>> 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,alled, 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 these land-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? ♪ ♪ [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
so we know how to cover almost anything. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two
because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ hey, drop a beat.flix? ♪ show me orange is the new black ♪ ♪ wait, no, bloodline ♪ how about bojack, luke cage ♪ oh, dj tanner maybe show me lilyhammer ♪ ♪ stranger things, marseille, the fall ♪ ♪ in the same place as my basketball? ♪ ♪ narcos, fearless, cooked ♪ the crown, marco polo, lost and found ♪ ♪ grace and frankie, hemlock grove, season one of...! ♪ show me house of cards. finally, you can now find all of netflix
in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. anything with a screen is a tv. stream 130 live channels, plus 40,000 on demand tv shows and movies, all on the go. you can even download from your x1 dvr and watch it offline. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. download the xfinity tv app today. ♪ ♪ john: america's worst social injustice was slavery. today some people argue that america's success was a product of that slavery, that capitalism thrived in america because whites stole labor from black people. >> we can say thievery was a
critical element to the 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. >> yeah. john: thank you, don boudreaux. coming up, how's that social justice thing working out in this country where they brag they were bringing social justice? why then are these people waiting in such a long line? and what are these gunshots about? [gunfire] ♪ ♪ liberty mutual stood with me when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate. liberty did what? yeah, with liberty mutual all i needed to do to get an estimate was snap a photo of the damage and voila! voila! (sigh) i wish my insurance company had that... wait! hold it... hold it boys... there's supposed to be three of you... where's your brother? where's your brother?
and i'm just a guy who wantsants to sell him that truck.ck. so i used truecar. it told me what other people in the area paid for the truck i want. and because we're a truecar certified dealership, i already know the truck he wants. so we're on the same page before he even gets here. -it's fair. -and it's fast. look good? looks great.
this is how car buying was always meant to be. this is truecar. ♪ ♪ ♪ 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
venezuela politician rolled out a variation of the lord's prayer. our chavez who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. may your legacy come to us so we can spread it to the people. give us your light to guide out every day. lead us not into the temptation of capitalism. >> yeah, that -- john: and people applauded. >> this is the cult of hugo chavez. and that is not the people of venezuela, that's the socialist party who are loyal to him. they're part of the crony system. they're part of the problem. they don't want to have open, fair elections, and so that's why they're afraid of it. john: thank you, fehr gus hodgeson. i should say you don't sound latino, but you're from -- >> new zealand. john: open media in -- >> all across america. john: because you felt it was -- >> there's a lack of free speech, and we really have to address these topics. we go where the free speech is least, so venezuela is one of those places. cuba is even worse. john: thank you. next, why markets make people
♪ ♪ john: if you want to be taught about the need for social justice, you should become a sociology major at brooklyn college. then you can learn about things like labor and global solidarity and resisting walmart. those are two of many papers presented by the chair of the department,carely that munoz. she says america urgently needs more social justice, meaning what? >> well, people's basic needs are not being met in this country. we have, you know, persistent poverty, unemployment, the wealth gap, 50 million americans are uninsured or underinsured. we're in a crisis. john: we would be in less of a crisis if government gave those people more things?
>> absolutely. if you look at our country historically, at the height of industrialization we saw the worst sweat shop conditions that have ever existed, terrible conditions, terrible wages, worst pollution in history -- john: the industrial revolution. >> absolutely. by the 1930s, people had had enough, and because of unions and government policies, we rad candidated sweat shops -- we eradicated sweat shops, and working conditions improved. in the last 0 years -- 30 years -- john: i thought they improved because people got rich enough to care about clean air, and they could afford the ability to clean these things up. >> absolutely not. john: not? really? >> no. it's because of new deal policies like social security, minimum wage standards that forced employers to improve their conditions. john: so how come communist countries weren't good for their people? >> well, i think that we have a
very few examples of, you know, communist countries, first of all, and very -- and fewer examples of them being allowed to succeed. for example -- john: russia wasn't allowed. >> [inaudible] chile, which is where i'm from. john: ah. and that would have been a good communist country -- >> socialist. john: socialist, they would have prospered? >> yes. john: how come hong kong did so well and singapore, these basically almost free market, almost no rules countries? people went from horrible poverty to great wealth. let's go to some of your points about how terrible things are. people are working more than ever -- >> people are working longer hours, american workers are 40% more productive than they've ever been since 1979 -- john: good. >> which is great. and yet wages have stagnated. john: wait a second. we have a chart of hours worked
per year. can we put that up? this is from the oecd. we are more leisure time than ever, we're working less. i can't believe you teach your students this. i can't believe i'm taxed to pay you at city college to teach your students this. this is just wrong. >> it's not wrong. we have plenty of evidence, the economic policy institute has dozens of papers on how americans are more productive and working more than ever before. and wages have not kept up with that. john: wages. we have a chart of becames. the average household -- of wages. the average household income has grown by 40% for the middle 49% for the bottom fifth over the past 30 years, wages plus benefits. >> real wages. john: this is adjusted for inflation. >> real wages have not gone up. john: but they have -- [laughter] >> you don't have, you don't have the purchasing power that you had 30 years ago. john: we have more purchasing power and things are cheaper. this used to cost $1,000.
