Sorry, Marco Rubio: Philosophers Make More Money Than Welders

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) incorrectly stated that “welders make more money than philosophers” during Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate.

Rubio was asked what he would “take back” that Democratic presidential candidates offered voters in government-paid benefits during their own debate. In response, he called raising the minimum wage a “disaster” and instead proposed making “higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training.”

“For the life of me I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education,” Rubio said. “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”

But data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics disprove that statement.

Postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers earn an average annual wage of $71,350 while welders pocket $40,040 annually, according to the agency’s May 2014 survey.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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