Christine Romer, Obama's top economist, explains why a minimum wage is not a good idea.
Here is a link that might be useful: Romer on Min Wage
So, you believe that wage amount paid should be left to the ethics and integrity of corporate or industry heads, with no limits on minimum... because competition within the business world will keep them from misbehaving? Do you also believe that if large tax breaks are given, those same corporate or industry CEOs will use the money to create jobs? Or that the supply side economic theory really works?
Well this is kind of a half truth isn't it? She stated that other policies suggested by the President would be more targeted toward lower income families. The problem is, Republicans don't go along with any entitlement programs like mandatory pre-K.
And since when are Republicans in favor od=f subsidizing low income families or the poor instead of encouraging work. They are talking out of their azz again on this.
I am always befuddled by the paranoia of the Right about redistribution when the fact is the rich are becoming richer and the middle class and poor are continuing to make less and less. Look at the statistics...facts should matter more than ideology.
As the stock market has risen over the past 4 years, most investors have made out while those who do not have investments get poorer and own nothing or just a smaller piece of the pie. Workers, especially those working for peanuts, do not benefit from that redistribution of wealth to stock investors, big bonuses to CEO's, and health and retirement benefits to employees much higher up the chain.
And Republicans oppose a tax on stock transactions to minimize that redistributive effect even incrementally.
The argument that many minimum wage earners may be
high school graduates living at home (and presumable they don't really need money since they can siphon off their aging parents) is spurious. Why aren't they entitled to make a living wage? Because their parents are still working into their late 50's and beyond and are kind enough to offer them room and board until their kids are 30 or so or they just break down physically?
And what are we talking about here in terms of the amount of wage increase that Obama has suggested?
Is that amount really going to impact wealth distribution?
As far as what Economists think, I would suggest that there are plenty of them that disagree with Ms. Romer. Paul Krugman , a Nobel Prize economist might be one. The economic fact of the matter is that minimum wage earners
of all types spend most if not all of their money gained from wages so they are simply recirculating that money back into the economy. What kind of Economist would suggest that increased spending does not stimulate the economy?
Jodik, I certainly believe that there ought to be no minimum wage whatsoever. Increases in income come from a growing economy, not from govt simply mandating higher incomes. All the growth in income in this nation came from private businesses competing for skilled laborers. not from unions or govt legislation.
as usual, minimum wage laws HURT the very people they are designed to help. yes minimum wage laws make us feel good b/c we feel we are doing something for low income people, but liberals never stop to ask the question, "DOES IT REALLY HELP LOW INCOME PEOPLE?" Good thing Christine Romer is honest enough to ask it.
and, check the link, incomes are dropping in this nation.
Here is a link that might be useful: Incomes dropping
All the growth in income in this nation came from private businesses competing for skilled laborers. not from unions or govt legislation.
It appears that you are not familiar with U.S. history and that you cannot defend the arguments for a living wage.
That's what I thought.
"We're the bright young men
Who want to go back to 1910...
We're the kids with a cause
Just like Grandma's was..."
There was a time in American history when those corporate big shots used child labor, and thought nothing of worker safety or any other considerations that are normal to human compassion. You want to return to THOSE days?
Because you and I both know that ethics will not regulate the world of business fairly. Greed will reign worse than it does now. The only way to maintain a fair playing field is through legal regulation.
heri_cles, did you have an argument to make or are you just going to assert that I am wrong?
Minimum wage must be mandatory, and $9 per hour is great if you're in high school.
jodik: there is a big difference between regulating against child labor (which I support) and regulating businesses to death in terms of what wages they pay, what safety checks they have to perform, who they can hire/fire, etc. ad nauseam.
Didn't get much comment when I posted it yesterday, but at the link is a video explaining that old wealth distribution, and just how funny getting rid of the minimum wage is in this country.
While you may not agree with it, the video has gone viral, so lots of people are seeing it and likely sharpening up their (proverbial) scythes and pitchfork tines.
Here is a link that might be useful: link to video
brushworks, you seriously believe that if the min wage was 9 bucks an hour that every high school worker would make that?
if that is true, why not jack up the min wage to 20 bucks an hour? then they would all make 20 bucks an hour. wouldn't that be better?
