SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
by Colleen Doody
Historical perspective on the origins of the federal minimum wage shows that critics of a $15 minimum ignore the positive economic effects of increased purchasing power.
SOURCE: New York Times
by Ezra Klein
Is it time to revisit the basic premise of American welfare policies that encouraging or requiring paid labor is the best way to deal with poverty?
by Alexander Goddard
The answer is that it was designed to help bolster wageworkers and decrease class stratification.
by Teresa Tritch
And unemployment went down, not up.
SOURCE: Huffington Post
by Peter Dreier
Most of the workers who occupy Wall Street on a daily basis can't make ends meet. But neither can their $22,000-a-year counterparts in any other part of the country.
by Lawrence S. Wittner
The richest nation on earth has millions of full-time employees earning poverty-level wages.
by Stephen Mihm
How a European labor shortage after the plague led to greater economic equality.
SOURCE: New Deal 2.0 via Salon
David Woolner is Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian at the Roosevelt Institute, and Associate Professor of History at Marist CollegeOur Nation so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrious population should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied working men and women a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. A self-supporting and self-respecting democracy can plead no justification for the existence of child labor, no economic reason for chiseling workers’ wages or stretching workers’ hours.Enlightened business is learning that competition ought not to cause bad social consequences which inevitably react upon the profits of business itself. All but the hopelessly reactionary will agree that to conserve our primary resources of man power, government must have some control over maximum hours, minimum wages, the evil of child labor and the exploitation of unorganized labor. –FDR, May 1937
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. He is the author of Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Yale University Press).Will raising the minimum wage put more money in the pockets of America’s working poor? Or will it have the opposite effect, throwing more poor people out of work?That’s the question we ask whenever anyone proposes a hike in the minimum wage, as President Obama did in his State of the Union Address. But it’s also the wrong question, diverting us from the biggest one of all: what are the rights that we share as human beings?Minimum-wage opponents say we all have the right to pursue our own happiness—and to maximize our self-interest—so long as we respect others’ right to do the same. Proponents counter that everyone has a right to certain necessities of life—food, clothing, and shelter—and that no one can be happy if some of us are deprived.And the proponents have Pope Benedict XVI on their side....
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