On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart took on yesterday's fast food strikes—which were among the largest ever—and struggled mightily to understand right-wing arguments why paying workers a living wage will "destroy the very foundations of our economy."
As a Kudlow Report commentator put it, "That's the Keynesian view—more government assistance!" Stewart bristled: "Yeah, I'm sick of these welfare queens suckling at the teat of the employer they work for," he mocked. But that argument hardly matches the Fox News contributor who scoffed, "Why stop at $15? Why not raise the minimum wage to $100,000?"
"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-through to make four million dollars a week," Stewart patiently explained. "But I feel like there might be a reasonable place in between the $290 a week they make now and the four million dollars a week you suggest."
And yet that still doesn't compare to the callously corporate reaction of Fox's Stuart Varney. "People need $15 an hour to live on, they're starving without it, okay, I got that," Varney shrugged. "I want to ask you about the economics of it." Stewart lost it: "Alright, we've heard the argument that you need it to feed your family," he mocked. "Let's hear the argument treating it as though you're not human."
Ultimately, Stewart pointed out that those conservatives standing up for unfettered free-market capitalism are going up against Pope Francis, whose recent anti-capitalist remarks have surprised many, and, err, another religious leader:
But Stewart found an unexpected point of agreement with Fox commentators. "Some people are being paid too much money to shovel unappetizing, unhealthy shit to the american public," he conceded. "We just disagree about who those people are and where they work."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.