Category Archives: Wages

A Solution to the Wealth Inequality

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And by poor I mean everyone who isn’t part of the 1 percent. Wealth allocation in America has become so inflated and one-sided that the elite 1 percent own 50 percent of America’s riches. Americans have had to endure this corrupt economic model for years.

Enough is enough.

Here are a couple of ways to remedy the mass inequality and even the playing field for all.

The wealth gap between middle class workers and grossly overpaid executives is outrageous and yet these average employees are still paying higher taxes. The government’s duty is to serve the people, therefor they should alleviate inequality and poverty by instilling a fair tax system that cuts down on the top earners and helps build up the bottom. In order to cut down on inequality, wealth redistribution is essential. With that said, a progressive tax should be imposed on all in order to better reshape this country into a fairer nation. Under progressive taxes, those who earn more are taxed higher and those with less income pay less in taxes. The economic resources gained from the tax cuts on the rich could be put to use by using it on improving public education, medical research and other societal functions. During World War II, President Roosevelt put forth a 94 % tax rate for top earners. Since then, the U.S. has experienced decreased progressiveness in its tax policies over the years and as a result income inequality greatly increased by allowing the elite access to capital.

While the methods and ideas brought up may not be the solutions that will ultimately fix everything, something must change! All we want is just a fairer world to live in.

-Quenton

 

 

The Gender Wage Gap

Women comprise half of America’s workforce. Yet oddly enough, for every dollar a man nets, women earn roughly 77 cents. How is that just? How can something so one-sided exist in a progressive society such as the U.S.? The gender wage gap is a massive hindrance to a woman’s equity and chance at the world. Even right here in Connecticut the gender wage gap is alive and well. As a matter of fact, Connecticut holds the widest wage gap out of all the states in the Northeast, with the city of Fairfield containing the leading difference. Good find.

In the U.S., more than one in three women live in poverty or are hovering around it, and four out of ten kids living in poverty belong to families that only contain a sole female parental guardian looking after them. Too many of these lone women are dealt with numerous responsibilities and surmounting odds: paying rent, figuring out a way to earn money and still find time to spend with family, scraping up enough money for presents, etc. How are they supposed to face these challenges and provide for their loved ones with lesser wages? With these conditions, are they supposed to?

When single mothers take on the responsibility of providing for the welfare of their family, something has to give: their hopes and aspirations. Dreams are cast aside, sometimes forever, to make sure that there is a roof above their kids when they are sleeping. Still thinking of pursuing a degree at a college? How can you with health care and child care breathing down your neck? It’s ironic that for a nation that was built around the American Dream, many of its female citizens have to sacrifice that right because of an archaic attitude that still sadly exists today: inequality.

-Quenton

When Will Pay be Equal for Working Women?

male female not equal pay 2

Two workers, one male, one female, equally educated, enter a workplace to perform an identical job. One might assume that if they work approximately the same hours, they would accrue comparable vacation and personal time, sick time and overtime, and also take home practically identical pay. And yet, years of inequity in the workforce, including blatant salary discrepancies, continues to exist between the salaries of men and women. For every dollar a man makes, today’s woman makes approximately 77 cents. In the above example, the man may accept an annual salary of $30,000 while his female coworker’s annual salary totals only $23,100 for exactly the same job. Fair? I think not!

rosie the riveterEarly ‘40s marketing campaigns introduced the classic image of “Rosie the Riveter” as an “every woman,” empowering and encouraging ordinary housewives to enter the workforce to fill the manufacturing jobs that were vacated by men sent overseas in times of war. For many years, those women learned the skills required to work in all types of jobs including manufacturing, and kept American industry going when it could have been shut down altogether. They set the standard for women who wanted to work deserved to be able to work and they broke the mold of “a woman’s place is in the home.” But regardless of their performance, salaries were not equal.

There have been studies done, articles written, laws signed, protests walked, and more … and yet women continue to be paid less for equal jobs. There are lame excuses given during the hiring process and for some reason we continue to accept less pay than our male counterparts.

By Signe Lambertsen

The Wealth Divide

From Multinational Monitor, May 2003:

LINK:      http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

Multinational Monitor’s Interview with Edward Wolff: Professor of economics at New York University

“The Wealth Divide The Growing Gap in the United States Between the Rich and the Rest”.

MM: What portion of the wealth is owned by the upper groups?

Wolff:

The top 5 percent own more than half of all wealth.

In 1998, they owned 59 percent of all wealth.

In another way, the top 5 percent had more wealth than the remaining 95 percent of the population, collectively.

The top 20 percent owns over 80 percent of all wealth. In 1998, it owned 83 percent of all wealth.

MM: Where does that leave the bottom tiers?

Wolff:

The bottom 20 percent basically have zero wealth. They either have no assets, or their debt equals or exceeds their assets. The bottom 20 percent has typically accumulated no savings.

A household in the middle — the median household — has wealth of about $62,000. If you consider that the top 1 percent of households’ average wealth is $12.5 million, you can see what a difference there is in the distribution.

MM: What happens when you disaggregate the data by race?

Wolff:

The average African-American family has about 60 percent of the income as the average white family.

The average African-American family has only 18 percent of the wealth of the average white family.

Examining_Labels_Photo_by_John_Mudd_Cornell_University_1_t670

Now?…

Is poverty the result of laziness, lack of resources, or unethical systems?

In an article titled “Poll: Fewer Americans Blame Poverty on the Poor” by Seth Freed Wessler, Americans took a poll to determine the blame for poverty.

Two important conclusions:

“Leslie McCall, Ph.D., a political scientist at Northwestern University who studies inequality and public opinion, says that Americans have held on to 90s era stigma about family safety-net programs, while becoming more invested in opportunity-building policies.” Further, that, “Concerns about inequality, or poverty, are not associated with an increase in support for traditional forms of safety net like welfare,” McCall says. “But they do associate with increased support for spending in education, increased earnings for people at the bottom or the middle, and access to jobs. People look around and see that conditions are not a result of individuals, but of structural problems.”

The “Poverty Line” Affects Educating Our Children

child-povertyAs one of eight children, I was raised believing that if you worked hard, went to school, and kept out of trouble, you’d probably be OK. My parents worked hard to provide for us. But they wanted more for us than they had. Statistically speaking, my family lived below the poverty line for many years. While it was my parents’ desire for us all to go to college, there was a family expectation for us to work and financially help the family.

So, what is the “Poverty Line” and how do these statistics affect educating our children? According to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau , it includes a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children under 18) collectively earning less than $23,021. Remarkably, 47.7 million Americans (or 14.8 percent of the population) were living in poverty last year; and this is an annual epidemic.

Dropout rates for 16 to 24-years-old students 4985435_origfrom low-income families are seven times higher than those from families with higher incomes. Clearly education is the best way out of poverty. But how can we expect our children to focus on education if they are continually faced with the problem of trying to simply survive.

 

Signe Lambertsen