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

I am vitally concerned about the thousands of teenagers and young adults who will either lose their jobs or be rendered unemployable in the unskilled labor markets as the result of increasing the minimum wage to $2.50 or more per hour.

-
Eldon Rudd (R-AZ), Congressional Record.
04/26/1977 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

The truth is that if your labor is worth $6.75 an hour and the minimum wage is raised to $7.75, you simply become unemployable. The first rung of the ladder is gone, and there's no place to start….This legislation is the ultimate expression of the cruelest of all human lies: ‘I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'

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

The minimum wage has caused more misery and unemployment than anything since the Great Depression.

-
Candidate Ronald Reagan. Time Magazine.
01/29/1980 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

The question of the minimum wage goes beyond the immediate problem. It strikes at a basic underpinning of our democratic system. It touches on the ability of individuals to enter freely into contract without coercion and without arbitrary restrictions for mutual profit. Have we so soon forgotten that the American Revolution was fought in part because of such restrictions? Have we forgotten that there is a correlation between a free market economy and the amount of personal freedom enjoyed by the inhabitants of a country? I certainly hope not. What we are accomplishing by setting a minimum wage is restricting the ability of persons to freely contract for their services and, in so doing, effectively limiting their opportunities to achieve economic well-being.

-
Tom Hagedorn (R-MN), Congressional Record.
04/26/1977 | 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.