Ellen Degeneres as a Modern Bastiat
By David Henderson
For fairly obvious reasons, I’ve been watching more YouTubes lately. I came across comedian Ellen Degeneres’s first appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. It was back in November 1986. Yikes, I’m getting old.
The whole thing, about 6 minutes long, is quite good. I especially liked the line about kindergarten.
At about the 3:35 point, she calls God to ask why there are fleas: they seem to have no obvious benefit. The whole conversation is quite good.
The part in which she’s a modern Bastiat versus God as the entity who believes in the broken window fallacy is at about 4:35. Of course she doesn’t directly challenge him–he’s God, after all–but you can see from context that she thinks his reasoning is flawed. Indeed, many in the audience wouldn’t have laughed if they hadn’t seen the fallacy in God’s argument for fleas.