>> absolutely. but, you know what? more people are in debt. john: and china's doing better. >> on some things. john: so we could learn from china? a government-controlled economy? that does better? >> yes, we can. john: it wasn't the recognition of private property? >> no. john: well, let's look at -- here's china's gdp. look how it was stagnant for hundreds of years, and then they recognized private property, and suddenly it boomed. >> the government has still funded many, many, many projects that has to boom. john: should government run industry? oil companies? railroads? >> once again, it's not about government running things, it's about government regulating things. markets on their own are not the problem, it's unregulated markets that are the problem. and what we've seen is in the united states when we had the strongest unions and strongest federal government policy, we saw the strongest economic growth in history. john: well, you told meow don't
watch -- me you don't watch chris matthews, but he seems to believe government could run business better than business does. >> why doesn't the president go in there, nationalize the industry and get the job done for the people? john: that was after an oil spill, he's talking about the oil industry. should government then step in after a spill and run things? >> well, i think that the key there is that government and the epa should have enough regulations that these kinds of errors don't happen. i mean, we were talking about climate change was on the front page of "time" magazine in 1970, and we're still debating about whether climate change is an issue in 2013. john: i think in the '70s, the climate change was global cooling we were worried about. does anybody give you any pushback at brooklyn college about what you teach? >> absolutely. and i welcome those debates, and i ask them to come to my class
prepared with their facts and check. john: i'm glad to hear that. i'm glad they debate. thank you for debating this hear, carolina. coming up, how despite all the complaints from social justice activists, those of us who live in relatively capitalist countries do get more social justice all the time. as the beatles said, the world keeps getting better. ♪ ♪ your insurance company
won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
♪ ♪ john: when people tal about social justice, martin luther king is somebody they often mention. when i was in high school, king led thousands of people on a 50-mile march from selma to montgomery, alabama, to protest voting restrictions. during that march king said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. that line inspired this book, "the moral arc: how science and reason lead humanity toward truth, justice and freedom." its author, mikal shermer, says now some people complain there's not must have social justice
when we're living in the most moral period ever in history. what do you mean? >> the expansion of civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, animal rights. more people are freer and have more rights than at any time in history. and yet people still complain that it's bad now, worse than it's ever been as if all the work that dr. king did counted for nothing. so we followed the trend lines, not the headlines -- that's the job of the media, of course, to report the bad news, but it's good to take those long-term trends over the course of centuries and look at the abolition of slavery, abolition of judicial torture, the granting of the franchise to all adults, and america didn't get the vote to women until 1920. so, i mean, look how far we have come. [laughter] john: and i was struck when you talk about gay rights how far we've come. jonathan rausch writes: when i was young, gay americans were forbidden to work for government, forbidden to serve in the military, arrested for making love even in their own homes, beaten and killed in the streets, arrested by police for
sport, fired from jobs, joked about, demeaned, bullied as a matter of course, condemned as sick by scientists, condemned by their own parents. >> indeed. john: almost entirely changed in 20, 30 years. >> it's the fastest, it's the fastest unraveling of a, you know, suppression of minorities ever. and just think about like alan turing who almost single-handedly saved the allies by cracking the code of the nazis. he was gay. and to reward him for saving western civilization, the british government had him chemically castrated, and he killed himself. that's just barely more than half a century ago. john: still watching the news, you'd think life is getting worse. >> isis is out of control. >> hundreds of homes have been swept away. >> more violence. >> rioters burning buildings and vehicles -- john: those things did happen. >> there'll always be enough incidents to fill the evening news with film clips like that.
but the kinds of inner city violence between the police and african-americans, for example, is far less today than it was, say, in the '50s. john: people don't know that. it's sharply down. >> there has never been a safer time to live than today, including in inner cities. think about donald sterling, the former owner of the clippers. this was a huge news story. saying in private to his mistress that he was unhappy about african-americans coming to his games, you know? he's just vilified and run out of town, has to sell his team and so on. most old guys back in the '50s thought like him, and they weren't private about it. now that -- you just can't say those sorts of things. i think earlier you played that song by paul mccartney, it's getting better all the time. the next stanza he says i used to be cruel to my woman, i would beat her and keep her apart from the things she looed. when i heard that -- loved, when i heard that recently, i thought, sir paul, you can't say that anymore. just little stuff that shifts that we just no longer do.
