Raising The Federal Minimum Wage

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On June 16, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced a plan to help raise the United States out of the Great Depression. At the heart of this plan was the idea that wages must be set and fair. “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”(Roosevelt) This plan became the Fair Labor Standards Act, which set the Federal Minimum wage. Minimum wage has increased, slowly, over the years, but has not kept up with its intended purpose. Raising the federal minimum wage to a "fair living wage" level will improve the lives of the working poor, without adverse economic consequences. Congress enacted the minimum wage to provide Americans with a wage that could support themselves and their families. In the Statement on Signing the National Industrial Recovery Act, FDR told Americans, “and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.” (Roosevelt) Experts agree a living wage is a wage that allows a worker to provide for themselves and their family, pay for food, shelter, clothing, and transportation without the assistance of government aid. (Clary, 1065; Dreier, 86; Levin-Waldman, 27) Most Americans agree with the minimum wage hike. According to The New Labor Forum, “73 percent of the public—including 90 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of independents, and 53 percent of Republicans—favors raising the federal minimum wage” (Dreier, 3) This is
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