She has perfectly valid arguments. From an economist point of view, supply and demand would keep people from being paid too little (unless all the employers were in cahoots or it was a one-employer kind of town). For example, if Target is paying more than Walmart, in an ideal situation, all the people would go work for Target until Target has all the employees it wants. The rest of them will have to work for Walmart (for less). Oh wait, that didn't just work there, did it?
So, no child labor but also no safety rules, labor practices, minimum wages... Sounds like the Golden Age of Capitalism (pre-Henry Ford model) is in our futures. Can poor houses be far behind for the partially employed among us?
They were called "robber" barons for a reason.
The bottom line is... if a person does not get paid enough to afford what it cost to live, the obvious is that they end up not being able to afford housing, transportation, food, clothing, education, or any of the bare necessities of normal urban or suburban life.
The cost of living has risen, while wages paid and hours worked have either fallen or remained stagnant.
If the twain do not balance somewhere in the middle, we end up with a lot of homeless, poverty stricken families in need of government assistance. What is there not to get about this?
So....jodik, why not raise the min wage to $20 an hour? or better yet, let's raise it to 50 an hour!!
No, $20 an hour should do it. That would pretty much double the money available for the lower 40% of the population, who would then be able to spend it on goods and services, vastly improving the nationwide economy with the well-documented "trickle up" phenomenon, increasing tax revenues, and helping get rid of the debt.
In these parts, if you want to attract and retain job seekers with a high school diploma and a good work ethic that have reliable transportation, a driver's and can pass a background check, drug test, DMV check, aptitude test, physical fitness assessment, probationary period etc, you'll have to start them at substantially more than the minimum wage.
That said, the big issues many unskilled, low skilled and even some mid-skilled workers face is qualifying for jobs, getting hired, keeping jobs and finding and keeping FULL TIME jobs.
It's pretty common for many employers to have literally hundreds of job seekers for every available job.
david52: haha!!! what makes you think all those employers wouldn't fire their low level employees to avoid paying them min wage?
here is a perfect example of how most govt laws required other govt laws to enforce them.
govt law #1: raise min wage to $20/hr
employers start laying off low level workers
govt passes another law to force employers not to lay-off their low level employees.
employers start closing factories and such
govt passes another law banning the closure of factories and such.
and so the cycle goes but nothing will shake our confidence in our govt!! Govt to the rescue. blind faith in govt (and libs call us religious)
So! Soon there would be no one in the labor force! That will teach the cretins the value of not having a minimum wage.
More la la and hypothetical scenarios having nothing to do with solving the problems at hand. Indeed, implementation of them would be a worsening of what we have already.
Forum continues to be driven by posting of child-like ideas, without a child's innocence and sense of wonderment. The only thing worse than stupid thinking is arrogant stupid thinking. How funny it is that those cherishing ignorant notions so often look down upon and attempt to berate or talk down to those who are better informed.
And so many uncharitable "Christians"!
This post was edited by bboy on Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 11:10
So when the companies let all the minimum wage workers go who cleans the toilets...the CEO?
Its usually the Chief Financial Officer, Chase. The CEO may cover when the CFO has to take his kids to the dentist or something.
bboy, some great arguments there. impressive. do liberals know how to reason? generally you make an assertion, then you give evidence supporting that assertion.
chase, you're right. min wage laws don't just hurt low level workers; they hurt companies too.
some people would rather have a lower paying job than no job at all.
Except I said no such thing......please don't misrepresent my remarks.
what makes you think all those employers wouldn't fire their low level employees to avoid paying them min wage?
Remind me how that gets the work done then?
esh_ga, they find ways of getting around it.
Do you deny that min wage laws increase unemployment among low level workers?
This from the HuffPo:
"The unemployment rate for millennials (Americans aged 18 to 29) increased to 13.1 percent last month, according to the January jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Overall unemployment rose slightly to 7.9 percent nationwide, but the increase was much sharper for millennials, up from 11.5 percent the month before and 10.9 percent in November 2012. As calculated by Generation Opportunity, a conservative-leaning millennial advocacy group, January saw the highest millennial unemployment rate since at least June 2012, when it was 12.8 percent."
