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Scrooge Is Alive and Well on FOX News: "Just because somebody needs health insurance or needs a place to live, I'm sorry but it's not my responsibility to use my profits to fund that."

Reported by Marie Therese - November 20, 2006 -

On November 15th, Virginia's incoming Democratic Senator, James Webb, wrote a scathing editorial in the Wall Street Journal. In it, he chided corporate America for their lack of attention to the plight of the working class in America. It was a call-to-arms for the Democrats and my heart beat faster as I read - finally - some real "fightin' words" from a politician. However, the robber-baron wannabes on FOX News' Cashin' In responded with a verbal assault on Webb, his party and the American working class.

Here's some of what Webb - formerly a Republican who served as Secretary of the Navy under Reagan - wrote that so ruffled the gilded feathers of the the crew at FOX News:

In the age of globalization and outsourcing, and with a vast underground labor pool from illegal immigration, the average American worker is seeing a different life and a troubling future. Trickle-down economics didn't happen. Despite the vaunted all-time highs of the stock market, wages and salaries are at all-time lows as a percentage of the national wealth. At the same time, medical costs have risen 73% in the last six years alone. Half of that increase comes from wage-earners' pockets rather than from insurance, and 47 million Americans have no medical insurance at all.

Manufacturing jobs are disappearing. Many earned pension programs have collapsed in the wake of corporate "reorganization." And workers' ability to negotiate their futures has been eviscerated by the twin threats of modern corporate America: If they complain too loudly, their jobs might either be outsourced overseas or given to illegal immigrants.

This ever-widening divide is too often ignored or downplayed by its beneficiaries. A sense of entitlement has set in among elites, bordering on hubris. When I raised this issue with corporate leaders during the recent political campaign, I was met repeatedly with denials, and, from some, an overt lack of concern for those who are falling behind. A troubling arrogance is in the air among the nation's most fortunate. Some shrug off large-scale economic and social dislocations as the inevitable byproducts of the "rough road of capitalism." Others claim that it's the fault of the worker or the public education system, that the average American is simply not up to the international challenge, that our education system fails us, or that our workers have become spoiled by old notions of corporate paternalism.

Still others have gone so far as to argue that these divisions are the natural results of a competitive society. Furthermore, an unspoken insinuation seems to be inundating our national debate: Certain immigrant groups have the "right genetics" and thus are natural entrants to the "overclass," while others, as well as those who come from stock that has been here for 200 years and have not made it to the top, simply don't possess the necessary attributes.

Most Americans reject such notions. But the true challenge is for everyone to understand that the current economic divisions in society are harmful to our future. It should be the first order of business for the new Congress to begin addressing these divisions, and to work to bring true fairness back to economic life. Workers already understand this, as they see stagnant wages and disappearing jobs.(WSJ, 11-15-06)

What follows is a transcript of what the FOX finanacial analysts had to say on Saturday, November 18, 2006.

WARNING: Do not read any further if you have a weak stomach. Anger induced by the opinions dished out by FOX's so-called "experts" might just give you a severe case of indigestion or cause your blood pressure to rise to unhealthy levels!


TERRY KEENAN, FOX News Senior Business Correspondent: Democrats, getting down to business in Washington but is the first order of business a "shock and awe" class warfare attack? Let's get the "Stock Smarts". Our Cashin' In crew this week - Jonathan Hoenig, Dagen McDowell and Jonas Max Ferris. We also have Charles Payne, Tracy Byrnes and our very own Stuart Varney. Wayne [Rogers] will be back next week and welcome everybody. Well, last week, Senator-elect Jim Webb's win in Virginia secured the Senate for the Democrats. Now, this week here's what he had to say in a newspaper editorial (Keenan read while a clip entitled "Webb's Warfare" came on screen with the quotation from the editorial) "...the true challenge is for everyone to understand that the current economic division in society are harmful to our future. It should be the first order of business for the new Congress to begin addressing these divisions, and to work to bring true fairness back to economic life." Stuart, a long editorial, he lays out this case. What's he tring to say?

