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In which John talks about economic inequality, a topic requested by Project for Awesome donator Rachel. The Wimbly Womblys take on Zenit.

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Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank, my name is John Green. I'm the manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys, who find themselves in Europe, specifically in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where today, I think... Wait. Does Zenit play in Saint Petersburg? Nobody knows for sure. But anyway I think that's Saint Petersburg in the background.

Congratulations to the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys. Just a few years ago we were toiling away in the Combined Counties League and look at us now, traveling through Eastern Europe. Oh, it's a beautiful thing. Other John Green's excited for Euro League action, so is Bald John Green, they're starting today.

Today's topic comes from a Project for Awesome donor named Rachel, a 16-year-old Nerdfighter from Toronto, Canada. Thank you for donating to the Project for Awesome, Rachel. Rachel wanted to talk about two things. First she was interested in, she wanted to talk about... She suffers from some rare diseases, and tries, and talked about how, like, difficult it is not to let suffering define your life when you're in chronic pain or living with disability.

As you can see, by the way, AFC Wimbledon, second in our four team division. Zenit is first so this is a very important game to us. We gotta finish in that top two if we want to move on to the knockout rounds which would be nice. Again this is gonna be a difficult game. They've got Hulk up front, the actual Hulk and we just have John Green and John Green. Mose Vestergaard starting out on the wing as well as Francombstein who, despite his strength and brutishness, is in fact a physician, not a monster.

I think, I... So first off, I mean to that first topic, like, I just, I do think that, you know, this is something that Hank talks about very movingly, because Hank deals with, lives with chronic pain and, and, you know, pretty serious chronic illness and, you know, ulcerative colitis that has never really gone into remission or found it's way toward, you know, total manageability. And, you know, Hank... I don't know, Hank is,  Hank has always really impressed me with the way that he can talk to people who're living with, living with pain or, or disability. Just - No that was not a foul. I'm sorry - Just talk to them empathetically without making judgements or giving, giving advice. I don't know. One of the most, I think one of the most frustrating things actually, is, like, being, having a billion people tell you how to solve your problem.

Whoa, that was a foul! That was dirty! Can't believe he's not gonna be carded for that. Typical, typical of these Eastern European referees. I don't like to make judgements but come on.

So, yeah. But the other thing that Rachel wanted me to talk about was economic inequality. I've actually talked about that in a previous video for the Wimbly Womblys, but I do think it's a, I think it's a really... Oh! Ah! A little bit off side. I think it's really, really important to talk about economic inequality, not just in the industrialized world, but also in the developing world.

Because a lot of times you see these statistics about GDP growth and stuff in the developing world and it looks like life is getting better, but if the growth is not shared, then it's not ultimately very meaningful. Like if people who, you know, if there is not, like, for lack of a better term, a growing middle class, then not much is being accomplished. You know who is...

Oh my God! Bald John Green alone with the keeper. And it's a great save from the Zenit keeper. Oh my goodness gracious, look at this. He had to finish and he didn't. You know what the real hero does there, Meredith? Passes to his husband, for an empty netter, that's what he should have done, but he made a different choice. And then Less Moore with a poor corner kick, grabbed by the keeper, and life is full of disappointment.

So, yeah. Like, for example, Nigeria is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but in much of Nigeria the per capita GDP for people living in, like, the, you know, the bottom 40% of income is actually going down. And, and poverty levels are going up in some cases, so I think overall in Nigeria poverty is still declining, but that's definitely a concern and it's a, and it's also a huge concern, I think, in the United States.

That guy just dove, he literally dove! Look at him, look at this dive. Terribly refereed game. That guy, he just fell on the ground. This is, this is ridiculousness, come on. Block the shot! No! It's off the post. Oh, and then we passed it out of the box, just like we like too and then off the post again! Then we're gonna pass it out of the box again because that's who we are as a club. That's what defines us is our ability to pass out of the back. Oh and then defeat our opponents. Look at Callum Kennedy, jumping over the bad guys. Oh, then he gets dispossessed. Alright, so they've hit the post twice, we've been one-on-one with the keeper once. It's just a very exciting game.

So I... Like we, you know, you often see that, like, news stories or statistics or whatever about how economic inequality is increasing in the United States and in much of the world, and it definitely is, but then I think a lot of times where people, or at least where I feel the disconnect is in, like, well what does that mean contextually? Like, I understand that, like, now, like, the 0.1% richest people control, you know, like, 40% of American wealth or whatever, or 60% of American wealth or whatever it is, it's something ridiculous. But, like, what does that actually mean? And, like, why is that bad? Because it... I mean, one thing you could say is "Well, you know, life has..."

