Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Equal pay for women? Fine, but how about raising wages for everyone?

Female mortality rates.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, a day when we are reminded women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn.

Here's why it matters: Too many poor American women are dying too soon.

Business Insider reports:
Women in the U.S. are living shorter lives than women in almost every other industrialized country. And worse yet, female mortality rates are actually rising in many parts of the country. 
"Think about it for a minute. We are the richest and most powerful country in the world," Clinton said. "Yet many American women today are living shorter lives than their mothers, especially those with the least education. That is a historic reversal that rivals the decline in life expectancy for Russian men after the disintegration of the Soviet Union."
The study that backs Clinton up found poverty and education made the difference in mortality rates. Surprise.

The way to save women's lives is not to lower men's wages to the level of women's wages. It's to raise everybody's wages. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been going the wrong way:  In 2012, wages fell for the 40th straight year since 1972.

One more thing: a union contract IS equal pay. The slogan, “Equal Pay for All” was a Teamster motto as far back as 1919, even before women in the United States could vote.