I think that there should be a “minimum” wage because a person’s labor is worth “something”. Obviously that “something” is what’s up to debate. How did the minimum wage come about? Here’s some history:
Minimum wage laws in 2015 for U.S. individual states, http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm
Background information on the minimum wage: http://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what-history-minimum-wage
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938: Maximum Struggle for a Minimum Wage http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/history/flsa1938.htm
Changes to the Minimum Wage Law over time: http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/coverage.htm
During the 1960’s, one of minimum wage’s main target audiences, if I may call them a target, was the teenager who took the minimum wage jobs created by the birth and expansion of the fast-food industry, along with the bag boy at the supermarket, the paper boy, the errand boy. Unfortunately, the babysitter which was a girl’s job (vast majority of the time) was not covered by even minimum wage laws and she “got what she got” and we’re talking cents an hour not dollars an hour.
Here’s one way to look at the minimum wage in 2015 at $8.25/hour in Illinois:
- Red peppers @ $2.00/ea= 4 peppers
- S. domestic first class stamp @ $.49= 16 stamps for $7.84
- McDonald’s BigMac pounder @ $3.99= 2 burgers
- order of McDonald’s fries, large size @ $1.89= 4 orders of fries
- bus rides on Chicago CTA @ 2.00 per bus ride, no transfer allowances= 4 bus rides
- bottle of nail polish (I know this one is a bit ridiculous, but so is the price of nail polish these days!)= 1 bottle (maybe) the price runs from $8 to $10 would you believe!
- haircut at a department store beauty salon, not a fancy boutique one, $28.00= 4 hours of work @ $8.25/hr for $30.00 plus a tip
- can of soup, Healthy Choice $2.49= 3 cans of soup
- box of Cheerios cereal, 8.9 oz. approximately $3.50/box= 2 boxes
- loaf of bread, Brownberry approximately $4.50/loaf= 1 1/2 loaves
Before you jump all over me, yes, these are brand name foods, yes, you can get them on sale, yes there are coupons sometimes available, yes there are generics. I’m just trying to make the point of “value”. Question: What does a U.S. dollar buy in 2015? Answer: Not Much, especially if you are living on a fixed income such as Social Security and are depending upon savings interest for added income! Oh, that’s right, there is NO interest income right now and there has not been for a very long time.