The Issue Of The Minimum Wage

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Introduction 6-8 pages The issue of the minimum wage has recently come to the forefront of the debate on social policy. There is much disagreement over the wisdom of an increase in the minimum wage in the current fragile economic recovery. Some argue that a dramatic increase is what is needed in order to lift the standard of living for those in the bottom of the economic pyramid. Economists reason that the basic principle of supply and demand mandates than an increase in the wage would result in the loss of available jobs. Small businesses maintain that it would spell their doom.
Synopsis of the Issue The minimum wage is intended to protect workers and fight poverty. In the United States, the federal government sets the minimum wage at $7.25 per hour although many states set higher minimums. There is currently a movement to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. This movement is called the “Living Wage Movement” (Living Wage Resource Center, 2016) or the “Fight for $15” (Fortunato, 2016) and purports to address the problem of poverty in America.
The minimum wage was established in the United States by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 at 25 cents per hour. These laws are broadly supported by the public. Congress enacted these rules to combat “labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and the general well-being of the workers” (Sharp, 2013 p. 71). The purpose and intent of

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