order for you to subside. somebody has to produce. >> you have thesed-owning monopolists, these patent-owning no mop the lists who go out and sue companies -- john: all right, they're bad, we agree. >> rather than taking the sur plus of society -- john: how does society get richer over time then? >> there is no social wealth. [laughter] wealth is produced by
individuals. wealth is a product of individual effort, it's a product of the individual mind -- >> the most valuable asset form in the united states is real estate, and most of that value is the land. nobody produced that land. nobody should be -- >> but the value is not in the land, the value is what was done in the land or whether it's building. >> that's not true. >> and that individual -- >> you can separate -- >> people had to farm the land, create something on the land. people had to build stuff, malls -- >> the thing that makes land valuable -- i'm sorry. listen, listen, buddy, i'm telling you. i'm going to educate -- john: one of the biggest social justice -- [inaudible] politicians say things like this: >> spread those resources -- >> there's no greater challenge this country has than income inequality. >> i believe this is the defining challenge of our time. john: and, look, jesse's right about this. 1% of the people own 35% of the wealth many iran. >> because they created it. they created -- >> you kidding me?
>> the kochs, the trumps -- >> the kochs created that wealth. >> they inherited a fortune at birth. they're in the lucky sperm club. >> now he gets it. people actually produce. people create, people make choices. the kochs inherited a lot of money and made a lot more money. the steve jobs, the bill gates created their wealth, and all of your viewers are beneficiaries, enormous beneficiaries, the vast majority of the 1% are people that have worked hard, have created something, have built something and deserve it. >> that is absolutely preposterous. there are people who live in my building who go out and clean apartments all day who work ten times as hard as most ceos who are dirt poor. meanwhile, ceos sit by -- they own a capital stock, they sit by the pool waiting for the butler to come out with a tray -- john: jesse, you told us everyone deserves a dignified life. >> absolutely. john: -- in which their material security is a guaranteed right. and that includes a college education, healthy food -- >> if people want a college
education -- john: comfortable housing and health care. >> free time and money to spend during it. every single person -- >> that is not dignity. when people get without producing anything, when they get all these things, that's not dignity. john: jesse calls himself, proudly, a communist. >> that is horrific for anybody to call themself a communist. john: hasn't worked well around the world. >> what hasn't worked well? john: communism. >> we've talked about this before. socialism works fine here in certain instance, you know? we have social security. john: the -- >> social security is by far the best antipoverty measure this country has -- john: address that. >> where it's much more equal that transfer payments are a really good way to insure dignity. john: social security and scandinavia. you take it. >> scandinavia is nowhere near the heaven that jesse portrays it, and it's nowhere near as socialist as people portray it. they have less regulations than we do, it has school choice.
it is far freer in terms of the economy. yes, they have massive wealth transfer -- >> exactly what i'm arguing for. >> and that is holding them back. [laughter] that -- >> no. >> bankruptcy in 1994 where they had to shrink those wealth transfers since then. and, look, it hurts human dignity the, to use jesse's words. >> millions of children who live in poverty every night -- [inaudible conversations] >> it's somebody else's expense. you do not leave -- >> that is what capitalists do. capitalists employ people who do the work -- john: all right, enough. >> that is, you're describing capitalists when you say that. john: thank you, gentlemen. talking about social justice reminds me of a snarky movie about a college where the activists, the movie calls them causeheads, have lots of causes. >> save the whales. >> gays in the military now. >> free nelson mandela. >> they freed him already. >> they find a world-threatening
issue and stick with it about a week. what happened to the ozone layer? >> that was last week. john: now it is meat. do you know how badly those animals are treated? do you know how much greenhouse gas they produce? and one of the social justice movement's biggest enemies these days is walmart. not only does walmart sell meat, the chain doesn't pay enough. the activists says the workers must be given a raise to at least $15 an hour. >> when do we want it? >> no! >> and if we don't get it -- [inaudible] shut it down. >> if we don't get it -- >> shut it down! john: shut down walmart if it doesn't pay more? but will that help walmart's workers or other workers? michael strong travels the world looking at how poor people fare under different systems. and he says most americans are clueless about the benefits everyone gets even from companies like walmart. what do you mean? >> walmart is one of the best