Oh God. Whoo. Oh no, just kidding, that went in the net. I thought that we'd escaped. I was about to say everything worked out better than expected, but in fact everything worked out horribly. Oh, now he's dancing. This is awkward. He's a gigantic man, Hulk. Well, it was a nice goal by Hulk. Oh God. This is very bad. This is very bad indeed. OK. Guess they can only hit the post so many times before the magic happens. Let's just put together some nice passes and try to make some dreams come true for our club and our f... No! What are you doing Bald John Green? That was a pass to you, big man. That was for you, that was not for some... That was a weird step over, that was a weird moment to walk away from the ball. Oh golly gee.

So here's what I, here's I guess, here's, you know... I guess what some people say and what I sometimes read is that, like, the lives of everyone is getting better so why does it matter if rich people are getting richer and income inequality is increasing if, like, everyone's life is better?

Oh! Oh, off the post! This game, this is a very post-y game! Bald John Green! Oh, he's tackled in the box! It's a penalty! It's a definite penalty! Oh my God! This game has had, like, seventeen minutes of stoppage time, seventeen post hits, and now it's a penalty because Bald John Green, taken down with a complete lack of character by that man with the beard, and now it's Bald John Green. He's terrible at taking penalties, I don't know why he's our designated penalty taker. He might be the worst penalty taker of the entire game.

Can we go to team management, please? Thank you. And then if I'd like to go to player roles? Yes. And I'd like to decide a penalty taker. Is there anyway that I can find out if somebody's good at penalties or not? Uh, ah. Francombstein. It's gonna be Francombstein. We don't have anybody who's very good at penalties but Francombstein's gonna give it a go. OK. See, at least the bar is going slower here. Oh, that's a pretty great penalty by Francombstein! Yeah!

"He did the mash!
He did the monster mash!"

Just kidding. He's a physician. Francombstein, he's a doctor who made a monster, not the monster itself. It was a beautiful goal. Oh, and it was courageous. Look at that, right in the, right in the corner and he just... Oh, the keeper, he's stunned. He can't even move. He's humiliated.

Right, so, like, it is accurate. I think, like, in defense of, in defense of wealth inequality or supply-side trickle-down economics or whatever, like, it is accurate that, like, the lives of...

Oh God. When is it gonna be half-time!? This is ridiculous! Am I alone in feeling that the first half has lasted ten thousand years!? Alright, it's over.

It is accurate to say that, like, you know, the number of Americans who can afford a refrigerator has gone up in the last 30 years and the number of Americans percentage-wise who are in, you know, who have a car, access to personal transportation has gone up. But, like, not much. That's the issue. Wages being as stagnant as they are, like, relative to inflation or arguably having even maybe gone, you know, kind of gone down a little bit in the last, especially since the recession in 2008 but even in the last, like, you know, kind of ten years before that. Wages have been pretty stagnant for a long time.

But, like, this big period of growth that has been enjoyed primarily by wealthy people is, I think, bad for everyone. I mean it's obviously bad for people who have not enjoyed any part of that prosperity but I think it's also, in the long run, like, bad for the country. It's bad for the country not to have an educated population, it's bad for the country not to be investing in, you know, not to be able to... Like, it limits, it limits economic growth. The real, you know, the sort of, like, macroeconomic argument, I think - and listen, I'm obviously not an economist, I'm not an expert, I'm not, you know, I'm just a guy who, like, reads the newspaper so bear that in mind - but, like, to me the mac...

Oh God. Oh, panic! Panic! Everything worked out better than expected!? Whoo! Hoo! Boy, almost an own goal there. That's my favorite kind of goal, but not when we, not when we score it on ourselves. Zenit Saint Petersburg playing like a man possessed! Who was that? Was that Seb Brown who made that beautiful save? Meredith, have I ever told you about the time that Seb Brown saved two penalties against Luton Town in 2011 to send AFC Wimbledon into the Football League and that without those two penalty saves right now we wouldn't even be playing FIFA, I'd be doing something else with my time, something worse.

Yeah. So my macroeconomic argument against it is that it decreases growth and also that, like, having wealth in the hands of very few people is, like, politically bad. Like, I think it's bad for democracy, it's bad for, like, the quality of public conversation because wealthy people have, are too involved. It's bad, I think it's bad for, like, charity in the end to have very few wealthy people kind of deciding where the majority of the philanthropic efforts of the United States' citizens go to.