STUART VARNEY: You're asking an Englishman about class warfare? We invented class warfare and I know it when I see it and this is class envy at the very least. My point would be - we're coming to the end of a long period of wealth creation. Since the early days of President Reagan we've been concentrating on wealth creation. Now, we're about to enter an era of wealth redistribution and it's a very different era.

KEENAN: Well, Jonathan, and do you agree and is that because that wealth creation was going to the top few percent?

JONATHAN KOENIG, CapitalistPig.com: Yeah, well, what we'll never admit, Terry is that the top one percent actually earned it! I mean, you know, the Democrats think the economy's a big conspiracy to screw the little guy. It's straight from Marx. The bourgeoisie exploiting the proletariat and it becomes, you know, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer's job to kind of to pass out the wealth as they see fit. They forget that wealth is actually earned in this country and it's not a slush fund to be tossed out to whoever needs it at the time.

DAGEN McDOWELL, FOX Business News: Jonathan, you touched on something. They're trying to breed discontent. Instead, they could breed backlash because people in this country aspire to be wealthier. They aspire to better lives. It is the nature of this country and I think people are gonna turn on the Democrats for that very reason.

KEENAN: Charles.

CHARLES PAYNE, WSTREET.com: Yeah, I mean, I agree with everything that's been said so far. You know, you look at some of the great success stories. This week Hewlett-Packard reported their earnings $90 billion. That company was started in a garage. Wanna come [indecipherable]. YouTube sold for over a billion dollars. Two guys, two young guys in their 20s. Now they're billionaires. This is the land of opportunity. Why do we want to punish people who succeed and, by the way, create wealth for other people?

KEENAN: Jonas, Senator Webb does lay out the case that the wealthiest among us don't send their kids to public schools, often don't send their kids off to war. Rich people are living a lot longer than, than poorer people. Does he have a case?

JONAS MAX FERRIS, MaxFunds.com, married to Dagen McDowell: Well, I don't think it's a case but you get traction with this rich message. The reason why the Democrats haven't gotten anywhere in recent years - besides that everyone's home price was going up 20% a year - was that they had a bad, like, vessel for it. You know, John Kerry normally believes when he talks about the poor with his limousines and his wealthy people. But, Jim Webb, that's a convincing argument and, you know the war in Iraq, as you brought up ...

KEENAN: His son's in the military.

FERRIS: Well, right, and that's a good point. When you have a war that's not going well, it's easy to play class warfare because, you know, mostly poor people go to fight the wars and that plus tax policy that looks like it's benefitting people with wealth versus income, you can get some traction with it. Not that it's right, but it works.

TRACY BYRNES, New York Post: Well, we can't blame the Bush administration for this. I mean, it's globalization, you know. Back in the day, when you made a product, you sold it to the people in your town. Now you can sell it to the people in India. So, everybody is making money because of globalization. We can't be claiming class warfare on this. It's capitalism.

McDOWELL: Yeah, and it's growing, the gulf between the rich and lower income Americans. That's been growing since the 70s.

VARNEY: Yeah, but Dagen, it's this envy, that is the problem, isn't it? The envy of people who are not making, say, a million dollars a year for those who are.

KEENAN: Well, is it envy or can that be motivation?


KEENAN: You see someone makin' a million dollars, you want to make a million.

VARNEY (talking over her): It is a political point of view that's exploited by the Democrats and I think it is profoundly un-American. This is a meritocracy, a competitive meritocracy. That's why people like me are here! That's why we come here!

KOENIG: What they never want to hear, Stuart, is that, you know, I'm sorry, but the CEO who makes $50 million is worth a lot more than the factory worker, than the guy stocking shelves at Wal-Mart

KEENAN (loudly, urgently, interrupting): Yeah, but Jonathan, is he - is he but is worth that much more than the factory worker?

KOENIG (louder): Terry, it's not for Chuck Schu - it's not for Chuck Schumer to decide!!

KEENAN: I'm not saying that!

KOENIG: It's not for Jim Webb to decide!!

KEENAN: So, if the market allows it, then it's OK.

KOENIG: I guess, I guess the market thinks he is.