So, if the minimum wage is increased, all those fast food places and massive corporate enterprises like Walmart will just fire all their millions and millions of minimum wage people. Just like they've done, time and time again, as the states increase minimum wages.
You read it here first.
David's correct... $20 an hour or thereabouts should do. We wouldn't want to leave minimum wage amount in the hands of the worker, either, as greed can emanate from any quarter, and wealth is not always synonymous with lack of ethics.
There has to be a balance somewhere... workers need to be paid enough to live, and corporations need to make that concession. It's not rocket science.
If the worker has enough in his pocket, he'll spend it on his needs... and any extra will be circulated into the economy on other items or services... and more importantly, it will mean less families in need of government assistance. The corporation can charge a fair price for their product or service, pay its management a fair salary... and it's win-win when everyone operates fairly.
I haven't got a clear answer yet from any of you. Do min wage laws cause unemployment for low level workers?
and here is a quick vid on the minimum wage.
Here is a link that might be useful: Min Wage Laws
Given the long history of minimum wage laws, there should be massive unemployment, following your logic, among the low classes and attributable to high cost of minimum wage. Good luck with that. In an economy with too many seekers and too few jobs, the old and the young are the first to NOT get jobs.
Speaking of cleaning toilets, one of our relative's duties at their store is cleaning the public/employee restrooms, store entrance, store spills and bottle return area. They also work as a cashier, bagger, stocker, cart wrangler and carry-out worker. They make $10.50 per hour as a part-timer currently.
Not too long ago these jobs were performed by 2 or more workers.
When/If they become a Team Leader, they won't have to perform cleaning, stocking, cart and carry-out duty, plus they'll get a raise and move to full time.
BTW, I've cleaned, plunged, snaked and replaced my share of toilets in our employee/customer restrooms over the years.
Do min wage laws cause unemployment for low level workers?
I don't know. I suspect they might initially but then as businesses realize they need those people to do work so that the businesses can sell their product/service that those people would be hired back.
As marshall said, otherwise nobody would be working today after all the minimum wage increases to date.
And as jodi and david said, those lower paid workers save very little, virtually all their wages are funneled back into the economy for food, rent, transportation, clothing, services, etc.
marshallz10: there is massive unemployment amongst the 18-25 set.
"The unemployment rate for millennials (Americans aged 18 to 29) increased to 13.1 percent last month, according to the January jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
And you don't suppose that has anything to do with twenty years of subsidizing companies to relocate their manufacturing overseas?
And what would happen if there were no minimum wage? Too many manufacturers or industry would offer ridiculously low wages and say, "take it or leave it"... kinda like Walmart.
It's directly BECAUSE of greed and lacking ethics that this nation has lost most of its jobs to overseas nations... where minimum wage is whatever the company is willing to pay and there are no benefits... materials are cheaper and there's very little or no environmental regulation. The result is every bit of profit squeezed out and into the pockets of management and stock holders at the EXPENSE of the workers...without whom the company wouldn't earn a dime! (Which is why unions were formed in the first place... so workers could get a fair and safe shake at work!)
This idea that everything will balance out because of competition and whatnot is ludicrous. It might... but only if greed is removed from the equation and ethics brought back!
How did the minimum wage increases in 2007-2009 (and before that in 1997) drive unemployment for these kids 18-25?
Here is a link that might be useful: Minimum wage history
"No, $20 an hour should do it."
Yeah. And no whining allowed! Government gets to order whatever it wants, and businesses and taxpayers are expected to shut up, adapt their budgets, and comply.
Meanwhile, these same government "tough guys" (when issuing edicts that apply to somebody else) spent all last week whining because it was their turn to adapt their own budgets.
The last time I saw that much bedwetting, my kids were still in diapers.
Why don't you libs listen to your own economists?
"Many of my students assume that government protection is the only thing ensuring decent wages for most American workers. But basic economics shows that competition between employers for workers can be very effective at preventing businesses from misbehaving. If every other store in town is paying workers $9 an hour, one offering $8 will find it hard to hire anyone Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½" perhaps not when unemployment is high, but certainly in normal times. Robust competition is a powerful force helping to ensure that workers are paid what they contribute to their employersÃ¢ÂÂ bottom lines." --Christine Romer
perhaps not when unemployment is high
Hmmmmm. Isn't that the world we're living in now?
