The Wealth Gap

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Bill Maher's excellent and sobering commentary on the wealth gap


Last night, Bill Maher closed with a powerful New Rule about the wealth gap in our country, and why the wealthy should be afraid, very afraid.

And finally, New Rule: since the average CEO now makes $380 times the wage of the average worker, if you want to modernize The Great Gatsby, don't just show the rich exploiting the poor, show the rich eating them. (graphic of zombie eating human flesh)

Yes, a new version of The Great Gatsby opened today, a fond look back at a gilded age when the very rich ran their big pretty cars right over the very poor. And that was supposed to make you sad — for the rich, or the car, I can't quite remember.

But the point is, Gatsby isn't really accurate for today, because the wealth gap now is so much more profound than it was even in the 1920s. The average "sales" associate at Walmart makes $8.81 an hour. While the six heirs to the Walmart fortune are worth $90 billion (audience gasps) — the same as the bottom 130 million Americans. Yes, the have-nots are getting a lot have-nottier.

And not just at Walmart. 1 in 4 Americans makes less than $10 an hour. 146 million, about half the country, do not have enough to meet basic needs. And I say if you don't want to pay people, just go all the way and do what we do here in Hollywood, and call them "interns". (audience laughter and applause)

Look at fast food jobs. It used to be they were the extra jobs our kids would do to earn money for gas and weed. So they weren't using up all of mom and dad's. Adults worked actual jobs. But now, the economy is such that the fast food jobs are the actual jobs. The median age of a fast food worker is now 28. At the end of the order, they say, "Do you want one of my kids with that?"

And they're the lucky ones. There's now a web service called SeekingArrangement.com that matches rich men with cash-strapped college girls. He provides tuition money, and she provides "companionship". It's one hand washing the other — only in the case of one of the hands, it's a penis. (grossed out audience laughter)

Or Google the words "McDonald's prostitute", and you'll see stories about women being arrested for offering sex in exchange for a Happy Meal. Google "self surgery", and you'll see people operating on themselves, because they have no health care. Families are literally eating cat food. I mean, something is really not right when the kids hear the can opener, and start rubbing themselves against your shin.

And the older kids? 42% of recent college grads live in the houses they grew up in, because they cannot afford rent anywhere else. And it's really creepy when you're a co-ed trolling for a sugar daddy on SeekingArrangement.com, and you get an IM from your actual dad downstairs saying, "Damnit, honey, I'm already paying your rent!" (audience groaner)

There was a story recently about a Georgia man whose home was in foreclosure, savings running out. So he called 911, and when the responders arrived, he took them hostage. His demand? Getting his electricity turned back on. Now I'm not saying that's a smart approach, but squeezing people economically so tight, that they go all Django Unchained, that's not smart either.

If you're rich, you should be begging the government to redistribute your wealth. 'Cause you know what happens in countries where there's a huge disparity between the rich and the poor? The rich get kidnapped. It happens 72 times a day in Mexico. Getting snatched out of your car is so common in South Africa, that they actually make cars that do this.
Source: www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/11/1208385/-Bill-Maher-s-excellent-and-sobering-commentary-on-the-wealth-gap?detail=emailclassic

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As long as there are rich people in the world, they will be desirous of distinguishing themselves from the poor. - Jean Jacques Rousseau



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