Posts filed under “Wages & Income”
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
Tonight, after the opening segment but before Louis CK comes on, I am deeply involved in the middle segment of The Daily Show. How this came about is an interesting story — one that is strange enough to be worth sharing. [Update: Here]
I am either brave or foolish publishing this before the show airs, but I don’t think I made too big an arse of myself. Regardless, it would not be the first time I did so on Television in my professional career.
This episode came about thanks to a post I did for Bloomberg View on the minimum wage. I was at a hotel in Hartford, waiting to give pension fund investors my Romancing Alpha schtick. I had 90 minutes to kill, so I banged out this commentary titled How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens. The story of the McResource hotline had already broken, and I wanted to address it from a perspective of a corporate subsidy from taxpayers. (The follow up are here and here) [Update: This interview was on December 18th, long before tonight's SOTU address, which hit on many of the same issues]
I don’t use a publicist, so you can imagine my pleasant surprise when an email came in from the Daily Show producers asking me questions about the minimum wage and corporate subsidy column. We chatted a few times, the idea got kicked around by the writers and producers . . . and then the call came. “Hey, can we shoot you next week?” My response: Sure. (Why didn’t I get a haircut?)
This wasn’t the first time I had been tagged by them — When Alan Greenspan retired from the Fed, they reached out (I put them in touch with Kudlow & Cramer instead). And it looked as if Bailout Nation might have landed me in the guest chair, but that never quite materialized. So this was quite a lot of fun, and felt like a long time coming.
As the photos below show, they arrived in our midtown office with tons of equipment. It took over 90 minutes for them to set up.
Shortly afterwards, Samantha Bee showed up. She is a combination of hilarious and delightful. We settle into the chairs, and she begins to fire questions at me. For this 4 minute segment, we shot for two hours. The hardest part was not cracking up. Her facial expressions and cacophony of shrieks, whines and laughs are infectious. I ruined a few takes breaking up laughing.
A few interesting things I learned about The Daily Show over the course of our shooting — first, they don’t want to tell you who is on the other side of the argument. I had suggested to them that Peter Schiff was a perfect guy for this, as he had been haranguing Wal-Mart shoppers in the parking lot (See this and this). The next night at dinner with a group of media folks and strategists they confirmed that it was indeed Schiff on the other side of the debate (he apparently told them). Fun!
Second, it appears that TDS has some smart lawyers who’ve thought this thing through. All of the answers were recorded following each question in one continuous segment. When I screwed up or ruined a shot, they had to go back to ask the question again, with the response immediately following in the same shot.
In other words, they don’t cut up your answers or pull them out of context. Question, Answer, Question, Answer. I assume this keeps litigation from angry remote guests to a minimum.
Over the course of two hours, its pretty easy to say something stupid — especially when one of the funniest people on earth is two feet away making faces and saying very funny things. I hope I didn’t embarass myself. We”ll find out at 11:06pm or so.
Anyway, here are some of the snaps I grabbed with the phone. The last one is a spoiler so its after the jump . . .
It’s a Myth that Conservatives Don’t Care About Inequality We’ve noted for years that it’s a myth that conservatives accept runaway inequality. Conservatives are very concerned about the stunning collapse of upward mobility. A poll from Gallup shows that a majority of Republicans think we’ve got too much inequality: Two out of three Americans are…Read More
Click for an interactive calculator. Source: Wealthometer Income inequality has been all over the news this year. Political fights about raising the minimum wage are in the near future. A related, but just as fascinating, issue is how wealth is distributed. Click through on the calculator above, and you can see where your families…Read More
Some argue that income inequality isn’t systemic enough:
Slumdogs vs. Millionaires
Why some media lauds the end of unemployment insurance fraud, which is totally different from Wall Street fraud.
Slumdogs vs. Millionaires – Moral Hazard
January 9, 2014
From Bloomberg: The federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 an hour in July 2009. Among the states, Washington has the highest minimum wage at $9.19, it rises to $9.32 on Jan 1, 2014. Georgia and Wyoming have the lowest minimum wage: $5.15, although in those cases, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 supersedes the…Read More