Last night’s Daily Show appearance (described here: How I Ended Up On The Daily Show) generated a surprising amount of interest.

As much as I would like to claim responsibility for the buzz — my calm demeanor and rational approach as the cause — in reality, the person on the other side of the argument, Peter Schiff, deserves all of the credit. His cost saving innovation of “paying the ‘Mentally Retarded’ $2 an hour”might have something to do with the interview going viral.

It got picked up by lots of press; here is the short list (let me know if I missed anything)

• There’s a Good Reason Why Everyone’s Cricizing Peter Schiff (Policy Mic)

• Must-see morning clip: Eat your McNuggets with a side of delicious poverty (Salon)

• TDS: Peter Schiff Suggests the ‘Mentally Retarded’ Could be Paid $2 an Hour (Crooks & Liars)

• Peter Schiff And Barry Ritholtz Battled Over The Minimum Wage On Last Night’s Daily Show (Business Insider)

• Rich CEO Wonders Why ‘The Daily Show’ Hates The, How You Say, ‘Retarded’ (HuffPo)

•  ‘You’re worth what you’re worth!’: Libertarian CEO worth $70M says the ‘mentally retarded’ should be happy to work for $2 an hour (DailyMail)

• Behind scenes look at Daily Show minimum wage segment (MetaFilter)

• ‘The Daily Show’ Finds Out Who Deserves to Work for $2 an Hour (Yahoo)

• CEO: ‘Mentally Retarded’ Could Work For $2 Wages, ‘You’re Worth What You’re Worth’ (CBS Connecticut)

•  CEO tells Daily Show ‘mentally retarded’ could work for $2: ‘You’re worth what you’re worth’  (Raw Story)

• Rich CEO Tells ‘Daily Show’ The ‘Mentally Retarded’ Are Maaaybe Worth $2 An Hour (HuffPo)

• Jon Stewart: Obama Now in the ‘F*ck It’ Stage of His Presidency (Mediaite)

• Watch the Daily Show Mock Arguments Against Raising the Minimum Wage (Eater)

• ‘The Daily Show’ Finds Out Who Deserves to Work for $2 an Hour (The Wire)

• This CEO Wants To Pay ‘Mentally Retarded’ People $2 Per Hour (Addicting Info)


Yahoo Home Page

min wage gaffe


Peter Schiff has complained he was quoted out of context:

• UPDATE Jan 30, 2014: Peter Schiff responds: ‘The Daily Show’: Intellectually Dishonest about the Intellectually Disabled (Schiff Radio)

• Feb 1 2014:  “The Daily Show”: A Call To Action (Schiff Radio)

• Investor Peter Schiff digs himself in deeper after ‘Daily Show’ remarks about the ‘retarded’ (Raw Story)

• How To Not Get Pwn’d By The Daily Show – Peter Schiff Interview (Libertarian Republic)

• Peter Schiff Releases Daily Show Email, Accuses Them of ‘Lying’ to Him  (Mediaite)

Peter Schiff Takes Mediaite Inside His Daily Show ‘Hit Job’  (Mediaite)


Category: Humor, Media, Television, Wages & Income

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

41 Responses to “Follow Up: Daily Show Blowback”

  1. paper200 says:

    I watched the Daily Show featuring you and Schiff. You as usual are clear and compassionately logical and man, Mr. Schiff, needs to step out of his office and observe the world – to be polite.

  2. Ponchovilla says:

    It has been alleged but not confirmed the CDC is tracking a viral internet disease causing instantaneous mental retardation. What we don’t know is how this fits on the supply vs demand curve.

  3. par1 says:

    Could Marx have been right – are capitalists really making the metaphorical rope that’s going to be used to hang them? Capitalism needs more rational defenders like BR. Between Schiff and Perkins.….

    • spalmer999 says:

      1. Yes, Marx was right.
      2. The ‘quote’ you are think of is ‘We will hang the capitalists with the rope that they sell us’, frequently misattributed to Lenin.
      3. If you think about it for a few seconds it is obvious that since capitalists make rope, it will be capitalist-made rope that is used to hang communists (communists are unlikely to supply it).
      4. You can’t make a rational defense of an irrational system, but I do give Barry 10/10 for effort.

  4. JerseyCynic says:

    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.”

    It’s only just begun…

    Dozens more:

    wow just wow

    • DeDude says:

      That 15 for 15 argument is bogus. Actually all Walmart need to do is stop paying outrageous amounts of money to their top management and shareholders. They do not need to pass the cost on to customers. Those people are just a bunch of useless crocks that suck money out of the organization adding almost nothing of value.

      • Im not sure that gets it done . . .

      • bear_in_mind says:

        America’s inflation-adjusted median wages being stuck in neutral since the early-70′s cannot be blamed on Wal-Mart. It was barely a pimple on the rump of Montgomery Ward back in those days, however, I think it’s symptomatic of the larger cause.

