How much do you know about rising rates of class inequality in America? If you’re anything like me—or 30 Rock‘s Liz Lemon, the answer is probably “not much” because, as good ol’ L.L. mentions in a previous episode, “Food Network doesn’t have a news show.”
Thankfully, director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Saturday Night Live) has figured out a way to explain this super-important issue in a language everyone will understand… by using adorably animated alpacas!
The four-minute clip, titled “The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas!,” is the story of three alpaca besties—Sunshine (Amy Poehler), Giggles (Maya Rudolph) and Happy (Sarah Silverman)—and their quest to find employment after graduating from their individual Sweetness Schools.
Before the short film even begins, it opens with a black screen and the words, “Fact: The U.S. ranks 30th among the top 34 developed countries in income inequality. (Source: OECD).” In other words, viewers are in for a HIGH-larious, side-splitting animated adventure that explores the reality of wealth distribution.
The trio hopes to land their dream jobs at the Lollipop Factory, but when the assistant VP of Human Resources (voiced by Andy Richter) comes to meet them at the gate, the bubbly alpacas are in for a surprise—all jobs are not created equal… and neither are their salaries.
Opposite of hooray!
The video is actually part of a series sponsored by We The Economy called “20 Short Films You Can’t Afford To Miss.” (Get it? Can’t afford? The films are about the economy? We’ll be here all night, folks. Try the veal.)
“At least a dozen times as an adult I’ve found myself saying, ‘Why the hell didn’t we have an economics and finance class in high school?,'” McKay said in his Director’s Note. “Whether it was being ripped off on credit card rates or not knowing my rights when it came to paying back student loans or even what the Federal Reserve is, I’ve always marveled at how the one subject we all should know, economics, is the subject most of us are completely illiterate about.”
To learn more about income distribution and watch other films in the educational—AND entertaining—series, check out We The Economy.