- A true quote but taken out of context – the quote is referring to something completely different than a modern day “minimum wage”.
- As a propaganda message, this has been widely shared, which makes for successful propaganda, even though the message is untrue.
- Roosevelt did say this quote, but it was not about the minimum wage but about creating opportunities to become skilled, employable and have the ability to earn good wages. The speech was about the need to balance the interests of labor and capital. The speech was not about a minimum wage, which was not enacted until 28 years later.
- The basic methods used are Assertion (that this is about a minimum wage), “Appeal to Authority” by citing President Teddy Roosevelt and a Logical fallacy of linking his comments to today’s minimum wage.
- The poster originated from Occupy Democrats.
Below is the full paragraph from the 1910 speech so you can see the original context. The speech is available online at http://www.presidentialrhetoric.com/historicspeeches/roosevelt_theodore/newnationalism.html. No where in the text is a minimum wage discussed. The context in which this was given was about creating opportunities and providing everyone with the education and skills to be able to earn a living. He proposes the need for regulations to ensure sanitary and safe working conditions. The reference to “workman’s compensation” refers to workers being compensated when injured on the job – not to normal wages or minimum wages. You can find discussion on the “workman’s compensation” issue and what Roosevelt meant at the Social Welfare History Project at Virginia Commonwealth University.