Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

 The minimum wage became an indelible aspect of the American policy landscape in 1938, with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The minimum wage is the lowest amount an employer can pay a worker for her services. The federal minimum wage is set (or not) by Congress, although states, counties, and municipalities can set a higher (but not a lower) minimum wage than that mandated by the federal goverment.

Cry Wolf Quotes

The proposal is couched in the soothing and smarmy rhetoric of leftist populism….But if that's all it takes, why stop there? If a simple legislative act increasing the minimum wage to $7.75 is all that is needed to improve the lot of the working poor by just a little, then why not raise it to $10 an hour and get them to the poverty level? For that matter, why not raise it to $50 an hour, assuring every working Californian a comfortable living?

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Tom McClintock, California Republican state senator. “The Los Angeles Times.
04/11/2006 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

Emotional appeals about working families trying to get by on $4.25 an hour are hard to resist. Fortunately, such families don't really exist.

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Tom Delay (R-TX), Congressional Record.
04/23/1996 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

A higher minimum wage will trigger thousands of layoffs in lower-paying jobs, hurting, rather than helping, Ohioans who need higher wages the most.

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“Ohio November Ballot Book” Submitted by Ohioans to Protect Personal Privacy; John C. Mahaney, Jr., Andrew Doehrel and Ty Pine.
10/30/2006 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

Now, what is the effect of this law? Indeed, I admit, some will have a mandated pay raise in America. Those will be the lucky ones. Many more will have their hours cut, Mr. Speaker. Many will have their benefits cut due to this law, and many will lose their jobs. And again, thousands, thousands will be denied that opportunity to climb on that first rung of the economic ladder in America and, instead, be condemned to a life of poverty. This should not happen in America.

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Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Congressional Record.
01/10/2007 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Minimum Wage Policy Brief

By Professor Stephanie Luce

The idea of minimum wage laws has been around for more than a century. They are still a good idea.

Resources

Raise the Minimum Wage is a project of the National Employment Law Project. The effort is devoted to preserving the wage floor by raising the federal minimum wage.