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

If raising the minimum wage to $12 or $15 per hour will raise the standard of living for the working poor, why stop there? Why not raise the standard of living for the middle class as well by increasing the minimum wage to, say, $25 an hour? If we raised it to $100 an hour, we could have the best standard of living in history!

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Summers, Adam, Orange County Register.
08/18/2003 | 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

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

Minimum wage increases that even approach an average livable wage would result in significantly fewer jobs for low-wage workers. A substantial increase in the relative cost of labor will result in a reduction in the amount of labor used…

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Kavet, Thomas, Deborah Brighton, Douglas Hoffer, and Elaine McCrate. Vermont State Legislature.
11/02/1999 | 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.