Summer is ending... a good time to let Politicians know what we think.

Supposedly, while they are on their summer recess, politicians are not just vacationing, but are mixing it up with their constituents. This is when we get the chance to confront them face-to-face (if we frequent the same vacation areas) and let them know what we think of their performance since the 2006 election.

Now, if they are not out trying to become President, perhaps they might actually pay attention to how we feel about their effectiveness, say, in ending the Iraq war. Or improving the economy for those of us clinging with our worn nails to what's left of the middle class. Or in monitoring the wastefulness of an Administration that pays millions for a couple of screws.

I look forward to the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade. There, at one session, I have a 99% likelihood of encountering Steny Hoyer, who is my Representative, and Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, who are my Senators, as they shake hands in the crowd and present their backs to be patted. I'm not sure that back pats are in order this time.

As they focus on hustling us, we have to focus on hustling them more. Many of my fellow citizens are planning on joining the September 11th work stoppage as a means of making a statement to our Government representatives. I somehow think confronting them directly has more appeal. At least you can see their facial expressions (well-trained as they may be) when you express your displeasure.

Under the LobsterScope

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On Labor Day, Think of Labor

On Labor Day consider what's happening in the "labor market."

An 8/28/06 NY Times headline: "Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation's economy since the U.S. began recording the data in 1947." In the article it continues "... while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960's." ... The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation [even though] ... productivity ­ the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation's living standards ­ has risen steadily over the same period." That's "regress," not progress. 

And then there's the minimum wage, last raised in 1997: Adjusted for inflation it's at its lowest level in 50 years. Conservatives argue against raising it and even want to eliminate it. Their argument: such an artificial increase in wages violates market forces. And a higher price of labor decreases demand and would put many out of work. They say, "That's just simple Economics 101."

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