things that's ever happened to the poor. walmart has reduced prices for the poor by an estimated $2,000 plus per household, that's from jason furman who was obama's economic adviser. more than $2,000 to every family in america -- can. john: this was his research before obama. >> exactly. intellectually honest economist. if you're poor and you can reduce your costs, your life is better. capitalism, when allowed to do so, always reduces costs, increases quality and creates more diversity which is why we need to allow walmart and other companies to give more poor people more access to better goods and services for lower prices. john: all right. they and we can buy stuff, save money, buy it for less. but when they're paying $9 an hour and they voluntarily raised it above minimum wage because it's good pr for them, and it helps them keep good workers and it's how the market should work, but people say $9, that's good middle -- that guts good middle
class jobs. people can't live on that. in fact, a lot of walmart workers are getting government subsidies. >> it's not walmart's fault. walmart is part of a globalization movement. millions of jobs are moving around the world. it is going to be tough with or without walmart when we see more people going around the world to produce things. people in the u.s. are going to have to come up and do something else. that's why we need more innovation, less regulation so we can have more innovation and more jobs. it's not walmart's fault, these are global realities. france is creating pretend jobs. europe is going to go down because they're pretending to create value. we need to create real value, that's the only answer. john: and like this communist who just spoke. doesn't it weird you out that so many young people just don't get this? >> it is sad because the only way that we're going to help the global poor is to release the forces of free enterprise. john: when the market is free, poor people get all kinds of new things, cheap cell phones, half
the people in africa have these now. but where government regulates heavily -- this is education and housing -- >> and health care. manufactured homes, $50 per square foot. new york, manhattan almost $2,000 per square foot. anything and everything could become cheaper if you allow the market to do its work. if we care about poor people, we urgently need to allow entrepreneurs to create higher quality, lower cost products in every domain. that's the only way we're going to help seven billion people have a wonderful life, and it's sad people like jesse don't understand that. john: you tried to start an experiment on this in honduras where there would be a place with no rules -- >> i wouldn't say no rules, a good common law. good classical, liberal common law. in the developing world what people don't realize is it's the most highly regulated. my wife is from africa, it's the most highly regulated region on earth. let entrepreneurs create prosperity. the free zones and special
economic zones in china have helped hundreds of millions of -- john: and they were going to give you this free zone in south america, and then the politicians said, well, maybe not. >> it's still on. it's still going to happen. so we're going to see, if all goes well, prosperity in honduras. hong kong and singapore, some of the poorest regions on earth, 50 years ago two with of the wealthiest regions. john: fifty years -- >> bingo. if every place on earth was as free as hong kong and singapore, there would be no more poverty on earth. john: we know what works, but the politicians and these young people won't do it. >> and i would say many of the professors. john: many of the professors. we'll have one on shortly. thank you, michael. next, some say american capitalism succeeded on the backs of slaves. but is that the truth? ♪ ♪
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expansion of american empire and the establishment of the american way of life. john: that michael eric dyson. lots of people believe slavery gave american capitalists a head start because they didn't have to pay workers. so they say slavery made capitalism successful. but economist don boudreaux says the opposite's true. what do you mean? >> that's just a crazy notion. slavery has been around for about 10,000 years, since the beginning of the agricultural revolution. if slavery were instrumental in starting capitalism, why did it take 10,000 years for it to start? also if you look at the places in the world where capitalism first took off -- britain and holland -- they got rid of slavery early. look at the americas. in the northern part of the united states, slavery was gotten rid of long before it was gotten rid of in the southern part, and the northern part was the capitalist part, the wealthier part -- john: more prosperous in almost every way. >> for the rich and the middle classes in the north and in the
south. john: but there's a logic to it, if you could get free labor from some workers, then those capitalists who are making the money from that ought to do better. >> well, they're not capitalists. the plantation owners did really well. they got rich, but everybody else remained poor. slavery is a system -- it's an economic system quite at odds with capitalism. capitalism requires, you know, innovation, it requires consumer sovereignty. slavery is none of that. slavery keeps everything static, and that's what the south was prior to the u.s. civil war, that's what the north was not which was why the north was booming and the south was not. john: on capitalism-hating msnbc, though, they do seem to like making money for themselves. anyway, on msnbc, reverend otis moss said don't blame christianity for slavery, as some do, blame capitalism. >> those who were the slave holders who claimed christianity but it was really capitalism in drag -- john: capitalism in drag.
