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The Right to Earn Enough: The Fair Labor Standards Act

In: The Political Economy of a Living Wage

Author

Listed:
  • Donald Stabile

    (St. Mary’s College of Maryland)

Abstract

In 1938, the New Deal enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to establish a minimum wage. This chapter will survey the legal and political obstacles that had to be overcome to pass minimum wage legislation in the USA and review the arguments that overcame those obstacles. It will describe the legislative history of the FLSA and the way it produced a minimum wage that did not equate to a living wage. Unions were especially in favor of a living minimum wage as this chapter will describe. The AFL, however, did not want the FLSA to interfere with collective bargaining, while the CIO saw it with a consumerist perspective that higher wages would increase consumption and bring a recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Stabile, 2016. "The Right to Earn Enough: The Fair Labor Standards Act," Palgrave Studies in American Economic History, in: The Political Economy of a Living Wage, chapter 0, pages 201-228, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:psichp:978-3-319-32473-9_6
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-32473-9_6
    as

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