Self-proclaimed democratic socialist, and 2016 Presidential contender, Bernie Sanders came out swinging during a press conference in Iowa Wednesday claiming that Major League Baseball should be “embarrassed” by its refusal to raise the minimum wage for its players in 2016.
“It is a national disgrace that dozens and dozens of players are living in less wealthy, borderline lower-upper class, conditions and dozens more are forced to play under conditions more often seen in places like Poland way back in 2009,” Sanders said to loud cheers from the audience. “In 2015, a professional baseball job must lift players out of semi-wealth, not keep them just above that status. The current league minimum wage of $243.99 an hour is a starvation wage, considering it comes with only a $100 per day meal stipend during the season. Look, imagine you are Dodgers reliever Brooks Brown and you’re having dinner with your fellow pitchers after a tough road loss. You are hungry and decide to go big with the “surf ‘n’ turf” for yourself, meanwhile Clayton Kershaw over there orders Kaluga sturgeon caviar and a bottle of Delamain de Voyage cognac for the table. How would that make you feel? Like a second class professional player, is how you’d feel.”
Sanders, his hair increasingly disheveled and voice ever raspy, continued his rant to the raucous crowd “there is no equality when the top owners in baseball keep just over 50% of the wealth, while the bottom 85% only keep 49%. Those numbers don’t lie.”
The MLB player’s minimum wage has not been raised since 2014. Increasing the minimum wage would directly benefit players who currently make the current $243.99 an hour, many of which are Latino workers. If the minimum wage had kept up with productivity and inflation since 1968, it would be $245.49 today, which technically and numerically, is a deviation from the current number.
Despite resistance by the Republican-run House and Senate, most Americans favor raising the minimum wage. A Hart Research Associates survey in January found that 63 percent of the American people support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. But upon closer, less mathematical review of numbers in general, 97 percent support increasing the MLB league minimum to at least $900,000 annually.