Memes Have the Answers to All of America’s Problems… Or Do They?
If you spend any amount of time on Facebook, one of your friends have probably shared one of these "The Opposite of What America Does" memes. Check out some of the more popular ones and see if the claims they make are accurate here.
Actually, the minimum wage in Australia is $15.96/hr or $606.40/week for people over 21 according to the Australian government's website. Those under 21 have their minimum wage determined by age, starting with those under 16 earning just $5.87/hr. That figure increases annually in the following increments: $7.55, $9.22, $10.90, $13.17, $15.59. Some U.S. states have their own minimum wage that is higher than the federal mandate of $7.25/hr, but none are higher than the $9.22 hourly minimum Australia pays their 17-year old workers.
According to a recent investigation of this meme's claims, it was revealed that teachers with 15 years experience in Finland average $37,500 a year, about $7,800 less than their American counterparts. However, Finland's doctors make an average of $70,000 annually, less than half of what most doctors make in the States. So if anything they pay their doctors more like teachers.
Iceland did bail out their people when the banks failed, returning funds to all domestic account holders. This pissed off a bunch of foreign investors with funds in their banks, whom the government has vowed to repay... eventually. They did also put the bankers on trial, but what really helped them was that the value of their currency took such a big hit that it made their exports, like fish, cheaper and sales increased dramatically.
Again, the meme is correct. Ten years after the decriminalization of all drugs, Portugal's drug abuse has been reduced by half. Turns out it is much cheaper and more effective for medical experts and psychologists to treat drug addicts than it would be to run them through the legal system.
If we've learned anything today, it's that you can't believe everything you read in a meme... just 75% of it.