Minimum wage Essay is the lowest rate employees may legally pay for an hour of labor (Merriam, 741). The United States has a minimum wage law to guarantee minimum hourly wages and to prevent the exploitation of workers and provide unskilled and part-time workers with a wage floor. People have argues that the minimum wage has become less of a safety net for primary earners in poor families than a floor for the wages of teenagers and other secondary earners from higher-income families.
In 1933, there were a long series of Conferences on the Minimum Wage, established by the Department of Labor. There were many minimum wage administrators and representatives of organizations with an interest in these programs.
Some of these groups were: The National Consumers League, the General Federation of Womens Clubs, the National Womens Trade Union League, the AFL, the National League of Women Voters, and the National Young Womens Christian Association. The original bill that was written provided for 1. A five member Fair Labor Standard Board, 2. A minimum wage of not more than 80 cents an hour or $1,200 per year, 3. The general initiation of a 40 cents-an-hour, 40 hour workweek except in exceptional circumstances, 4. The prohibition of interstate shipment of goods produced with oppressive child labor, 5.
The exception of agricultural workers and executives, administrative, supervisory and professional employees, and 6. Authorization of the Fair Labor Standard Board to appoint advisory committees to consider conditions in industries or occupations before establishing specific wage and hour standards (Ayres, Online).
On June 25, 1938, President Roosevelt signed into law the Fair Labor Standards Act, which established the national minimum wage at 25 cents an hour; it banned oppressive child labor and set the maximum workweek at 44 hours. Since then, Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Bush, and Clinton have signed minimum wage increases into law.
When President Truman was in office, he signed the conference compromise bill, which about 1.5 million earners received wage increases of more then 5 cents an hour, when the amendment came into effect on January 1950.
The Act has proved to be wise and progressive remedial legislation for the welfare not only of our wage earners but of our whole economy, President Truman observed while signing his statement (Ayres, online). On January 25, 1951, during the Korean War, United States wages and prices were frozen. This was the second debate of minimum wage legislation with a period of experimentation combined with an effort to regularize enforcement of the law. There were more then 1.5 million workers in lowest paid jobs in retail trade, services, and agriculture and were provided with no protection by the Fair Labor Standard Act. When President John F.
Kennedy was in office, he signed a bill into law that raised the minimum wage from $1 an hour to $1.25 and hour, in 1961. From 1960 to 1969, the number of wage and salary workers increased 29.3 percent and average weekly hours continued to decline from 38.6 hours per week in 1960 to 37.7 hours in 1969.
In 1960, the total population was 180.7 million people, and 39.9 million people, 22.1 % were classified as poor (Ayres, online). During the 1970s and 1980s, there was evidence that forged a strong tie between changes in the minimum wage and youth employment and unemployment. But according to data that was collected, consequences of raising the minimum wage are certain, at best.
By the 1980s the minimum wage went up to $3.10 an hour and by the next year a raise in 25 cents brought the minimum wage to $3.35. By April of 1990 the raise in minimum wage went to $3.80 and then in 1991 it went to $4.25 (Ayres, online).
The minimum wage for this country is currently $5.15 an hour, which went into effect on September 1, 1997. The minimum wage needed to be increased because inflation was approaching a 40-year low. Inflation had largely wiped out the last increase in the minimum wage approved by Congress in 1989. In August of 1996, Congress passed and President Clinton signed a law for a two-step increase. The first step lifted the minimum wage from $4.
25 to $4.75 per .