Living wage

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The living wage entails the idea that no wage-earning laborer should ever be paid lower wages than those that would keep him and his family above poverty level. It was an operating principle of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Although most aspects of the living-wage program were repealed in 1964, the minimum wage lives on as a vestige of it.

In urging the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level. I mean the wages of a decent living."

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