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The November 27, 2012 episode of The Daily Show focuses on economic issues by discussing Black Friday, Wal-Mart, Hostess and talking to Warren Buffet and Carol Loomis.
Jon Stewart begins the episode by discussing Black Friday and joking about how seriously Americans take it. During Black Friday, Stewart reports, people protested outside of Wal-Mart about having to work on Thanksgiving Day and asking for better pay and benefits.
Stewart then plays some clips of people saying that these people have it good and basically should not be complaining. They have it better, after all, than the people who make the clothes for Wal-Mart. Stewart then reports on a fire in a clothing workshop that killed many workers who make some of the clothes that Wal-Mart sells. He then plays a clip of a man trying to argue that the blame for the fire cannot be laid at Wal-Mart’s feet or any other profit driven organization and that the fire was a one off incident. Stewart criticizes this heavily, of course, especially the part where it was a one time incident, since as he was saying that the fact that over 500 people had died in similar fires in recent years was up on the screen.
Stewart then moves on to report on people’s criticism of unions, especially how it relates to Hostess shutting down. Many places are blaming the union and workers who were striking for being unreasonable and causing the company to be unable to run efficiently. However, these sources neglect to mention, as Stewart points out himself and with clips, that Hostess has been through seven CEOs in the past few years, unions had already taken a cut while the CEO got a 300 percent pay increase and sales have dropped as parents have started putting healthier food into lunches. The segment is then finished off with a clip describing the twenty-seven ingredients present in twinkies and the other products those ingredients go into making, such as hair gel and rocket fuel.
The guests for this episode are Warren Buffet and Carol Loomis promoting their new book, Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffet on Practically Everything, 1966-2012: A Fortune Magazine Book. Most of the interview is spent talking to Buffet about his perspectives on the economy and taxes. They discuss how he thinks people should be taxed and how taxing the rich at a higher rate will not negatively impact the economy. Very little of the interview is spent talking to Loomis about her book. If you are interested in economic topics then you will really like this interview.
I think just about anyone would enjoy this episode, especially if you want some helpful points to argue for unions. Even if you do not, Stewart does a really good job making these topics funny. Unfortunately there were no correspondents in this episode, which is almost always my favorite part.