Election 2020

Don't Freak Out About the Election

The most important parts of life happen outside of politics.

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Worried about Tuesday?

Remember: The most important parts of life happen outside politics.

Love, friendship, family, raising children, building businesses, worship, charity work—that is the stuff of life! Politicians get in the way of those things. But despite the efforts of power-hungry Republicans and Democrats, life gets better.

You may not believe that. Surveys show most people think life is getting worse.

But it isn't, as Marian Tupy and Ron Bailey point out in their new book, Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know.

"Child labor was once ubiquitous. Now it's limited to a few countries in Africa. Women did not have a vote (until New Zealand granted it at the end of the 19th century). Today, women vote everywhere except for the Vatican," Tupy reminds us.

"Gays and lesbians, persecuted for millennia, are free to marry. Slavery was universal; now it is illegal. The world has never been more peaceful, more educated and kinder."

But the nastiness of today's politics may stop progress! Make life worse!

It's possible, but "worse" compared to what?

I've lived through the Vietnam War, a military draft, 90 percent income tax rates, price controls, indecency laws, widespread racism and sexism, Jim Crow, the explosion of crime in the 1970s…

Overall, life got better.

With Donald Trump and Joe Biden claiming the other will destroy what's good, it's hard to see improvement. But the world has made progress, largely thanks to libertarian ideas.

"For millennia the world was marked by despotism, slavery, hierarchy, rigid class privilege, and literally no increase in the standard of living," says Cato Institute Vice President David Boaz in the May/June 2020 Policy Report.

"Then libertarian ideas came into the world. Of course, they weren't called that at the time…. (T)hey were the ideas of human rights, free markets, property rights, religious toleration, the value of commerce, the dignity of the individual—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

These ideas created a wave of progress unlike anything in history.

"Look at the chart of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, or any measure of economic growth," adds Boaz. "It looks like a hockey stick: flat for almost all human history, and then it rockets upwards."

The media shriek hysterically about every problem, and we have problems: pandemic, lockdowns, unemployment, wildfires, bad cops, violent riots, crime…

But no matter who wins on Tuesday, life will probably get better.

Entrepreneurs will invent cool things.

This year, while Democrats and Republicans fought, the private sector found cheaper and better ways to send people into space.

The World Bank complained about governments not providing all people clean drinking water. So private companies are doing it. A billboard in Peru turns humidity into potable drinking water. A drinking straw, LifeStraw, removes bacteria and parasites from water.

Forests are expanding because modern farming uses less land, allowing the forests to regrow.

Thanks to often-despised free markets, poverty continues to decline. In 1981, 42 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. By 2018, only 8.6 percent did. Do politicians ever highlight those gains? No.

Probably because most of those good things happened in spite of them, not because of them.

Most good things do.

Yes, we still have lots of problems: trillion dollar deficits, mental illness, crushing regulation, endless wars (although fewer of them), criminal injustice, inequality, climate change…

But it's always been that way. Evolution programmed humans to focus on problems. Our ancestors survived in a very dangerous world. If they weren't hypervigilant, they wouldn't have lived long enough to give birth to the people who gave birth to us.

I obsess about problems. But I try not to let that distract me from the big picture.

More people in more places enjoy prosperity, religious freedom, personal freedom, democratic governance, largely equal rights, civility, better health, and longer lives.

Neither Trump nor Biden is likely to destroy that.

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  1. In the here and now, there is one candidate that isn’t going to sink capitalism, and one candidate that will. Or at least when they shuffle Biden off to the nursing home, his handlers will decide socialism is the way. Count on it.

    Yeah we might recover decades hence. Maybe the trend is always upwards. That doesn’t mean it’s always a straight line. And in the absence of American leadership on capitalism and law and order, the vacuum created could be devastating.

    1. The POTUS isn’t a dictator. It takes overwhelming control of the House, Senate and Supreme Court to affect that kind of change.

      1. Been done; just recently. The first term of the Obama Administration.

        1. You mean by passing Obamacare when the Dems controlled the House, Senate and RINO Roberts made up a pretext to save it in the SC?

          1. As one in hundreds of examples; yes.

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      2. Oh really, because Trump has done a fine job breakdown some of those barriers. What with the CDC confiscation of private property (rent cancelation) and his no taxation without representation scheme (EO tariffs); he’s continued the imperial presidency of his predecessors and expanded on it. The stage is set. All the commies needs is a willing president.

        1. “…because Obungler has done a fine job breakdown some of those barriers with EOs issued because of the power he determined his phone and pen had.” FTFY

          “All the commies needs is a willing and compromised president which they will assuredly find in dementia ridden Joe Biden.”

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          2. That is why I said, “he’s continued the imperial presidency of his predecessors. That would very much include Obama since he is his direct predecessor. In fact Obama is probably the worse offender with, DACA, Libya, Obamacare shenanigans (not to mention the law itself), NSA spying program…but Trump’s done little to change that tide and has expanded on it many areas.

            1. And restrained it in many areas. Of which is also a new precedence which I hope will continue but highly doubt. Perhaps someday; the people at large will see the benefit to electing those who really uphold the U.S. Constitution but with Rand Paul being ran-out in the first few states in the last election. Settling for Better will have do in the face of Horrible.

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      3. Shut the fuck up naif.

      4. And if Democrats take the Presidency and Senate and keep the House, they plan on ending the filibuster and packing the courts. That will take away all checks and balances to the federal government.

      5. The Democrats plan to end the filibuster and pack the courts if they win the Senate and Presidency and keep the House.

    2. Interesting that you chose this article to complain that Obama destroyed America and made it into a dystopian socialist hellscape that will take decades to recover from. Maybe you didn’t read the article?

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  3. No John, democrats and Republicans are NOT the same.

    Democrats support socialism and communism. If you dont see that, then it is true what Reagan said about ex-Democrats. He knew commies well.

    Biden represents elitists trying to control Americans to tear down what works.

    Trump represents a challenge to socialism and celebrating American exceptionism.

