We often hear interesting comments about minimum wage. Many people claim that minimum wage is earned by employment in the jobs that only teenagers do, and therefore should never be considered a wage earned to live on. This begs the question, if a teenager does a job, does that job mean that they are less than in our society? After all, an eighteen-year-old, while considered an adult and responsible for themselves, is still technically a teenager and therefore not worthy of a livable wage. And at what threshold is a human being considered worthy?
A minimum wage was part of the New Deal under President Roosevelt in 1938; called the Fair Labor Standards Act. This was created to stop employers from taking advantage of employees by underpaying them, and keeping them working in unhealthy and dangerous conditions. The main reason for the minimum wage was to allow employees and their families to actually be able to live on the wages they brought home. There was no talk about this only applying to the lowest wages a teenager could receive, since supposedly this teenager lived at home with parents paying for food and rent. The minimum wage was intended for an adult who would be paying for all the expenses incurred in his family’s life…food, rent, car, etc. etc.
Many, many people in the public eye insist that minimum wage was created for only teenagers and/or the lowest of the low jobs…fast food workers, janitors, cleaners, etc. However, as we can see from the history of how minimum wages began, this is a lie. This also begs the question, if a person does a job that requires social skills (waitress, fast food worker, janitor, etc.) why is that considered low wage? Social skills are extremely important, and there are many who make substantial yearly wealth who are obviously lacking it.
So, now that you know that minimum wage was created to support a family, do you believe that the current federal wage of $7.25 does that? Most importantly, do you believe that you could support your own family on such a wage? Let me know in the comments below.