Working as a correspondent for 20/20 and Good Morning America, John Stossel confronted dozens of scam artists: from hacks who worked out of their basements to some of America's most powerful executives and leading politicians. His efforts shut down countless crooks -- both famous and obscure. Then he realized what the real problem was.
In Give Me a Break, Stossel takes on the regulators, lawyers, and politicians who thrive on our hysteria about risk and deceive the public in the name of safety. Drawing on his vast professional experience (as well as some personal ones), Stossel presents an engaging, witty, and thought-provoking argument about the beneficial powers of the free market and free speech.
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John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC's 20/20. He also hosts ABC's John Stossel Specials reports for ABC radio, and ABCNews.com. A graduate of Princeton University, Stossel lives in New York City with his wife and two children. He devotes his time to beach volleyball, youth soccer, and his family.From Booklist:
Stossel, the well-known television correspondent, was one of the first consumer reporters, sticking up for the little folks who got scammed by quack doctors, envelope-stuffing schemes, and the like. But he found himself frustrated. He would expose the bad guys, and the next month they would be back in business. Why, he asked, can't government step in and help? "The more reporting I did," Stossel writes, "the more it dawned on me that the government is often the problem, not the solution." His book, drawn from his television pieces, is full of stories of government gone mad: entrepreneurs put out of business because they violated a ridiculous regulation; competition unfairly quashed by regulators acting in the interests of lobby groups; laws interpreted so narrowly that they become ludicrous. Rapidly, he went from an intrepid consumer reporter to--in the eyes of his critics--a turncoat who abandoned the cherished liberal belief in the ability of government to help people. Although the book is clearly one man's opinion, Stossel is very persuasive. His thesis is simple: there is nothing government can do that the private sector can't do better, more efficiently, and cheaper. We are being ripped off, he laments, by excessive taxation, incompetent and bloated bureaucracies, and politicians who make decisions based on self-interest rather than public interest. It's a powerful, well-argued, and immensely thought-provoking book, and with Stossel's visibility, not to mention the incendiary subject matter, it's sure to be a hot one, too. David Pitt
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