John Oliver explains the major problems with America’s flood insurance program

lanx john oliver last week tonight flood insurance

“Floods were everywhere this summer,” said John Oliver on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. “Think of them as the ‘Despacito’ of natural disasters: persistent, ubiquitous, and absolutely no fault of the Puerto Rican government.”

“But while floods are often referred to as natural disasters, the truth is, the damage they do is often, to some extent, within our control,” he explained, “because we have made certain decisions that put and keep people and property in the path of flooding. And that is what this story is about.”

A federal program called the National Flood Insurance Program was created in the 1960s as a way to subsidize insurance until people could move away from areas that put they’re lives at a risk. But as Oliver pointed out, “that’s not how people work.”

“Huge risks to our personal safety for the sake of a discount — that was the entire premise behind the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.”

The program is up for renewal in December, and Oliver had some ideas on how to fix it. Watch the clip below to see what those are.

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Caleb is a writer, scholar of satire, and creator of The Lanx. He earned a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley, and M.A. in Literature from Queen Mary University of London, where he focused on satire, satirical propaganda, rhetoric of satire, political cartoons and caricature.

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