Below is my Daily Show debut.

The segment was pretty good. As noted last night, we shot for 2 hours, and lots of great stuff was left on the cutting room floor. The discussion on higher paying retailers such as Costco and Trader Joes versus Walmart was actually interesting, and Samantha was really funny in that section. I guess if I wanted more screen time, I should have spoken about retarded people deserving to earn less than minimum wage (watch the video to understand).

Samantha Bee explores the devastating economic effects of raising the minimum wage to the poverty level.

(04:59) January 28, 2014

Category: Humor, Media, Television, Video, 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.

42 Responses to “TDS: Wage Against the Machine”

  1. manifest says:

    You stud. Way to go, man.

  2. SolomonClark says:

    Great show! However, I had to watch it several times to believe that Mr. Schiff actually said that doubling the minimum wage would double prices (“would you rather do that, or would you rather pay twice as much for your burger?”). Doesn’t he know that labor is only a fraction of the cost of goods and services? While there’s a wide range of estimates, McDonald’s labor expense ranges from 25% to 45% (the latter may be from Australia, where the minimum wage is double ours!), so you wouldn’t double prices necessarily; even assuming wages are 50% of the expenses, doubling that expense should only result in a 50% bump in cost. However, you’ve doubled the worker’s purchasing power, so I think that is a good tradeoff!

    (Commentary on McD’s labor expenses here and in Australia:

  3. postpartisandepression says:

    Wow Peter Schiff was amazing as the counter point “what is the politically correct word for, you know, mentally retarded”, “you are worth what you are worth ( in the case of the mentally retarded or waitresses $2 an hour)”, ” I’m not going to say we are all created equal (but hey the founding fathers)”.

    Nope with him as your competition there was no danger of embarrassing yourself.

  4. WickedGreen says:

    Well done, BR, very well done.

    Henry Ford knew this stuff practically a century ago!

    It never ceases to amaze me that celebrity pundits like Schiff can’t hold their egos in check long enough to realize they will get eaten alive in these segments by – irony alert! – MORE talented people assuredly taking home less.

    “mentally retarded”, indeed.

  5. ilsm says:

    Oh, the ‘founding fathers’ bit’.

    What was it a slave was 3/5 a man for apportion the house of representative…………..

    Maybe a mnimum wager worker should be 3/5 a vote or none………………

  6. Moss says:

    Excellent BR. The real Welfare Queens need much more air time. Schiff is so dogmatic he refuses to see the realities. Stuck in his ideology, married to his belief system.

  7. Seaton says:

    fun comments above. You comported yourself well, BR, thank you for being that voice of reason (as well as facts & ‘big-picture’ perspective, instead of cherry-picked, hair-splitting crapola) against Schiff—so tedious he was. Sadly, I eat lunch with a clone of him, & I’m still amazed at how there seems to be no need to change once facts are learned & situations changed. Ya done good, made me smile & howl.

  8. DeltaV says:

    Excellent performance! On a topic near and dear to my heart. I supposed it was inevitable that The Daily Show would come to you, Barry.

    The great thing about The Daily Show: It is a comedy show that provides better news coverage than anything in the MSM.
    The terrible thing about The Daily Show: It is a comedy show that provides better news coverage than anything in the MSM.

    It is unfortunate that Schiff came off looking like an idiot who knows nothing about economics, business, or markets.

  9. d says:

    Fortunately, I have have been in need of seeing the results of Schiff’s portfolios. However, I am fairly confident that he should be earning a wage much less than of what he speaks others should be receiving…at least they earn a fair wage. He always strikes me as representative of the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.

  10. Molesworth says:

    So l guess the punchline was using retarded people instead of chairs. They can make nearly anything funny and ironic but I am guessing they could not quite nail it so elected not to use it. Shame they did not have time to more fully explain how Walmart and MacDonalds encourage their employees to get govt assistance rather rather than pay a living wage. Schiff was stunning. Back to back with the Tom Perkins interview, I am beginning the glean how completely out of touch some .01%ers are with reality. They still believe in the trickle down theory. I guess because it suits them.
    No on goes hungry under try capitalism. Mentally retardeds can work for unregulated wages. Chaos if minimum wages are raised. The poor are persecuting us. Underwater airplane (him beaming). Six pack of rolexes (probably conservative estimate). And then, I have relatives living in trailer parks? Does he ever spend time with them? Ever offer them any help? Maybe they do not work hard enough to be worthy of a little leg up. Do you really believe Perkins voted for Obama or Brown? That stretched my practiced credulity. I guess you say you voted for them because of they won and no one wants to back a loser. And lastly, do you think Mr Perkins collects Social Security? I will lay odds that he does and Mr Schiff will too when he can max out payments— making them part of the 1% and the 47%. Take that you Socialists.

  11. Slash says:

    As someone who makes well above minimum wage, I agree that the people who sling the fries at McDonald’s already make plenty of money.