    1. Sometimes ex-democrats cannot stand to see the party of slavery be destroyed so they stall the inevitable destruction of the democrat party.

    2. Where in that article did Stossel say ‘Democrats and Republicans are the same?’

      “…despite the efforts of power-hungry Republicans and Democrats, life gets better.”

      Generally true (though that may soon change.)

      “This year, while Democrats and Republicans fought, the private sector found cheaper and better ways to send people into space.”

      True again.

      “Thanks to often-despised free markets, poverty continues to decline. In 1981, 42 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. By 2018, only 8.6 percent did. Do politicians ever highlight those gains? No. Probably because most of those good things happened in spite of them, not because of them.
      Most good things do.”

      Undoubtedly!

      To me, the piece reads like an appeal for some much-needed optimism and a plug for the effectiveness of libertarian ideals. I certainly didn’t see anything resembling ‘alas, the Democrats are dead. Long live the Democrats!’ Perhaps a hint of the dreaded (but often accurate) ‘both sides’ complaint. Well, that and a combined knock on the tedious downward spiral that is US partisan politics…or a weary lamentation toward the endless grappling over the state bludgeon that conveniently relegates any tangible reductions in the size and scope of government to the overflowing cesspool that is Washington, D.C…and etc, etc.

        1. You’re up early today Tulpa.

    3. Good news, the Democratic Party does not support either socialism or communism.

      As for “elites,” you are talking about a man with gold toilets. Man of the people, I’m sure.

      You are such a sucker.

      1. lmao… Out-of-date… 20-Years ago the Democratic Party liked to pretend they weren’t socialists even though all their policies were socialists – today most just come straight out and admit it.

      2. You’re right, it’s not like they almost had a socialist as their presidential candidate. Oh…wait…

        1. AcKcHyUaLlY, hE’s A dEmOcRaTiC SoCiALiaST, HuRR dUrrRRrRR!!!!!!

        2. But they didn’t. And Bernie isn’t actually a socialist anyway, he’s just annoying.

          1. …and it’ll work this time….. So Tony; you really on-board with all this [WE] mobsters rule thing or just positioned to hate on Trump like a useful idiot of lefty media? What’s your opinion of Rand Paul?

          2. But they did. And he literally calls himself a socialist. How is it that you are so able to lie and gaslight? I still think you are actually a troll with how blind you are to the falsities that you espouse.

      3. “Good news, the Democratic Party does not support either socialism or communism.”

        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit,

        1. First, we should always DEFINE! What is socialism? Did you know that most who want it can’t define it? That’s not good for them to be so intellectually lazy, but their weakness makes them dangerous to everyone. So, enlightenment, clarity, definitions, help all of us.

    4. But, neither actually sees it that way. The both “just want what’s best”.

      And of course, they both think they know what that is. For all of us.

      What if we just didn’t have them?

  4. I used to watch Stossell’s show on FOX news. The episode on polls as good. People on here should watch it.

  5. Well, unless your hobby is guns. Or you drive a gasoline powered car. I mean, your life won’t be affected at all when Biden/Harris ban them.

    1. Or if your religion doesn’t recognize same sex marriage or artificial birth control and abortion. Then your life won’t be affected at all when Biden/Harris try to control religion.

      1. And things have never been better for the Jews in Coumo’s New York.
        All those politicians and policemen so worried about their health that they’re making no knock raids and forbidding them to assemble.

        1. you forgot about the tolerant Democrats who pepper sprayed them if they drove through NYC with Trump bumper stickers.

    2. According to NYT today, record numbers of Americans both prog and conservative are buying guns, including many who were anti-gun. And outside of elite enclaves, most rely on gas-powered cars, especially the working poor who have to drive 100 miles or more each day for their jobs. This might not stop the dems from trying to grab guns or taxing gas, but there will be consequences if they do.

      1. Nothing like single-digit% compliance with a ban to remind everyone that government is with the consent of the governed.

    3. Won’t make it past SCOTUS. Ain’t check and balances a wonderful thing?

      1. Unless the Dems take the Senate.

    4. I’m expecting to become a felon by default, and to date I’ve never committed a crime beyond driving a tad over the speed limit. I expect that will change given “11 Million Reasons to Fear a Biden [Harris] Presidency.” If these asshats get their way we will have a shit load more government, more regulations, way more taxes, and more bans, as far as they can take it. If SCOTUS gets in the way they will be diluted or [as did FDR] threatened into cooperation to allow for an even further expansion of government into every aspect of our lives. Yes, elections matter, and this on is certainly no exception.

      1. “I’m expecting to become a felon by default, and to date I’ve never committed a crime beyond driving a tad over the speed limit.”

        You’re already a felon by default since you obviously exited your cave, which may have otherwise kept you in misdemeanor territory.

      2. Quo: You must be a recluse. The average citizen commits three felonies a day, obviously without knowing the laws. Who does? No one, not even legal experts.
        “Elections matter” in that they perpetuate authoritarianism. If the populace boycotted elections, and the MSM reported it (highly unlikely), voting would be mandatory (it is elsewhere). But it would show a non-violent revolt against participating in a sham, pretending voting changed the system.

    5. Even if Biden/Harris don’t make the cut, California is already there.

      They’ve been hacking at guns and cars for years and taking them away, bit by bit. And now, the end is near…………..

  6. I love Stossell’s article but this point is driven too much by someone who obviously doesn’t work in the goods production sector. The consequences of the Obama Administration is STILL felt everyday; practically everywhere.

    From working 120hrs a week to keep things going JUST to avoid the unjust mandated ‘entitlement’ expenses of hiring someone to help which is completely UN-affordable.

    From loosing healthcare insurance due to lack of choice plans and principled enough not to STEAL commie-money.

    From new heavy machinery that won’t run 90% of time and burns down whenever it feels like for no reason.

    From hyperinflation starting to materialize obviously with wildly increasing price tags.

    To political prisoners getting locked up for standing with the Constitution. etc, etc, etc,,…..