I'm sorry, but I just can't find anywhere in the above quote, that the millennial unemployment rate was caused by the minimum wage. Perhaps someone is reading something into what was written there?
And, corno, your argument is trotted out in Washington State every time the minimum wage is raised to comport with the cost of living. And, guess what? No one loses their job because of it. Another scare tactic that frightens people who don't have a clue nor the wherewithal, evidently, to be able to find out the truth.
Funny, isn't it? We're only missing threads on abortion and personhood laws, and illegal immigration, which would make the rightwing picture complete on page 1 of this forum...
Remember, the key to keeping wages low is wide-open, unregulated immigration. I mean, you can find plenty of people from Bangladesh who'd double their wages if they were paid $10 a month. Open up a hostel, feed 'em rice, put 'em to work - charge them for the rice and bed.
Just like the robber barons used to do. Except they used the Irish, Italians, Scots, etc.
Governments(aka our collective will) have been setting wages for hundreds of years-it is not a new idea.
Perhaps what we need to do is to start making companies pay a special tax for using our roads and bridges and EMS services and our airways for communication and using our water and for that matter our air-it isnt theirs, it is ours because it is our country. You cant smelt without oxygen and why should it be free? We should be charging for it. If a company wants to pull our oil out of the ground then instead of paying them to do it maybe we ought to think about what makes it their oil-it isnt, its ours and I think they should pay for it. If we start charging business to use our resoures then we wouldn't have to talk wages.
There is nothing like setting a straw dog on fire and send it running down the road when your argument has developed serious leaks.
How much should we pay the firemen to put it out?
Oh they are volunteers they act out of a communal good.
So true. cornopean - anything else to contribute on your original subject? How did raising minimum wages 4-6 years ago cause unemployment for people just now looking for jobs (18-25 years old)?
Several states have far higher minimum wages than the Federal standard, and yet they thrive.
I wonder why that is?
david52, what data were you referring to?
Oil Robb 3 cannot write a coherent sentence, which matches the incoherence of her/his thoughts.
How come noone on here can give me a yes or no on the question of do min wage laws help low level workers?
We know what Christine Romer thinks.
Your earlier question was: Do you deny that min wage laws increase unemployment among low level workers?
Now you say you're still waiting on: How come no one on here can give me a yes or no on the question of do min wage laws help low level workers?
I think those are two different questions. We have tried to answer the first one. Even the economist gave herself an out on that one in regards to time of high unemployment (which is what conservatives say we have now).
So for your new question, I think minimum wages do help low level workers because it provide a floor on wages that might not have existed before (e.g., Walmart paying people whatever they want simply because all the other employers have enough people).
Edited because I obviously misread the question!
This post was edited by esh_ga on Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 17:45
Well, I would have thought that it rather obvious that if you increase the salary of a low wage worker, he'd be better off than if you didn't.
Even if they waste the extra on strong drink, loose women, and slot machines.
based on a 40 hour work week, you're talking 40.00 a week per dollar that the Min Wage goes up, and that's BEFORE taxes. I think that we should start our young people off with $60 K a year minimum, complete with full health care, considering by the time they're out of high school, they'll most likely already have a couple of kids, and also paid vacation time and sick days. Also, part of Obamacare should be a rider that all employers should be mandated to supply each employee with a company car, gas account and expense card.
you people seriously think that if you raise the min wage, low level workers will be better off. So....you all disagree with Christine Romer? She's just talking nonsense?
bill_vincent....newsflash, eventually you are going to run out of other people's money. seriously people. are we all in the 4th grade here? he just suggested that we guarantee every young person 60k a year. ha! I am an idiot. why didn't anyone think of this before?
Are you seriously reading our replies?
We have offered reasons and comments that are well thought out and articulated.
Romer herself admitted that in times of high unemployment it perhaps does not work:
If every other store in town is paying workers $9 an hour, one offering $8 will find it hard to hire anyone - " perhaps not when unemployment is high, but certainly in normal times.
Again, I ask YOU: are we in times of high unemployment?
She also says:
A related issue is whether some low-income workers will lose their jobs when businesses have to pay a higher minimum wage. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs been a tremendous amount of research on this topic, and the bulk of the empirical analysis finds that the overall adverse employment effects are small.
