By Christine Owens – Low-wage work is nothing new — but, as we arrive on the 100 year anniversary of the first minimum wage law passed in the United States, we must recognize an even more dispiriting fact about the low-wage workforce: It could have been a thing of the past.
The first minimum wage law in the United States was established on June 4, 1912 in Massachusetts. More than a dozen states would follow over the subsequent 10 years, and by 1933 the new U.S. Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, wrote an essay to make the case for a federal minimum wage.
There was nothing inevitable about the low-wage economy that we find in the U.S. today. What decades of experience tell us, however, is that unless we seriously acknowledge our responsibility to maintain the value of the minimum wage, we have little reason to expect anything different in the century ahead. more> http://tinyurl.com/c3gtkwu
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