A few quick thoughts:
- I have a constant frustration that we never see these comparisons just on a straight purchasing power parity absolute dollar number. Numbers related to income distribution are always indexed to a number that is really high in the US, thus making our ratio low. I seriously doubt Turkey has a higher minimum wage in the US, it just has a much lower median wage. Does that really make things better there? I have this problem all the time with poverty numbers. The one thing I would like to see is, on a PPP basis, a comparison of post-government-transfer income of the US bottom decile or quintile vs. other countries. Sure, we are more unequal. But are our poor better or worse off? The fact that no one on the Left ever shows this number makes me suspect that the US doesn't look bad on it. This chart, from a Leftish group, implies our income distribution is due to the rich being richer, not the poor being poorer.
- Drum or whoever is his source for the chart conveniently leaves off countries like Germany, where the minimum wage is zero. Sort of seems like data cherry-picking to me (though to be fair Germany deals with the issue through a sort of forced unionization law that kind of achieves the same end, but never-the-less their minimum wage is zero).
- All these European countries may have a higher minimum wage, but they also have something else that is higher: teen unemployment (and I would guess low-skill unemployment).
Admittedly this only has a subset of countries, but I borrowed it as-is from Zero Hedge. By the way, by some bizarre coincidence, the one country -- Germany -- we previously mentioned has no minimum wage is the by far the lowest line on this chart.