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Analysis posted Jan 29 2014, 5:25 PM Category: Economy Source: InformationLiberation Print

'Daily Show' Runs Edited Hit Piece Attacking Peter Schiff: "Rich CEO Tells 'Daily Show' The 'Mentally Retarded' Are Maybe Worth $2 An Hour"

Chris | InformationLiberation

Schiff Responds: Peter Schiff: 'The Daily Show' Is Intellectually Dishonest about the Intellectually Disabled"Rich CEO Tells 'Daily Show' The 'Mentally Retarded' Are Maaaybe Worth $2 An Hour," reads the headline from the Huffington Post.

Peter Schiff said on his show a month or so ago he was interviewed by The Daily Show. He said they spent an hour four hours asking him the same questions over and over again in slightly different ways to try to get some sort of flub out of him they could edit to make him look foolish. Well, here's what they got out of the hour they interviewed him, some 2 minutes of heavily edited, out of context class-warfare propaganda to paint him as uncaring and disrespectful towards the mentally disabled.
Schiff: "If we eliminated the minimum wage law then individuals would be free to accept jobs at whatever pay they're able to get."

Bee: "Paint me a picture of a person whose work would be worth $2 an hour."

Schiff: "You know somebody who might be? Maybe somebody who is, uh, you know, what's the politically correct word? Uh, you know, uh, for, uh, you know, mentally retarded?"

Bee: [...]

Schiff, later on: "I'm not going to say that we're all created equal... you're worth what you're worth."
What Schiff said was accurate -- a mentally disabled person's work may only be worth $2 an hour -- his supposed fault is not saying it in a politically correct enough way. No doubt he explained his statement in more PC terms immediately after, he knew full well they were trying to get him to say something which they could take out of context to make him look uncaring, they were doing so for an hour straight, but they cut whatever he said at the end of his statement to make it look more blunt. [Update: Schiff discusses what they cut here.]

Per usual, their only argument against his logic is to run emotional sob stories and have a lobbyist say "studies" show the minimum wage is great for the economy because it increases spending. Of course, an increase in consumption is not good for the economy, what's good for the economy is an increase in production, which price controls only serve to diminish. If the government setting prices increased production, Venezuela would be fabulously wealthy and their store shelves would be packed with cheap goods, instead they're totally bankrupt and store shelves go unstocked because no one wants to sell their goods at below market prices. Wages for labor are a price: people buying labor want to get the best price they can for it, and people selling their labor want to get the best price they can for it, when the two parties agree on a price they find mutually beneficial, a job is created. Inserting a bureaucrat into the mix to set a "minimum price" consenting individuals are able to trade their labor for can only increase unemployment. It's basic logic, you can learn all about it in our Intro to Austrian Economics.

Watch The Daily Show piece here:

For balance, be sure to watch Peter Schiff's excellent video on the minimum wage, "Will Walmart shoppers support 'Every Day High Wages?'"
Walmart touts "Everyday Low Prices," but we asked its customers to support 'Everyday High Wages" instead. We posed as representatives of "15 for 15," a make-believe organization advocating that Walmart raise prices by 15% and use the extra cash to pay its low-skilled workers $15 per hour. The surcharge would be added to customer's bills at checkout, just like a gratuity at a restaurant. Not surprisingly few shoppers supported our cause. Even those who felt Walmart workers should be paid more did not want to pay higher prices themselves to make it possible. Those demanding higher wages for Walmart's workers should consider the importance of low prices to Walmart's customers.

Chris runs the website, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.

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Comments 1 - 20 of 20 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jan 29 2014, 7:29 PM

6645 Even at $2 an hour, the retards that comprise Congress would still be overpaid.

Posted: Jan 29 2014, 7:32 PM

lol :D

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 12:49 AM

69131 I'm guessing that Schiff never watched or even heard about The Daily Show before his interview. Either that or he's a moron who doesn't understand supply and demand beyond the first lecture in Econ 101. Maybe both.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 1:09 AM

205206 I'm not so insulted that he used the word retarded but that he is so narcissistic that he thinks anyone should make 2 dollars an hour.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 1:12 AM

