Germany didn't put a federal minimum wage into place until this year. The French minimum wage is 9.53 euros, and the German minimum wage is now 8.5 euros, about $11.91 and $10.65 respectively. The British minimum wage for 18-to-20-year-olds is 5.13 pounds or $8.21. The British rates vary with age. For workers above 21 it is about $10.40. Let's take a look at the youth unemployment rates versus the minimum wages:
'14 Federal Minimum Wage Youth Unemployment
Germany 0 8.1
US 7.25 16.5
UK* 8.21 21.3
France 11.91 23.7
*Varies by age; rate for 18-to-20-year-olds shown
The minimum wage is vicious, for the effects of youth unemployment go beyond idleness. By depriving youngsters of formative employment experiences, the advocates of high minimum wages advocate attenuation of the work skills of a large segment of the population; excluded from formative employment experiences, this segment becomes dependent upon the state for its sustenance. A segment of the population is turned into unemployable serfs who then live on welfare under totalitarian state control. We can add to this segment additional segments under the thumb of totalitarian American-government control: recipients of Social Security; workers and pensioners whose wages the Federal Reserve Bank drives into the ground; victims of America's racist drug laws, often imprisoned for life; victims of American imperialism overseas; and dissident taxpayers, whom the Obama administration has attacked on ideological grounds using oppressive income tax laws.
The European countries with high minimum wages, having murdered the Jews, have less diverse populations than the US does, so the harm that their minimum wages do is less than it would be in America, yet the chief victims of the social democrats' self-serving cruelty are the small minority groups in those countries, especially the Arabs in France.
Telling someone that because their labor is not worth some arbitrary minimum that they should not have freedom to work or to choose opportunities that might become available to them is among the ugliest and cruelest views of the social democratic movement.