This has me utterly baffled. Peter Schiff is a pretty bright guy, and for a long time he's been a vocal advocate of the sound money and libertarian economic viewpoints. That's why I'm wondering if he's had a stroke recently, because he's done more to marginalize his own point of view over the past six weeks than the army of his detractors has managed in the past decade.
Near as I can tell, he started jumping the shark in December when he posted a video of himself ostensibly protesting against Wal-Mart workers protesting for higher wages. It was tongue in cheek, and not a completely outlandish point to make, but it begs the question: where does a millionaire CEO find the time to protest against minimum wage workers in a Wal-Mart parking lot? And why the hell would he?
It was all downhill from there. He appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast on January 22 and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He spent three solid hours railing against government regulation of any kind and, when pressed on the environmental impact of disasters like the BP spill and the growing sentiment against fracking, his attitude was basically, "F the environment, I'm getting paid."
But the piece de resistance was his appearance on The Daily Show last Tuesday, where he opined that people should work for anything they can get, and that the mentally retarded should be happy to get $2 an hour.
I'm frankly stunned. Schiff has always been a fringe player, but he could also always be counted on for his rationality. Now he's either trolling, or he's legitimately off his rocker. Even if he believes all the things he's said recently (and I have no reason to suspect otherwise), why on Earth would he be vocalizing them? Has watching his precious gold meltdown sent him over the edge?
Bottom line: this is still a guy with a business to run and customers to serve. How could he possibly think that a Daily Show appearance (where you know you're going to be made fun of) was a good idea? There's nothing but downside there. And how could he think that he'd come off as anything other than pompous and petty for protesting against minimum wage workers? The guy is annihilating his own brand.
What do you guys think? Should Schiff see a shrink before he does any more damage? Or is he just trolling all of us?
Schiff protesting WalMart workers:
Joe Rogan Experience: