O'Reilly: "Most people who don't make any money are not educated because they didn't wanna get educated"January 14, 2005 11:59 AM EST ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
On the January 13 broadcast of Westwood One's Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, host O'Reilly informed Randy Albelda, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, that "[m]ost people who don't make any money are not educated because they didn't wanna get educated." Here's an excerpt from O'Reilly's discussion with Albelda:
O'REILLY: Do you believe in redistribution of income?
ALBELDA: Oh, absolutely.
O'REILLY: You do?
ALBELDA: Oh, absolutely.
O'REILLY: So, you think the government has the right -- because I've been successful -- to take my money and give it to somebody else?
ALBELDA: The government's been doing the opposite. The government, recently, has been redistributing from the bottom up.
O'REILLY: Okay, well, that's debatable. I never got anything from the government.
ALBELDA: Of course you did. How did you get to work today?
O'REILLY: How did I get to work today? I drove.
ALBELDA: On a road?
O'REILLY: On a road, right.
ALBELDA: Well, there you go.
O'REILLY: That I paid for -- I paid for it. In fact, there's a little sign on the Midtown Tunnel [in New York City]: "Thanks, Bill, we appreciate the road."
ALBELDA: Yeah. And --
O'REILLY: Come on. The government never gave me anything, madam. I mean, I'm paying an enormous amount of taxes. And, you wanna take more and give it to somebody else who may have not gotten educated 'cause they're lazy. I mean -- I resent that --
ALBELDA: Is that why you think people aren't educated? Because they're lazy?
O'REILLY: Most people who don't make any money are not educated because they didn't wanna get educated.
ALBELDA: Is that what you really think?
O'REILLY: Not that I think it, I know it. I was a teacher.
ALBELDA: Well, I'm a teacher, too. And, I live in a city where I see kids that wanna be educated but often can't -- either they don't have enough to eat every morning --
O'REILLY: They're starving in Boston? I lived in Boston for seven years. I never saw anybody starving in Boston.
ALBELDA: You never did?
O'REILLY: Never! And I was out in Roxbury and every place else!
ALBELDA: Come again and I'll take you on a tour. Okay?
O'REILLY: Okay, we'll go to the starving section of Boston.
ALBELDA: Well, you don't have to go very far.
O'REILLY: No? And, there's kids -- it's like Calcutta?
ALBELDA: You can go to public schools and see kids that don't get enough to eat.
O'REILLY: Yeah, because their family situation is irresponsible.
ALBELDA: Oh, come on. The average wage for a person receiving welfare in Boston is about $8 an hour.
O'REILLY: They shouldn't be on welfare.
ALBELDA: You know what a single-bedroom apartment costs in Boston?
O'REILLY: I do.
O'REILLY: All right, Professor. We appreciate your point of view. And we'll take the starving Boston tour when we get up there.