Westport, Conn. (CBS CONNECTICUT) — Speaking with a “Daily Show” correspondent about President Barack Obama’s plans to increase minimum wage, Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff ridiculed the idea, suggesting that the “mentally retarded” could work for $2 an hour, because “you’re worth what you’re worth.”
Schiff is the founder and CEO of investment broker-dealer company, Euro Pacific Capital, as well as a radio show host, author and one-time Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. Schiff made the comments on Tuesday to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” in a piece riffing on the economic impact of raising the federal minimum wage.
“There’s a law in economics — supply and demand — that you learn in Econ 101, and if you increase the price of something, you decrease the demand,” Schiff told the “Daily Show’s” Samantha Bee. “The higher you make the minimum wage, the more jobs are going to be destroyed.
Euro Pacific Capital is a Westport, Conn. based investment company that is registered by the SEC and has seven offices across the country.
From the company’s website: “Based on the irresponsible policies of the Federal Reserve and the continued failure of the United States to put our fiscal house in order, we believe that the U.S. dollar is at risk of falling relative to currencies of more economically vibrant nations. Changes in currency valuation, often ignored by many investment consultants, could make significant impact on long term results.”
Discussion of raising the minimum wage was sparked by Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, in which he said he will sign an executive order setting the minimum wage for workers covered by new federal contracts at $10.10 an hour, a significant jump from the current federal minimum of $7.25.
The president hopes his order will spur Congress to increase the minimum wage for all employees and he is currently on a four-stop tour around the country to reinforce many of his themes from the address, including his belief that raising minimum wage will have a positive economic impact on the country.
Schiff, however, ridiculed the plan, noting that the price of fast-food and other products would increase in response to a mandatory raise in minimum wage. He also cited that free-market policies are good for the poor, as opposed to socialist policies that create “scarcity” and “famine.”
“The Daily Show’s” satirical portrayal of the discussion drew laughs from the show’s audience, especially Bee’s jabs at Schiff’s staunch conservative stance.
“I do like to taste the tears of poverty in my milkshakes,” she deadpanned to Schiff.
But his comments at the end of the segment were met with boos from the show’s audience.
“If we eliminate the minimum wage law, then individuals would be free to accept jobs at whatever pay they’re able to get,” said Schiff.
Bee then asked Schiff, “Paint me the picture of a person whose work would be worth $2 an hour?”
“You know somebody who might be? Maybe somebody who is, uh, what’s the politically correct word? You know for, mentally retarded,” said Schiff.
“I believe in the principles that the country was founded on, I’m not going to say ‘we’re all created equal,’ you’re worth what you’re worth.”
His father, Irwin Schiff, has been suggested by Forbes as “the grandfather of the contemporary tax protester movement,” and is currently appealing his conviction and sentence of 151 months for conspiracy, aiding in the filing of false income tax returns and failing to pay income tax. Irwin Schiff has fought numerous legal battles against the U.S. income tax process, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve.