VIDEO: ‘The Economy is Rigged’: John Oliver Slams Americans’ False Optimism in the Face of Growing Inequality
In a segment on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver put the spotlight of inequality on average Americans, noting that most citizens accept the broken system because they think they too will somehow get rich someday.
“Our main story tonight, is income inequality,” Oliver opened. “A good way to figure out which side of it you’re on, is whether you are currently paying for HBO, or stealing it.”
Noting that Obama mentioned “income inequality” 26 times in a recent speech before the Democrats abandoned the issue, Oliver said, “So basically, income inequality has become just another topic of conversation we prefer to avoid in America, like Japanese internment camps or that time we gave Roberto Bengini an Academy Award. National tragedies, equally wrong.”
Noting that inequality is rising rapidly in the US and the average income of the richest 10 percent is now 16 times larger than the poorest 10 percent, Oliver quipped, “At this point, the rich are just running up the score. If our economy was a Little League game, someone would have called it by now.”
Instead, he says, Americans have just accepted it, citing “America’s greatest quality – optimism.”
“He’s the key,” Oliver asserted. “Sixty percent believe that most people who work hard enough, can make it. Or, in other words, ‘Yup, I can plainly see this game is rigged which is what is going to make it so sweet when I win this thing.”
“America now has a system where wealth is essentially dispersed as a lottery of birth and maybe the reason we seem to accept that, even though we know the odds are stacked against us, we all think we’re going to win the lottery,” he continued.
After playing clips of “experts” telling viewers how to handle future winnings from state lottery games, Oliver stated, “Absolutely. It is never too early to start protecting your imaginary lottery winnings from crippling estate taxes. It’s crazy, you might as well do an eight-minute segment on how to handle being attacked by a shark while scoring the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. Or things to say on your third date with Beyonce.”