Must See: Jon Stewart Blasts Arguments Against Raising the Minimum Wage

Last night, Jon Stewart delivered quite the smackdown to financial news hosts, specifically CNBC's Larry Kudlow and Fox's Stuart Varney, for their insipid arguments against raising the minimum wage.  Jon took each one of them and showed why each one was full of crap.

So if you know any right-wingers who've been spewing crap about raising the minimum wage on social media, send 'em the link to the second clip where Jon just rips the shit out of Varney and Kudlow.  

If it took you a little longer to get your ol' Sausage McMuffin this morning, it wasn't because this year's sausage crop has suffered a particularly poor congeal.
ABC7 (12/5/2013): Fast food workers in about 100 cities are staging a one-day strike, demanding higher wages.  It is the largest effort yet in the year-long push for more money.  The workers say it's nearly impossible to survive on a full-time salary of $7.25 an hour.
The wages are so low, some fast food workers have had to resort to a life of crime.

Or worse, prostitution.

(wild audience laughter)

You got a pretty mouth there, Grimace.

So, the question is, raise the minimum wage from the very difficult to live on $7.25 an hour to something more liveable.  It seems reasonable for an industry that is that profitable.  So let's hear why it will destroy the very foundations of our democracy.


BEN WHITE: Let's get people a little more purchasing power.

LARRY KUDLOW: That's the Keynesian view, that more government assistance, in this case, a minimum wage....

Government assistance?!  How is that government....?  "Yeah, I'm sick of these welfare queens, suckling at the teat of the employer they work for."  (audience laughter)

The government's not kicking in the extra money.  But painting a raise in the minimum wage as akin to welfare pales in comparison to our next argument: well, these jobs are supposed to suck.

CAROL ROTH (12/3/2013): I'm a big fan of empowerment over entitlements.  And these minimum wage jobs are not meant to be lifelong jobs.  You're supposed to get your foot in the door, and get skills.
Oh, it's like a starter gig.  A fryer's apprenticeship, if you will.  A grill squire.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Jon, these arguments against raising the minimum wage are entertainingly shitty.  But I feel like I need more of them.  Is there any way I could supersize them, with a side of slippery slope?"


ERIC BOLLING: What should the minimum wage be?

BOB BECKEL: I think — for me, personally? — $15, $20 dollars.

ERIC BOLLING: Why not $50?

RICK SANTELLI (9/3/2013): If it really works, why not raise it to $35 or $40 an hour?

LARRY KUDLOW (12/3/2013): If it's all that good, why stop at $50?  Let's go to $100 bucks an hour!

FOX BUSINESS GUEST (7/29/2013): And why stop at $15?  Why not raise the minimum wage to $100,000?

And then... and then, we can all live like kings!  Burger Kings!  (audience applause0

But let's for a moment engage her argument, seeing as she is making this argument on a financial news network.  The reason you don't raise the minimum wage to $100,000 an hour is because it would be unreasonable economically for someone working the drive-thru to make $4 million dollars a week.  But I feel like there might be a reasonable place in between the $290 dollars a week they make now, and the $4 million dollars a week you suggest.  Perhaps we can come to a negotiated compromise.

So we've engaged in some absurd arguments.  Can I get an argument against raising the minimum wage, but one that's deep-fried in contempt, seasoned with disdain?

STUART VARNEY (12/2/2013): I know you're going to give us the emotional side of the story, people need $15 dollars per hour to live on, they're starving without it.  OK, I got that.  I want to ask you about the economics of it.
(shocked audience laughter)

Dude, are you serious?  That is the type of statement that is usually followed by a visit from a dead business partner and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

(wild audience cheering and applause)

"All right, all right, we've heard the argument that you need it to feed your family.  Fine!  I've got that.  Let's hear the argument treating it as though you're not human."

So Mr. Varney would like to strip the emotion away from all this, until he doesn't.

STUART VARNEY (12/2/2013): Do you think that someone fresh out of high school that didn't get a diploma, they don't really have any basic skills, do you think that they deserve $15? ... I'm asking you to make a moral judgment here.
Oh, I'm making one.  (audience laughter and applause)

I'm thinking everybody who just heard you say that is making a moral judgment right now.  You might want to reinforce your Christmas stocking this year.  Cuz you gettin' coal.

But I get it, Mr. Varney, you're a supply-sider.  You want to hear a moral argument about that type of economics.  Well let's look to a gentleman seen as a voice of moral authority for millions of people.

SCOTT PELLEY (11/26/2013): Today, Pope Francis denounced trickle-down economics as unfair to the poor.

ALISON KOSIK (12/1/2013): He calls unfettered capitalism a new tyranny, and he urges world leaders to fight poverty and inequality.

FOX NEWS (12/4/2013): (quoting Pope Francis) "Money must serve, not rule! ... I exhort you to generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings."

Ooh, somebody light some incense, that's gonna go over like a fart in church.
STUART VARNEY (12/3/2013): I disagree with the Pope, who doesn't like free market capitalism.  I think free market capitalism is a great liberator.
Ahh!!  You're going up against the Pope??  You're going up against the Pope on how to help the poor?  Helping the poor is in this man's wheelhouse!  This Pope helps the poor!  But you're telling him how to do his job??  Pope doesn't come over to where you work, and slap Jamie Dimon's dick out of your mouth.  (HYSTERICAL audience laughter and cheering and applause)

That's weird, that wasn't in the prompter.

Can anyone actually have a rebuttal for the Pope?

LARRY KUDLOW (12/2/2013): With all due humility, and as a church-going Catholic convert, a devotional convert, I adore the Holy Father.  I still must completely disagree.

LARRY KUDLOW (12/3/2013): Need I remind his Holiness, Pope Francis, charity is a gospel value.  And that puts free market capitalism on the right side of the Lord.

Exactly!  Free market capitalism on the right side of the Lord!  Who says you can't serve both God and money?

(audience cheering and applause)

Who would say such a thing?  Who... could... say... such a....  That's not fair.  Look at the beard.  Guy's clearly a Marxist.

All right, step right up.  Who's got next?

STUART VARNEY (12/3/2013): When the Pope criticizes an entire economic system, and he's negative about it, he's indulging in politics.  And I don't think he should.

STUART VARNEY (11/27/2013): I personally do not want my spiritual life mixed up with my political life.  I go to church to save my soul.

(jeering audience response)

Then why aren't you there right now?  (audience laughter and applause)

I do think we've got some common ground here.  I think we both actually agree, that some people are being paid too much money to shovel unappetizing, unhealthy shit to the American public.  We just disagree about who those people are and where they work.

(audience cheering and applause)

We'll be right back.



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