Schiff vs. Ritholtz: Political Correctness vs. Law of Supply and Demand

PolicyMic says There's a Good Reason Why Everyone's Cricizing Peter Schiff.

Jon Stewart's Daily Show mocked Schiff in an amusing video interview Wage Against the Machine. The video allegedly explores "the devastating economic effects of raising the minimum wage to the poverty level."

Schiff's opponent in the interview was Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture blog. Before the show aired, Barry explained How I Ended Up On The Daily Show.

The feedback against Schiff was enormous. Ritholtz has the details in Follow Up: Daily Show Blowback.

Political Correctness Points

I am no fan of Schiff. We have radically different views on the inflation-deflation debate. And I do find the way he stated his case to be very distasteful.

That said, it's clear the Daily Show was out to score political points, not explore economic reality.

Given that Schiff was purposely displayed in the worst light possible and Ritholtz the best light possible (Ritholtz admits retake after retake) it is not shocking in the least to see all this blowback.

Merits of the Debate

Political correctness or not, I want a sound discussion of economic principles.

In a Shades of France Socialistic Proposal (my title), Ritholtz states "The most radical idea is bit of pure fantasy: Guarantee every person in America a minimum salary".

Indeed, let's hope that remains a fantasy because it's already proven if you give things away free, people able to work, will stop working.

Here's an important corollary: If you make people work, you end up with work that has no economic justification.

Campaign for a Bigger Paycheck

On January 2, in The Campaign for a Bigger Paycheck, a New York Times stated 'When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it,' said Speaker John Boehner, espousing a party-line theory that most economists agree has been discredited.

Someone Please Help New York Times With Econ 101

Actually, it's the New York Times editorial board that's discredited.

Caroline Baum, in one of her last articles at Bloomberg (she has gone on to other things and I wish her well), blasted that New York Times "discredited" fiction sky high.

Here is the pertinent snip from Someone Please Help New York Times With Econ 101.


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