Thursday, August 22, 2013

How long would you work for a beer?

Here's an interesting graphic from a short blog post at The Economist, in 2012, displaying, country-by-country, how long 'median-waged' workers, around the world, would have to work to earn enough to purchase one median-priced beer.

Analysts at UBS, a Swiss bank, have calculated that it takes a German earning the national median wage just under seven minutes of work to purchase half a litre of beer at a retail outlet. At the bottom of the pint glass, low wages and high taxes mean that boozers in India must toil for nearly an hour before they have earned enough to quench their thirst.

Of the 27 countries surveyed, the U.S. finishes last (or first, depending upon your point of view). U.S. laborers can enjoy a beer after only 5 minutes of work. Warren Buffett: 5 milliseconds?

The most expensive median price for a 500-ml bottle of beer? Japan, at $4.15, 2.3 times the cost of a beer in the U.S.


Since beer bottles in the U.S. are sized in fluid ounces rather than milliliters, and usually at 12 fluid ounces rather than 16.9 ounces (the equivalent of 500 milliliters), doing the math would indicate a median price of $1.28 for a bottle of beer in the U.S. versus 99¢ in India. And yet, the disparity of work-time required to purchase that one beer is substantial.

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