Nimh, for what it's worth, the federal minimum wage in the US is 5.15 per hour. Minimum payroll deduction for social security and medicare is .39, leaving 4.76 per hour. European minimum wages may equal a 'living wage' but ours does not.
Actually, $5.15 an hour is pretty much the minimum wage here in Holland, too, at least it was last time I earned it ;-)
(Thats like three years ago - and of course i'm overlooking the current lopsided exchange rates. "Normally" a dollar is about a Euro, and that would make the Dutch minimum wage something like 5-6 dollars an hour. But - thats after taxes.)
Main difference, of course, is that cost of living here is a lot lower than in (urban) america - so relatively minimum wage is a lot higher here.
No, I mean, yeh - US minimum wage is too darn low, no question about it. But "a fraction
of a living wage" was overstating it a tad ... especially considering the illegals - who the reforms would be intended to legalize - really do
earn a fraction of a living wage. Gotta keep perspective here.