It takes an Indian minimum wage worker twice as long to afford an Apple iPhone 12 as his Pakistani counterpart. A minimum wage Pakistani has to work 1,642 hours, or about 10 months of work, to buy an iPhone 12, according to Bloomberg News. An Indian minimum worker, on the other hand, must work nearly twice as long, a total of 3,254 hours, to buy it. It takes 1,791 hours in Indonesia and 2,045 hours in Egypt. Assuming a 40-hour work-week and two weeks of vacation, there are 2,000 hours of work in a year. Given these figures, it can be safely assumed that very few minimum wage workers in the developing world can afford to buy an iPhone 12.
|Hours of Work Needed to Buy iPhone 12. Source: Bloomberg
Bloomberg reported the following on February 4 as follows: "Based on minimum wage levels, a new report from Grover.com estimates it would take 6,639 hours for a Venezuelan to earn enough for the prized smartphone and 3,254 hours for an Indian. Chinese people must work 680 hours to make enough money".
|Minimum Wage in Selected Countries. Source: ILO via The Business Standard
International Labor Organization's Global Wage Report 2020-21 reported that the minimum wage in Pakistan is $491 a month in purchasing power parity, the highest in South Asia. India's minimum wage is $215 a month, less than half of Pakistan's.
India is one of the most unequal countries in the world, according to the World Inequality Report 2022. There is rising poverty and hunger. Nearly 230 million middle class Indians have slipped below the poverty line, constituting a 15 to 20% increase in poverty. India ranks 94th among 107 nations ranked by World Hunger Index in 2020. Other South Asians have fared better: Pakistan (88), Nepal (73), Bangladesh (75), Sri Lanka (64) and Myanmar (78) – and only Afghanistan has fared worse at 99th place. Meanwhile, the wealth of Indian billionaires jumped by 35% during the pandemic.
Neoliberal policies in emerging markets like India have spurred economic growth in last few decades. However, the gains from this rapid growth have been heavily skewed in favor of the rich. The rich have gotten richer while the poor have languished. The average per capita income in India has tripled in recent decades but the minimum dietary intake has fallen. According to the World Food Program, a quarter of the world's undernourished people live in India. The COVID19 pandemic has further widened the gap between the rich and poor.
Has Bangladesh Really Left India and Pakistan Behind?
Pakistan Projected to Be World's 7th Largest Consumer Market
Coronavirus, Lives and Livelihoods in Pakistan
Vast Majority of Pakistanis Support Imran Khan's Handling of Covid19 Crisis
Pakistani-American Woman Featured in Netflix Documentary "Pandemic"
Incomes of Poorest Pakistanis Growing Faster Than Their Richest Counterparts
Can Pakistan Effectively Respond to Coronavirus Outbreak?
How Grim is Pakistan's Social Sector Progress?
Pakistan's Sehat Card Health Insurance Program
Trump Picks Muslim-American to Lead Vaccine Effort
COVID Lockdown Decimates India's Middle Class
Pakistan Child Health Indicators
Pakistan's Balance of Payments Crisis
How Has India Built Large Forex Reserves Despite Perennial Trade Deficits
India's Unemployment and Hunger Crises"
PTI Triumphs Over Corrupt Dynastic Political Parties
Strikingly Similar Narratives of Donald Trump and Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif's Report Card
Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel