when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

So what about the gender wage gap

Posted on: September 22, 2016

Darrin Webb is not interested in the gender wage gap and its effect on Mississippi.  In case you didn’t read the last post, he is our state economist.  And he says that he doesn’t have time to deal with such a thing “unless…requested.”  So I asked a friend in the legislature if he would request a study on the gender wage gap in Mississippi.  And I am going to ask the same of our State Treasurer, Lynn Fitch.

I am sure both the legislature and our State Treasurer would expect a full study, but among other things, I would like for Mr. Webb to tell us:

  1.  What his calculation of Mississippi’s Equal Pay Day is?  (The nation’s is April 12 — the additional length of time women must work to earn as much as men did in the previous year.)
  2. How wage gaps trend in Mississippi.  (AAUW study shows that if the gap is 7% the first year of employment, it widens in future years such that a woman with a college education will make on average $1.2 million less than a man with the same level of education.)
  3. What sort of economic stimulus would occur in Mississippi if the state determined to close the pay gap?
  4. Would this impact women-owned business in Mississippi?
  5. How likely are women who receive a larger salary to spend that new income in their community?
  6. Could equalizing the gender wage gap allow more women to leave safety net programs like Medicaid and welfare?
  7. Has Mississippi done anything to promote an understanding of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?
  8. How would equal pay legislation interfere with the operation of the labor market?
  9. Is there a difference in the gap in STEM occupations?
  10. If all employed women in Mississippi earned the same as their mail counterparts of the same age with similar education and hours of work, would the poverty rate of women in Mississippi drop?
  11. How does the gender gap affect Mississippi families?  How would it change if the women in the families were paid equally?

It seems to me — a non-economist, that alleviating the gender pay gap could contribute to gains in the GDP, reduce poverty, and ultimately reduce dependence on federal safety-net programs.  It could potentially boost income tax collections and sales tax collections.

If there is anything you would like to know about the gender wage gap in Mississippi from our state economist, how about posting here and I’ll pass on all these inquiries to the State Treasurer and my legislator friend.  You never know when one action can pick up steam and make a difference.

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