Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bill O'Reilly Fails Basic Logic and Economics

The amazing Bill O'Reilly a man who is both an  elitist and a claimant  for the status of tribune of "the folks out there" has his admirers despite the fact that he rarely gives any critics on his show a chance to finish any sentences.  His annual pretense of a "War on Christmas" every December is becoming a regular part o f the holiday festivities at Fox News, just the way some other networks do an annual presentation of movies like "It's A Wonderful Life" (1946) or "White Christmas" (1954).   There is no arguing with Bill on his own show without his "Irish" getting up, so it's best for opponents to  take his "talking points" and respond to them one by one so they can finish their thoughts, the way Bill-O does for himself but fails to do for others.

Here we see a classic logical fallacy:  begging the question. Bill can "beg the question" (assume a premise is true without presenting verification of same)  with the best of them. Some governments in Europe have a more developed social welfare state, ergo, it must be true that all economic problems  are caused by domestic spending on health services,education and pensions. Richard Wolfe goes a way in setting that straight by pointing out that very solvent nations have the same benefits and are doing quite well.  Even Ireland (one of Bill's  dreaded "nanny states") is recently out of major debt problems, and although it had to pare down its public sector,  it did stop abandon services.

  O'Reilly  is listed as having graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard but I doubt he would have made it past my Logic or Economics professors at community college  with his "begging the question" tactics or for promoting a single-cause explanation for major events (the reasons various nations in Europe fell on hard times in 2008-9.)

If O'Reilly  thinks the US economy is just Greece or Portugal writ large, he should check out how well the stock market and corporate profits have been doing lately, and also note how much of the gains have gone to the small dividend-grabbing  crowd at the top at the expense of those average taxpayer guys and ladies of the middle and working class who paid off the debts of the major investment banks like AIG and Goldman Sachs or  have been downsized into near or total poverty and are still waiting for all the good things  to trickle down to Main Street. (It's better for Main Street than a year ago, granted, but not by much--such is the legacy of the worst economy since the Great Depression.)

The truth of the matter is that multinational financial capital run amok played as big if not as big a role in the disasters of the USA and Europe, disasters fueled in part by toxic Wall Street securities tied to the housing bubble in the USA.  To ignore that equation is to forget there is more than one elephant in the room and it takes many a pachyderm to make a stampede.


  1. I can't add much to the points Richard Wolfe makes here Doug. O'Reilly is just a mouthy tabloid TV anchorman and opinionated intelectual midget, of no real consquence outside the heads of the one dimensional passive consumers of garbage tv. Actuakky Ireland is a poor example of a Nanny state because in the Republic unlike in the UK you have to pay to be seen at accident and emergeny hospital departments, you have pay to be seen by your GP and you have had to buy your kids school books. Indeed it is one of the reasons the majority in the Six Counties of Northern Ireland want to stick with the UK and don't want to part of a united island of Irealnd. I don't know whether Mr O'Reilly claims any Celtic kudos, but whether he does or he doesn't he should try to find out at least a little about the places he comments on. He's like a pub bore given a licence to bullshit to millions....nice work if you can get I'm sure Doug, but as a serious commentator I would suggest we place Mr O'Reilly in roughly the same category as Huckleberry Hound.
    Thanks for exposing this corporate minnion presently unheard of on this side of Atlantic, but I suspect the BBC will be offering him a prime slot before too long. Thanks for the vacuous motormouth warning Doug, we shall remain vigilant.

    1. The price of liberty (or avoiding gasbag pub bores who happen onto the telly) is eternal vigilance, AA, as A. Huxley or somebody important said. I'm happy to hear he's not a big noise in England and the environs. Indeed O'Reilly has said in interviews that he has felt "judged" by the Manhattan New York elite for his Irish-American name and roots. I say that's likely hogwash since anti -Catholic feeling in this country died out decades ago. They guy is a jerk and no one with half a brain in the US cares what island his grandmother or whomever came from--we're all mostly descended from the marginalized of some place or I meself would be driving a garbage truck in London or Manchester or, worse, a Westminster MP. ;-)

      Wow,I must say I'm a bit gobsmacked that kids in Ireland have to buy their own school books. My mom's family had to do that for their four kids back in the Depression. And assumed the health laws in Ireland were close to the UK. No I wouldn't want to jump from Ulster to the Republic with that kind of social backwardness in health and education, although Mr. O'Reilly might enjoy such a haven in his coming dotage. One only hopes he wishes to return to the "Old Sod" and find his roots as soon as possible. Thanks for the updated info, AA. Much appreciated.