Sometime back it broadened statistically (for comparison purposes) the definition of the average workers in its member nations while trying to examine relative tax burdens. The result was "monumental," reckons Jacob Kirkegaard, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The OECD ranked the after-tax income of the average worker in the United States as 15th among its member nations. The richest middle class, if measured in terms of the purchasing power of their income, was Britain.
That ranking would surprise most Americans, who likely consider their nation the most prosperous in the world.
In one fell swoop, OECD statisticians lowered the estimated income of the average American worker by more than 10 percent and raised average incomes of other rich nations by as much as 30 percent, notes Mr. Kirkegaard.