Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
It is no big secret that in the last several decades millions of women have been forced to enter the workforce. For the most part in working America due to stagnant wages and decreased opportunity households are forced to subsist on two incomes. Essentially gone are the days when the father worked to support the family and the mother stayed home to raise the children and tend the house. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with women wanting to work, what is really wrong is the fact that when they do work they have consistently been paid less than men on average.
Over four and a half decades after legislation was first introduced to combat the pay gap between men and women, there is still a long way to go in achieving fairness:
Forty-seven years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women still are not being paid the same as men for equivalent work. On average, women earn about 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. For women of color, African American women and Latinas, the gap is even wider. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wages of full-time, year-round workers in 2008 stood at $35,745 for women and $46,367 for men. That’s $10,622 less per year for women and their families in a difficult economy.
With that in mind the current President, Barack Obama is urging Congress to act on the Paycheck Fairness Act, to give businesses and employees the resources they need to close that gap. Despite the common sense that women should not be working and making less than men, Republicans always have some garbage to spew at anything that helps real working people:
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which he calls a common sense bill to ensure that women get paid as well as men for equal work.
The legislation would make it easier for women to sue employers who pay them less than men. The House passed the bill in 2009, but it failed to clear the Senate. Some Republican lawmakers have argued that the bill could aid trial lawyers more than it would help women.
Which is extremely insulting to women and to the American way. Republicans now seem to want to forget that American freedoms are protected by the right to file grievances in court. While they preach the Constitution to everyone, they actually work to tear it apart and rob anyone who is not wealthy or incorporated of the justice that can come from redresses in the court system. What does it matter if it gives some trial lawyers business, at least it is not allowing Corporate fatcats to rob women!!
But hidden within the next paragraph is the true hangup for the modern Republican Party:
The administration’s Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force also recommended Tuesday that the federal government collect better data from businesses so it can more effectively track wage discrimination in the workplace.
You see, the modern Republican Party speaks of “freedoms” and how they are being “robbed”. What they are really talking about is that the elites are afraid that they are losing their freedom to do whatever the hell they want. Republicans do not care about freedom, just the freedom for Corporate America to continue to prey on everyone else and for the unwashed masses to have no recourse. To them, if women are making more wages, that means one less yacht for some arrogant snob to sail around in.
And these are not just faceless Americans who are being treated this way. These are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, nieces, daughters and granddaughters all of whom must not only work but work for less. The really hypocritical part is that Republicans would force single mothers to work for less, then bemoan the fact that they need government assistance. We should all be fighting for the women that we love on this!!
The sad part is that this is all just another small battle in the war on the American worker which has been waged quite successfully by Republicans and just enough “Democrats” to decimate our middle-class. The principle has gone from a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work to you just take whatever the hell we decide to give you and be thankful for it. All while ownership and management connive behind closed doors how to pay even less than they do.
We should demand this Paycheck Fairness Act and should embark on other reforms as soon as possible to even the playing field for all working Americans. At the very least I am just hoping that America is tired of Corporate America insulting their mom.