Every Time I Compare The U.S. Minimum Wage To Other Countries, People Get Angry. So Here I Go Again.

This chart shows us what the minimum wage is in a given country as a percentage of the median wage, which is the exact middle of wages in those countries. In other words, if you find the point at which half of the population makes more than X and half makes below X, then the graph below shows just how much below X the minimum wage actually is. We're #24 out of 26. Umm ... yay?

'Splainer time: I got a ton of flak for posting an image on my Facebook fan page that showed some similar numbers. What for? Because I didn't show the cost of living in those countries. Basically, the argument is that "sure, minimum wage is higher in those countries ... you have to pay more for everything!"


Welp, I got on my Internet horse and galloped around Google a bit ... and here's what I found:

In some of those countries, it does indeed cost more for basics. In some, it costs much less. It's pretty much right down the middle; here are some examples:

Cost of Living

Turkey: Consumer prices including rent are 43.6% lower than the United States

France: Consumer prices including rent are 15.3% higher than the United States

Australia: Consumer prices including rent are 45.26% higher than the United States

Slovenia: Consumer prices including rent are 20.02% lower than the United States

The Netherlands: Consumer prices including rent are 14.8% higher than the United States

Latvia: Consumer prices including rent are 33.76% lower than the United States

Canada: Consumer prices including rent are 7.45% higher than the United States

(Figures are as of September 2014. These things change daily, so my numbers might be slightly off.)

Of course, there are other factors to consider here. For example, many countries have a nationalized health care system of some sort and other social safety nets so that people don't die from working too many minimum wage jobs while not being able to go to the doctor and such ... just saying.

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