        No doubt, some of the fault is the increasing role of automation; weakened clout of unions; tax policies grossly benefitting the 1 percent; NAFTA; using H1-B visas to hire highly educated immigrants for technology work at below market-rate salaries; and outsourcing traditional middle class jobs offshore.

        As Barry alludes, raising the minimum wage for certain select groups is not likely to shift the balance of power, between labor and corporations anytime soon, therefore median wages will likely remain stagnant absent some other catalyst(s).

        One also has to be aware that there are other shills, such as Ron Unz (another pier piper of increasing the minimum wage) but his motive has little to do with inequality or stratification. See for yourself:

        No, what Unz really wants is increased minimum wage to justify cutting “wasteful” gov’t spending on “entitlement programs” such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Unemployment, Head Start, school lunches, etc.

        Honestly, while a bump in minimum wage is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, there’s NO WAY an extra dollar or two per hour is gonna turn low-wage Americans into modern-day Horatio Alger’s. Not going to happen.

        But if the Bush II tax cuts to the wealthy (i.e. $350K and above annual income) were phased out over 36 months, and 25 percent of those recaptured funds were applied to extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP), I think America would see a much more significant ‘bang for the buck’.

  5. Concerned Neighbour says:

    Not that it needs to be said again, but what a shameful quote from Schiff. He’s either displaying tremendous ignorance, tremendous greed, or both.

  6. TDHawk says:

    Wow, it’s good to see how Perter Schiff’s line of reasoning falls in place in this interview.

    It’s was easy to agree with his long term views but he seems to discount that market corrections have grey areas and is not an easy libertarian march forward.

    This was quite an inspiring video though. If Peter Schiff can be a rich CEO of his own company, than anyone can too as well! American dream still lives! Thank you.

  7. jd351 says:

    Peter Schiff, is the reason why I am Pro Choice. Plain and simple

  8. gordo365 says:

    Too bad everyone is reacting to the really dumb comments. His equally dumb “In a free market, there’s plenty of food for everybody, especially the poor.” gets passed over. I guess he missed the presidential debate 1992 where Ross Perot explained that you can sell things to poor people…

  9. Mr.Tuxedo says:

    I go to sleep early, so just finished watching the Samantha Bee clip just now.
    It’s almost as if you and he are living in two different worlds. WMT and MCD should be stopped from allowing to use government as a crutch. Letters to management by Congress to MCD asking them to voluntarily raise wages has met with no response yet.
    And you said that you just hoped that you didn’t embarrass yourself?
    Small wonder Schiff lost in his attempt at a senate primary in my home state.
    As Dan Rather said, “The camera never blinks”, and Schiff seemed woefully unprepared to deliver his lexicon brand of HedgeSpeak.

  10. san_fran_sam says:

    Barry, Caught your appearence on TDS. it was hilarious. that has to be one of the worst spit takes i have ever seen. Did you at least stay dry?

    I could see even in the takes that they used, you were having a hard time keeping a straight face. Hope you get some time with Jon at the desk.

    Yeah, Schiff seems like a real p***k. $2 an hour if you’re retarded. Give me a break.

  11. MidlifeNocrisis says:

    I have been smiling (and laughing) so much over this subject, I think I developed some additional wrinkles in my face today. My face hurts. Great job BR.

  12. ilsm says:

    I see a SNL skit!

    Peter Schiff’’s performance reminded me of a ‘sea story’ passed around when I worked on DoD weapon systems.

    The Reagan era pentagon staffers classified the services’ demeanor when they came for a Sec Def level ‘go ahead’ with something like the F-35 that did not work (it has been going on since at least the C141). One service was “dumb”, another service was “deceitful” and the third service “disdainful”. Services redacted to protect the guilty not to show any preference.

    Peter Schiff’s performace is somewhere between dumb and disdainful on the staffers’ scale I put deceitful within those bounds.

  13. codepoet says:

    or what the heck Peter…why not child labor at a half-a-buck an hour?…they can then give all their wages to their out-of-work parents to buy food with…at the company store!

  14. ReductiMat says:

    I haven’t watched the show in the while, so thanks for the heads up as I would have missed it.

    You did great.

    When Schiff let drop the “R” word, my jaw dropped. In retrospect, it really shouldn’t have. Sociopaths being sociopathic and all.

    I often wonder if we are ever going to, or if we even can deal with them properly.

    • DeDude says:

      TDS seemed to know how to deal with them. You can mock and shame them to the point where nobody will consider them to be anything but a cruel joke.

  15. sooperedd says:

    Barry FTW.

  16. CD4P says:

    Art Mann would label Peter Schiff as “TV Gold”.

    Don’t suppose it would be poetic justice for some mentally afflicted individual to give Schiff some feedback and then claim at the trial their diminished mental ability entitles them to leniency?

  17. manifest says:

    Is Peter Shiff “rich?” (Just asking) Because his commentary certainly was.

  18. BennyProfane says:

    Wow. Since, as you have said, this interview takes about two hours, with a lot of retakes, I would love to see the whole Schiff interview. One can only wonder how many other gems were in there.

