Pros and cons of minimum wage Essay
Lack of common necessities is called poverty. Food, cloths and shelter are the basic needs of a human being. These things determine the quality of life of a person. Nowadays poverty has become a very big social problem for many nations. Social problem means a matter which creates an effect on all or some people of the society, directly or indirectly. Mostly all the members of that nation or society are affected by these matters. These matters are called social problems and poverty is one of them. There are many reasons behind the poverty in the society, but the wage disparity in the society is the main reason behind the poverty.
At present wage disparity is there across gender, race and ethnicity. Unequal distribution of wealth and wage between the persons who have same education qualifications, but differ in gender, caste, state, colour or nation, is called wage disparity. Terms wage gap or income disparity are also used for wage disparity. Term wage gap shows women’s earnings relative to men’s and it is calculated in percentage. Because of the wage disparity richer are becoming more rich and poorer are becoming more poor.
Economic gap is continuously increasing and this disparity in wages
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Number of the working women has been increased substantially in last 50 years. At present there are four times greater women are working in the market in comparison to 1950s. Only 18 percent of the labor force in 1950 is represented by women, but nowadays it has become approx 50 percent. Although women now representing equal share of the workforce, but the earning of the women is not equal to the men. At present women are earning 10 percent less than the men. It is expected by the analyst that this gap will not close in a few years. Probably it will be finished till 2050 (Howard, 2004).
Despite the same level of education and experience in every field women earn less than the men. The main reason of this wage gap is the separation of the women from low paying jobs. Approx than half of all women workers hold sales, clerical, and service jobs (“National Committee on Pay Equity, Top Ten Reasons for the Wage Gap in 2001”, 2004) mostly females like to work in traditionally female-dominated field. Teaching, nursing and caring for children are women-dominated fields. The pay in this field is less than the other fields. Family responsibilities are also a huge reason behind this.
According to today’s society child rearing is a female work and men do not contribute in this task equally. Because of the family responsibilities many women work as a part time worker. These part time jobs offer low wages. Wage disparity’s effects in the life of a woman come later. Retirement income received by them is less than their male counterpart. A family, in which man and woman both work, can live a better life than a single person dependent family. That’s why wage disparity between men and women should be finished. Hence a child can get a better education. This will also help in decreasing poverty of a nation.
If this gap is reduced by the government than most of the poor working women could leave the welfare programs. Sex or gender is not only the reason of wage disparity. There is a big income gap on the basis of race and ethnicity. Minority women are facing this problem. Mostly they are affected by the wage disparity. In U. K. and U. S. people of other races and ethnicities earn less than the white men because they mainly work in the low payment fields. People of colour are excessively affected by the wage disparity because of the favouritism, occupational isolation, and lower levels of educational attainment.
Wage disparity also exists among male minority groups. Blacks and Hispanics earn less than white males. Height and look also play an important role in this field. Taller and better looking people are paid more than the shorter, less attractive people. The wage of the white in South Africa and Brazil was higher than the black workers (Lam, 2002). In a few past years pay for the CEOs has increased nearly 500 times the average wage (Kreicker, 2008). These things are responsible for creating a lower earning and higher poverty. Countries such as the United States and Britain have a greater wage disparity in their societies.
This disparity took place in 1980s. This thing has created a wider gap between the rich and the poor people. Nowadays it has become a very big social problem in both the countries. Gap in the income or wage disparity is found in all the countries of the world, but it differ in percentage. In some countries it is a big problem such as the United State & United Kingdom and in some countries it is at the end such as Japan. According to standard of international council in Japan wages are highly equally distributed. The reason behind the disparity in these countries is the weak willingness of the companies in hiring less educated people.
Computer has also take place of human being in various fields. Wage disparity has become a serious problem of China also. In China city-residents are earning 3. 2 times greater than the rural residents. That’s why they are demanding more rights and it has become a reason of worry (Roberts, 2007). According to recent survey of 2008 in United State, wage disparity between men and women is highest in New Hampshire in all over the nation (Kepple 2008). On an average $34,719 per year are earned by the women compared to $48,254 for men in New Hampshire.
