[W]e have ten times as many people as [Canada does]. That translates to ten times as many accidents, crimes, down the line.Bear in mind that this was in response to a letter. O'Reilly had the chance to consider his reply. Drum describes this as flubbing fourth grade arithmetic, but I don't think that's the problem. Knowing how to calculate an average might be fourth grade (that sounds a little bit early, actually, but I don't want to bet my more recent experience with the English maths syllabus trumps Kevin's distant memories of an American one); O'Reilly's mistake is one of basic English. He simply cannot understand what a life-expectancy is. I literally can't find any way to understand the mistake (and I taught this subject to eleven-year olds for three years, so I've seen my share of misconceptions). For a moment I assumed he believed life expectancy is the sum total of everybody's predicted age, but that doesn't make sense because then the States would be higher (it would also put the number in the billions, which might have made even O'Reilly think). So he must know that the life expectancy is how old each individual person is expected to survive, but apparently can still think that adding more people into the pool will automatically drag the number down. Of course even by his insane logic, more people means more success stories and medical miracles, so the whole thing should be a wash, but the fact O'Reilly didn't mention that can at least be written off as deliberate wingnut BS.
I've just realised that I'm attributing outrageous mendacity to O'Reilly in order to give him credit. Remind me again why this gomer is right-wing royalty?