The Minimum Wage War

1167 WordsJul 10, 20185 Pages
On Saturday, June 25, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed 121 bills. Among these bills was a landmark law in the United States’ social and economic development—Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) or otherwise known as the Wages and Hours Bill. This new law created a maximum forty-four hour workweek, guaranteed “time-and-a-half” for overtime hours in certain jobs, banned oppressive child labor, and established the nation’s first minimum wage. By definition, a minimum wage is the lowest wage permitted by law or by a special agreement (such as one with a labor union). Throughout the years, the minimum wage has been a central debate topic for the socioeconomic world and now in 2014, the debate has broken through the surface once…show more content…
Because these workers spend all the money they make, the $35 billion in extra wages would get pumped right back into the U.S. economy (Dickinson). However, not everyone is on the bandwagon. Conservative economists point out the negative effects the wage increase could have on the economy. They see it having an effect on the demand of jobs. Businesses facing higher labor costs would raise prices, passing those higher costs on to their customers. That would lead their customers to cut back on their purchases, meaning that businesses would need fewer workers (Lowrey). Raising the minimum wage would also make hiring low-wage workers more expensive relative to other investments, like new machinery. Businesses might then reduce their use of low-wage workers and shift their spending toward other things, such as automated systems. In contrast, an article written in the New York Times by Paul Krugman states that when it comes to the minimum wage, we have a number of cases in which a state raised its own minimum wage while a neighboring state did not. If there were anything to the notion that minimum wage increases have big negative effects on employment, that result should show up in state-to-state comparisons. It doesn’t. A University of California, Berkeley study found Wal-Mart could finance a pay hike to $12 an hour for its nearly one million low-wage associates by boasting prices just 1.1%—at a cost to the
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