Do you prefer her support for government payments instead of private firms increasing wages?
For example, the current tax system already subsidizes work by the poor via an earned-income tax credit. A low-income family with earned income gets a payment from the government that supplements its wages. This approach is very well targeted - " the subsidy goes only to poor families -" and could easily be made more generous.
So instead of private businesses funding increased wages, let's let your tax dollars give these people money.
And are you ok with the fact that she agrees with this:
What about the macroeconomic argument that is sometimes made for raising the minimum wage? Poorer people typically spend a larger fraction of their income than more affluent people. So if an increase in the minimum wage successfully redistributed some income to the poor, it could increase overall consumer spending -" which could stimulate employment and output growth.
Perhaps you prefer her conclusion:
SO where does all of this leave us? The economics of the minimum wage are complicated, and itÃ¢ÂÂs far from obvious what an increase would accomplish. If a higher minimum wage were the only anti-poverty initiative available, I would support it. It helps some low-income workers, and the costs in terms of employment and inefficiency are likely small.
But she really just wants to spend YOUR money:
But we could do so much better if we were willing to spend some money. A more generous earned-income tax credit would provide more support for the working poor and would be pro-business at the same time.
I guess I am surprised you agree with her. But then maybe I just didn't understand where you were coming from.
I agree that a raise in the minimum wage is nothing more than a gratuity, as proposed, which is the reason for the SARCASM. I'm sorry you couldn't recognize it when you saw it. I even laid it on pretty thick. I guess thick is the operative word here. What I WAS saying is that I DO believe there should be a minimum wage. But raising it as proposed won't help anyone. The problem is that to raise it to the point that it WILL help would ruin the economy by causing companies to cut alot of jobs. Again, I apologize for your inability to recognize sarcasm when you see it.
From the beginning, it was evident to me that corn had not read Romer's article for content; perhaps was just parroting talking points produced by another source. I have issues with raising the minimum wage, preferring that States reserve the role of instituting changes.
Yup. He even missed my sarcasm about $9 per hour being great if you're in high school.
First, whatÃ¢ÂÂs the argument for having a minimum wage at all? Many of my students assume that government protection is the only thing ensuring decent wages for most American workers. But basic economics shows that competition between employers for workers can be very effective at preventing businesses from misbehaving. If every other store in town is paying workers $9 an hour, one offering $8 will find it hard to hire anyone " perhaps not when unemployment is high, but certainly in normal times.
Competition for relatively few qualified, hard working, dependable, top performing workers is why we've poached many workers from other businesses, hired many self employed workers and hired many workers that already had a job or two.
We don't always have to pay workers more money, however we offer them much better working conditions, more hours, incentives, chance for advancement, chance to acquire valuable skills/knowledge and other perks.
We've actually hired many workers that left higher paying jobs with poor working conditions.
One of my customers joked with me that if I weren't such a good customer that he'd ban me from entering his business as I've poached several of his best employees in the last few years alone.
His business is in an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in New York. Although there are hundreds of job seekers per job, finding qualified, hard working, dependable workers is a difficult task.
..... the chart below, taken from data compiled by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis. In the chart, the share of the national economy, or GDP, going to workersÃ¢ÂÂ paychecks is in blue. The share of the economy that is going to after-tax corporate profits is in red. (Again, note that in this combined chart, the two statistics have separate scales.)
Here is a link that might be useful: And clearly, they can't possibly afford it
Although there are hundreds of job seekers per job, finding qualified, hard working, dependable workers is a difficult task.
That's the same no matter where you go in the country. I'm friends and stay in contact with contractors all over the country, and in fact, there's a long running thread on Linked In about this very subject, and that's ALL contractors and subs, not just tile.
The same problem in my trade and one reason why I still stay active because I am one of my better workers -- at the age of 76.
One of our best warehouse workers ever was a 50 something female that weighed less than 100 pounds.
She used to do piece work in the mills and glove shops.
After culling out dozens/hundreds of job seekers, many warehouse workers we hire quit the first hours, day, days or week.