    Ya; Don’t tell me things got better. Obama just about destroyed everything that was ‘better’. Trump undid a lot of that destruction but not enough and the “commie-money” and wild inflation is a fault of both of them.

    1. “From working 120hrs a week”

      Stop fucking lying.

    2. I wouldn’t call it hyperinflation just yet, but anyone who does the grocery shopping has to be feeling the pinch right about now.

    3. So you’re working 17 hour days, 7 days a week?

      1. It has happened more than it seems people would like to believe 🙂 – but; no, not regularly generally during a everythings-breaking harvest season.

    4. You idiots can’t even get your talking points straight. Did or did not Trump create the greatest economy the world has ever seen? What’s that you say? It’s still obama’s fault you can’t turn a penny in the greatest economy in the world? LMFAO

      1. It certainly was getting better under President Trump until COVID came along instead of compulsively getting worse.

        1. Sure. Trump’s trade war was gonna drag you back into the back black. He was bailing you out because he totally ruined your market and yet you still support him.

          1. What’s humorous is your claim that “he totally ruined your market” right in the face of market price increases (things getting better). And somehow that blind yet incorrect idea doled out new “commie-money” which ironically was supported MORE by Democrats than Trump and the GOP.

            No one I know wants that “commie(stolen)-money” because it is STOLEN money and that’s not the kind of flawed principle we’re willing to participate in. But I hear some in the city are buying Lamborghini’s with it.

            And I’ll continue to support any party that believes in Individual Justice instead of THEFT is a RIGHT…

            1. Good to hear you’re supporting the libertarian party. Jojo2020!

              1. Jojo is a BLM supporter who lives in a Libertarian Utopia where outside political forces don’t exist.

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  8. “Love, friendship, family, raising children, building businesses, worship, charity work—that is the stuff of life!”

    Name anything on this list that progressives do not want to control. Or on any other list.

    1. There is one side of this debate that does not recognize any limits to government involvement.

      It is that simple.

      1. Indeed it is. I think most people vote according to their moral convictions and what makes them feel virtuous. Those who are supporting Democrats either just can’t not get beyond their revulsion of the man called Trump, or truly believe that we need a stronger central government to make everything fair and square. They never realize the consequences to themselves until it hurts on a personal level.

        1. With their “conquer and consume” mentality it becomes time to conquer that-over-there anytime, “it hurts on a personal level”.

          Point-n-Case; Immigration.

        2. That’s human nature. No one cares until their ox is gored.
          I’ve seen that so many times in my six decades on the planet.

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  11. I do like the perspective called on in this article. How much the world has changed in the last fifty years is something that tends to get lost.

    1. Forgets to mention it can change back.

      1. Heinlein’s ‘bad luck.’

  12. Guns do not happen outside of politics.

    1. Logged onto Reason for the first time in a few years just to say this!!

    2. Mao disagreed.
      Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

      1. I agreed with Mao. Learn how to read.

    3. This year’s riots and looting have convinced many anti gun types of the validity of that statement.

  13. “Remember: The most important parts of life happen outside politics.”

    And the Liberal Fascists are doing their damnedest to change that: “All within the State, nothing against the State, nothing outside the State.”

    1. It’s not enough to be non racist, you must be actively anti racist… comrade

      1. Do you think you will get thrown in a cage for being a racist?

        No, of course not, we reserve that for brown people seeking asylum.

        1. If they did; you wouldn’t be here Tony 🙂

      2. Is that you Jo?

      3. Why does anyone care if someone else is racist?

        As long as they don’t act on that perception in a way that affects another, they are free to think whatever they would like to.

    2. B Mussolini, 1922

      1. “Do we really need so many lampposts?”

  14. The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid more than he does” – Napoleon Hill pkv games

  15. Let’s freak out about this. A chilling interview with Hunter’s ex partner;

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/plausible-deniability-tony-bobulinski-biden-family

    PS Joe Biden is a crook

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  17. “Look at the chart of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, or any measure of economic growth,” adds Boaz. “It looks like a hockey stick: flat for almost all human history, and then it rockets upwards.”

    That upward rocket was largely due to the industrial revolution made possible by the utilization of fossil fuels. Since Biden and the Dems have decided they are bad, and therefore must be banned, looks like a return to the bad ol’ days. Forgive me if I am not so indifferent about the outcome.

    1. when you get ride of fossil fuels you can go back to the tried and true method of slavery which is what socialism is.

  18. Thank you, John, for this article. I am old enough to remember hearing the following (or something akin to them):

    “Nixon has destroyed the presidency.”
    “Carter has doomed the US to being a second-rate nation.”
    “If Reagan is elected, the streets will run with blood.”
    “Clinton will destroy the constitution.”

    I imagine most readers here can fill in their own words in spaces for Bush, Obama, and Trump.

    Somehow, we managed to survive, and even prosper, despite the dire predictions. This election is no different.

    1. Are we truly prosperous though? I admit that 20 years ago I would have answered that question “Duh, of course we are!”. But now, I’m not nearly so sure.

      Is prosperity that’s overwhelmingly built on a foundation of debt and leverage in every sector of life (government, industry, and personal finance) real, or is it just a house of cards doomed to eventually collapse? How confident are you that everything in America ten years from now will still be hunky-dory if the debt is $60 trillion and twice the GDP?

      1. I will admit that my two major concerns, long term, are the debt and endless war. Which is one reason I cannot support either major party. That is why I keep my fingers crossed.

      2. We are over leveraged because people with no jobs or crappy jobs can’t buy the things produced, so we flood the market with funny money so they can keep the production going.

        I expect some welfare to be a necessary thing to provide food and shelter for people truly in need, but to use welfare and credit to bolster the economy does not speak well of our prosperity.

      3. You mean 5 years. In ten years the debt will be pushing 200 trillion at the current rate. In fifteen years we will get to make up a new word for bankrupt to describe the thousands of trillions in debt we are. As long as the rest of the world is willing to play along, I’m down. Besides, when they quit playing along, we can just invade them.

