Calling Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-MA) recent criticism of Bush economic policy "victimology" and the "class warfare game," Fox News host Bill O'Reilly offered his own explanation for unemployment and lack of economic success: "[I]n order to fail in this country, you've gotta be one troubled individual." He also said that those who are a part of this "permanent underclass that does not succeed" are "stupid," "addicted," or have "mental problems." "All these things," O'Reilly said, "encompass all of our underclass."
O'Reilly repeated the theory in his August 11 nationally syndicated column, claiming that "less-educated" Americans, plus those who suffer from "addiction, mental incapacities and other serious maladies," equal "a full explanation as to why some Americans fail in the marketplace." "[T]hese are not "average" Americans who are earning six bucks an hour," wrote O'Reilly. "These are adults who most likely sleepwalked through their school years."
From the August 10 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Our pal Ted Kennedy made a press release yesterday decrying the Bush economy after Treasury Secretary John Snow said, well, you know, the economy doesn't benefit all Americans equally. People with better education do better in the economy. Well, it took Kennedy about 30 seconds to get a press release out, see, I told you, the Bush economy is just for the rich, blah, blah, ga-bo-bo-ba.
Now, I mean, this is pure propaganda from the senator from Massachusetts, but we expect that because the game that is being played is the class warfare game and victimology. Now, I mean, does it come to any shock -- does anybody -- any of you out there shocked that a person who is better educated is going to do better in any economy unless it is run by Fidel Castro? Of course. If you're educated, you're going to do better in any economy.
Now, what Kennedy wants is that he wants to take from the people who do well and take their money and assets and give it to people who don't do well. That's called income redistribution, hallmark of the left. It's quasi-socialism, but it's not labeled that here in America. What it is labeled as is fairness. And that's what the tax-the-rich thing is all about. Take more of the wealthy assets and distribute it among those who don't have anything, or don't have much.
Now, in order to fail in this country, you've gotta be one troubled individual. We have a 5 percent unemployment rate here. We have people from Haiti, from the Ukraine, from Mongolia, from Vietnam, who come over here with no skills, no education, no language, and they can make 40 grand, and they can buy a house, and they can have a life. Yet we have a permanent underclass that does not succeed.
If you go to this permanent underclass and speak with them -- and I have, I have -- there are two reasons -- three reasons, really, why people can't make a living. All right? First reason: They are stupid, ill-educated, have never, ever taken an interest in acquiring knowledge about anything. So these are the people who are so staggeringly dumb, you can't hire them. Uncharitable? Yes. True? Absolutely.
Two, the addicted. These are the homeless people you see scarfing money from you, OK? Addicted to whatever substance. Can't hold a job because they have to be in a constant state of intoxication. And three, those with mental problems that society doesn't know what to do. OK? You can't put them in the mental facilities anymore, the ACLU gets them right out. But they're schizophrenic or bipolar, whatever, so they can't conduct themselves in the workplace.
All of those things encompass all of our underclass. Because if you're a hard worker, if you become educated, and you're honest, you'll make a living in this country. That's the beauty of the country. That's why we have millions of people trying to get in here, millions of aliens trying to get across the border, who don't have any education.
They're coming from South, Central America, Mexico -- they can't -- they'll do anything to get here. Why? Because they can make a living here. Got it? So the Kennedy stuff is just -- it's just BS. All right, with due respect to the senator.
From O'Reilly's August 11 nationally syndicated column:
The federal government is spending record amounts of money on public education even as local property taxes continue to rise almost everywhere. But no matter how much is spent on the schools, some kids will not respond in the classroom. Take it from this former teacher. Those slacker children must be identified and put on another track -- they must be taught a skill so they can make a decent living in a competitive society.
Senator Kennedy likes to portray less educated Americans as "victims." Some of them are: victims of stupid, irresponsible parents. But many simply don't care for one reason or another. Add to the equation addiction, mental incapacities and other serious maladies, and you have a full explanation as to why some Americans fail in the marketplace.
Kennedy and his cohorts in government cannot force individual Americans to become educated. Those who make the choice to live in intellectual chaos will pay a price for that foolish decision and all the "welfare" programs in the world won't change that. And by the way, these are not "average" Americans who are earning six bucks an hour. These are adults who most likely sleepwalked through their school years.