Pros and Cons of the Minimum Wage
The history of the minimum wage in this country go back almost 100 years to the great depression and FDR. The arguments for and against the minimum wage go back just as far and tend to be emotionally charged. But does this policy, established during the great depression still make sense today? As the economy enters a new, global, era does the minimum wage help or hurt us? Through a review of arguments both for and against the minimum wage, and a review of the research that supports or disproves those arguments this paper hopes to present a balanced non-emotional look at the minimum wage and present a recommendation for how to approach this issue in the future.
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY OF CURRENT LEGISLATION/REGULATION The history of the federal minimum wage in this country can be traced back to the Great Depression of the 1930’s when labor unions unsuccessfully attempted to establish a minimum wage, an effort that was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. As the Great depression continued an increased demand for employment and few available jobs had the effect of lowering wages beyond their already meager amounts. During his re-election campaign of 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt made campaign promises of protecting the American Worker. In 1938 President Roosevelt fulfilled his campaign promise and signed in to law the Fair Labor Standards Act. Part of that act was the establishment of a 25 cents per hour “in order to maintain a "minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being, without substantially curtailing employment" (History of the United States Minimum Wage | Minimum-Wage.org. Minimum-Wage.org. Retrieved September 14, 2013, from http://www.minimum-wage.org/history.asp). Since being signed into law in 1938 the federal minimum wage has been increased multiple times by congress passing revised minimum wage acts in response to inflation and the rising cost of living. As of July 24, 2009
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