      4. Right. The other shoe is going to drop, it’s just taking a very long time to fall.

        Nick Kristof at the NYT does a version of this article about once a year I think. It is good to keep a perspective on what’s getting better.

        Not long ago I told a friend living overseas that yes, they should apply for citizenship there since the opportunity arose. They haven’t been back to the states in about a decade. It’s hard to explain, but politics here feels like online solitaire in which every game is unsolvable. That’s a bad sign. Eventually the dam breaks.
        I’ve been wondering if that was alarmist, but I don’t think it was. The world as a whole is improving, and during that time there have also been a few genocides, in which time the world did not improve for those particular people. The world does not have to be improving for every individual person in order for the trend to be toward improvement. So certain things can be tanking here in the US and the global trend would still be toward improvement.

        Whoever wins this election, the other side will double down their social disruption. Morris Fiorina on the other thread is right.

    2. Wisdom comes with age.

      Otherwise, there is just destructive rage.

  19. Yeah, we get that optimism. The world is more civilized and keeps getting better. It is evident, and there is much written about this. But isn’t it also true that the wrong kind of government can reverse the course? Let’s face it, the democratic socialists have been trying to institute their plan for utopia since the late 1800s, early 1900s. They get close, but opposition has taken them out. Obama made some disastrous changes but was thwarted before it got any worse. This time is different. It’s a perfect storm if they take the presidency and both houses. Less moderate dems in both houses. Academic institutions brainwashing younger voters, Hollywood and pro athletes using social media to influence impressionable people, Big Tech helping the dems fight. And a current president who never understood the true meaning of freedom. To be optimistic, you have to buy into the dems plan for rewriting the constitution and letting government decide what’s best for you. Maybe freedom isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be?

    1. http://twitter.com/KittyLists/status/1321332341076160516?s=19

      Holy shit! CVS looted earlier in Philadelphia, PA. As that is happening, a truck gets T-boned and completely flipped over. Occupants of the car flee the scene, probably due to being in a stolen vehicle. This is absolute lawlessness

    2. “But isn’t it also true that the wrong kind of government can reverse the course?”

      I would say the wrong governmental policies can “slow” the course. But, I would also make the claim that it takes a lot more than a “bad” congress or a “bad” president, even when both are “in power” at the same time, to make much of an impact. However, I do write this with my fingers crossed.

      1. I hope you’re right. Obama’s free reign ended with the 2010 mid-term elections, but that was before social media became what it is today. So many uninformed and unprincipled people running around. So many can’t think for themselves. Violence is never the answer. I hope that we can find a way to break through some day. Libertarians should run for lower offices.

        1. Libertarians should run for lower offices.

          “Vote for me and I’ll leave you alone. No more free shit, no more fucking with people you don’t like, nope, none of that. I’ll do my best to tear down the power of this office.”

          And they’ll get like three votes, max. People want free shit. They want those they don’t like to be fucked with. They want a government with the power to do something.

          The tradition of limited government and skepticism of power is gone. Kaput. Hasta la bye bye.

          1. Well said Sarcasmic. I’m reminded of a Little Abner cartoon from some time ago. Government is a dragon that starts out small but keeps taking more and more until he eats you. And it doesn’t really care who it eats once it has the power over everyone.

      2. Civilizations have collapsed before. It can do it again.

        1. i understand your sentiment, but the USA is not a “civilization.” And it is not ruled by an “emperor” (despite how some presidents might see themselves.)

          If the federal government was to utterly fail, and fall, we still have fifty State governments and about 3100 county governments to keep things going. Although they would like the voters to believe otherwise, it is not the feds who “keep the lights” on or “keep the trains running.”

          1. If the federal government collapsed I believe there would be another war between the states.

            1. Or it could end up like those apocalypse books and movies where it is roving gangs and some feudal enclaves.

              1. you mean roving gangs like we have in Portland and Seattle now who block off whole blocks for their select few. the collaps has started with the blessing of the local leaders

                1. Something like that.

                  Those folks made a lot of mistakes if they expect to achieve whatever goals they have. They turned off the population and backed themselves into an untenable position. If they are insurgents they never read about how to go about it.

                  Mao said “the guerrilla moves through the people like a fish through the sea”

                  Look at the Taliban that is exactly what they do and they defeated us. ISIS failed because they seized territory and ended up terrorizing the population who initially welcomed them.

                2. Another example the Viet Cong. They failed as a conventional force but were highly effective as a guerrilla force where they blended in with the population often with local support. Hezbolla in Lebanon. They maintained hospitals, schools and local services and are now part of the government.

            2. “If the federal government collapsed I believe there would be another war between the states.”

              I think it would more likely result in a re-organization of the States, those on the west coast, those in the north-east, etc, But, I think it would be more of an “economic” union than a “political” union. This would not necessarily be a bad thing.

          2. The purpose of the federal government is to keep the rest of us paying the federal government so they can pay themselves and hire more federal government workers who then pay contractors to do any actual work who line the coffers so they can get re-elected.

            The local mayor has much more impact on my life than the president. Someone needs to fix the traffic problem on rt.8.

    3. Prime example Cuba and Venezula were once prosperose until they became socialist

    4. “isn’t it also true that the wrong kind of government can reverse the course?”

      Yes but, not for long.

      People have tasted the forbidden fruit and will seek it again when it is denied and they realize their mistake.

      Slavery is the perfect example. A worldwide phenomenon for much of human history. It fell piece by piece and it ain’t coming back anytime soon. You can enslave someone’s body but not their mind. Only they control their mind.

  20. Very well said Mr. Stossel. The Presidency is important but it is not worth the amount of time spent worrying about it. The greatest impact each of us can make is in our family and in our community. If the candidate I support does not win, I will not go into the streets, I will not have a mental breakdown, I will direct my efforts to making sure that my community reflects my values even if my President does not.

  21. I’ll check back with the optimists after 2 years of President Kamala Harris, a Pelosi-led House, a Schumer-led Senate and a 15 member Supreme Court.

