At a time of massive economic dislocation; when people pack jobs fairs; when service-industry workers can’t come close to making ends meet, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly found it instructive to thrust his own wages into the discussion. In a monologue straight out of Introduction to Macroeconomics, O’Reilly said the following last night:
It’s clear that President Obama wants the federal government to run the economy, and that has been a disaster. Economic growth in this country has been about 2 percent. That’s why wages aren’t rising. Workers make more money when there is a demand for their services. For example, my salary has gone up because other people would like to hire me.
That’s one interpretation. Another is that O’Reilly knows precisely how to milk every last squirt of demagoguery out of a high-profile issue — of late, the George Zimmerman verdict and race relations in America — in pursuit of the best ratings in cable news. That exotic skill, plus his annual earnings in excess of $10 million, make him something of an anomalous case study for the workings of the labor market.