Stossel

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  • Watch An Economist Go On Fox And Debunk Myth That Immigrants Steal American Jobs

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox Business host John Stossel invited economist Ben Powell to debunk the widely held right-wing media myth that immigration takes jobs away from American workers. Powell explained that immigration actually creates jobs and better opportunities for Americans.

    For years, conservative media have claimed that immigrants hurt the economy by stealing jobs from American workers. Powell explained that immigration actually helps the economy and "frees up American labor to do the things we're better suited to do, and that creates jobs."

    From the November 9 edition of Fox Business' Stossel:

    JOHN STOSSEL: The people who say they take jobs. It's logical. They do take some jobs. So what's your answer to that?

    BEN POWELL: That on net they don't take jobs. Immigrants both take jobs and create jobs. 

    STOSSEL: The seen versus the unseen. Explain that.

    POWELL: You can take this camera that I'm looking at right now and you can stick on somebody who used to do, say, landscaping, and you can say, "I used to do this job and look, there's an immigrant doing that job right now." That's the displace -- but also, it frees up American labor to do the things we're better suited to do, and that creates jobs. But those jobs are statistical because jobs are created because of technological changes, changes in resource costs, all sorts of things. So it's hard to stick a camera on the person who got the job, but it's certainly real. Just think about what's happened to the size of the labor force since the end of World War II. We've had massive entry of women, baby boomers, and after 1965, immigrants into the work force. We've roughly tripled the size of the civilian labor force, but we've seen no long-term increase in unemployment. As we've almost tripled the number of workers, we've almost tripled the number of jobs. We have a limitless desire for goods and services. As we get more workers, we put them to work doing those things.

    [...]

    Even the low-skilled ones [immigrants] who don't create businesses that create jobs perform tasks that their labor is better suited to than the American labor. The case for more immigration into the United States as an economic gain to us is the exact same as for international trade in goods and services. It's not about net number of jobs, it's about changing the mix of jobs so that the native-born citizens do the things we're better suited to do. When the brain surgeon hires an immigrant to mow his lawn, that frees him up to do more brain surgeries, making us more productive. 

  • Fox News Has Spent 5 Years Warning That The U.S. Could Become Greece

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Since 2010, Fox News' hosts and analysts have kept up a steady drumbeat of dire warnings that the United States is on a road to financial and economic ruin and could meet the same fate as Greece if it doesn't implement draconian cuts to social safety net programs as a way to cut the debt and deficit. But Greece, which pursued such cuts, accelerated its economic deterioration, while the United States has rejected extreme austerity measures and enjoyed six years of continuous economic recovery.

  • Who Are Fox's Newest Experts On Immigration?

    ››› ››› SOLANGE UWIMANA & SALVATORE COLLELUORI

    Over the past three months, Fox has amplified the voices of two anti-immigrant guests, Michael Cutler and Dennis Michael Lynch, hosting them at least 13 times to rail against immigration reform and bash immigrants. Cutler, a former immigration officer, has an extensive history of associating with anti-immigrant, nativist organizations. Lynch is a documentary filmmaker whose expertise on immigration seems to stem only from directing two anti-immigrant films that have been heavily promoted by nativist organizations.

  • Fox's Stossel Overplays His Invisible Hand

    Blog ››› ››› JILL FITZSIMMONS

    Fox Business host John Stossel contradicted himself within just a few paragraphs over whether the "free market" can remedy pollution.

    In a FoxNews.com column, Stossel acknowledged that the "free market ... doesn't offer a practical remedy to pollution," but went on tout "capitalism" as the answer to pollution just a few paragraphs later:

    Originally, environmental rules were a good thing. I love the free market, but it doesn't offer a practical remedy to pollution. I could sue polluters for violating my property rights, but under our legal system, that's not even close to practical.

    So in the '70s, government passed rules that demanded we stop polluting the air and water. Industry put scrubbers in smokestacks. Towns installed sewage treatment. Now the air is quite clean, and I can swim in the rivers around Manhattan.

    [...]

    Throughout the world, most reductions in pollution have been achieved because of capitalism, not government control.

    Fracking for natural gas reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

    Even much-hated coal and oil provide benefits. [emphasis added]

    Stossel was right the first time. Experts from across the political spectrum say that when the "free market" does not account for the external costs that fossil fuel production imposes on society, the government must step in to put a price on pollution. As Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman put it:

    Externalities like pollution are one of the classic forms of market failure, and Econ 101 says that this failure should be remedied through pollution taxes or tradable emissions permits that get the price right. [...] So if you really believed in the logic of free markets, you'd be all in favor of pollution taxes, right?

    Krugman highlighted a 2011 study by centrist economists which found that coal imposes more costs on society than any other industry and may be "underregulated" as its price does not account for these damages.

  • The Right-Wing Money Putting John Stossel In School Classrooms

    How The Right's "Dark Money ATM" Spent More Than Half A Million Dollars On Stossel Educational Materials

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK

    Stossel in the classroomTwo foundations that have been described as "the dark money ATM of the right" have spent more than $500,000 combined funding a non-profit organization whose primary function is distributing libertarian education materials featuring Fox Business host John Stossel.

    Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, the affiliated funding groups, were until recently obscure entities. But over the past month a series of reports have detailed how those organizations have paid out more than $400 million to over 1,000 conservative groups since their 1999 founding. Those reports have described how the two organizations have allowed wealthy individuals to discreetly underwrite trending conservative causes like climate change denial.

    The groups have also been the primary funders behind an effort to flood American classrooms with packaged libertarian lessons branded with John Stossel's mustachioed face. In 2011, Donors Trust gave $40,000 to the Philadelphia-based Center for Independent Thought (CIT), with the funds earmarked for the distribution of "Stossel in the Classroom" teaching materials, according to IRS filings obtained by Mother Jones

    According to CIT's website, its mission is to "bring the ideas of liberty to freedom-loving people around the globe." They do so primarily through the distribution of free "Stossel in the Classroom" videos, DVDs and discussion guides, which the program claims are currently used by more than 150,000 teachers in middle school, high school, and college classrooms around the country. 

    The Center spent $360,872 on the "Stossel" program that year, making it by far the largest of the three active programs listed on its website.