There are a couple of things worth noting from this chart:
1. It’s time for those on the Left to stop taking Germany as the shining example of how things could be better for workers in the United States if only we followed its example. As Eduardo Porter explains,
In Germany — often portrayed as the gold standard of the postindustrial labor market — the entire bottom half of households experienced shrinking earnings from work. They only got ahead because of rising government benefits.
2. The United States does less than any of the other countries on the list to improve the conditions, via net government transfers, of low-wage workers.
We know that real wage increases for most U.S. workers (including those near the bottom) have been meager since the late 1970s and, even with government assistance (such as tax credits, food stamps, and cash assistance), the increase in workers’ standards of living is far behind their productivity, the profits they create for the corporations where they work, or the amount of income captured by those at the very top.