What is . . . no, WAS the function of the minimum wage when established? At that time it was enough to meet basic needs if not squandered (a matter of personal choice not government intervention). Today, a person cannot support themselves--much less a family--on minimum wage. And, face it, there will be a need, always, for low-skill labor. Just because it is 'low-skill' does not mean it must also be low wage labor.