On Receiving a Letter

After years of writing to Senator Elizabeth Dole, today I at last received a response.

I’d written to Senators Burr and Dole several weeks ago, to ask for their support of an increase in the minimum wage. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York had sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage (and tie future Congressional pay increases to an equal percentage increase in the minimum wage), and I wrote both of my Senators to ask for their support, perhaps even co-sponsorship, of the proposal. I laid out solid economic reasons why an increase in the minimum wage was in the best interests of the country and the economy. But I didn’t expect much.

Senator Dole sent me a letter explaining her position on the minimum wage. It’s a little confusing. She doesn’t support the idea of an increase in the minimum wage–“I have concerns about the potential effects on the marketplace of raising the minimum wage”–but she voted for an amendment to the Bankruptcy Reform bill to raise the minimum wage to 6.25 an hour, but not for another amendment, Senator Ted Kennedy’s amendment, that would have raised it another dollar, to 7.25 an hour.

Well, I gave it a shot for workers everywhere. At the same time, workers in North Carolina may see an increase in the state minimum wage–both the state House and Senate have passed competing bills increasing the minimum wage by a dollar, and some action will need to be taken to reconcile the two bills.

Writing to elected officials isn’t always a foolhardy effort. 🙂

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