The Congress will probably address the minimum wage law before the end of this session. Three million minimum wage workers are in the food service industry, many of whom are the family bread--winners earning less than $15,000 per year. Think of this!
We can brush this off and say, as has been said, "Oh, the minimum wage workers are just the teenagers who mow lawns like I did." This just won't work and it won't ease our conscience as Americans by this comment. It was my honor to serve the Third Congressional District for 10 terms -- 20 years. I voted to increase the minimum wage each time it came up. I don't recall receiving a single negative comment regarding this vote. I urge my present representatives to support the minimum wage increase. You'll be glad you did!
MARILYN LLOYD, Member of Congress, Retired
Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker's Tennessee Wilderness Act (Senate Bill 1294) is important and is needed to protect nearly 20,000 acres of public land and expand Tennessee's wilderness areas.
Not only will the act perpetuate these areas for our use and future generation's use and enjoyment, but it will protect the environment and wildlife from the encroachment of roads and development. These areas provide opportunities for people to hike, camp, fish, etc.
Wilderness areas also benefit the economy by attracting visitors and supportive/dependent businesses. This Act needs to be passed as quickly as possible for the benefit of Tennesseans, the environment, the economy and wildlife before this opportunity is lost. All of these areas were recommended for wilderness designation in the U.S. Forest Service's 2004 management plan. This bill does not result in additional taxpayer cost.
Information about the Tennessee Wilderness Act and wilderness in general can be found at tnwild.org.
"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," writes Robin Smith (Commentary, Aug, 12), "unemployment was at a 'low' of 7.8 percent in January, 2009 ..." That was, not coincidentally, the last month of President Bush's second term in office.
And yet, it was 7.3 percent the month before, and 6.8 percent the month before that. The "low" Ms. Smith refers to actually occurred in May, 2007, when the unemployment rate was, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 4.4 percent. The unfolding financial disaster that was President Bush's last twenty months in office reached the astonishing level of 800,000 job losses per month as President Obama took over, with a trillion plus dollar deficit.
Just six weeks later, with the stimulus bill passed, the rate of job losses began to fall, dramatically, and the stock market reversed its free fall. A year later the country was adding jobs again. Ms. Smith describes these facts as "Stimulus spending did not create jobs."
How does Robin Smith get the facts so wrong, and why does she blame the Bureau of Labor Statistics for her mistakes? And why does she have a regular column in a newspaper I pay real money for, every day?
One of life's guilty pleasures is criticizing how other people spend their money. The three crosses on the grounds of The Crossing Church near I-75 are a case in point.
The shape and positioning of the crosses make the display especially tasteful, providing a graceful reminder of the God who died for us. Still, critics have scolded the church for not using the funds to feed the hungry, etc. That reminds me of when some said that the perfume Mary Magdaline poured reverently on Jesus' feet should have been sold to benefit the poor (John 12: 4-6). Let us remember that the speaker then was Judas.
JAN HALUSKA, Collegedale, Tenn.