It’s good to be skeptical

John Stossel makes a good point. When it comes to all sorts of bogus claims, we’re happy to be skeptical. Ghosts, palm reading, buy this product and it will cure what ails you… snake oil salesmen have been around for ages.

Yet, we still want to believe.

It’s the same with politics. We want to have “hope”, we want to believe in “change”… and I’m not just talking Obama here, because “hope and change” and “getting better” is what the politicians always promise. They always promise big, but they never deliver on those things we want, and generally when they do deliver it’s the exact opposite.

They promise fiscal responsibility. Then they spend like drunken sailors.

They promise to cure poverty. Then their programs make it worse.

They promise to create jobs. But then they make life so complex and unpredictable that entrepreneurs are afraid to create jobs.

Almost none of their promises come true. But few people approach government with the skepticism it deserves.

Whether you believe in God — or psychics, or global warming — that’s your business. I may think you’re stupid, but if you waste your money on, say, a “strength” bracelet, you only harm yourself.

But being gullible about government hurts everyone. Government is force. When it sells us bunk, we have to pay even if we don’t believe in or want it. If we don’t pay up, men with guns will make sure we do.

It’s good to be skeptical. It’s really good to be skeptical about government.


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