john: because of science and reason, you say, and you insult religion saying religion is not the source of moral progress. many people watching will say, yes, it is. >> during the enlightenment, there became a movement to try to apply science of reason to solving social problems. instead of treating behavior as a sin, let's treat it as something that's a problem to be solved. how can we get homicide to go down? get people to act nicer to each other, how can we improve the economy, get people wealthier. people think adam smith's book is called wealth of nations. that's not the title. the title is an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. inspired by newton, the principle that the universe is governed by natural laws, we can apply that not just to the physical world, but the social and economic world. there must be a better way to govern people for all of us to live for more of us to have more prosperity, more freedom, more autonomy, and for three centuries we've been applying the methods of science and reason to solving more problems,
and the moral sphere keeps expanding, the arc keeps bending. more of us are better off than we've ever been. despite what you see in the news, don't forget to look at the long-term trends. john: a final example, murder rates. we think there's more murder now but, in fact, over time they've plummeted. in prehistoric times, a thousand per 100,000 people per year. in the middle ages, 100. in the 1700s, 10. today in america 5. >> and 1, less than 1 in europe. so the chances of you dying violently have gone down a thousandfold in the last thousand years. there's never been a safer time for you to walk out on the street and not die violently. john: well, we can be happy about that. >> we should be. john: thank you, michael shermer. coming up, why real social justice is driven not by government, but by free markets. >> the u.s. government may soon require brake override technologies on all new cars and trucks. and they think this is a good
why work hard touild something if your neighbor, the king, could just steal it? so people didn't build or invent much, and everyone stayed poor. but then a few countries recognized private property. if you built something, police wouldn't take it from you. in fact, they might protect what you built. once people had property rights, progress took off. this chart shows how wealth per person grew since private property was recognized. as i showed before, this change was even more dramatic in china once the communists finally allowed private property, then the boom happened. along with the rise in wealth came a rise in health. we now live twice as long. that's what i'd call social justice. and almost all these gains came from the free market. look how driving deaths have dropped. much of this happened because cars are safer now and people think that's because government forced it. but that's rarely the case.
air bags appeared in cars long before bureaucrats even knew what they were. fifty years ago a mechanical engineer named alan breed inevented a $5 device that would sense a crash and allow an airbag to inflate. mercedes benz offered it as an option in 1980. ten years later ford made them standard equipment. then volvo offered side protection. and now others do. >> introducing an industry first front center airbag available in the reimagined 2013 chevrolet traverse. john: that's well beyond what government requires. government didn't require any airbags until 1998, 20 years after some car makers installed them voluntarily. likewise, the first backup camera is used in a 1956 buick concept car. nissan made them an option in
the year 2000, and now most cars have them. >> a technological marvel that would have gotten us burned at the stake 100 years ago. john: again, the private market's way ahead of government as it was with automatic braking. >> the u.s. government may soon require brake override technology on all new cars and trucks. at nissan we think this is a good idea, so we did it. six years ago. john: the free market protects us better than the state because it allows for choice and experiments. here's the latest improvement. >> we've road tested autonomous driving over 10,000 miles, on iy traffic. the future of the automobile. john: the driverless car will be a big lifesaver because most crashes are caused by people who make mistakes. companies develop that not because government told them to
do it, they did it voluntarily because they want to make money. now they say the biggest obstacle to saving lives since driverless cars isn't technology, it's government, and it's rules. we need some government to have social justice, to keep the peace, to to protect private property, to do a few other things. but most social justice comes from the free market where businesses have an incentive to voluntarily serve as many people as possible regardless of gender, sexual preference, status or ethnic group. government doesn't have to force it. sellers need to be nice to people because customers are more likely to trade with people who treat them fairly. those who don't will lose business. in a free market, which unlike government is voluntary, everyone gets to choose his own path. that's social justice. and that's our show. see you next week an hour earlier. fox has changed my show schedule
again. is our new time slot will be fridays on fbn at 8 p.m. see you then. ♪ ♪ about the topics that impact your life and your pocketbook. so does lou dobbs. he's next. lou: both the house and the senate are now moving ahead with a repeal and replacement of obamacare. the house today passed a measure to make it easier for the repeal bill to advance in the senate without the threat of democratic filibuster. >> we have to step in before things get worse. this is nothing short of a rescue mission. we are stepping in and stopping the collapse from doing more harm to the working families of america. lou: we'll have political analysis. brett barns, matt, and lee charter join us. also exactly one week until inauguration day, law