Bernie Sanders insists that $11 an hour is too small a wage. This, the starting wage at Walmart, is not a living wage. Which, if we’re honest about it, is a hell of a piece of news for us out here in the real world. Because $11 an hour is pretty good money actually. Puts you in the top 3% of all incomes globally. And if top 3% really just isn’t enough then we’ve got to start wondering what would be.
Here’s the claim:
Following his speech at the shareholder meeting, Sanders moved to a rally with Walmart workers in the parking lot of the John Q. Hammons Center, where he continued to rail against Walmart’s paltry wages and applaud employees for fighting back. “One might think that a family worth $175 billion would be able to pay its employees a living wage,” Sanders said. “And yet, as you all know, the starting wage at Walmart now is $11 an hour. And people cannot make it on $11 an hour. You can’t pay rent, you can’t get health care, you can’t feed your kid, or put gas in the car on $11 an hour.” “So all we are saying to the Walton family and Walmart: Pay your workers a living wage,” Sanders added.
$11 an hour is $22,000 a year or so for the standard American work year. Plug that into the global income calculator and we get:
And yes, this is after we’ve adjusted for prices across geography.
You know, some of us think that being in the top 3% of the income distribution is a pretty good deal actually. Especially for indoor work, no heavy lifting. Odd that Bernie Sanders doesn’t really.