Minimum Wage Thesis

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The minimum wage was established in 1938 as a vital tool and standard of compensation with the explicit purpose of preventing employers from underpaying their workers, thereby--presumably--keeping laborers out of abstract poverty. The measure was obviously initiated with the intention of future adjustments for inflation and economic growth, as evidenced by its inaugural minimum wage of a mere quarter per hour and its permanent status as a regulation in the US Department of Labor. Then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to install a basic income on which a whole family could persist. Unfortunately, many contemporary commentators appear to have lost track of this history, neglecting to remember that the minimum wage was created to protect…show more content…
The federal minimum wage is $7.25; a person who works for minimum wage “40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year...with no time off and no sick days” breeds an income of just $13,926 after deductions, according to Source 2. That figure is ghastly. For many, $13,926 could scarcely cover rent, much less other necessities like food and clothes or obligatory monthly expenses like student loans and car payments. To afford childcare looms impossibly. That someone working forty hours a work could be so securely bound by poverty is unbelievable and unacceptable. Such scenarios, which afflict millions and millions of people, appear to violate the so-called “social contract” of the American Dream (Source 2), which posits that working hard guarantees a comfortable life with decent housing and basic necessities. Such a fancy is belied by the harsh reality of the minimum wage. Even progressive attempts to elevate the national minimum wage to $10.10 leave earners with a hourly salary with buying power “lower than what” $1.60 was worth in 1968 (Source 4). Here, the minimum wage is actually working against its goal; rather than providing a livable baseline wage to subsist upon, the minimum wage standard is being used as a lever for exploitation, with employers steadfastly refusing to pay much more than the merest amount legal. Common sense, therefore, would…show more content…
Poverty is intolerable, and its continued existence in the de jure richest country in the world must be urgently battled; verily, the elimination of the utter misery and inhumanity that is poverty is worth the scraping a few dollars off of a company’s overall profit. That opponents posit businesses’ apparent smothering by the reasonable exactions of the workers proves their callous pedantry. The minimum wage must be raised for the sake of all poor and working class people in the country, as all will be elevated by its
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