The Great Divergence

It used to be better to be a low-wage worker in the United States than in France. That hasn’t been the case for a long while.

This figure shows the real annual value of the national minimum wage in France vs. the United States since 1970. The French minimum wage, known as the “SMIC,” sets an automatic floor for minimum wage increases based on inflation and overall salary growth. As a result, it has grown steadily, while the real, inflation-adjusted value […]

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