Bill Maher used the sharing economy to address income inequality
Bill Maher once again addressed income inequality. He started his skit by highlighting two well known stars that are being sued for wage theft.
“If the Olsen twins can charge fifty five thousand dollars for this handbag, they can’t make their interns work for free,” Bill Maher said. “That’s right, the Olsens whose company is worth a billion dollars sell this bag … for fifty five grand while they are being sued by forty unpaid interns who are just trying to get minimum wage.” Bill Maher went on to compare the Olsens with Apple.
Maher said the Olsens are but a reflection of a post ‘greed is good’ world where outrageous income inequality is accepted even by the most affected. He correctly says that these people should be in the streets, unions, and the voting booth. “As usual Americans just find it easier to adapt,” Bill Maher said. “And that’s how we got what economists call, the sharing economy.”
Maher then started to enumerate many of the transitions causing the economic disruption. Stores are now online. There is Uber for transportation. There is airbnb to share (rent) your home. There is TaskRabbit for jobs.
“Isn’t the sharing economy really the desperate economy,” Bill Maher asked. “How did America spend sixty years fighting communism and end up a barter economy on Crag’s list?
Maher points out that the Trumps of the world want to blame Mexico and China. The reality is that many jobs are not being replaced by undocumented workers or cheap overseas labor. Efficiency, productivity, and robots are partially responsible. “But robots and cars did not do this,” Bill Maher said. “We did this to ourselves as usual by worshiping greed. From replacing people with robots, to exploiting interns, from the slave labor we used overseas, to the music everybody steals at home. We have all become so good at scheming, cheating, and venting, raiding, gouging and just plain f%cking each other that we work up one day with this sharing economy, with the one thing we are not sharing are the profits. Some how they forgot to create an app for that.”