"Why Women Are Paid Less than Men", Thurow
A professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management for more than forty years, consultant for government and private corporations as well as author of various books that address economic and public policy issues, Lester C. Thurow published his article “Why Women Are Paid Less Than Men” in the New York Times on March 8, 1981. In this article, Thurow presents an explanation for the historical disparity between men and women’s wages. Based upon the statistics put forward by Thurow, women have made “Slightly less than 60 percent as much as white men” (page 236), which translates into women earning only six dollars on every ten dollars men make. Meanwhile, during the same period of time, between 1939 and 1979, “Minorities have made substantial progress in catching up with the whites” (page 237). The statistics shown by Thurow indicate that minority (Blacks and Hispanics) women are making less than white women, and that minority men are paid less than white men. However, the difference between the wages of minority women and white women is smaller than the difference between the wages of minority men and white men. According to Thurow, this fast improvement will eventually end with an equal pay between minority women and white women. Thurow advanced the popular theories behind the 40 percent discrepancy between men and women’s income, and then dismantled them. George Gilder’s “Wealth and Poverty” states that “The 60 percent is just one of Mother Nature’s constants like the speed of light or the force of gravity” (page 237), therefore, men’s role in life is to provide the family with its economic and material needs and women’s role is to provide affection and care to the family. This equation results in a heavier work load that men have to endure that is compensated by the 40 percent gap in earnings to the benefits of men. Thurow argues that the evidence provided to support this assertion does not hold together except for the...
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