It's a point of pride for many people to acquire some thing for as close to nothing as possible. I know someone who glows with pride for a whole day having found fuel at a price cheaper per gallon by as little as five cents. Everyone likes a deal, nobody likes to think about the consequences, whether it be fuel, the last popular item on sale the day after Thanksgiving, the cheapest mortgage payment or the cost of labor.
Most employers and employees agree about poverty-level wages by dismissing them as "better than nothing" and without the minimum wage laws set by government, employees would undercut each-other into destitution by offering ever-cheaper service. Should employees be surprised by the contempt of their bosses for such lack of loyalty to their fellow workers?
What is the purpose of a poverty-level minimum wage? Certainly not to contribute to the flow of currency through the economy.
Answers: Job security for government workers, psychological stress to maintain passive obedience, pressure to commit crimes of survival so you can be conscripted for prison slave labor.