Bill Maher defends socialism, calls capitalism “America’s real religion”

On Friday’s Real Time, Bill Maher had some words for capitalists who treat socialism like a plague despite enjoying a multitude of social programs. “Someone needs to explain to the free-market crowd that when it comes to socialism, you’re soaking in it,” Maher says in the clip. “So many Americans hate the word ‘socialism’ but love the concept: Medicare, unemployment, disability, farm subsidies.”

“America’s real religion is capitalism,” he explains. “And like any religion, it needs a devil. And that devil has always been socialism.”

Conservatives see unchecked socialism as the greatest threat to the economy, but Maher points out that unchecked capitalism is the greater threat.

“It’s eaten our democracy. It’s eating our middle class,” Maher says of capitalism. “It’s eaten our health care system, our prison system, our news media. It’s even eaten our food systems so thoroughly that a lot of our food is no longer something that should be eaten.”

Maher goes on to discuss the recent report that the National Park Service could start selling naming rights to clear some of its $18 million debt. He jokes that buffalo will soon have Nike signs shaved into their fur, and the Grand Tetons will surely be sponsored by Hooters.

To wrap up, Maher admits he’s not against capitalism, but that unchecked capitalism is a problem. “Older people think socialism is capitalism’s enemy, and younger people think it’s capitalism’s replacement. But they’re both wrong. What socialism is, is capitalism’s lap band—something to prevent it from eating everything.”

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