    1. “President Kamala Harris, a Pelosi-led House, a Schumer-led Senate and a 15 member Supreme Court.”

      Year Zero

    2. Pelosi as VP, AOC as house leader.

    3. >>I’ll check back with the optimists after 2 years of President Kamala Harris

      you won’t have to.

      1. Because this site will be declared hate speech, and get unpersoned?

        1. I’m an optimist … because there won’t be a President Harris

    4. The thing is though, if that happens they will bring forth the biggest red wave the country has ever seen in two years.

      There will be hurdles if something like that happens, but Stossel is right, this country is built with very solid foundations and can easily withstand raging one party control.

      After all, the biggest enemy for a party is the party itself. And nothing makes that more clear when that party has complete control.

      1. “The thing is though, if that happens they will bring forth the biggest red wave the country has ever seen in two years.”

        No, there won’t. The present electorate might try that, but a new electorate will likely be imported, and elements of the old electorate disenfranchised, within that two year span.

        Nobody realizes they’re in a revolution, when the revolution is starting.

        1. Nah, your “the end is nigh” and claims of “revolution!” are hyperbolic cliches that we get to endure once every four years. This isn’t a revolution, this is simply an American presidential election.

          I know that humans have an inherent need to live in the most important times ever, but that doesn’t actually make it so.

      2. No honor among thieves?

  22. “Child labor was once ubiquitous. Now it’s limited to a few countries in Africa. Women did not have a vote (until New Zealand granted it at the end of the 19th century). Today, women vote everywhere except for the Vatican,” Tupy reminds us.

    FORWARD !

    1. He says politics aren’t everything and an example of that is women voting?

    2. Uh, history lesson:
      On December 10, 1869, John Allen Campbell, the first Governor of the Wyoming Territory, approved the first law in United States history explicitly granting women the right to vote.

    3. some places voting is just theater and it may be this election year as well. voting is not proof of enlightenment

    4. >>Today, women vote everywhere

      ya they’ve been fucking shit up here for 100 years.

      1. As my late father used to love to say – mostly to irritate my mother – the worst thing we ever did was give women the right to vote and, driver’s licenses.

        I can see now that I had a fantastic childhood and great parents.

  23. There is life outside of politics and it’s being taken over by politics. Workplaces and schools are being infiltrated by this woke, critical race, white fragility, anti-colonial, etc. bullshit. Businesses are being wrecked by virus politics on top of being literally wrecked by riots, the result of the politics involving police. This election will determine to a large extent how and how much these things will affect most of our lives over the next four years.

    1. Maybe the reason life is being taken over by politics is that people are noticing that government is taking over their lives. The left likes this and wants more of it; the rest of us want it to stop.

      1. Trump has been president for almost four years dude.

    2. “over the next four years.”

      Important to keep in mind. That’s a drop in the bucket of time overall.

      Even if this happens, it won’t last long.

    3. Secret ballot is one of the most important and least mentioned features of our elections. We do not have to tell anyone who we vote for.
      Unfortunately now it’s against etiquette not to tell people who we vote for. Predictably, social hostility has increased.

  24. Things are getting better in other parts of the world as they catch up to the West, but here in North America wages have stagnated, infrastructure is crumbling, education became an anti-enlightenment cult, and technological progress doesn’t advance at even a tenth of the rate it did 40 years ago.

    Almost everyone in my community are worse off than we were a decade ago. The effect of Obama’s oil and pipeline policies and then the impact of Prime Minister Zoolander’s fiscal policies.

    Meanwhile, we’ve never been less free. People still can’t freely assemble. You can now be arrested for voicing the opinion that transgenderism is a mental health issue, or for thinking bumfucking isn’t quite the same as being black or female. Someone left a tiretrack on a gay rainbow crosswalk (imagine, a tiretrack on a road) and they treated it like a hate crime on par with the holocaust.

    1. Canukistan sucks, blah blah, say something we don’t already know.

    2. You can’t be arrested for being a bigot. Stop consuming rightwing media. It is making you stupid, and I am not convinced you had that much to work with in the first place.

      1. Laws are different in Canada where he lives.

        1. You can’t be arrested for being a bigot in Canada.

          Jordan Peterson built his entire grifting career on a misunderstanding over that law. It’s all so fucking retarded.

  25. THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIVES!

    A REFERENDUM ON THE FATE OF AMERICA!

    VOTE REPUBLICAN OR IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!

    AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!1111!1eleventy111!!!!!!!!

    1. Despite being my favorite poster on these boards, I have to disagree with you some here, sarc. I agree that some folks are overstating the importance of this election and I think Stossel’s article has merit, but it’s not enough to downplay that this is still a very important election. The Democratic Party continues their march towards socialism and Biden is proposing to accelerate spending, double down on a horrible healthcare agenda, and to increase taxes. All of those things impact the vast majority of Americans and it’s important to push back against these policies, especially when you’re likely facing a Democrat-controlled House and Senate plus the possibility of court packing. The Republicans have plenty of faults but they’re the only realistic option to push back against these policies.

      1. Hope in one hand, shit in the other. See which one fills up first. Well I stopped voting because all I ever got was a fist full of shit.

        1. “Well I stopped voting because all I ever got was a fist full of shit.”

          That wasn’t a voting booth; it was a bathroom stall. Also, not a ballot box you were reaching into…

          1. I thought we agreed to leave your mom out of this.

            1. Ha, funny because it doesn’t really make sense.

      2. If I were realistic I wouldn’t be a libertarian. So no worries. Reality is overrated. I probably wouldn’t vote either if Jo were not on the ballot.

      3. The pendulum swings dude. It may seem like it takes a long time to swing back your way, but it’ll go faster if you stop staring at it.

      4. Yep. But, once people taste that trip to the DMV meme applied to every aspect of their government interconnected life, they’ll rebel once again.

        Maybe it’s just time to refresh the tree of liberty with a bit of tyrant blood?

  26. “Love, friendship, family, raising children, building businesses, worship, charity work—that is the stuff of life!”