    It’s almost a shame he didn’t get elected to office. He would make the Pauls look almost sane, in his daily pronouncements.

  19. Greg0658 says:

    “to give Schiff some ” – back (from overnite memory) (didn’t see TheShow live)
    1st I have a mentally retarded sister for 50yrs now .. that’s what we called the kids at EchoSchool when I volunteer’d my summers for all of them & their parents
    retarded was/is a word in the english language .. another wordy of the day > EMH (educatable mentally handicapped) .. of which my sister isn’t very educatable in a bigPicture sense

    words take on new use over the years – take homosexual, queer, gay (all imo non derogatory)

    I could go to “marriage” .. alas – to far a step for this word – as it’s hot in economic & Book thumper circles

    and in fini – had to re-arrive in Chrome as I’m having issues here @TBP w/myIE# .. ummm

  20. SumDumGuy says:

    Congrats, Barry, loved it!

    One appearance down, only 9 more to catch Neil deGrasse Tyson!

  21. spalmer999 says:

    Mr Schiff sounds mentally retarded. I don’t suppose there’s any hope he’ll take his own medicine …

  22. advsys says:

    It was Schiff who made the stupid comment but this is a show and a team that have perfected the art of getting the killer sound bite. So, no matter who was taking the other side of the argument, they were going to end up looking bad.

    Lucky for you, your moral compass is still working :)

  23. syungmao says:

    Loved your appearance. Here’s hoping they invite you on more shows to talk about what’s happening on Wall Street.

  24. rwaddill says:


    I’m an avid Daily Show watcher and ‘The Big Picture’ reader. It was great to see the two of you cross paths. Sam Bee is one funny lady.

    Seriously, however, I do not understand how it is defensibly LEGAL in this country to pay an adult human (let’s say 18 years of age, though I could go for with 21 as the standard) a wage that equates to less than the poverty level for full time work. It is, in my opinion, indentured servitude and borderline slavery.

    Common sense implies, and research supports, that a full-time worker will put every single cent back into the economy spending it on food, health care, and other goods and services, likely to twice that number. It would GROW the economy. Any attempt by CEOs to perpetuate sub-poverty wages for full-time workers is yes, still currently legal, but immoral and deplorable.

    • Freely negotiated contracts! Thats how

      Henry Ford was the guy who said his employees have to be able to afford to buy his product. Guess thats old school . . .

  25. Greg0658 says:

    less than minimum wage debate ? there are 1000s of these around our country – this one is the closest to me (proximity) and their clients/residents/laborers most visibly do cart capture in grocery store lots
    point is the clients enjoy an existence outside of the homestead AND the accomplishment of working for people

    now are they putting another person out of work – the age old “they took our jobs” – a person who needs to feed his/her family – and needs a living wage outside of a subsidized homestead .. well ? ummm deep

  26. emaij says:

    What’s legal in this country is what lobbyists make legal. David Simon puts it well in his interview with Bill Moyers:

    Once upon a time there was a tension between labor and capital in the USA. That tension was healthy so long as it existed. But capital has now won. Labor is in the ICU. And Peter Schiff et al are attempting to disconnect the life support mechanism altogether.

    Of course, it’s not enough to have completely crushed labor. Tom Perkins explains why it’s important to continue the fight against the crushed masses:

  27. Wade Slome says:

    The Emperor Schiff Has No Clothes

    12 Ways Schiff Was Wrong in 2008

    Wrong about hyperinflation
    Wrong about the dollar
    Wrong about commodities except for gold
    Wrong about foreign currencies except for the Yen
    Wrong about foreign equities
    Wrong in timing
    Wrong in risk management
    Wrong in buy and hold thesis
    Wrong on decoupling
    Wrong on China
    Wrong on US treasuries
    Wrong on interest rates, both foreign and domestic

    In the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes, the emperor unwittingly hires two swindlers whom he pays to create a special make-believe suit, which the cons claim appears invisible to stupid people. When the emperor cannot visibly see his clothes, he sheepishly avoids confronting the swindlers to escape appearing stupid. Not until a little boy, who is watching the royal precession, points out the “emperor has no clothes” does the emperor finally realize he has been had.

    Peter Schiff, former stockbroker and President of Euro Pacific Capital, has been proudly parading along the business media network on route to his senatorial candidacy, taking credit for accurately predicting the timing of the economic financial collapse. Endless amounts of praise have swarmed the airwaves and cyberspace through countless interviews and YouTube clips.

    Maybe the same lessons learned from aforementioned fairy tale can be applied to Mr. Schiff? Perhaps he too wears no clothes?!

    Let’s take a look at Mr. Schiff’s track record. Certainly Mr. Schiff was correctly bearish on the housing market, albeit about five years too early. I thought “timing is everything?” Apparently not for the media masses judging Peter Schiff’s track record. Let’s take a look at the chief tea-leaf reader in 2002 when he was calling for NASDAQ to reach 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials to reach 2000.