Forget the President—'The Daily Show' Makes a Better Case for Raising the Minimum Wage

Higher wages are a good idea for the economy—unless you believe that people are simply 'worth what they're worth.'
Jan 29, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

When President Obama called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 during last night’s State of the Union, he repeatedly mentioned service industry jobs. And so when The Daily Show just by chance looked into the issue of the minimum wage later in the evening, it looked at the fast-food sector, where low-wage workers have been agitating for a base rate of $15 per hour in an ongoing series of one-day strikes.

But first, correspondent Samantha Bee wanted to get the argument against raising the minimum wage—because, as she later deadpans, “I do like to taste the tears of poverty in my milkshakes.”

So she interviews Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. And he proves to be an investment adviser so dedicated to espousing the good word about free market economics that he has absolutely no understanding of the socioeconomic realities of people who can’t afford to trade in foreign currency markets.

Take his assertion about people who work at McDonald’s: “They don’t seem desperate and hungry to me. They’re young kids. They seem to be enjoying themselves.” When Bee presents him with the hypothetical of a 48-year-old with a bachelor’s degree working in fast food, Schiff says, “You’re creating a hypothetical situation that’s not going to exist.”

Cut to her interviewing a 48-year-old with a bachelor’s degree working in fast food.

But Schiff, he’s more concerned with the founding principles of this country. Well, except for the whole equality idea.

“I don’t believe that we’re all created equal—we’re worth what we’re worth,” he says.