World Scoffs at United State’s Embarrassingly Low Minimum Wage

The US needs a higher minimum wage, and the rest of the world knows it.

The US needs a higher minimum wage, and the rest of the world knows it.

While the world looks at the United States as being loud, arrogant, and war-hungry imperialists, add our embarrassingly low minimum wage to the list of why the world scoffs at us. Now the International Monetary Fund has backtracked on its forecast for growth in the United States Guess what one of the reasons are? Our horrendous minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. However, one of the solutions to our backtrack is actually to raise the minimum wage. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, seeing as though our minimum wage should be as much as $20 dollars if we had stayed up with inflation. The IMF issued their ideas in a statement in their annual assessment of the United States, saying:

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“[G]iven its current low level (compared both to U.S. history and international standards), the minimum wage should be increased. This would help raise incomes for millions of working poor and (help) ensure a meaningful increase in after-tax earnings for the nation’s poorest households.”

The International Monetary Fund, headed by France’s Christine Lagarde, oversees the monitoring of economic and financial developments aimed at crisis-prevention; lends to countries with balance of payments difficulties, to provide temporary financing and to support policies aimed at correcting the underlying problems; and provides countries with technical assistance and training in its areas of expertise. Currently, 188 countries, including the United States, are members of the IMF. 

Christine Lagarde also told reporters an increase in the minimum wage “would be helpful from a macroeconomic point of view.”

In an organization of 188 other nations, the United States should be embarrassed that their minimum wage is among the lowest in terms of developed economies. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Ireland, England, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium all beat the United States in actual minimum wage setting and purchasing power parity.

While certain states and cities are starting to take matters into their own hands, led by Seattle, which recently raised its minimum wage to a highest-in-the-nation $15, it is not enough. Many of those same states and cities are gradually increasing the minimum wage over the course of 4-5 years, in which inflation will chip away at much of the value. However, it is better than staying at $7.25 which might be here unless the Democratic party takes back the House and gets a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

Other proposals in the IMF’s assessment Republicans in Congress greatly oppose, making it an uphill battle to meet the requirements of a developed economy. Some of these include massive infrastructure investment and immigration reform. Without such things, the IMF said, it expects U.S. gross domestic product growth to average 2 percent a year for “the next several years,” well below our historic average of more than 3 percent. The IMF also cut its forecast for growth this year to 2 percent from an earlier estimate of 2.8 percent.

 

We have the strongest presence in the IMF, with the most voting power and yet we cannot adhere to fact based suggestions. It’s just another example of Republicans being wrong at every turn. The only thing they know is obstruction, or the word “no.” They are continuing their crusade to make the US a third world nation, and the rest of the world is watching in delight as we go down in flames thanks to a minority fringe of a major political party. I’m looking at you, Tea Party.

Not only is the world embarrassed, I as an American am embarrassed.