MY CURRENT FEELING ABOUT GREEK AUSTERITY IS THAT I DON’T LIKE IT—BUT DON’T KNOW ENOUGH DETAILS
THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT SOME ASPECTS WOULD LOOK LIKE IF APPLIED TO THE U.S.
The source is TIME.
To place the severity of Greece’s austerity measures over the last several years in perspective, here’s an idea for how the same types of cuts would impact the United States.
- Greece’s minimum monthly wage was cut by 22% in 2012, from 751 euros to 586 euros. A similar cut in the U.S. would drop the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $5.66.
- In 2009 and 2010 Greece implemented a variety of cuts to salaries for public sector workers that worked out to an average pay cut of about 15%. In the U.S. that would decrease the average government employee’s pay from $51,340 per year to $43,639, using 2012 figures.
- Pension cuts have been an especially controversial pain point in Greece, and the combined cuts have lead to a 40% decrease in pension funding since 2009, according to the Associated Press. A similar drop in Social Security payouts in the U.S. would mean the average senior citizen’s monthly would mean a drop in Social Security payouts from$1,294 per month on average to $776 per month.
- Greece’s national health budget has been slashed by about 40% since 2008, according to the New York Times. Using U.S. health spending figures from 2013, that would drop federal, state and local government spending on health care from $1.25 trillion ($3,980 per person) to $725 billion ($2,388 per person).
- In 2010 Greece increased the tax on cigarettes by about 20 percent. That would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes in New York from$6.86 to $7.89.