Edgar G. Massachusetts

Women Should Be Paid Equally

The gender wage gap in America is a horrible thing, and should be fixed.

Dear Next President,

In the U.S, we face a major problem: the wage gap between women and men in the workforce. Women do not get paid as much as men and this should be fixed. The employers that have not paid women fairly should compensate women for what they have lost. This will contribute to a better America, and I hope as president you can fix it.

One thing I think you should do is to advocate for a bill that will close the wage gap. The smallest average wage gap is women earning 90% of what men earn in Washington D.C. The greatest average wage gap is in Louisiana with women earning 65% of what men earned. Whoever is president, you are most likely well-off and have not experienced this yourself, but I would like you to put yourself in an average women’s shoes. You would probably not like if you were paid less than your male coworkers because of your gender. If you are the first women president, you have probably been subjected to this kind of discrimination multiple times. In the article “The Wage Gap is the Result of Discrimination” by Mashaun D. Simon, Simon writes, "The wage disparity between men and women costs women anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million over a lifetime—keenly impacting the economic security of single women who are heads of households and those women in retirement." This is a significant amount of money and you would not like it if it you were stiffed for this amount of money. If you can introduce this bill to Congress, you can hopefully persuade other people to see things the way I see things. We are all human beings and thus deserve to be paid equally. I would be very unhappy if our generation grows up and we still don’t have equal pay for women. If this bill closes the wage gap, the protesters that have been advocating for fixing the wage gap will stop, which will help the security of the U.S. If this bill is passed, it could also inspire other countries to do the same and pay their women as much as men. There is no good reason that women should not be paid as much as men.

Paying women equally will also help the economy. If big companies pay more to their female employees, then women will spend more money, thus boosting the economy. In the article “Income Inequality Disproportionately Harms Women of Color” by Sophia Kerby, Kerby notes, “The money lost over the course of a working woman's lifetime could do one of the following: Feed a family of four for 37 years [or]Pay for seven four-year degrees at a public university [or] Buy two homes [or] Purchase 14 new cars.” If these women were paid more, then they could buy something and the end result would be more taxes paid because there is more income. This could also help minimum wage because if they spend their money at a store, some of this extra money would increase what the employees are paid. Paying women equally would also expand educational opportunities, because as women would get more money, they would spend more on their kids, so kids could afford to go to college and other prestigious schools. Women could also get some more education for themselves, so that they could get better jobs. This would put more money in the hands of colleges, so schools could upgrade and provide a better teaching experience. Women could also devote more money to their retirement, meaning people wouldn’t have to pay as much money in taxes for social security. This money flowing through the economy would help the U.S start to pay its way out of its humongous debt and remain a leading economic force in the world. If women are paid equal to what men are, they might be motivated to work harder, because they know they are being compensated fairly. This would help America produce more goods and remain an industrial force in the world as well. No matter where women spend their money, if women were to earn more money, they would spend more money, which would boost the economy.

Other people think the wage gap is not a big problem. Most people that think this believe that women’s choices contribute to the wage gap and that the statistics don’t take into consideration many factors. In the article “The “Equal Pay Day” Myth” by Carrie Lukas, Lukas writes, “The Department of Labor statistic underlying the "wage gap" claim simply compares a full-time working man's median wages with those of a full-time working woman, ignoring the many factors that affect earnings, including number of hours worked, industry, years of experience, and education, to name but a few. When such information is taken into account, the wage gap shrinks, and in some cases even reverses.” They believe that women choose jobs with more flexibility and benefits in exchange for less pay. Equal pay skeptics also believe that since women are more likely to have or care for children and care for older people, that they would like to leave the workforce. This makes sense to many people because they think about women as taking care of children and not working as much as men. Another reason they think women are paid less than men is that they work in economic sectors such as education and health care, while men hold less desirable and more dangerous jobs such as construction.

I believe that wage gap deniers have the wrong ideas about the wage gap. There is actually proof that earning a college degree doesn’t guarantee that women will earn equal pay to men with the same education. In the article “The Wage Gap is the Result of Discrimination” by Mashaun D. Simon, Simon states, “Just one year after college graduation, women earn only 80% of what their male counterparts earn. As they move further up in their careers, women fall further behind, earning about 69% of what men earn 10 years after having graduated college.” This demonstrates that discrimination occurs even if a woman is as educated or more educated than a man. Even though the statistics might not account for all the variables that impact wages, in many cases of wage discrimination, women are paid less than men doing the same exact job for the same exact length of time. One way women could be compensated for the money they have lost is for you, as President, to make a law to force employers that have not paid women fairly to pay female employees the money they have lost to men. This bill would inspire women to keep working and doing a quality job because they know they have been compensated for what they have earned. This law would work with maximum efficiency if it was paired with the bill I mentioned before about continuing to pay women equally. This would benefit America because it would inspire women to get into or return to the workforce, and would thus strengthen the workforce by adding diversity and capacity. That law would end a sexist and discriminatory era in the history of the U.S and start a new age, one in which women are paid equally.

Simply put, the wage gap needs to be fixed. There should be a bill to close the wage gap as this would increase America’s economic health, and I hope there will be a law that requires employers pay women equally. I thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my letter. I hope you take what I have written here into consideration during your presidency. I wish you the best of luck in running our country for the next four years.

With great admiration and respect,

Edgar G.

Glenbrook Middle School

Grade 7 English Language Arts

The seventh grade students have researched, discussed, and thought carefully about a variety of issues that challenge our nation and the next president. Here are their thoughts about what the next president must do to improve our country and all of our lives.

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