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Congressman Billl Young Wants to Know What We Think About Minimum Wage

Congressman C.W. Bill Young inquired what we think about raising the minimum wage, possibly in light of an interaction with a Pinellas County man who asked him about it.

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
Bill Young
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

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

rick barasso July 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you sir, it is so good to see a small business owner tell the truth. Be prepared for the onslaught of negativity from the Right. You will be accused of being a sociailist. You and those like you, are of course guilty of destroying our country. Because you'll be labeled a liberal, it will be your fault we have a man in the White House that was not born in this country. As a voter and a middle class American tax payer, I was amazed (ok, not surprised at all) that this out of touch "representitive" of all the people, didn't ask anyone making under $10 an hour how difficult life was or what type of sacifices did they have to make. Then again, one thing most Republicans are unaware of, is sacrifice. Thanks again for your honesty, and let me appologize in advance for my fellow Americans that will blame you for all their woes in life.
Michael D. July 18, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Rick, Like you I agree with most of what is written above. And the minimum wage isn't a living wage, but it is also not set up to be. The minimum is supposed to be the minimum, a living wage is closer to $15 an hour. The problem isn't the bottom of the wage scale it is the top, No CEO is worth 4000 times the average employee salary. Once we get the top under control the bottom will not be as bad. As far as corruption in the system It comes from both sides, a true democracy doesn't have only two parties that are corporate lead. I also follow the money and both major parties have their hands out. The lobbyst are everywhere and are making the decisions for this country not the people. Mr. Tankel, thank you for this post.
InsiderMyself July 18, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Of course we think it's a low wage, considering wages have been stagnant for 30 yrs., while the cost of everything else went up. Funny thing, Bill now has to ask us after his faux paux. If he needs me to tell him it's a low wage, he's either out of touch, or too old if he cannot see this for himself. After all, he's been on the cutting edge of policy for years! He actually knows all of this, and this is just "damage control". Time for a change. And do watch for the Young ads coming to you TV once again! They hide him actually. Here's how. They put a leather bomber jacket on him, along with RayBan aviator sunglasses for a youthful appearance, to actually hide is age from all to see! Then, they place that motion flag waving behind his head, along with a voice over of a 34 year old actor. All you hear of Bill...is in the end. A very struggling voice, that says, "im bill young and I approve this message". He's so old they don't even want you to hear it in his voice...and they hide his face behind youthful sunglasses! This was the last cycle ad, and the new one won't be any different. Just watch and see!! And do tell me why these old coots want to stay in DC and freeze their butts off when they are so old, and continue to get a full pension? Must be drunk with power. Bill, go home and relax. You can't swim right now, cuz your beach has a high fecal reading right now.
GaryFla July 18, 2012 at 09:22 PM
We have in a nutshell ( barasso, Michael and Inside) outstanding examples of thinking (?) that has resulted in the mess we have in Washington stemming from Democratic control, especially in the Senate and the present head. It makes no sense to me to raise an "entry level" wage rate so disproportionately; as Michael correctly pointed out, it's not meant to be a living wage - it's wage force entry level. Successful experience and wisdom gained from entering the labor force leads an employee to subsequently seek out better paying positions which of course require more skill and experience ( and accordingly, better compensation). Please continue your fine work Bill.
Michael D. July 18, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Gary, I am not for either party. My problem is that the whole system is broke, both Republican and Democratic parties are run by corporations and lobbysts. I see it everyday in my line of work. And if you believe that Washington is under Democratic control, only truly in one branch of the government. That is why there are 3 equal powerful parts to our system. To balance out the power. But when the lobbyst control both parties that run 2/3 of the government, then their is issues. True Democracy is more than 2 parties.
James July 21, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Minimum wage increases causes the prices of all goods and services to increase.Which hurts all of us.
Janice August 01, 2012 at 02:46 PM
The age at which one legally begins to work is 14-15yrs of age. The "minimum" wage is the beginning of the scale of which people get paid. The problem is that our economy is bad right now and there are a lot of people working at a wage that is below average. Changing the "minimum" wage will not help our economy, it will just allow the people entering the work force to make the same amount of money it took someone to make through years of low percentage raises. They can try to make some sort of grid using type of jobs and ranges of pay for that job but then we become under the thumb of our government and nobody wants to be controlled in that way~ after all, isn't that why people come to America, to get away from the strict control of a government??
Bob Tankel August 02, 2012 at 12:42 AM
None of you address the changing plutocratic nature of the government. Maybe the minimum wage should be tossed as should the 40 hour work week, we already work more than any industrial country in the world with less vacation. There's less control of people by the government in Mexico than here. If you want libertarianism, Somalia is a perfect place.....
John Dolac August 02, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Somalia is in anarchy, it does not have a functioning central government. It is not libertarianism. Don't really see what the plutocratic nature of the government has to do with a minimum wage law.

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