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Income Inequality in the United States: a Discussion

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Income Inequality in the United States

“Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands dollars less than a man who does the same work. Now that’s wrong,” President Barack Obama orated in his “It’s Time” speech, in which he addressed the problem with wage equality in the United States. I strongly stand by our President when he claims this is wrong; in fact, I feel it so much more than a moral issue. By taking in account the single women and mothers who must provide for themselves, for their family, our economy’s security, and simply the morality behind providing equal pay, it will be understood that unfair pay amongst men and women is the issue of our time.

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Women are making significantly less than their male peers, President Barack Obama claims. Women make seventy-seven cents for every dollar a man makes, or nearly twelve percent less. Obama goes on to estimate that a woman would would have to work three more months than a man just to receive the same amount of annual pay for the same job. This alone is shocking, and only plummets from this point. Women who are mothers only make approximately sixty-nine cents for every dollar a man makes, and women of color make less than that. How can any person, female or male, settle for lower wages to women trying to provide a functional lifestyle for their children? Mothers need the right to care for their children just as sufficiently as a father because without wage equality they do not have that right. Wage inequality creates an imbalance in a mothers emotional, physical, and financial care for her child or children. By paying women less, you’re asking a mother to spend less time caring for her children in order to work more to provide more. Wage inequality does not just affect single mothers, but mothers who work in families with stay-at-home fathers. The number of fathers staying at home has increased greatly to 2 million in 2012 from the 1.1 million in 1989 (Livingston). With the number of household “breadwinners” being women increasing, and with our single mothers, it is important that they receive equal pay to a man with the exact same job, because without wage equality we are not only hurting the woman, but not her family.

Focusing less on the social aspect on the wage gap, it also greatly affects the economy. With the increasing number of stay at-home dads and more women going out into the workforce, it is assumed that there will be an increase in women who are paying taxes. With an increase of women paying taxes, and the insufficient income a woman get in comparison to her male counterparts, then we are asking to eliminate or decrease the salary of the police force, Congress, public school teachers, and really public education at all, all of which are paid for by taxpayers. The stimulus package, created by Congress, should also be taken into consideration. According to economist Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, increasing women’s wages to equal men’s wages will also increase the United States economy by about four percent at the least. The stimulus package was created to rid of recession and boost the economy. Given the great increase women could bring to our economy and the stimulus package, it is clear that wage equality is needed for the United States and, by ignoring the need for wage equality, we are allowing our economy to suffer.

Wage equality is not only important for a woman’s family and the economy, but for a woman herself. For the goodness of a woman’s character, for human character, wage equality is crucial. Wage inequality allows for women to live in a society in which men are held to a greater value, and that as a woman, her significance to to the world is less than a man’s. It is crucial that young women are raised knowing they are valued the same way as their male peers, President Obama even demands that females growing up should know that they are “valued and rewarded just as much as any man.” I believe when a woman starts to demand fair pay, she will feel empowered and will demand more from herself. Wage equality allows self importance and self importance allows for a woman to demand that she is treated in a way she deserves. Wage equality can allow for women to be just as powerful as men, to be equal to man.

It is because I am a female myself, it may seem biased that I argue for wage equality amongst men and women, but I argue just that: equality. I believe that average women hold no superiority over average men and I believe that it is important each gender views themselves as equals for our society to properly and smoothly function. It is because of my interest in what women deserve ethically, American families and their ability to care and provide for their child or children, and for my country’s economy and its stability, that I believe that wage inequality is wrong and is a continuous yet retrograded problem in our growing America.

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