PAYNE: Here's the thing, though. And we're not talking about the real solutions. The real solution isn't raising the minimum wage a buck. OK? The real solution isn't, you know, punishing oil companies for making money. I think at the end of the day if the Democrats really want to help they should get to the real solution. Education and a sense of entitlement that has poor people, poor children, thinking "You know what? If I don't graduate from high school, I'll have a higher minimum wage." We need to take away this sort of comfort zone because the human - that human ability to survive is incredible and if you tell people that they gotta bust their butt, they're gonna do it but if they think they have got a cushion, they're not. (Charles Payne is African-American.)

Comment: $7.15 an hour is a "cushion"? What planet does this guy live on? In point of fact throughout this segment this group of stone-cold narcissists mimicked perfectly the dismissive, callous attitudes Webb described in his WSJ editorial.

BYRNES: But, then you have to stop paying athletes and rappers and people who never went to high school ...

PAYNE: You don't have to stop paying anyone!

BYRNES: ... millions and millions of dollars.

PAYNE: I would love to. I would love to stop paying a million dollars 'cause [indecipherable]

VARNEY: None of this is going to happen. What we're gonna see with a Democrat-controlled Congress is restrictive taxation, regulation and trade policies. That's what we're going to see. That's the reality which is facing us for the next couple of years. It won't be dramatic but that's the direction we're heading

McDOWELL: But the real danger is, Stuart, if the Dem - maybe the Democrats can stave off a real backlash if they raise the minimum wage because what could happen is, if the discontent continues to grow, we have a new President who is anti-trade, anti-globalization, anti-business.

VARNEY: That's right.

KEENAN: Jonas, Jonas, even before this Webb editorial or a lot of this talk, we saw the poll numbers, where President Bush was not getting credit for a good economy. Does some of this factor into it, that the poor among us don't feel like they're getting ahead?

FERRIS: And it's the perception that the policy is not for them. To Charles' point, I disagree. If the Republicans had just raised the minimum wage a dollar - which wouldn't have derailed this economy - it would have been this rich vs poor card if they focussed, say, on AMT [Alternative Minimum Tax] versus the estate tax as their next target.

BYRNES: And they haven't even mentioned that.

PAYNE: You're missing my point, Jonas. What I'm trying to say is that in reality - forget all the numbers for a moment - in reality you have to have poor people - poor children have to think that they have to go out and make it, that there is no cushion if they drop out of high school, that if they don't do well in school, it's OK. This society makes it feel like it's OK if you don't participate, if you don't reach a higher rung.

BYRNES: I think it still comes down to who are their role models. Their role models are people who are hangin' out on the street, shooting guns, and now they're making millions of dollars.

PAYNE: Well, not only in their role models, Tracy, but I'm also saying that they also know, "If I don't make it, I'm still gonna make $10 an hour 'cause that's minimum wage."

BYRNES: Well, because then they'll go on welfare ...

PAYNE: Right.

BYRNES: ... and they'll get food stamps, and they'll get the earned income credit.

PAYNE: Take it away. Take it away.

KEENAN: Well, and that starts with the parents, the first role models.

KOENIG: Wrong. It starts with a philosophy, the philosophy of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" and just because somebody needs health insurance or needs a place to live, I'm sorry but it's not my responsibility to use my profits to fund that.

VARNEY: Jonathan, I ...

KOENIG: Just because somebody has a need, doesn't mean I have an obligation.

VARNEY: I left England in the very early 1970s. I consider myself a refugee from socialism. And I'm delighted to be in this vigorous dynamic meritocracy we call America. Long may it be so. Please!

KEENAN: And you're doing quite well.

KOENIG: I wonder how long, Char - eh - Stuart. Unfortunately, I wonder how long.

VARNEY: I'm with you on that one, Jonathan.

KEENAN : OK. We're gonna leave it there. You two are certainly simpatico. Thanks, everybody. We're gonna keep covering this story next week on Your World and don't forget you can catch the entire Cashin' In crew every Monday with Neil [Cavuto] at 4 PM Eastern.


Words fail me. The self-satisfied preening of this graceless group of wheelers and dealers was so overwhelming - and their compassion and empathy so lacking - that the only "cure" for them would be nocturnal visitations by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future!