A Proposal to Lift Individuals and Families Out of Poverty and Put Them on a Path to Upward Mobility
Gutierrez, Martin Cuellar, Jr.
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The minimum wage was enacted by Congress in 1938 to be a wage floor. Once created, the value steadily rose up until 1968 but since then, the value of the federal minimum wage has steadily declined. Today, an individual working full-time and earning the federal minimum wage has annual earnings below the federal poverty line. In 2021 74 counties, cities and states have raised their minimum wage. Congress on the other hand, has not raised the federal minimum wage in nearly 12 years. This capstone will take a look at the history of the federal minimum wage, earned income tax credit as an alternative solution and impact of a minimum wage increase. It also takes a look at public and other stakeholders’ responses. The policy proposal and recommendation to the Speaker of the House is a $15 minimum wage increase by 2025 along with increasing and expanding federal targeted federal tax credits. This policy proposal will ensure anyone working full-time will not live in poverty and put them on a path to upward mobility.