>> it's -- that's nuts. there's nothing more opposite of capitalism than slavery. slavery is keeping people unfree. capitalism is unleashing people's freedom to spend money and work as they want. john: what's this about? there's lots of it. i look at a huffington post headline, how slavery led to modern capitalism. daily beast, how slavery gave capitalism its start. >> the best i can figure, john, is people want -- a lot of people don't like capitalism, so if you can tarnish it by claiming it somehow was connected with slavery, it makes it look bad. in history where slavery exists, capitalism doesn't exist. it's no coincidence that great written, the home of the -- great britain, the home of the industrial revolution, was one of the first countries to get rid of slavery. brazil, on the other hand, didn't get rid of slavery until 1888, and it's still a lot poorer than, certainly, most people in the united states and western europe. john: and america didn't really
prosper until after the civil war when slavery was ended. >> decades after slavery was ended, yes. john: one of your points is slavery is not as efficient as people would think it would be. >> that's right. slavery is efficient for very, very mechanical tasks; growing tobacco and growing cotton. if you're a plantation owner, you might do well by having slaves pick your cotton. if you're a factory owner, you don't want slaves in your factory. it's too easy for them to shirk in a thousand and one different ways that even the best overseer cannot monitor and correct for. john: back to your earlier point, people hate capitalism. >> yeah. john john they associate it with social injustice. what's that about? >> i don't know. capitalism is a system of voluntary exchanges. john: people don't get it. they hate it. >> i know. and they're wholly mistaken. you're right, they don't get it, and that's the problem. that's what you do, you help them to try to get it. john: i'm trying.
♪ ♪ john: a few countries voted for what they call social justice. venezuela did, and hollywood applauded. danny glover, oliver stone, sean penn and harry belafonte praised hugo chavez. chavez has now died, but his picture is still on walls everywhere, and one of his flunk key -- 401(k)ies now presides.
is some of the people who voted for it are mad they didn't get all the goodies they were supposed to get, and others are mad because since chavez took over, venezuela's economy has been in the tank. the news site the pan am posts latin america and its experiments with social justice. its editor, what's going on? >> people living through a nightmare of socialism. it's been -- we're seeing the outcomes now that's been building for more than ten years. there is a wave of corruption, crime, inflation. the people are leaving in droves. so -- john: why does that have to go with socialism? this was supposed to your everything. >> right. they have ruined incentive to be productive. they've violated property rights, they've confiscated property. so they have taken away the incentive for companies to be there. so if you can't keep the fruits of your labor, what incentive is there to build a productive economy? john: so it's an oil-rich country. they make almost $100 billion a
year selling oil. they're still poor. >> you have a tsunami of corruption in and out of the country, and you also have a whole array of failed social programs. john: also spend money on these pictures of chavez all over. people have his picture tattooed on their bodies. >> right. so this is one of the most bizarre elements -- john: they get that free. >> exactly. they're a state-sponsored -- there are state-sponsored events where you can get a free tattoo of chavez's signature, and they have painted his eyes having big brother's eyes looking at you. it is just creepy. john: it creeps me out, but people there seem to like him. and leftists all over say this is going to work. the guardian newspaper, leftist newspaper in britain, no one can explain why a rich country has no food. >> that's just a crazy statement, right? so no one can explain it? there are economists all over the place explaining it. people in venezuela, people outside.
john: once it became clear chavez's socialism wasn't working out as hoped and venezuelans were protesting and rioting, i thought american leftists would at least be embarrassed by their early enthusiasm. but, no, i think they're immune to embarrassment. after the tyrant chavez died, washington post leftist eugene levinson found all kinds of nice things to say about him. >> he was very smart, obviously, and tenacious and determined. was he a tyrant? we should remember he was democratically elected. why didn't he have popular support? because for many decades the poor of venezuela had been ignored. he provided medical attention that the poor in venezuela hadn't received before. john john he cared about the poor. capitalists don't. >> it breaks my heart to see the people who are suffering in venezuela and all these hollywood types don't seem to care or are blind to it. people like oliver stone, they
don't want to see the truth. john: oliver stone called him a great hero. >> no. it's true that he was democratically elected the first time, but he rigged the system. they had total control over the media, they had total control of the electoral process. if you put your political opponents in prison, how democratic is that? john: but don king, the boxing promoter, he goes to venezuela and says to see what is happening here makes me feel good all over. you, he says to chavez, you are the one concerned about the poor. danny glover, a true man of the people. >> where are people going to? are they going to live in lovely venezuela, or are they coming here, right? are the cubans hanging out there or getting on ships or little boats trying to get here? the venezuelan economy, the people in control of it, are on some insane quest to repeat the cuban multidecade failure. john: but people in venezuela love these dictators. i mean, reuters reports a