[Marxism] Hours and wages in 2004 - addition

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Tue Jul 20 08:23:11 MDT 2004

I wrote:

"The average hourly pre-tax wage rate here in the Netherlands is about
US$28.40 (about US$23.00 for men, $18.70 for women) and average annual
pre-tax salary is about US$30,000  (US$36,000 for men, US$21,000 for women;
the average tax rate is 28%-33%)."

Whereas the averages mentioned might be useful for some international
comparisons, it is of course not true that most Dutch workers really earn
$28.40 per hour - they don't. Firstly, the real band of gross wages would be
more like $7.50 to $16.00 per hour. The high average wage reported in Dutch
statistics is due to the great disparities in wages & salaries, i.e. the
disproportionate size of salaries at the higher end, which skews the
statistical average beyond the modal average. In addition, wage taxation has
to be taken into account.

The "real wage" is the gross wage adjusted for taxation and inflation.
Generally speaking, statistics departments seldomly publish data on real
wages or real disposable personal incomes, and instead report trends in
"average" gross nominal wages unadjusted for inflation, which from the point
of view of the majority of the population are rather meaningless data,
because it is disposable incomes and real buying power that matter to them.


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