Friday, December 10, 2010

Essay on Federal Minimum Wage

Federal Minimum Wage Essay

Over the years the federal minimum wage standards have been changing, and over the course of this paper things will be told about the changes. The years will be a useful tool. As the years increased so did the minimum wage, and it is still changing today. Acts will be passed and facts will be spilled all over the pages, so lets get on with the entertainment.

In the year of 1949, minimum wage was actually at 40 cents. They decided it should be raised to 75 cents and hour. Back then, that seemed like quite a bit of money. As the years went on that seemed that a pretty steady pay raise. Not long after that happening did the Fair Labor Standards decide to raise it again. Only 6 short years went by and the minimum wage was raised up to 1 dollar an hour. Which brings me to my next point, wage increase.

Year after year the wages continued to rise, less at a time but more frequently. In 1961 it went from 1 dollar and 15 cents to 1 dollar and 25 cents in the same year. “The amendments extended coverage to employees of retail trade enterprises with exceeding $1 million annually, although individual establishments within those covered enterprises were their annual sales fell below $250,000.”(DOL WHD)From October 24, 1938 to September 1, 1997 the minimum wage factor was raised an entire $4.90. Now is that considered a good difference or not?

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According to a newspaper in 1996: “The present federal minimum wage is $4.25 an hour. Minnesota’s is $4.65" (Economist Newspaper Ltd.). There was a new bill passed from both chambers of the state legislature saying, “all corporations employing more than 20 people and taking more that $25,000 a year in state or local subsidies would have to pay their workers wages “at least equal” to the federal poverty level for a family of four.” The wages and benefits would probably equal about $7.28 an hour. Next, the living wages in America today.

Living wage is an issue we have in America today, we have it in our very own St. Paul, MN. Living wage was enacted on January 2, 1997, and requires that the publicity of subsidized businesses to employ at least 60% of its city residents and pay them above minimum wages. The entire purpose for the living wage campaign was just to get it so that the people could improve all of the living standards that people in urban classes have to deal with. On to my next state, Minnesota.

“Proposals to create “living wage” jobs in St. Paul, Minnesota lacked “a basic business perspective” and would “convert St. Paul to a desert island by requiring more of a return on investment from companies than neighboring states and communities,”argued Steve Holupchinski, president of the local Chamber of Commerce (Economic Affairs Bureau). Yet another quote said by the chief political aide of St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, “The proposals are “the mother of all job killers” and a “bureaucratic nightmare.” After that, the supreme courts decisions.

On September 4, 2002 the supreme court had declared an ordinance that New Orleans had been proposing with a 6-1 decision. The supreme court says, “State law prohibits local minimum wages” (Louisiana Employment Law Letter). If the local communities were to continue with the variations in minimum wage rates it would eventually lead to a statewide economic instability and decline. Next, employers of the next century.

In September of 2001, employers were required to pay their employees 6.15 per hour or a $1 over the required minimum wage. If these employers did not comply with the law, “they could have been charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $200 for each day and each employee who wasn’t paid the higher wage” (Louisiana Employment Law Letter). This law was finally passed in New Orleans on February 2, 2002. Following, Africa’s changes in the minimum wages.

In Africa, there was a little different fight about minimum wages, which included farmers. “The labour department will unveil the minimum wage level and basic employment conditions for farm works, following hard on the heels of the announcement of the minimum wage for domestic works” (Africa News Service). It is said that the minimum wage with be a disappointment for many farm owners. Finally, the minimum wage standards have changed.

The years have gone by and many things have changed. Maybe someday the minimum wage will be up to a decent enough way to help out people to be able to survive on it without getting a second job. The minimum wage laws will continue changing so the world will just have to change with it.

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