The Effects Of Minimum Wage Policy On The United States Essay

2392 Words Jul 27th, 2016 null Page
Two and a Half Decades: Still Waiting for Change
Over the last few years minimum wage policy has been propelled to the forefront of economic debate and action. The focus on low wage work intensified over the Great Recession boosted by Occupy Wall Street, the Fight for $15, and other pro-worker campaigns. One result has been myriad of wage policies at various state and local levels that increased wages for many of our lowest paid workers. Much action on the minimum wage front is owed to the discussion on inequality as it relates to decades of stagnating or falling wages at the bottom end of the scale. So, too for the erosion of the Federal minimum wage over time and that it has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Often overlooked in minimum wage policy and debate is the recognition that the Federal subminimum wage received by tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 since 1991—this sub-wage floor, and the two-tiered system that makes it possible, is still not widely known or understood. Along with other economists, policy analysis and activists I have been working to further our understanding of the often forgotten subminimum wage workforce.
Let me start with some history and perspective. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a New Deal initiative, was signed into law. At the time, the new law applied to industries whose combined employment represented about one-fifth of the labor force. In these industries, it banned oppressive child labor, set the maximum workweek at 44…

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