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.