I was fouled from behind and that's a red card, but instead you're not going to give them a foul at all and... I don't want to take a quick free kick, thank you. Yes, I would be content with a draw in this game.

You know, like, there's just... It's... I just, I think, like, that kind of... It's not terribly conducive to democracy as we know because we've had extremely concentrated wealth in the past in the United States, in early American history, and it wasn't a particularly democratic time in American history. And I think, you know, having everyone involved politically and economically, having more, a larger percentage of your citizens being able to participate in political and economic life, to live...

Oh God! Did that go in or not? It did not! Yay! Number 99, number 85. In Saint Petersburg they've got completely different numbers to our numbers here in the United Kingdom. We're gonna make some substitutions as well. It seemed a... They gave me the idea and I think it's a good one. Mose Vestergaard, he's exhausted. He's only 12. I work him very hard. K. Sainte-Luce is gonna come on. And then we've got a decision to make. Do we replace the John Greens and try to go hard up front or do we go with some central midfielders like the Gaulden Child and maybe put Dicko out on the wing? That's a good question and I don't have an easy answer, but I think the answer is, in the end it's going to be Dicko and Deeney. I just think, like, let's give ourselves a chance to win and Dicko and Deeney are the guys who can win this game. You know, they're big, they're strong, they're not tired, and I think we've got to try to win this game. Like, this is an important game.

Mose Vestergaard, mostly for your haircut but partly due to your fatigue, you are coming off of the field. I know you're not happy about it, but you're tired and you've got that little, like, chinstrap thing. I've never liked that. Meredith, don't you feel like if you're gonna have a goatee you should also have the mustache? Just go all the way, right? Yeah. I mean, you know, listen. I'm not totally in favor of either but if you're gonna... You know, you're gonna have a hard time winning me over.

So I just think, like, in the end for me it's a big, big problem to be excluding the vast majority of people who live in your country from, like, the full economic and social, like, political life of that country. And that's kind of the situation in which we find ourselves. Like very few people do most of the funding for political campaigns, relatively few people, you know, make most of the, most of the... There's still a lot of... Actually, because we're a relatively charitable nation, the United States, there's still quite a lot of donations coming from sort of non-rich people but I worry that even, that even that will increase and that, you know, that shapes the cultural conversation about what's important, you know? Like is curing malaria important or is supporting the opera important? And, like, I don't want, I don't want rich people to have undue influence in that conversation either.

OK, it's Francombstein. Francombstein with a nice looking cross! Oh! It took too long to get there. Oh! No! He's... How was he... There wasn't.... Duh-bluh.... It wasn't offside! He was a little offside. He's just, you've got to rush back in that situation, Dicko. Oh man, we almost went one-nil down to two-one up. We really need to, I would really like to win this game and I feel, I suddenly feel like it's possible, don't you guys? I feel like, I feel like the dream is on. Oh that's a really nice ball to Francombstein. And then it's a nice one timer! Oh! And we did win the game! We did win the game! It's Deeney!

"One-nil down to two-one up
That's the way we're gonna win the cup!
We were one-nil down, we just won two-one
That's how we're gonna get it done!"

Oh, Deeney! That was a beautiful goal. One-nil down to two-one up, guys. That's how we're gonna win the cup. Wow. Deeney! I've been thinking of a song for Hou-Deeney. It was:

"Do you believe in magic?
Hou-Deeney does.
He scored a goal and then he got real drunk..."

I don't know. I've been... I'm not quite there yet but I'm working on something for Hou-Deeney. Oh God. Oh God. The one thing we can't do is give up a goal here in the last minute, guys. Everybody focus. Everybody focus, please. Come on, everybody back in defense. Yes. Now we pass it out of the back, that's what we do as the Wimbly Womblys. Is that the end of the game? Yes! We did it! With goals from Francombstein and Hou-Deeney, we come back from one-nil down, we win two-one.

That reminds me that we can do something. The last thing I wanted to say is that we can do something about income inequality, it isn't inevitable. We've done things about it in the past in American history. Some day I'll make a Vlogbrothers video about this because it's of great interest to me but I still, I don't really know that much yet so I'm still doing, I'm still trying to, like, read... Right now I'm reading lots of economic history. This is boring, you guys don't care about this.

We won the game! Yes! Thank you for watching, best wishes.