It's pretty common for workers to leave for lunch and never come back.
cornopean, still hoping you'll stop by here and comment on this. In particular, my comments above:
It is clear from the overall gist of the article that Romer opposes an increase in the min wage. can we agree on that?
I agree that Romer says that in times of high unemployment it perhaps does not work. but this does not mean that in times of high unemployment, Romer thinks the min wage law should be increased.
and no....I don't agree with support for government payments instead of private firms increasing wages. but that is a different discussion.
I guess I really feel like I don't need to reply to the rest of your observations. I agree with them all. I don't agree with Romer; I agree that Romer says what you say she says.
But my main objective in referencing this articles was to show that the liberal desire for a higher min wage is not something that even liberal economists support. I think I made that point successfully....no?
You made that point yes, but for the wrong reason.
Your point seemed to indicate that it hurts the very people it is supposed to help. Her point is actually that it is not a very effective approach compared to her preferred approach which is give out tax credits and tax refunds.
The corn is not easily embarrassed by his ineptitude at the game of gotcha.
esh_ga that's fair. I concede your point.
Here's how I would call it:
Liberals think a higher min wage law would help the poor.
Romer thinks a higher min wage law would not help them.
I think a higher min wage law will hurt the poor.
Is this correct?
This libertarian thinks that raising the minimum wage is a wash because the cost of living for all goes up some but some receiving the raise are a bit better off for a time. With a fiat currency, the damage to the economy is greater through the workings of the Fed. Reserve on behalf of the world's financial sector than the meager wage gains by the lowest paid among us.
Yep, I think you got it.
And marshallz10 has good points for his point of view.
What statement of Romer's leads you to characterize her opinion as being that a higher minimum wage would not help the poor? I would appreciate a direct quote from the article.
President Barack Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour. And the CEO of one of America's largest retailers says such a move would be good for workers and businesses alike. In fact, he says raise it even more.
On Tuesday, Costco CEO and President Craig Jelinek came out in support of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which aims to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, then adjust it after that for inflation.
"At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business," Jelinek said in a statement. "We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low."
"An important reason for the success of CostcoÃ¢ÂÂs business model is the attraction and retention of great employees," Jelinek added. "Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage."
Costco has a reputation for paying its employees above market rate, with the typical worker earning around $45,000 in 2011, according to Fortune. Walmart-owned Sam's Club, in contrast, pays its sales associates an average of $17,486 per year, according to salary information website Glassdoor.com.
Costco also provides health insurance to a significantly larger percentage of its workers than does Walmart, the Harvard Business Review reported in 2006.
Jelinek's predecessor, Costco founder Jim Sinegal, has also expressed support for raising the federal minimum wage in the past. "The more people make, the better lives they're going to have and the better consumers they're going to be," Sinegal told the Washington Post in 2007. "It's going to provide better jobs and better wages."
Always glad to see someone in business come out with their support.
Here is a link that might be useful: source of course
Never trust big business. When they advise govt to do something, they are not consulting your best interests. they are consulting their own best interests. I suspect that a hike in the min wage would help Costco b/c the smaller mom & pop stores which they compete against cant pay the wages that Costco does. Just a guess.
But if you believe Costco has the best interests of low income workers in mind, then I have some ocean front property for sale in Kansas you might be interested in.....
Never trust big business.
Yet when those businesses come out and say that minimum wage shouldn't be raised and that they will have to fire people to deal with it and people will be worse off because fewer of them will be employed ... then you are quite content to take their word for it, it seems to me.
Costco is not "advising" that government do this, they are simply saying they support the proposal.
I am a libertarian and it is ANATHEMA to our political philosophy to ever allow big business (or small business) a voice in public policy (beyond, of course, the right to vote and lobby). That is why we are constantly fighting for a minimalist govt. When the govt cuts deals with businesses, you get disaster.
Liberals claim to like this kinda of thing but they really are just as much in bed with business as the GOP. Obama is constantly shelling out big grants to businesses he likes; e.g. Solyndra ,etc.
I don't want business to have a voice in public policy. But I would not presume to stop them from making this kind of statement. This is nothing more than what you call "the right to lobby".
To me, "lobbying" as defined today is much more a voice in public policy than this is. At least this way the entire population has a chance to see how they feel. When they lobby behind closed legislative doors, we don't always know what they did.