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No, They Can't: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed
Author John Stossel
Country United States
Language English
Genre Politics, Economics
Publisher Threshold Editions
Publication date
April 10, 2012
Media type Hardcover
Pages 338
ISBN 1451640943

No, They Can't: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed is a 2012 book by American consumer reporter, investigative journalist, author and libertarian columnist John Stossel. It was released on April 10, 2012, and focuses on the failures of government intervention.


Stossel argues that "he has dismantled society’s sacred cows with unerring common sense. Now he debunks the most sacred of them all: our intuition and belief that government can solve our problems." In No, They Can't, Stossel tells of the inefficiencies that government intervention causes. The term "no, they can't" is a rebuttal to the chant used in Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

The book gives several examples of government intervention: trade barriers, food and medical regulation, the education system, labor unions, gun control, minimum wage laws, the war on drugs, and advocates of universal health care.[1] Stossel heavily criticized economic egalitarianism, stating that an incentive for innovation is a higher income. Many of the statements in the book were later reiterated in episodes of Stossel.[2]


No, They Can't debuted at number 17 on The New York Times Best Seller list on the April 29, 2012 issue.[3]


  1. ^ Snell, Lisa (April 06, 2012). "New John Stossel Special: No They Can't! Why Government Fails But Individuals Succeed". Reason Foundation. Retrieved April 22, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "It’s a Can’t-Miss Stossel: ‘No, They Can’t! Why Government Fails But Individuals Succeed’". Fox News Insider. News Corporation. April 06, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Best Sellers - The New York Times". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.