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O'Reilly Doesn't Get Capitalism

Reported by Judy - October 27, 2005

Bill O'Reilly displayed Thursday (October 27, 2005) that he is fundamentally ignorant of America's economic system. Unbelievable as it may seem, O'Reilly does not get the fact that corporations are in business to make as much money as possible, regardless of how much it hurts somebody else.

Out to prove that he's "looking out for you," O'Reilly ranted about Exxon-Mobil's report that it made a profit of more than $10 billion in the last quarter, more money than any other American corporation has ever made in a quarter. "We know there is price gouging going on. You can't deny it, ... You can't make $10 billion in a quarter unless you are doing that. ... These corporations are exploiting chaos in the war on terror, our bad luck with Katrina, and all of that, by not only passing on the costs to the consumerrs, but tacking on even more," he said.

The high energy prices will cause a recession next year and already is prompting talk of imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies, which he said he opposes. "That's not what capitalism is all about," he said, suggesting instead that consumers "punish" oil companies by using as little energy as possible. To O'Reilly's credit, he criticized Bush's energy bill for giving tax breaks to big oil companies and suggested the federal government impose a 30 mile per gallon standard for all vehicles "on Detroit."

O'Reilly's guest, Dean Baker from the Center for Economics and Policy Research, supported the windfall tax, telling O'Reilly that corporations are quick to ask for bailouts when they are in distress, as the airlines did after 9/11, despite that conflict with capitalism, so they should be asked to pony up in return when they have extraordinary profits.

O'Reilly betrayed his ignorance of capitalism when he replied, "I can't figure out why these oil companies didn't get the PR aspect of this. They didn't have to gouge to this extent. They could have made $8 billion this quarter instead of $10 billion."

But, Bill, that's not what capitalism is all about. Capitalism is about making as much money as possible in order to pay bigger dividends to shareholders so the stock price will go up. "Their bottom line is the bottom line," Baker explained.

In short, capitalism is about greed. Self-restraint does not enter into it.

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