Economist Thomas Piketty: One of the benefits of civilization should be working less

French economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, appeared on Monday night's edition of "The Colbert Report." Piketty told Colbert that inequality is bad for society as a whole and that one of the goals of civilization should be for people to have a better chance at happiness and fulfillment.

"Why are you trying to tear down the Western economic system and replace it with the socialist redistribution of wealth?" asked Colbert.

"I'm not trying to do that," replied Piketty in heavily accented English.

"Your accent sounds like you are," Colbert countered.

Piketty said that globalization, as much as possible, should benefit all of society, not just the people and companies at the top of the ladder.

"We want people to have access to skills and education and jobs," he continued.

"In Europe, many people believe that one of the purposes of civilization is to work less, have more vacation and take care of your kids and friends and family," Piketty said. "You can make a different choice and that's fine."

"You can make a different choice," said Colbert, "and be a world superpower."

Watch the video, embedded below: