I recently got an email from the good Congressman C.W. Bill Young; born in 1930, before Television was in wide use, and who was sworn into office as a freshman in 1971, well before personal computers came into widespread use, and the Internet.
Here is his email, my reply below:
July 16, 2012
Legislation has been introduced to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.00 per hour, a 38 percent increase.
Given the fragile economy and an unemployment rate that has remained above 8 percent for 41 straight months, I am asking for your thoughts on the impact an increase in the federal minimum wage would have on your business at this current time.
I would also ask you two other questions I ask every business owner I see in Pinellas County:
1.What can Congress do to help encourage the expansion of your business?
2.What, if any, federal regulations or policies are impacting your ability to grow and create jobs?
You can respond to any or all of these questions by e-mailing me directly at Bill.Young@mail.house.gov. Please be sure to include your contact information. Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts and please call on me any time that I can be of assistance to you.
With best wishes and personal regards, I am
Member of Congress
My response was:
Congressman Young; per your email, see my comments below. I think you owe that young man you told to "Get a job" an apology, but I have more substantive answers to your questions below, Bob Tankel
PS If you check my donation record you will note that I am bi-partisan and have given about $1200 to Republican Candidates this election cycle, including your colleague, Dennis Ross.....
I am a small businessman in your district. We employ 26+ people. We have ALWAYS provided health insurance because it's the right thing to do. You and your colleagues in the House need to stop hating on the President. The current environment is MUCH worse than when President Bush was in office.
I need no help from Congress. Stay out of our way and stop wasting your time voting to repeal "Congresscare." Congress passed Health Care Reform not Mr. Obama. Stop passing laws trying to restrict abortion, and pass an infrastructure bill. Extend the "Bush Tax Cuts" for everybody making less than $250,000 a year. Let's see, to a person making that much for every extra $1000, the person will pay an additional $40 or so in taxes than they currently pay? This is what you and Messrs. Boehner and Kantor want to shut down the government about?
We live in a plutocracy, please see this from Barry Ritholtz, not exactly a fire breathing left winger:
We live in an era of defective government.
This corruption is not an accident. It is the product of years of very patient work. It has been brought about through expensive lobbying, relentless propaganda, agnotology. You can see it in this election cycle, where 196 Americans — 0.000063% of the population — have given more than 80% of Super PAC dollars.
Is it democracy or plutocracy when less than 200 people drive election spending in a nation of 300 million?
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people and money is free speech; but real people with no money have limited rights to protest and get pepper sprayed.
None of the companies I own stock in have asked me if it's OK to use my share of earnings to donate to political causes; just like with Unions, how about a negative check off required allowing shareholders to tell their board that they support or oppose corporate money for campaigns?
There are no regulations in my way because I don't want to pollute, avoid external costs, get sweetheart deals for mining or taking water from our aquifer, bust unions, sell naked CDS swaps, evade the SEC, employ illegal aliens (why isn't that enforced?) or undermine the ability of hard working people to make a living wage. The government is killing retirees who saved all their lives to prop up the systemic risk banks and holding interest rates down. Thousands of people in the district are impoverished because CD rates are barely 1.5%... By the way NOBODY in my office earns less than $10 an hour, (except a summer intern) and even those people are entry level who get reviewed, and generally a raise after 90 days.
Respectfully, Bob Tankel