Reality Check

U.S. POLICYMAKERS SAY we've pulled ahead of our European rivals on the wage front. And that stands to make us a lot better off in the global marketplace. European officials chide their workers for making such high wages, blaming them for the European Community's economic ills. The average German factory worker earns $25.94 an hour in pay and benefits, a French worker $16.88. But their American cousin scrapes by with $16.17.

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