Minimum wage was signed into effect in 1938. A decade later the Cold War began. We can look to some events that evolved throughout the Cold War as a guide regarding the controversial issue of raising the minimum wage.
The Red Scare, a period when civil liberties were compromised by fear, ranged from the late 1940’s to late 1950’s. Consequences from being a leftist were brought into the forefront, bringing a more conservative view to the political spectrum. (Red Scare) The fear that left thinkers may be soviet spies who could in-turn destroy the nation is similar in the wage wars. The left ideas of raising minimum wage could destroy the economy, increasing rather than decreasing the poverty level.
In the late 1950’s the space race began with the Soviets launch of Sputnik. The United States saw the ability of launching satellites into space, as equivalent to the ability to launch nuclear weapons at the US. The US got in gear, and launched the Explorer program, outdoing the Soviets by putting a man on the moon. (Sputnik: The Fifteeth Anniversary, 2007) The biggest argument for a minimum wage increase is that it’s currently light years behind where it should be if it had been increased periodically to keep up with inflation.
The domino theory of the Cold War began in the early 1950’s and ran through the mid 1970’s. This theory indicated that the rise of one communist regime could lead to the rise of many. The Vietnam War was at the center of this idea, and after all was said and done came the communist takeover that was feared in 1975. However, the domino effect that was used to justify the war for two decades never happened. (Domino Theory) The biggest argument against the minimum wage increase is the domino effect. Increased minimum pay that sends the dominos falling of fewer jobs, layoffs, and inflation can only be tested with an end to the wage war.
Based on history, the destruction of a repressive wall brought unification to Germany. Within the next decade came the fall of the Soviet Union, bringing an end to Cold War.
Today, February 12, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order to increase minimum wage on new or renewing federal contracts by 2015. He would like to see congress follow with an increase to all minimum wage pay. (Sahadi , 2014) President Obama waged his own war today with a pen, with hopes to lesson repression on those who work full-time jobs while living in poverty.
Domino Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from History: http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/domino-theory
Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from Brainy Qoutes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dwight_d_eisenhower.html
Red Scare. (n.d.). Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from History: http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare
Sahadi , J. (2014, 02 12). Obama signs order on minimum wage. Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from CNNMoney: http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/12/news/economy/obama-executive-order-minimum-wage/index.html
Sputnik: The Fifteeth Anniversary. (2007, 10 10). Retrieved 02 12, 2014, from Nasa History: http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/