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Peter Schiff, I Salute You: Don’t Back Down on the Minimum Wage

By: Fergus Hodgson - @FergHodgson - Feb 6, 2014, 6:00 am

Last week I wrote about the economic folly of the Daily Show segment on the minimum wage and their attack on Peter Schiff. However, as more evidence has come to light, the actions of the television show staff appear even more disingenuous and unsavory.

Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and an exemplary advocate for free enterprise, has not bowed to hate mail and shaming against him. Not a stranger to criticism, he has hit back — in print and via his radio show — and with good reason.

If you’re the sort of person to listen to talk radio, the full hour is worth your time. Even the first half hour will give you a sense for why he is justified in describing the segment as a hit piece. He was, as he reflects, “walking into a trap.”

“But given how counterproductive I know such [a minimum wage] increase would be to those the law proposes to help, I took the risk anyway.”

That trap entailed cutting four hours of footage into about 75 seconds of on-air time — during which the editors mixed various clips that did not even go together, but they made it appear that way in the segment.

Schiff had, for example, explained that the minimum wage stopped less skilled people from competing with more skilled people. The scenario he offered was two people working at $7 per hour undercutting one person at $15 per hour. Samantha Bee did not show that, though, just her response: “Why have one job for $15 an hour, when you could have two jobs for $7.50 an hour?” Then she superimposed a clip of Schiff from an entirely different segment of the interview: “Would you rather do that or pay twice as much for your burger?”

Perhaps I should have known better, because that line of discussion from Schiff did seem awkward. Now he is calling on The Daily Show to release the uncut footage, so people can verify for themselves whether they accurately represented him.

daily-show
The Daily Show screenshot. Source: Mises.ca.

All the highly misleading editing aside, the producers couldn’t event get the supply and demand curves right — which just goes to show how much concern they have for basic economics, what Schiff sought to explain. Sure, they updated the clip after the show on the website, but this is what they released live.

Fergus Hodgson Fergus Hodgson

Fergus Hodgson was the founding editor in chief of the PanAm Post, up until January 2016, and he now studies finance at Tulane University in Louisiana and Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala. Originally from New Zealand, he has also lived in Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, and the United States. Follow @FergHodgson and his Facebook page.