Ever looked at minimum wages in the European Union?
First of all, you might notice that this map ASSUMES you know the names of the countries…
(You DO, don’t you? … )
Good, then I don’t need to tell you that Slovakia has a little number “317” over it. That means the Slovak minimum wage is 317 euros per month, or according to my calculations (and depending on the exchange rate) about $450 per month. (This does not take into account taxes and other state extractions.)
Apparently Germany and all those other gray countries have no official minimum wage, but they determine pay by collective bargaining in each sector of the economy. Here is a more complete graphic including data from those central countries: List of sovereign states in Europe by minimum wage
And here is another way to look at the disparities:
What does all this mean in the lives of working people? Well, that is the job of a cartoonist to record… I am working on some comics about migrant labor and border crossings, between Slovakia and the rest of the EU, and also between EU states and non-EU states.
The current federal US minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Multiplying this by 40 hours per week and (say) 4.5 weeks per month, we get a monthly minimum wage of around $1300.
AND while we’re talking about international wages and North America, we might note the minimum wage in Mexico (as listed here on Wikipedia) appears to be 56 pesos per day, which at time of writing converts to about $4.09 per day.