Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Economic justice

Talking Points 8/29


By Bill O'Reilly

Thousands of Americans working in fast food places across the country demanding their wages be doubled to $15 an hour from the minimum $7.25.

President Obama is sympathetic to that and the left in general believing that our economic system is unjust to working Americans. So let's take a look at it beginning with my employment history.

My first job was at a Carvel ice cream stand I was paid minimum wage with free hot fudge sundaes as a perk. I was 17 years old when I got the job and I worked at Carvel for a year. I understood that I was a rookie in the labor force and could get a recommendation from my boss for the future so I didn't complain about the low pay.

The next summer before I went college I took a Red Cross course. I got my lifeguard certification and then went on to become a water safety instructor. Immediately I made five times more money than I made at Carvel. And I didn't have any trouble getting a job because Long Island is a beach place surrounded by water with plenty of pools as well.

The next year I needed more money because college demanded it so I started a painting business. I rounded up some of my thug friends and we painted houses for very reasonable price. We made a ton of money. I did that for five summers, even after I graduated supplementing my very low income as a high school teacher.

Then I went to grad school and in summer I drove a taxi; flexible hours, tips off the books. Don't tell the IRS. After graduating from Boston University with a Masters in broadcast journalism I took a very low paying job at a TV station in Scranton, Pennsylvania because it was hard to break into TV. So I had to work for peanuts but I knew that if I did good work I would rise up and that's what happened.

Now, nobody is forced to work in a fast food joint. You do that to get work place experience. Then you figure out how to get a better job. That's how capitalism goes. You work your way up unless your dad owns the business. The truth is that capitalism really hasn't changed all that much over the years. Prove yourself in the marketplace and your salary will rise however if you are incompetent, lazy or dishonest you're going to fail.

The left in America and that includes President Obama wants the federal government to guarantee wages and if they could they would guarantee jobs. That is called Socialism.

But the USA is a capitalist country. And if you get educated and work hard, you will not be making minimum wage. Do we all understand that? Now I don't think our system is generally unjust or racist. I do believe, however, that it's not easy to make good money. Big time salaries involve sacrifice, pain and commitment.

But today many Americans feel they are entitled to high paying jobs and if they don't secure them here come the charges of economic injustice and oppression by the fat cats. Look there is oppression in almost everything. During my career up the TV ladder I moved 10 times in 15 years because if the work place where I was became unjust or unproductive, which it did in some cases, I went someplace else and our competitive system gave me a chance to do that, so let's stop the whining, shall we? This country offers huge opportunities. Seize them.

And that's "The Memo."