Monday, May 05, 2014

You're Underpaid, and So Is the Rest of the World: A Breakdown of Minimum Wages Around the Globe

No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country."

That's what former Pres. Franklin Roosevelt said in 1933, in a speech announcing his plan to help America's recovery and forever shaping what would become one of his landmark ideals. Five years later, he signed into law the first federal minimum wage standard: It was 25 cents and set a maximum of a 44-hour workweek.

So, we've come a long way. But just this week Senate Republicans filibustered Pres. Barack Obama's push to raise the federal minimum from $7.25 to $10.10, and we are still far behind a number of other industrial nations. Australia and New Zealand invented the minimum wage law, and now Aussies get the highest such wage in the world at $16.88 (yes, that's in U.S. dollars, and that's more than double the U.S. standard).

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