Sunday, February 2, 2014

Peter Schiff Is Correct Minimum Wage Laws Do Cause Unemployment Among the Mentally Retarded

Peter Schiff recently appeared on the Daily Show. They interviewed him for the show, about the minimum wage, for four hours. They only ran about 75 seconds of what he said on air, which included him saying that minimum wage laws prevent the mentally retarded from getting jobs.

Here's how Peter explained what went down:
When I accepted “The Daily Show”’s invitation to be interviewed about my opposition to a minimum wage increase, I knew that I was walking into a trap. But given how counterproductive I know that such an increase would be to those the law proposes to help, I took the risk anyway.

Of the more than four hours of taped discussion I conducted, the producers chose to only use about 75 seconds of my comments. Of those, my use of the words “mentally retarded” (when Samantha Bee asked who might be willing to work for $2 per hour – a figure she suggested) has come to define the entire interview.

I'm now receiving hundreds of angry e-mails and am being described in the media as a hateful bigot.
First, you have to understand what was going on. Samantha Bee wasn't interviewing Schiff for four hours to get his opinion on the minimum wage. She was interviewing for four hours to get him to say something that she could spin into making him look like an idiot.

But notice what really went on. According to Peter, Bee was the one who suggested the $2 an hour wage as a topic. She was trying to get him to admit that few would work for such a rate. It should be noted that, although Bee didn't seem to get it, this is not an argument in favor of the minimum wage. This Bee bite had no sting, Peter could have just said, "That's correct. There are few, if any, that would work for $2.00 an hour in the United States. There are many businessmen who would happily pay more than $2.00 an hour for even the least productive labor. Prices in the free market aren't set by businessmen. They are set by the dynamics of supply and demand. The supply for labor, in general, wouldn't kick-in in the United States until well above $2.00 an hour. There are too many alternative bidders for labor. That's how supply an demand works. You can't over-rule it." If Peter had said this, his reply would have been left on the cutting room floor, but instead Peter moved to make a much more insightful comment. Namely, that the mentally retarded can be productive members of society and that only government regulations prevent them from being so.

The nanny state, via minimum wage laws, takes away the opportunity for the mentally retarded to participate in the free market system. Their marginal revenue productivity in the world is not likely to be high, but it is not zero. However, because of government minimum wage laws, the self esteem of the mentally retarded is ground to a pulp under the boot of the nanny state, so they are given the feeling that they are totally useless to society. What a cruel thing to do!

Even the mentally retarded should be free to declare, what Ayn Rand had her character in Atlas Shrugged, Francisco, say:
I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of all - that I was a man who made money.


  1. Samantha Bee is an employee trying to generate a profit for her employer. That's how capitalism works. Did Schiff get paid for the interview? Was he working for free? Seems like he's been exploited by a corporation trying to make a profit.

    The mentally retarded do not earn minimum wage. They qualify for the subminimum wage. Had Schiff known about the labor laws, he would have responded by pointing out that there is a subminimum wage to keep the mentally retarded from being priced out of the labor market. This exception supports the reason he gives for opposing the minimum wage. The problem is that Schiff does not know anything about the minimum wage laws. He only knows how to parrot boiler plate libertarian economics.

    Subminimum Wage

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for the employment of certain individuals at wage rates below the minimum wage.....ncluded are individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability, including those related to age or injury, for the work to be performed.

    1. I did point that out. She asked me to give her an example of someone who would work for $2 per hour, a figure she came up with on her own. I gave her two examples, unpaid interns, who are legally prevented from being paid $2 per hour, and are therefore forced to work for free, and the intellectually disabled, who by exemption are allowed to work for less then the minimum wage. I told her that my wife's aunt, who is intellectually disabled, lovers her jobs for which she is paid $2.50 per hour. I told her if her employer was forced to pay her minimum wage, due to her very low productivity, he would be forced to let her go. I told her she doesn't really work for the money as she still lives at home and is supported by her month, but for the self-esteem and joy the job brings her. Of course all of that stuff was edited out by the Daily Show. Peter Schiff

  2. You have a reading comprehension problem, Jerry. This was an example of who could work for less than minimum wage, not a statement about who exactly is permitted to do so under the current byzantine laws. You attribute to Schiff the expansion on this point made by Robert Wenzel.

    And just in case you didn't knew - there's a lot of mentally retarded people who are not diagnosed officially with any such condition, and so are not eligible for the exemption.

  3. Speaking of mentally retarded, heeeeere's Jerry.

    1. I don't think I should have laughed at this, but I did.

  4. He's an interesting fellow, that Jerry.

    He posts in many articles, on every topic covered on this blog, never once agreeing with Wenzel or any libertarian position, even in less important matters.

    He's always trying to stir things up.

    Often he supports with arguments with technical sounding but ultimately empty facts and statistics from a wide variety of sources. How many "progressives" do you know who attempt to defend the Fed, plus the entire spectrum of statist positions, thereby displaying at least some (warped) knowledge about most topics that interest libertarians?

    He almost never returns to defend his positions when others try to engage him in conversation.

    Is he just a persistent troll, or something else?

    1. "Is he just a persistent troll, or something else?"

      It's very possible that he's on someone's payroll that wants him here trolling.

    2. He' just a troll. That's why I post "JW: Troll" on every one of his responses. Or at least the ones I run into. I don't know why RW won't ban him. It's no different than plain spam.

  5. IMHO, those who believe that sending more money to Washington to combat the climate is a good idea are mentally retarded.
    Do they fall under the FLSA?
    And would those people be worth 2 dollars an hour?

  6. Some day I think you'll come back and read your piss poor defense of Peter Schiff and be embarrassed. If Peter had a member of his family with a disability he wouldn't have said "you are worth what you're worth." He would be out there helping to create jobs for the most vulnerable among us. He would be teaching dignity and respect for those who are marginalized. I actually feel sorry for him. He has learned nothing about real life. And...I'm not a troll or whatever label Mike chooses to place on people whose comments he doesn't agree with.

  7. He should have handled it the way Lew Rockwell did. Completely dismiss Ms. Bee as being part of the regime and move on something else.