    Also a list of the things the socialists want to regulate first.
    (yes, they are all the first priority)

    1. “Love, friendship, family, raising children, building businesses, worship, charity work—that is the stuff of life!”

      And totally dependent on prosperity and stability. We enjoy those things because our standard of living and a degree of freedom allows us the ability to engage in them. It can all be taken away, and depending on the outcome November 3rd, that will either continue to constrict.

      Yeah, elections matter. As when Hunter Thompson put is, you don’t think it matters who the President is until you find yourself in the middle of a Southeast Asian rice paddy with people shooting at you. Then it really matters.

      1. Too true.
        I remember everyone told me if I voted for Goldwater, the US would be drawn into an interminable land war in southeast Asia, there would be riots in the streets, and the economy would collapse. I voted for Goldwater anyway, and all of that did happen.

        Welcome to the revolution.

      2. Dogs fuck the pope, no fault of mine.

  27. “worship”

    Pathetic

    1. Yes, you are.

  28. A drinking straw, LifeStraw, removes bacteria and parasites from water.

    It better not be made of plastic!

    1. PS: Joe Biden is a crook.

  29. I guess you can expect it on a website like this but it does seem that more people are freaking out about politics. Not a recipe for happiness.

    1. Yep, excited for Nov 4th, regardless of the election outcome.

      1. I don’t think it will be over even then. This one is going to take a while to settle down.

        1. Probably right, but at least then I won’t have to suffer through all the campaign ads, junk mail, and robocalls. It will just be people bitching, not trying to persuade/berate/beg me to vote a certain way.

          1. Damn robocalls. I got one from the Jewish Republicans few weeks ago. I asked her “how do you even know I am Jewish? Is there some kind of master list of Jews in the republican database?”

            1. As a person of faith, myself, I’ve never understood groups that qualify their religious beliefs with political affiliation.

          2. I won’t have to suffer through all the campaign ads

            Try and tell me that Trump’s zombie ad isn’t a fundamentally different breed of political ad.

            1. Had to google it. Ha, it’s pretty funny, and less annoying than most. My favorite part was that it’s only 15 seconds.

            2. I liked “The Bidening”, too.

          3. Well, and the occasional riot – – – – – – – – – –

            1. Not where I live. Sucks for those who are stuck dealing with it, but I’m not one who’s really effected by it.

      2. So is my city. Vallejo, CA. They just announced last night that they are opening their EOC on November 3rd:

        “This action is being taken in preparation for the potential for civil unrest directly associated with the 2020 elections. While there is no immediate threat of unrest, nor do we have reason to believe there will be a threat in the City of Vallejo or surrounding areas, the City must be prepared to respond to any emergency appropriately. ”

        Government shall set us free!

  30. Inequality isn’t really a problem, John. It may be a psychological problem (mostly for people on the left), but not a material / standards-of-living problem.

    1. But, but, but, those 1%ers you know. Those bitches have everything. It’s not far.

      Remember what happened to Marie Antoinette after the remark about cake?

      It’s only right!

      The government as Robin Hood.

  31. The most important parts of life happen outside of politics if you live in a free country. If you don’t, then politics is all that matters no matter what. The question is do you really believe the country would remain free should the Democrats take over and stack the courts and do everything else on their agenda. I think that is a very debatable proposition at best and hardly a sure thing.

    So, maybe you should freak out over this election.

    1. Human history is rife with examples of people waiting until several million dead bodies have been piled up before people generally start to freak out. Lots of the people who climb out of the piles of dead bodies lament not being at least a little more freaked out ahead of time for the rest of their lives.

    2. As I posted above:

      “Love, friendship, family, raising children, building businesses, worship, charity work—that is the stuff of life!”

      And totally dependent on prosperity and stability. We enjoy those things because our standard of living and a degree of freedom allows us the ability to engage in them. It can all be taken away, and depending on the outcome November 3rd, that will either continue to constrict.

      Yeah, elections matter. As when Hunter Thompson put is, you don’t think it matters who the President is until you find yourself in the middle of a Southeast Asian rice paddy with people shooting at you. Then it really matters.

    3. What specifically are you worried about? If you say socialism I’m going to vomit. Make one solid attempt at complaining about something that’s actually real.

      1. tens of millions of dead people across the world prove socialism is real. It is as real as starvation, or a bullet in the head.

      2. “…If you say socialism I’m going to vomit…”

        Socialism.
        I hope you choke on it.

      3. Puke in your mask Tony.

        1. “Masks make me gay” is not a policy platform, you ridiculous sheep.

      4. 1.when people are willing to arrest people for the smallest thing of not wearing a mask there is no stopping them.
        2. when and they have said this they will arrest anyone supporting opposition to Biden and climate change etc.

        they claim to stop at nothing and there is no reason to think they are joking.

        1. Karens rule the world!

    4. This is the issue. One of the major political parties wants to utterly destroy the American way of life. That sounds like hyperbole, except that it’s the stated intent of many of that party’s supporters, who sound more and more like an apocalyptic death cult every day. If it were just lunatics in the media, I would consider it alarming, but it’s clear that members of my own family would denounce me to the Stasi if they could. If these people get power, they have no intention of allowing the rest of us to go our own way.

      1. Ballon is a current German movie about malcontents using a balloon (which Krauts can’t spell) to escape into the decadent, boojwah, dog-eat-dog West. The Lives of Others (which we misspell) shows Workers’ Pair-of-Dice from another angle. Yet history, Stasi and Nazi still rhyme.

    5. It’s refreshing to hear the Democrats using accurate language in regards to their intentions. Actually saying they’re considering “packing (or stacking) the courts”. Surprising that the gate keepers haven’t all agreed upon using “balancing the courts” as the approved verbiage yet. I suppose the euphemism treadmill takes time.

  32. I get paid more than $120 to $130 per hour for working online…..Visit here to earn thousands of dollars

    1. I’m tired of your ho ads.

  33. Today, women vote everywhere except for the Vatican

    Yup. No nuns voting on anything in The Vatican. Women in Mosques everywhere, including Mecca, regarded as full and equal partners.

