Minimum Wage

In 2014, the federal minimum wage in the United States was $7.25 per hour. This amount was determined in July 2009, the last time the wage increased. In his 2014 State of the Union, President Barack Obama proposed to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the original minimum wage at 25 cents per hour under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Historically, proponents have viewed the minimum wage as an important antipoverty tool. Opponents have seen it as an unwarranted interference with the labor market. The employment effects of the minimum wage have generated particular controversy. As early as the 1940s, George Stigler argued that “economists should be outspoken and singularly agreed” that the minimum ...

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