The Gentlemen Revolutionaries

Dedicated to the Preservation of the First Amendment

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh you guys mean Shenanigans?

Wow... just wow. I know I get fired up pretty easily, and by pretty easily I mean easier than most, and by easier than most I mean I should probably live on a deserted island by myself (and then the fucking crabs would be the target of my aggression).

About 10 days ago Congress voted itself a 3300 dollar pay raise, bringing their salary to about 170,000 dollars a year. Now I can hear some of you hollering saying "they didn't vote themselves a pay raise!" and technically you are correct. The did however, vote to not not give themselves a pay raise. That's right, Congress voted on a double negative.

I had very mixed feelings about this non-vote vote. I mostly believe that many people in Congress could be at the top of their fields elsewhere and making more, so therefore they should be paid well. I also somewhat believe that when we are this far in a deficit they should cut back everywhere they can, including their own salaries. Essentially I was indifferent.. until this afternoon. This afternoon the Congressional Republicans defeated a bill that would have raised the minimum wage by $2.10... it would have been the first raise for the minimum wage since 1997. (FYI that raise would bring the standard of living for a family of three TO the poverty line...)

Some facts:
- Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is the lowest it has been since 1955
- the claim that a higher minimum wage leads to lower jobs is false; states with higher minimum wages experienced better job growth than states paying only the federal minimum wage.
- 140, 120, 45, 0- The respective percentage increase in price of gas, heating oil, health care, and minimum wage since 1997.

Now some of you are probably wondering as to how I, as a libertarian, can support a minimum wage. Well I wouldn't if other government policies weren't so fatally flawed to make it necessary. If market pressures acted alone it wouldn't be necessary, but because the government has created the welfare state it has artificially driven the market value of low level employment down (if there was no welfare, people making 5.15 an hour would starve to death, you would have no workers and businesses would have to make workers wages rise in order to have a workforce at all).

Shenanigans on you Congress... and not the fun kind of Shenanigans but the kind where we get to hit you with a broom.


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