You ought to read my hub on that topic under "TheOldGuard".
Like many things within government, they say one thing, and to everything they can do to stop what they said they would do.
The original "minimum" wage was set at .25 per hour back in 1938. With those wages, people moved off of farms, worked in factories, bought cars, a house, groceries, etc. etc.
Since that time, the $1 has lost 95% of it's purchasing power.
In other words, you go out and buy a coke or a candy bar for $1, in 1938 that same thing cost .05.
Why is that?
The main reason is the government and the FED always want inflation. Many reasons behind it, but inflating the currency is always in the best interest of the government and the FED - or Central Bank.
Unfortunately, inflation kills the purchasing power of your wages. As inflation goes up, your purchasing power goes down (This was even true when Roosevelt was in power, but it is now way out of whack)
So, as the government and FED inflate the currency, you need more and more money to buy the same things you did 5 or 10 years ago.
For example, lets say your grocery store bill was $15 in 2006. Because the government and the FED have inflated the currency, (All other things being equal) you now, in 2016, need $20 to buy the same things. Now $5 doesn't seem like much, but that's a 33% increase.
That's why inflation is so evil - it's another form of tax on your wages. You are losing money (purchasing power) every year, while the wages being paid don't keep up.
Remember, your boss, with the items he has to buy, is experiences the same thing. His purchase prices are always going up! Now, if he sells to Wal-Mart, they want a decrease in the prices they pay for your bosses products, So , if his prices are going up, and Wal-Mart wants to buy the same product this year as they did last, for less money, where is your boss going to cut costs?
He can't cut costs on his raw material, because, like your finding at the grocery store, prices are going up. Were does he cut costs to meet Wal-Marts desire for a lower price on the product he produces?
Thank you government and the FED!!
The key to all this is a sound currency - one that retains it's purchasing power year after year.
But, both the government and the FED don't want that.
So, a "livable" wage will not be achieved because year after year, the government and the FED do everything they can do destroy the purchasing power of the $1.
A vicious circle!