    Why not get even more stupidly persnickety while we’re at it? No women are voting at the White House! No women are voting at Reason HQ!

    Fuck. I notice this article doesn’t have the usual Stossel’s views aren’t the views of Reason Magazine disclaimer at the bottom. Stossel’s having shit written by the dirt stupid ghostwriters at Reason now too.

  34. Presidents are temporary. The Grateful Dead is forever.

    1. Yeah, if you could ask Jerry; I’m sure he’d agree that “dead” is indeed forever.

      1. you could ask all the dead people that why do you hate Jerry?

        1. You’re the one who brought up Grateful Dead; I’m just going with the theme here.

    2. Yeah! Wave that flag! Turn on, tune in, take over! Vote LP

  35. A billboard in Peru turns humidity into potable drinking water.

    Water so good it’s both potable *and* drinkable!
    (I’m Donald Trump and I approve of this billboard.)

  36. What is this? On days when the stock market crashes you pump out the Panglossian shit? I get why Ron Bailey does this. It’s his job to be the most optimistic of science reporters while staying just this side of science denial. After all, there would be no libertarianism without oil money, and that’s just a fact.

    We can adopt an optimistic outlook about the overall trajectory of humanity while responding to threats to that progress. Like, say, a fat orange fascist and his oligarchic party responding to inevitable demographic realities by stuffing by the judicial system with rightwing ideologues so they get to make policy forever anyway. And the hundreds of thousands of dead people to whom said orange man replies, “Stop dying and making me look bad. Fuck your families and their medical bills, I’m bored.”

    Maga hats crying and rending their garments won’t fix the world, but it will be enough to give me a good night’s sleep.

    1. It’s funny you are always clueless.

    2. >>the judicial system … to make policy forever

      welcome to the darkside?

      1. The Supreme Court has been dominated by Republican appointees since the 1960s. The current court is dominated by the appointees of Republicans who lost the popular vote. It’s fucked up.

        1. Why haven’t you moved back to China Tony?

        2. >>dominated by Republican appointees

          most of whom “stray from (R)” whatever that means and tilt left with the decisions … making forever-policies from the bench

          1. Or maybe the Republican Party had strayed from conservatism. I mean look at it.

            1. absolutely (R) is (D-Lite) anymore … but the *people* who vote (R) still believe the lies and expect the SC justices to be like them … we’ll see who the latest 3 justices become

            2. Conservatism? Why not come out and say Christian National Socialism? Everybody knows that “Tony” means “Gulags and Berlin Wall communism,” so why all the fake euphemisms? Libertarians have listened to communo-fascist euphemizing for damn near half a century, and it gets old.

        3. Popular vote elects dog catchers and aldermen–the better folk who vote on behalf of the riffraff when it comes down to cases. The States (it was and ought to be counties) are the voting units in electors’ election of commander-in-chief. This is the guy who summons forth the State militias to resist (or conduct) invasions.

    3. “…by the judicial system with rightwing ideologues so they get to make policy forever anyway.”

      I realize you post here in order to satisfy your masochism. but if your understanding of the role of the court [of any composition] is to make policy, you are truly warped. And ignorant.

      Ok have your fun getting off on that.

      1. Define role. It may not be there to make policy, but make policy it does. It just made the policy that Wisconsin ballots have to be received by one day and not another. Courts make policy. Anyone saying otherwise is trying to sell you something.

        1. The SC upholds or neutralizes the policies of others based on constitutional grounds.

          1. Tony hates the Constitution so the SC is just a [WE]-mob-rules thorn that needs to be expunged.

  37. Life will go on after the election, probably with a lot of not-so-peaceful protests if Trump wins.

    But all the progress Stossel celebrates, that was brought to us by capitalism and world trade could be lost in a shorter time than anyone imagines if we forget the lessons of history and embrace socialism in some misguided quest for equality.

    1. “…if we forget the lessons of history and embrace socialism in some misguided quest for equality.”

      To sum up Biden’s agenda.

    2. Socialism is not on the table. If you are going to care about these labels, at least use them precisely. Biden is a capitalist, Trump is a capitalist, Obama is a capitalist, even Bernie is a capitalist. Norway is capitalist. It’s all capitalism. It won and it’s not goi be away. Now we just decide how much of a public sector we want working within capitalism to make human lives better. That’s all this has ever been. The labels exist to scare you into voting for terrible people enacting terrible policies.

      1. You mean Trump isn’t literally Hitler?

        1. Well, he’s not nearly as thin as Hitler.

      2. Tony: “Now we just decide how much of a public sector we want…”??
        The free market (capitalism) is commerce free from the initiation of force, threats, i.e., politics as usual. Politicians who endorse politics as usual are socialists/fascists. Businesspersons who endorse the system are socialists/fascists, even if they are ignorant of that fact.
        Labels are names we give to concepts. Concepts are our cognitive tools. Fear is a psychological short-circuit of thinking. It makes it easier to manipulate the masses, e.g., the Panhoax. Observe how easy it was for petty tyrants to push billions around, short term, but that is changing as the fear gives way to knowledge that the threat was a hoax designed to test how far people would allow tyranny.

    3. Capitalism took centuries to raise billions out of poverty and serfdome and medial malaise. Socialism can destroy those gains in a decade

      1. The POTUS doesn’t have that much power.

  38. Thanks for the reminder!

  39. Apparently Stossel hasn’t been following the news for the last eight months.

  40. Try telling the losers in a communist revolution that the most important parts of life happen outside politics.

    1. Not all the important things in life happen in bread lines. Sometimes an important part of life happens just above a shallow ditch.

  41. >The most important parts of life happen outside of politics
    You mean, like losing your job because of cancel culture? Like not being able to take courses at your local college because you’re white and might offend some snowflake? Like your doctor dropping you as a patient and reporting you to the CDC because you have a gun at home? Like having to shop at Walmart because all the local small businesses have been shut down by the dhimmicratic politicans? Like not being able to go to Thanksgiving at a relative’s home in California? Like not being able to fly Southwest or Delta because they’ve become aerial covid stormtroopers? Like that?

