Speaking to Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!,” Richard Wolff, economics professor who taught at the University of Massachusetts for 35 years, refuted Bill O’Reilly’s contention that the so-called “nanny states” in Europe are going broke due to entitlements. Wolff argued that states such as Germany and Scandinavia provide more social services and also have a low unemployment rate: “The more you do nanny state, the better off you are during a crisis and to minimize the cost of a crisis. That’s what the European situation actually teaches. [O’Reilly’s] just making it up as he goes along to conform to an ideological position that is harder and harder for folks like him to sustain...” Watch:
WOLFF: You know, he gets away with saying things which no undergraduate in the United States with a responsible economics professor could ever get away with. If you want to refer to things as nanny states, then the place you go in Europe is not the southern tier—Portugal, Spain and Italy; the place you go are Germany and Scandinavia, because they provide more social services to their people than anybody else. And guess what: Not only are they not in trouble economically, they are the winners of the current situation. The unemployment rate in Germany is now below 5 percent. Ours is pushing between 7 and 8 percent. So, please, get your facts right, Mr. O’Reilly.