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Show Me the Money! It’s Not Just Lilly Ledbetter, It’s All of Us!

Show Me the Money! It’s Not Just Lilly Ledbetter, It’s All of Us!
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Written by Martha Burk from her book Your Voice, Your Vote!

NOTE: With so little time until the election, one of the issues that makes these weeks so urgent is the need to protect and expand women’s right to equal pay.

The pay gap between working women and men in the U.S. continues to be one of the highest ranking concerns for women. It is also a priority for men, because when one earner in a family brings in less than she should, the family suffers overall.

Though “equal pay for equal work” has been the law since 1963, disparities in pay between men and women for full–time, year–round workers are not lessening substantially, and cannot be expected to go away naturally, as some conservatives claim (after all, it’s already been 49 years).

81 Cents to a Man’s Dollar

According to U.S. Department of Labor figures for full–time, year–round workers, women’s earnings in 2011 were on average 81% of men’s, up only 1% from the previous year. The gain was mainly attributed to a decline in men’s earnings in the recession, not an increase in women’s pay.

Median earnings for women of color continue to be lower than the average for all women, which of course includes white women, who earn 85% of men’s wages overall. Asian American women also make 85%. African American women come in at 72% of men’s earnings, and for Latinas the percentage is 63%.

Native American women are at the bottom with only 59 cents.253

Every year, $200 billion lost to wage gap

• Nationwide, working families lose $200 billion in income annually due to the wage gap between men and women. That translates to between $700,000 and $2 million for individual women over the course of their work lives.

• If married women were paid the same as men in comparable jobs, their family incomes would rise by nearly 6 percent, and their families’ poverty rates would be cut by almost 40%.

• If single women earned as much as men in comparable jobs, their individual incomes would rise by 13.4 percent and their poverty rates would be reduced from 6.3 percent to 1 percent.

• Men in traditionally female fields, such as child care, nursing, and teaching, make more than the women in these jobs.

• Women in non–traditional jobs, like the building trades that historically pay more, still get shortchanged an average of $3,446 per year.

• The median annual earnings for women with professional degrees are $65,912; men earn $90,000.

• Lower earnings means lower private pensions. Women with income from a pension or annuity receive less than $6,500 per year, compared with $12,000 per year for men.

• Elderly women get over 22% less in Social Security benefits than men, largely due to lower lifetime earnings. 

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54 comments

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10:51AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

The shocker is that American women are the statistical majority numerically as well as in being more educated than the male minority. In a democracy that permits each person one vote, why aren't educated women using their vote to get equal treatment financially? Women are the majority and are more educated than the male minority. Women permit themselves to be discriminated against and financially marginalized.

I'd love to understand why women tolerate this.

10:38AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

ty

9:49AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

Let me first say that I’m not an expert in political campaigning, but this campaign for the presidency is a lot closer than it should ever had been. Whoever is running our current president’s campaign has missed a great opportunity provide by the republican party.

For a year, during the republican primaries, republicans have told us all why Mr. Romney shouldn’t be president. Why hasn’t there been advertisements quoting Senator Santorum saying Mr. Romney would be the worst candidate for president. Or Mr. Gingrich telling the American public that Mr. Romney has been running for president since 1992.

The republican primaries provide a wealth of quotations by republicans tell us all why Mr. Romney shouldn’t be president, why haven’t we seen advertisements with their picture, video and quotes.. Everyone from Perry to Bachmann each had something say about a Romney presidency. Why isn’t the president’s campaign using this information?

If you someone in the president’s campaign, please pass on my advice.

9:30AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

noted.

11:38PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Thanks!

2:29AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

(Continued from Below)

President Barack Obama is doing all he can with the cards that the voters dealt him when they elected the 47, biased republican senators.

Obama/Biden 2012 and a straight Democratic down-ticket vote, or the cause of equality for women will wither for another 4 years.

2:29AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

How about equal pay for the woman who has the job of making the man at her worksite appear to know what he is doing?

How about equal pay for employees that are not related to an executive at the company?

Republicas fight equal pay for equal work every time the issue is brought to the fore.

"It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families." - President Barack Obama after 47 republicans joined hands in the Senate to block discussion of a bill to adjust the stature of limitations on equal pay lawsuits. There are only 47 republicans in the United States Senate. There are 100 United States senators. To overcome republican obstruction of a Senate bill, Democrats need 60 votes.

In passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act in 2009, three Republican Senators voted for the bill: Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Arlen Specter. Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter were tarred, feathered and run out of the republican party on a rail. Susan Collins will, no doubt, be facing a republican tea bagger primary financed by the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson when she runs again.

When Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got Social Security through both houses of congress and signed Social Security into law, he had 69 Democratic Senators voting for the bill. President Barack Obama is doing all he can with the cards that the voters dealt him when they elected the

1:30AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

thanks

8:33PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

No ERA-no equal pay.

7:54PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

I hope this changes in my life time . . . . .but I'm not holding my breath.

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