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The Minimum Wage Debate

             Since 1938, the federal government has enforced a standard minimum wage and almost all states have their own specific minimum wages. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act on June 25, 1938 to establish a minimum wage of .25 cents per hour. Since then, the minimum wage has been raised 22 times. President Barack Obama plans on raising the minimum wage again and has made increasing the minimum wage one of the key parts of his campaign to help raise income equality. President Obama plans on raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over the next three years. Even though some people do not like the idea, the minimum wage should be increased because it can help employees gain a better standard of living, help out a struggling economy, and research has shown that it can actually increase job growth. .
             The minimum wage that we all know today originated from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. According to the Department of Labor, it established "minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees." Its purpose was to keep America's workers out of poverty, and to stimulate the economy by increasing consumer purchases. Since its installment, amendments added to the FLSA have extended the law's coverage to additional employees and raised the level of the minimum wage. In 1949, minimum wage increased from .40 cents an hour to .75 cents an hour and this was the year that the air transport industry was included. This was followed by an expansion of coverage to the retail trade in 1961. This was also the year minimum wage increased to $1.15, but it was also increased again in 1963 to $1.25. Public schools, nursing homes, laundries, and the entire construction industry were added to the coverage of the FLSA in 1966. The current minimum wage that is set stands at $7.25 and was changed 22 times to reach it. Even though the federal minimum wage is $7.

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