Rising stock market is also a one reason of increasing this gap between rich and poor people. One shocking fact is that in some areas men earn less than the women and white men earn less than the black men. Men working in women-dominated fields earn less than the women and white people working in minority-dominated fields suffer the inequality in wages because there work is undervalued. A lot of acts are passed to resolve this problem. There was no minimum wage law in existence until 1938. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed. The main aim of this law was to raise the minimum wages (Kreicker, 2008).
With the increment in the minimum wages productivity of workers will also increased. Approx forty five years ago in 1963 President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act (EPA). According to this act it is a criminal act to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. When this act was passed women earning was 59 cents to every dollar for men (Bargnes, 2008). Nowadays women are earning 80 cents to every dollar for men and Black women are earning 72 cents to every dollar & Hispanic women are earning 59 cents to every dollar men of all races.
African American women earn 66 cents to the dollar, Latina women earn 55 cents to the dollar, and Asian-American women earn slightly more than 80 cents to the dollar compared to men of the same class and field. This shows that women are not earning not equal to the men in any field. In 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights has been passed. According to this law wage discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex religion or natural origin is illegal. In 1970 according to U. S. Court jobs should be “substantially equal” but not “identical”.
This was under the Equal pay act. According to this act- Job title of women workers cannot be changed by the employers in order to pay them less than men. In 1968 minimum wage was just $1. 58 per hour, but now it has been become $9. 47 per hour (Kreicker, 2008). Income tax laws have also played an impotent role in reducing wage gap. Because of these acts and laws wage gap has narrowed, but this problem is not finished from the root. There is still significant gap in wages. In the firms, not covered by the federal law, the Kansas minimum wage is $2.
65 which is less than the minimum wage according to law. Today 17,000 Kansans are working at this wage in such kinds of firms. After the Equal Pay Act the gap is continuously decreasing about half a penny per dollar earned every year, but it is not sufficient. One reason of this gap is the involvement of older working women in the wage gap equation. This gap is increased mostly by the women more than 25 years and old. Presidential election of The United State of 2008 is planned on November 4, 2008. It will be the 56th United States presidential election.
In this election wage disparity would be a main political issue because there is a significant gap in the income of people in the United State. This election would be a notable election because first time an African American, Barack Obama, will be a nominee for a major party in this election. This shows that disparity on the basis of caste and colour has been reduced in past decades. This will create an effect on other countries because the United State is superpower in present scenario. The wage disparity between men and women is an issue of Barack Obama and he has begun talking about it.
According to Barack Obama women earn only 77 cents on one dollar compared with their male counterparts (Bchristiannecorbett, 2008). We have seen that the wage disparity is not a problem of a particular country. It has become a world wide or global problem. Despite these things we have celebrated Equal Pay Day on April 22, 2008. Many acts are in action to remove the wage disparity, but they are not acting properly. Despite these acts and policies there is a wage gap between men and women, between people belonging to different classes. If this gap is fulfilled in future, then economy will become strong.
The developing country will also come in the category of developed country by removing this problem. That will be the rising of a new age. No institution is perfect and they cannot be made perfect. They can be made better but not perfect. No institution is self regulated. It is regulated by human being. Enforcement of laws and acts is necessary to remove this problem. The government is the only means for doing this. Works Cited Alexandre, MICHEL (2008). “The Ambiguity of Race and Racial Inequality. ” 29 Nov. 2008. <www. econ-pol. unisi. it/dottorato/meeting2008/alexandre. pdf>. Bargnes, Kevin.
“Lawmakers address gender wage disparities. ” 13 April 2008. 29 Nov. 2008. <http://badgerherald. com/news/2008/04/23/lawmakers_address_ge. php>. Brunner, Borgna. “A History of Pay Inequity and the Equal Pay Act. ” 2007. 29 Nov. 2008. <http://www. infoplease. com/spot/equalpayact1. html>. Christiannecorbett. “The Facts on Pay Equity. ” 11 July 2008. 29 Nov. 2008. <http://blog-aauw. org/2008/07/11/the-facts-on-pay-equity/>. Kreicker, Graham. “Take a Stand: Minimum wage is too low. ” 27 April 2008. 29 Nov. 2008. <http://www2. ljworld. com/news/2008/apr/27/take_stand_minimum_wage_too_low/>.