Brazil: Minimum Wage

Joe Listo writes: Incredible as it may seem, the minimum-wage in Brazil today is a staggering US$115.00 per month. My previous figure of $140 was wrong (minimum-wage = R$300.00 at a dollar conversion rate of US$1.00 = R$2.6 = $114.00). Growing resentment among the poorer classes leads inevitably to confrontations and crime. I lived in Rio in the period 77-80. There was then some danger in getting near large slums (although they spread around the best neighborhoods), but nothing compared to today's almost daily shootings between police and drug-lords, or between drug-lords themselves for the best "selling" spots; innocent lives are often taken. Drug dealers fight for their territories with the best weaponry available, an assortment of M16s and AK49s, grenades and plenty of ammo to keep the police away. Weapons and ammos are reportedly smuggled into the country via Paraguay and Colombia, some of them stolen from military armories. Politicians seem to be insensitive to the problem and refuse to pass legislation to harden an ineffective, ancient Criminal Code. The vast majority of the population believe that steeper jail terms would reduce criminality, but Congress seems impervious to the people's demands. Moving the capital from Rio to Brasilia may have had some logic in the past, but it caused politicians to lose contact with reality as they now live far away from large, problem-ridden cities.Randy Black says: Joe Listo is speaking of the minimum wage per MONTH when he gives it as US$140 for Brazil.  By contrast, as January 2005, the national minimum wage in Russia was US$24 per MONTH (that’s twenty-four dollars for four weeks work). While wages are far higher in the major population centers such as Moscow, the national average income per person across Russia is about US$240 per month. Presumably this takes into account the 36 Russian billionaires.
In the US, the federal minimum monthly wage is US$824, assuming a 40 hour week, although many states and cities across the nation dictate minimum wages that are significantly higher.  In researching this topic, I found that not all EU countries have minimum wages and of course, one has to take into account the different length of work week, which in many cases across France is only 35 hours per week. The last source below has a table showing the national minimum wage rates for the EU and eastern European nations in Euros and local currencies.

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: June 8, 2005