Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Don Boudreaux Responds to O'Reilly's Nitwitery
Don Boudreaux writes a classic and brilliant response to some nonsensical whining by Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs who complain on Fox News (see video above) that "working Americans are getting hosed at the pump" by high gas prices because U.S. oil companies are sending their products overseas to make more money:
"I was amused, by the way, that in your Feb. 17th discussion with Lou Dobbs, Mr. Dobbs shared your anger at rising U.S. oil exports. This is the same Mr. Dobbs who repeatedly complains that the problem with America’s involvement in the global economy is that foreigners stubbornly refuse to buy sufficient amounts of American exports. Go figure.
Now about your ethics. You’re paid so handsomely because there’s a large nation-wide demand for your commentary and bombast. In your career you’ve worked for broadcasters in Boston, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, and elsewhere. And before moving to Fox you were a correspondent for ABC News. You apparently never hesitated to sell your product to the highest bidder; you never hesitated to export yourself from one market to another in search of higher pay; you never resisted the bidding for your services by buyers (i.e., employers) far and wide which put upward pressure on the amounts of money that you are paid, both to appear on television and to deliver lunch and dinnertime speeches.
So I ask: are you guilty of an offense against those many Americans who – as a result of your responding to market signals regarding the value of your services – must now pay higher prices for the privilege of hearing your commentary? Should you return to your long-ago job at a local Scranton television station, at your long-ago lower salary, and apologize to the good people of Lackawanna County for your greedy and evil habit of exporting yourself to wherever and whoever offers to pay you more money?"