In the first stop of his campaign swing through South Carolina, Sen. Bernie Sanders called out the disgrace of women earning less money than men, and called on men to join with women to fight for equal pay.
At a rally in Greenville, SC, Sanders said:
It is not a radical idea. It is an American idea that if somebody works 40 hours a week that person should not be living in poverty.
Brothers and sisters when we talk about fair wages, I hope every man in this room will stand with the women and fight for pay equity for women workers.
There is no rational economic reason why women should earn seventy-eight cents on the dollar compared to men, and that has got to change.
The senator from Vermont made an important point. President Obama has spent his entire presidency fighting for pay equity. Equal pay is not just a “women’s issue,” as some on both the left and the right suggest.
Equal pay is a moral issue. There is no good reason why women are paid less than men. This sexist practice harms the US economy.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, closing the gender wage gap would grow the US economy by 3%-4%. For the sake of comparison, the stimulus package that President Obama signed in 2009 grew the economy by 1.5%. Elimating the gender pay gap would produce a stimulus that would be at least twice as big as the one that President Obama signed into law.
There are supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who are trying to divide the Democratic Party by making the campaign ugly, but there is a great deal of common ground between the two candidates on vital issues.
President Obama has spent years discussing the issue of equal pay, and the call for action by Sen. Bernie Sanders is a solid reminder that men can’t sit on their backsides and tune out the equal pay issue, because they think it is a “women’s issue.”
The gender gap is a disgraceful stain on America’s image that citizens of genders should unite together to fight.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association