Last month, we discussed in this space McDonalds and Wal-Mart as America’s biggest welfare queens. As it turns out, both retail giants are the beneficiaries of a surprising amount of Federal aid: Their employee’s receive an inordinate amount of Medicaid, food stamps and other public assistance. This allows them to maintain very low wages, and keep profits relatively robust.
I wondered aloud at why profitable, publicly traded private sector firms were receiving so much taxpayer largesse. With these corporations having their full time employees’ paychecks effectively subsidized by taxpayers, I decided to do a little do more digging. What I found about minimum wages in the United States surprised me. I suspect it will surprise you, too.
We begin with a little minimum wage background: In the US, it is currently pegged at $7.25 per hour. The law mandating these wages began post-depression in 1938 at 25 cents per hour. (New Zealand beat us by 40 years). Individual states have the option to mandate a higher minimum wage, and about half of them do with Washington State requiring the highest pay at $9.19/hour. Amongst developed economies, Australia and Luxembourg have the highest minimum wages ($15.75 and $14.21 respectively) while the other end of the scale includes Korea ($3.90), Poland ($2.69) and Hungary ($2.24), according to OECD. The United States sits in the middle of the range.
Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.