  42. Please differentiate between the USA (and probably the rest of the 1st world) than the whole world. Yes, the 3rd world shitholes of the world are getting richer, freer and less shitty. The US (and I suspect most of Europe) is getting crappier by the day. That trend has been going on for a while, even before the 21st century.
    We are poorer than we were 10-15 years ago as objectively measured by cost of living relative to salaries (NOT the lie of CPI). The amount of debt at all levels (federal, state, local, individual) is an impending disaster. Interest rates are well below true inflation which means you have no choice but to see your savings deteriorate or play the rigged, centrally planned sham of a stock market. Homelessness problems are getting worse and worse.
    More and more things that were legal are now illegal thanks to regulation. The government controls more and more of our lives and business.
    This year has cemented that private property and contract law is a relic of history (see eviction moratoriums). We have had hands down, by far the worst violation of liberty in peacetime in this country. And the mission creep of 2 weeks of lockdown to now 8 months is terrifying, yet completely predictable.
    Culture rot is rampant. It’s in science, academia, business, etc… Average work ethic has gone down considerably. Entitlement mentality is everywhere. Free speech as a cultural norm is dying before our eyes. Ignorance of US history, world history and current events is all over. Freedom is seen as an enemy and unlimited government control as desirable. Entrepreneurs are treated as tyrants. This year violent and property crime has become acceptable for woke enough causes. There is tolerance if not outright preference of feelings vs logic and facts.
    The only thing that’s improved in the US over the last few decades is electronic gadgets (a large amount of which are pointless). By most other metrics (which are more important than iPhones) things are worse and keep sliding downhill.

    1. Keep your hands of my iPhone! I couldn’t live without it. It is the most important device in my life.

  43. While I agree with Stossel that it doesn’t matter who wins (because the political paradigm stays the same) I don’t agree with his implication that politics is not important. The politics that is based in reason, rights, choice is essential to our species survival.

    1. Just remember, when we don’t survive, the most likely species will be insects and reptiles. They are much better equipped for survival in the long run than any of us weak, mammalian types.

      1. Raccoons will be the next masters of the Earth.

  44. I just posted screenshots of bookie odds for now and 4 years ago. Trump has better odds now than when Dem offers–to ban electricity and tax air–elected him then. Jo Jorgensen is the out-of-the-ballpark favorite for spoiler vote clout according to those same bookies–the bookies who got it wrong four years ago. Methinks Trumpistas are moaning and gnashing in hopes of poaching Libertarian votes. The past shows they can afford to quit shrieking and still elect their gang members while Libertarians still WIN by frightening them into repealing bad laws.

  45. Maybe worth pointing out the fact that because history looks like a hockey stick is actually an argument against things going up forever, not for.

  46. LOL. More insightful analysis from the intellectually clumsy douche who brought America the alar scare.

  47. A very insightful article. I am probably to the left on economic issues than 99% of the people who read this site every day. About half my friends are some variety of conservative. We have fun arguing and talking shit. It’s sad that there is so much demonization of people who don’t share your opinions.

  48. Don’t Freak Out About the Election. The most important parts of life happen outside of politics.

    Unfortunately, politics decides what those “most important parts” look like.

    For example, politicians turned San Francisco from a beautiful, liberal, tolerant city into a literal cesspool with poor people dying in the streets, nasty Antifa pricks attacking older gay men, and the ultra-wealthy elites living it up in their mansions and country estates. So, the “most important part” of retiring in a city I used to like, near my friends, didn’t happen due to politicians. When politicians destroy cities, states, or entire nations, it strongly affects “life outside of politics”: it destroys friendships, communities, retirement savings, and neighborhoods.

    Harris/Biden would likely do to the US what Democrats have done to San Francisco and California. I can certainly pack up and move to some other place again, but Biden will have destroyed my “life outside of politics”, and I don’t want that to happen.

  49. You may not believe that. Surveys show most people think life is getting worse.

    But it isn’t, as Marian Tupy and Ron Bailey point out in their new book, “Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know.”

    “Child labor was once ubiquitous. Now it’s limited to a few countries in Africa. Women did not have a vote (until New Zealand granted it at the end of the 19th century). Today, women vote everywhere except for the Vatican,” Tupy reminds us.

    “Gays and lesbians, persecuted for millennia, are free to marry. Slavery was universal; now it is illegal. The world has never been more peaceful, more educated and kinder.”

    But the nastiness of today’s politics may stop progress! Make life worse!

    Regards

    https://us-nortonsetup.com

  50. Except for likely thousands of Americans “blacklisted” for almost 20 years now. Libertarians should thoroughly understand what “Cointelpro” style blacklisting is. Not a single justice on the U.S. Supreme Court understands (or cares) about the most evil program and tactics used by any government. John Ashcroft’s abuses of the federal “Material Witness Statute” appears to happening in 2020 with “employment tampering” – although outlawed by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “Employment Tampering” is the most insidious tactic that the U.S. Supreme Court is ignoring. For likely thousands of innocent Americans, the federal government chooses our occupation, we are not allowed to work in certain occupations or they decide if we can earn any income at all. For example: someone with decades of harness experience is allowed to perform dangerous tree work but not allowed to make a living working on high-rise buildings (using the same skills and equipment). If you get killed, there is no accountability for the bureaucrat that endangered their innocent prisoner. Bob Barr is apparently also not interested in law or order.

    The United States today in 2020 has a Cold War style “Stasi” that punishes legal First Amendment activity, adopted from the Communist East German model during the Cold War. Neither major party will fix it, Libertarians should understand America’s most evil program. A great resource is published by the National Archives titled “McCarthyism: the making of a blacklist” by Robert Justin Goldstein in 2006 (www.archives.gov).

  51. You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain knowledge. Thanks for sharing the such information with us to read this…thanks

  52. We will wait, but we hope all is well

  53. I read this in John Stossel’s voice in my head.

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