Minimum Wage

The question of a minimum wage is not new. Even the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle sought to determine what workers ought to be paid, though the contemporary concept of a minimum wage dates to the Progressive Era in late-19th-century America. The crisis of the Great Depression led the United States to act. In 1938, at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s urging, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which set the minimum wage at 25 cents per hour. Increases occurred periodically, so that today the United States pays a minimum of $7.25 per hour, though states are free to set a higher wage. In 2014, 18 states had a minimum wage above $7.25 per hour. In 2013, for example, New Jersey raised its minimum wage ...

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