    But as a taxpayer, I am scandalized that any of my tax money might be spent to help these people actually eat food.

    So clearly, the answer is to cut off the gravy train for those folks. And McDonald’s certainly shouldn’t have to pay people enough to be able to have both electricity and food. Leeches.

    The market is always right! All hail Galt!

  12. faulkner says:

    “As you increase the price of something, you decrease the demand.” – Peter Schiff

    Don’t let this guy near luxury goods manufacturers, marketers or sales people. Or for that matter, high price dishwashing liquids.

    He is wonderful example of James March’s assertion on decision-making that,

    “The entire apparatus of the economic theory of organizations has very little detailed empirical basis. It consists primarily of theorems derived from a few elementary propositions about human behavior.”

    And “rather than seeking to understand a complex world, organizations [and individuals] often create simpler worlds they can understand.”

    In which case, it is time to revise the definition of “retarded.”

  13. martin66 says:

    Thank you BR. It was a set up, but PS fell for it hook line and sinker. I was listening to George Packer the other day talk about how there used to be summits of management, political and labor leaders to discuss how to resolve daunting problems. What a concept – all the factors of production (yes one has to include government) getting together to work out a compromise with everyone’s interests at the bargaining table. Now it is just capital setting the table with the political side largely in their pay. Well at least Emerging Asia is developing a middle class as we are impoverishing ours. We have overcome worse in our history and it will be interesting to see where the inevitable backlash from our current excess will take us. Keep your fingers crossed.

  14. rpseawright says:

    Well played, Barry. Very well played.

  15. freq says:

    Nicely done. Schiff had me rolling at, you know, mentally retarded.

    Poor example seeing that the likes of Goodwill Industries have a nice loophole that allows them to pay an average of $1.50 an hour to the intellectually disabled, and they lobby hard to keep that in place while at the same time collecting some nice subsidies for running these job programs.

  16. LeftCoastIndependent says:

    So Schiff thinks the reason we don’t have a food shortage in America is because we are a capitalist nation and not a socialized nation. Hate to break the news to him, but we have a multi billion dollar socialized agricultural subsidy program in place which is also known as welfare for farmers. For example, without the subsidy, milk would be $8/gal.

  17. dss says:

    Great job, TDS and Barry. Shame on Schiff, whose outright lies and distortions make him look like a total jerk. As Americans, we should all be fighting mad that the welfare queens of corporate America can make billions in profits each year while their employees have to turn to government for basic needs like food and medical care. Where is the outrage from the Tea Party and the right as they vote to cut the food stamp program?

    From NBC:

    “Due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the Hollywood image of the care-free, freckle-faced, teenage hamburger flipper is no longer the norm. Only 16 percent of fast food industry jobs now go to teens, down from 25 percent a decade ago.
    And many of the older workers are educated. More than 42 percent of restaurant and fast-food employees over the age of 25 have at least some college education, including 753,000 with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

    The minimum wage issue needs to be reframed as the corporate welfare boondoggle that it actually is.

  18. MarkKlose says:

    In 2008 Schiff predicted that gold would be $2k in 2009 and $5k in 2013. In 2011 he said “”As soon as the world starts to focus on the dollar, we’re going to be hitting new lows. By the fall I think the dollar will be hitting record lows against the Euro.” On gold, Schiff had this to say, “Well I’m surprised gold is as cheap as it is given all of the money we’ve already printed and the money we’re threatening to print. Over $10,000 GOLD could happen, there’s no floor on the dollar, so there’s no ceiling to gold”. Last September he was on CNBC predicting that the Fed would increase the quantitative easing program, not taper or end it. “They’re going to have to do 100, 115, 125 (billion dollars a month). When the market comes to terms with that it’s going to be a whole different ballgame,” he said. “Right now, the Fed has to maintain the illusion that there’s a method to their madness.” Let’s acknowledge that one good call out of a 100 is not a great average. Just why do people listen to him?

  19. agentbillo says:

    This made my whole day. Great job.

  20. Bob A says:

    “applause”. I couldn’t help but picture Larry Kudlow (&/or company) playing the part of Peter Shiff.

  21. takeareport says:

    Barry, I shot water out of my mouth when I saw you on The Daily Show, right before Samantha Bee did.

    It kind of went something like this:

    And that little repartee about wages for the retarded … what a price that guy is paying for extra screen time. He’s going to wince over the experience for the rest of his life.

    Good job in choosing your words wisely.

  22. howardoark says:

    I don’t want to make fun of the developmentally challenged (like Peter Schiff) but the lesson there is that if you interview someone long enough and then distill it down to 60 seconds, you can make anyone look like a buffoon – though Schiff went well past the buffoon stage. It all depends on how the reporter wants to tell the story.

    If you can get on Colbert, I’ll be really impressed.

    • I spoke to them for 2 hours, and was pretty careful about what I said. The problem comes when you start guessing and surmising and going wildly off script.

