Maximum Wage

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Text on Button MAXIMUM WAGE
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Black and white illustration of a bat hanging upside down with white letters on a black background below.

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A maximum wage is an established rate, set either by collective bargaining or law, that specifies the highest allowable amount of pay for labor.

In the United States, there is a federal minimum wage, or lowest rate at which employers can compensate employees for labor. There is no federal maximum wage, however. Calls for a federal maximum wage, or a “de facto” maximum wage, where tax policy imposes a limit on how much income can be taken in, go at least as far back as the turn of the 20th century. Proponents of a maximum wage cite that the advantage of maximum wage legislation is in its efficacy in addressing extreme differentials in income distribution and inequitable stratification of wealth.

Fanged bats in folklore are often symbols of blood-sucking. The image on the button may be an allusion to economic vampirism, an exploitative practice in which one party predatorily drains resources without recompense, with the implication that unchecked wealth imposes a drain on a vital economy.


(2014) Economic Vampires. He Kitenga University of Otago research highlights. Accessed January 31, 2023 via

Catalog ID IB0779