In a surprising move, President Obama proposed during the State of the Union address to increasing the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. A perpetually controversial issue, the minimum wage remains a flashpoint between progressives and conservatives, with proponents saying it keeps full-time workers out of poverty and opponents arguing it increases unemployment.
As the map above shows, only a handful of countries lack minimum wage laws. Most countries have a minimum-wage law or agreement. In many cases, those laws guarantee a minimum wage only to workers in certain industries or locations. And many countries with minimum-wage laws struggle to enforce them.
Correction, Feb. 21, 2013: Due to an editing error, this article originally stated that Congo, Kenya, and Pakistan do not have minimum wage laws. They have partial minimum wage laws.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself.
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.