John Oliver Explains How The Economic Game Is Rigged Yet We Still Believe We Can Make It

“Our main story tonight, is income inequality.” Oliver began. “A good way to figure out which side of it you’re on, is whether you are currently paying for HBO, or stealing it.”
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Via Raw Story, a piece covering John Oliver's blistering comments on income inequality on his great new show, Last Week Tonight:

In an extended segment on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver turned his gaze on income inequality, noting that Americans overwhelmingly believe that the system favors the rich while, at the same time, accepting it, believing they too will somehow be rich someday.“Our main story tonight, is income inequality.” Oliver began. “A good way to figure out which side of it you’re on, is whether you are currently paying for HBO, or stealing it.”

Yeah, that joke might keep us from pondering about how we have to pay extra to get news that isn't quite as misleading and spun as what we get on the free channels!

Noting that President Obama recently delivered a speech where he used the expression ‘income inequality,’ twenty-six times, calling it “the defining issue of our times,” Oliver pointed out that Democrats immediately retreated on the issue in the face of accusations of class warfare.

“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,” he said.

Pointing out that income inequality is not exclusive to America, Oliver explained that it “rising faster here,” with the average income of the richest ten percent now sixteen times as large as the poorest ten percent.

“At this point, the rich are just running up the score,” Oliver said. “If our economy was a Little League game, someone would have called it by now.”

Ah, but we know by now that the mercy rule never applies to the poor!

Noting that economic policies that benefit the few at the expense of the many shouldn’t be acceptable to Americans, Oliver attributed acceptance to “America’s greatest quality — optimism.”

“Here’s the key. Sixty percent believe that most people who work hard enough, can make it,” Oliver explained. “Or, in other words, ‘Yup, I can plainly see this game is rigged which is what is going to make so sweet when I win this thing.’”


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