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HBO's Bill Maher on Friday received a much-needed education on U.S. corporate profits from - wait for it! - an African-born international economist (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
After showing a video clip of Fox News’s Sean Hannity and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain discussing whether or not Barack Obama is intentionally trying to destroy capitalism, Maher said, “This is where the Republican Party is. And, you know what? Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are higher than ever. How can he be destroying capitalism? They’re eleven percent. This is the highest since World War II.”
Enter clearly the smartest person in the room.
“But there’s two ways to make profit, right?” interjected Dambisa Moyo. “The problem’s that there’s two ways to make profit. Profit equals revenue minus costs."
Talk slowly, Ms. Moyo. There's an idiot sitting next to you.
"You can either reduce costs or raise revenues," she continued. "And in this case, the reason why everybody is up in a tiz correctly is that companies have been cutting costs quite aggressively, amongst them labor costs, and amongst them higher unemployment. And that’s why I think there’s a schism between that kind of discourse between the Republicans.”
Moyo obviously didn’t realize she was speaking to a total nincompoop, for Maher then asked, “But you don’t think Obama is purposely trying to destroy capitalism?”
“No I don’t,” replied Moyo, “but I just think it’s a bit more nuanced than what you see.”
For those unfamiliar with Moyo, she was raised in Zambia, and has a Ph.D. in Economics from St Antony's College, Oxford University, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, an MBA in Finance, and a B.S. in Chemistry from American University in Washington D.C. Moyo also worked for the World Bank.
As such, Maher was way outclassed - although that doesn't take much.