      Although to be fair to Schiff, this is pretty consistent with some of his other stunts. I suspect its less an error and more of a specific publicity on his part.

      • bear_in_mind says:

        Bravo, Barry, Bravo!!!

        Love TDS and have always had an affinity for the lovely Samantha Bee, so in my estimation, you’ve already won the equivalent of Warren Buffett’s NCAA Bracket Contest.

        I totally concur on Schiff’s schtick. Every time I’ve seen him on-camera, he saying something demeaning about those beneath the 1 percent mantle. It’s like he’s been injected with a Neanderthal’s worldview and can’t imagine possibilities outside his belief system. Maybe he’s a time-traveler from 900 years ago and doesn’t realize he’s landed “after” the Enlightenment?!

        Well, way to keep ‘em honest, so “Huzzah!” and keep up the stellar work!

    • jtuck004 says:

      “if you interview someone long enough and then distill it down to 60 seconds, you can make anyone look like a buffoon”

      Probably a lot of truth in that. But it’s soooo much easier when you start with a buffoon. ;)

      Great job Barry! “mcdonalds and walmart are the biggest welfare queens out there”. Indeed.

      And I really liked how you got the book out there behind your left arm. Next time perhaps a cardboard blow up of the cover. Say 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide, unobtrusively sitting on the corner of the desk. With a light on it.

  23. catman says:

    As you increase the price you decrease demand? Has this character been asleep thru every bull market in our lifetime?

  24. Willy2 says:

    Shooting for 2 hours and only ONE soundbite ? I would have declined.

  25. Biffah Bacon says:

    @howardoark-Schiff said nothing on the segment that he doesn’t regularly and proudly publish on his blog or perform on various news outlets including Fox. I think in context and the cold light of day his stated beliefs are simply unsupportable. They appear cruel and insensitive because they are and are intended to be so.

  26. Aaron says:

    Barry: I saw your interview with Samantha Bee tonight and you were terrific! Peter Schiff, on the other hand, sounded like your typical, money-losing altacocker…just sayin!

  27. perogy says:

    I had no idea that Peter Schiff was so disconnected from reality. When I was in college in 1975, I got paid $14.75/hour as a produce clerk in a grocery store. During holidays when the married guys wanted to be with their families, we got paid triple time to cover their shift. I made more in one 10-hour holiday shift than all week on a regular shift.

    Today, that same produce clerk makes only $7.50/hour and the manager I talk to when I am in the store says that most of his employees are on welfare just to make ends meet.

    I would hate to be a young person trying to make ends meet today with fools like Peter Schiff bloviating supply and demand nonsense while working people are struggling.

  28. Greg0658 says:

    watch’d full .5 now – a hoot & LOL
    “your worth what your worth” SchiffP
    I don’t tune in regularly – senses laugh’d gigo – even tho I should

    seriously – reblog’g thoughts on your segment:
    “ok I’ll state again at risk of ridicule but my pov is minimum wage increases is like being stuck in a lurching traffic jam .. a rise begets a rise, ditto – temporary gain to a worker, paid for by those with lesser powers .. I did see a piece on wages rise’g is only a small portion of the overall mix in the monthly balancing act of a payroll check signer .. not sure I buy it – but the angle got my attention”
    WickedGreen January 27, 2014 at 10:11 am
    Do producers really want more consumers, but with less purchasing power?
    Teeming masses of subscribers and eyeballs, but no actual influence?
    How’s that working out?”
    1st question broadly “more consumers, but with less” – NO they don’t want ‘em – minions will be starved out – added benefit, less work for the producers, same margin, via price stickyness
    Anonne January 28, 2014 at 3:42 am
    I dislike the term “inequality” because it smacks of socialism – and true equality is not attainable.
    We should use “wealth concentration” instead.”
    Like statement generally
    “true equality is not attainable” .. see my longtail graphic .. yes I reconcile oldWays carrot&stick is still required for our growth mechanism wave action
    oh – where is the Bud ship registry from?
    now BHO WH signatory action – imo will work (sorta) because its everybodys cash thruput and recycles back into the USA economy (sorta)
    private growth vs public growth – ummm thats ‘merica

  29. victor says:

    BR: next time insist on a better counterpart, Schiff is such a loser. At the local level minimum wages are often ignored. For example where I live (LaLa Land, min. wage soon to be raised to $9.00/hr) an “established” gardener gets paid cash (no tax LOL) $80/8hr day incl. 1/2 hr. lunch provided by the house owner. A non-established worker who knocks at doors looking for work (often walking, doesn’t yet have a bicycle, likely illegal from Central America mostly Guatemala) will settle for less but the owner may have to teach him how to use the gardening tools, etc. Now fast forward to the future (national unemployment under 4%) which is already here in North Dakota (min. wage $7.25/hr) where MCD offers $300 sign up bonuses and employers offer $17/hr starting salaries for unskilled labor (assuming the prospective employee can find a place to sleep in such as WMT parking lot), see

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