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

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

But where will employers obtain the money to pay for that increase? It is unrealistic to assume that somehow the increase will be squeezed out of profits….In plain fact, the burden of an increased minimum wage will fall heavily on those least able to bear it. The fringe employers, the unskilled worker, the young and the handicapped are those who will be priced out of the job market.

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Chamber of Commerce newsletter.
08/01/1970 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum Wage

Wage mandates ignore the principals of free market economies; they prevent businesses from making profits, growing and hiring more workers; and they base wages on what the worker wants instead of on the value of work performed.

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Amicus brief filed by Chamber of Commerce with the Supreme Court of Louisiana.
11/21/2004 | 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

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.