People were paid 18/hour in 1966 to work like a dog at McDonald's (you've never worked a restaurant chain job, I see). And the corporation grew into fantastically profitable giant. Seemed to work.
And people who get paid minimum wage don't get forty hour work weeks. They usually are capped at 18-29 hours, to avoid full-time employee status. And the work hours are jangled weekly so they can't get second jobs. Fun!
You're not everyone. And you've no imagination when it comes to life's little snafus. I take it life has treated you well. You've never really been too ill, or blacklisted, or locked into a bad situation because of family issues, or been unable to find employment because of past accusations or convictions, or had a nervous breakdown, or been hit by a car and been unable to function, or been employed in an industry that was gutted for profits.
And no, you've not seen the minimum wage jacked over the years. It was down to 40% of its original value even after all the "jacks", until finally someone performed arithmetic and found it started life at $18 an hour.