Quality of Life comes with Consumer Choice

John Stossel – Big Government Bullies Part 3


In this segment, John Stossel interviews Spirit airlines CEO, Ben Baldanza. Spirit airlines is known most recently for charging carry-on baggage fees. Ben Baldanza defends the practice of charging for carry-on bags and states something insightful about capitalism and consumer choices.

Stossel: What do you think of Senator Schumer saying these fees erode the quality of life?

Baldanza: Well the quality of life, I think, comes with consumer choice, to some extent.

Audience: Applause

Baldanza: To me it’s like going to McDonald’s and saying they have to sell french-fries with every hamburger. Now a lot of people buy french fries with a hamburger, but what if you don’t want french fries? McDonald’s still can sell you just the hamburger and not make you pay for the french fries.

There is a loss of the quality of life when the right to decide for yourself what you are willing to pay or not pay for is taken away. Regulations which decide what consumers must buy or cannot buy are encroachments on freedom and diminish the quality of everyone’s’ lives.

McDonald’s recently did experience regulators telling them what they cannot sell, as Santa Clara County did when they recently banned the selling of toys with meals. Deciding for others how and what they can spend their money on diminishes freedom and the quality of life.

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Free Trade is like Good Sex

John Stossel – Is free trade good?


In this segment of John Stossel’s on free trade, Stossel and Tom Palmer discus the connection between free trade and war. Palmer points out countries that trade with one another are much less likely to go to war with one another.

The correlation between trading countries and warfare can not be stressed enough. As long as there is positive activity between countries the chances of war are diminished. Even countries with opposing political systems are less likely to go to war when trade is involved.

We all of know couples that can’t get along and constantly bicker, but manage to stay together because they are still having sex. Trade has the same impact as sex in how countries interact. Trade pushes countries with bad relationships to at least try to get along.

The reverse of the trade and sex analogy should pointed out as well. Just as sex withheld in a relationship is likely to escalate into a fight, withholding trade (tariffs, embargoes, restrictions) is likely to escalate tensions between countries.

When countries are threatening to go to war, we look at the underlying problem–how long has it been since they had some good trading?

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