Germany looks a lot like the U.S.
"While the top net income for middle- to higher-income Germans, generally defined as those earning 3,400 euros a month, or $4,870, rose slightly in real terms from 2000 to 2010, net incomes for low-wage earners, or those earning 960 euros a month or less, have fallen 10 percent, according to a new study by Markus Grabka, an economist at the DIW German Institute for Economic Research." NYT
Germany and the US are following a low wage policy, obstensibly to keep jobs from moving to low wage countries. Must labor be beaten down to the level of the world's poor? The better off will not escape from a low wage economy as it is wages that drive consumer demand, and it is consumer demand that keeps business profitable in the long run. Germany does not have a minimum wage, but it does have generous programs for low-income people. My own thinking is that we need a generous minimum wage so that everyone working can live decently.