There are very few diamonds in the television dungheap.
John Stossel's new show, Stossel, is one of them. Thursday's show featured John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods, and it was excellent. It will probably repeat on FoxBusiness a couple of more times. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to libertarianism, you owe it to John Stossel's ratings, and you owe it to the planet to Tivo this show every week. You owe it to third world countries. Think of The Children. It's the closest thing to a libertarian TV program that I've seen.
If you don't know his story, Mackey recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal advocating a more free market approach to healthcare. All of Mackey's proposals were simple, inexpensive, and fair. The ThoughtPolice were outraged, of course, and called for a boycott of Whole Foods.
(Whole Foods is the leading organic/locally grown/health food outlet in the U.S. Whole Foods' customers, until recently, didn't know that the Whole Foods CEO was a Libertarian who voted for Bob Barr in the most recent election, and who also contributes large chunks of money to Reason magazine. God bless him. He's doing more for humanity through his charitable work than he's ever done by providing locally grown organic arugula to the socially aware shoppers of Highland Park, TX. Please hit both of those links if time permits.)
Mackey claims that since the boycott, sales have actually increased. I intend to go to the Arlington TX store this morning for the first time ever. Guess why?
Stossel also had the leader of the Whole Foods boycott on the program, a guy who mostly fumed and sputtered and expressed his outrage. There are all sorts of links to various TV shows and resources on the boycott site, but there's no mention of this dude's appearance on Stossel's program. Mostly because John Mackey carved the poor guy up into tiny bite-sized organic pieces, doused them with a locally-grown marinade, and ate them (with sustainably produced utensils).
Last week, Stossel showed how you can get the taxpayers to buy you a free golf cart via the Cash For Clunkers scam. This week, he explained why you are insured for a free electric wheelchair, whether you want to be insured for one or not. (You are probably eligible ! ! Even if you aren't handicapped ! ! Our operators are standing by ! ! Call now ! ! Dial 1-800-WE-LOBBIED-FOR-IT ! !)
The program closed with a short piece on Lasik eye surgery. In the past ten years, the cost of a Lasik procedure on one eye has dropped from more than $2,000 to somewhere around $1,000, despite a near-doubling of all other medical costs.
Because Lasik isn't not covered by insurance, so people shop around. If the price isn't right, fewer people elect to have the procedure done. Lasik is one of the few free market medical procedures. Doctors have to compete for the business. Customers care about the cost. Therefore, the cost is dropping.
Stossel. FoxBusiness. Go to the Tivo now. Program it to record.
One other thing....in my previous post about Stossel, I mentioned that all of the audience questions were hostile. I kinda like that.
Others disagree. Go to Stossel's blog for a discussion.
Full Disclosure: See those display fixtures Mackey is standing near? I think they were made by my employer, Jukt Micronics.