205206 Haha the right wing heads are exploding because their extreme contempt for poor people is out in the open. Yes- concentrated corporate wealth is so awesome. The tea-pots are proof that evolution has not happened to some people yet. People should listen to the new Pope: the tyranny of capitalism.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 1:18 AM

She asked him theoretically who could make $2, it's not narcissism to say a disabled person could theoretically make such an income. FYI tons of people in the world make under $2 an hour, when a society doesn't have capital they can't afford high wages, nonetheless people chose to work for $2 an hour in a factory rather than the grueling task of working in the fields.
Nickel's 2bits

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 4:00 AM

7147 The most important thing to note here is that his statement gives the lie to the "marginal productivity" basis for wages, that capitalists routinely tout. A statement based in marginal producivity would be, "I would pay $2 per hour to someone who could only produce $4 of product per hour."

Instead, his statement is: "I pay you what I feel you're worth, regardless of what you can produce. I would pay $2 per hour to someone, even if they produce $200 per hour of product."

Marginal productivity right out the window.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 4:03 AM

You're ignoring the competition among businesses for workers. If someone is underpaying workers who produce disproportionate value, another company can offer them more money and take their workers away. This demand for productive workers is what creates higher wages.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 4:27 AM

7147 Which competition is that? The one where the companies view for the most desperate workers, therefore the ones who will work cheapest? While blacklisting, or committing violence, against the ones who would seek higher wages?

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 4:56 AM

Are you saying there is no competition for workers? If there is no competition, why would anyone be paid anything above minimum wage?
who's fault

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 8:35 AM

70195 The difference is skilled labor and unskilled labor. I went deep in debt to learn a job skill. Now because of that and studying on my own I'm more employable than the unskilled workers I work with. I took a risk (debt), and my commitment over the years has earned me a better job than those who were previously my peers. The government only made my tuition (debt/risk) worse by offering schools money from out of the public treasury. It is not government that makes peoples lives better. Ask the millions who died under Stalin or Mao. The commies will always tell you government is your superman. But alas it is ran by humans and therefore prone to error. Best not to let it be the only voice heard.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 11:56 AM

1234 I think the point that is missed isn't how much the price of their goods cost, rather how much the CEO makes. The CEO could take a 15% cut and be just fine.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 1:12 PM

98149 Im glad Schiff was exposed on the Daily Show, that guy is the epitome of what's wrong with capitalism today. Completely out of touch with reality, living in a world of economic theory while the rest of us have to deal with economic reality.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 2:06 PM

1743 His best answer would have bin nobody should work for $2/hr.
Hindsight is always 20/20

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 6:16 PM

174236 The people at the Daily Show don't understand supply and demand (surprise!). If you need proof of that, just take a look at the supply and demand curves they show about halfway through (about the 2:30 mark). THEY'RE BACKWARDS. The folks at the Daily Show are clueless about such matters.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 7:26 PM

6645 Bubba: I think the wole supply and demand thing is a big part of the reason the drug war has been such a failure. The government has been attacking it from the supply side, thinking if they get rid of the supply the demand will go away. That's completely backwards. They should be attacking it from the demand side.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 7:30 PM

6645 To be clear about my comment above, I didn't mean they shouldn't be attacking the supply side. They should. What I meant was they need to be placing a heavier focus on the demand side.

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 8:20 PM

In economic terms the drug war is a price support program for drug dealers. See here:

Posted: Jan 30 2014, 10:03 PM

71202 Ah, yet another self-absorbed, out-of-touch, avaricious venture capitalist contracts a severe case of Athlete's Tongue.

These neanderthal fiscal conservatives must be extremely limber, as they routinely demonstrate their ability to have both feet lodged in their mouths while simultaneously shoving their heads up their asses.

Posted: May 08 2014, 3:24 PM

207177 Are the Walton's on the verge of bankruptcy? They have to match dollar cost with dollar profit? Seventeen billion dollar profit is not enough? They could raise wages fifteen percent AND cut prices fifteen percent and STILL make ungodly profits. Say it adds a billion dollars to the cost of wages. That's a billion dollars in pocket spending for the economy. Not simply shifting money from corporation to corporation in the form of stocks. How much in stock does Schiff own compared to what his company owns? How much does someone like Vangard own compared to their customers? How much of that billion dollars would return in increased sales?
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