Has anyone heard of the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014? I hadn’t until my class focused on wealth and inequality. According to the Huffington Post article on 09\15\2014 by Laura Basset at the Post, the Senate blocked the act for the fourth time. The act would strengthen equal pay laws for women. “The Paycheck Fairness Act would ban employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with each other, impose harsher penalties for pay discrimination and require employers to be able to show that wage gaps between men and women are based on factors other than gender” said Basset.

Does anyone find it odd that we are not allowed to discuss our salaries with our co-workers? I understand that everyone is entitled to their own privacy and they should be able to choose what information they share with others however, why am I not allowed to discuss it if I want to? According to the Census Bureau, women earn an average of 77 cents per dollar that every man earns in the United States. In Connecticut, women are 78 cents per dollar. I’ve experienced this first hand in a previous job where I was paid almost thirty percent less than my former male colleague in the same position. Yes, factors such as length of employment and experience should be considered but to what degree?

What can we do? I’ve heard many discussions about the doubt and disgust with our Politicians and political system. Many of our young voters feel like the system is flawed and filled with crooks. We all need to make time to educate ourselves on what is happening in our country as the gender pay gap is still in existence in 2014, our middle class citizens are being economically stretched so thin and the rich get richer. Education, awareness of the details in bills, and push-back from our citizens are going to be essential in making any sort of change in this country. Instead of allowing frustration and doubt fill our minds, we need to fill our minds with facts, statistics and group together to initiate change. Who’s in?

Barbara Guntermanuntitled

Men + Women = Balance By Jamoy

Men and woman have seen a gap in compensation for work since the Industrial Revolution. Before the industrial revolution the role of women was pretty indisputable. Women stayed at home and took care of the children. The industrial revolution was an opportunity for women to become independent but at a cost. Women would have to accept a significantly lower pay than men. And this compensation would be saved for the benefit of a male figure in the woman’s life. For example her brother would go to college.
Moving forward nothing has changed. Woman are still paid significantly less than men. “According to the white house women make $0.77 cents per every $1.00 a man makes.” “The best place in the united states for pay equality is Washington D.C women 0.91 percent per every dollar men were paid in 2013.” According to the AAUW all women are affected by the pay gap, but women of color the pay shortfall is worse. Women and men should make equal pay. No matter their color or gender.
This world is controlled by men. If there was not a pay gap, the men in this would will lose their power. The gender pay gap has been this way for over a century. If it were going to change I think it would have by now. If it does change I probably will be deceased from this earth. Men and women are separated by roles. In mostly every culture, men play dominant roles in their family. If a balance of the pay gap were to come I think men would lose their dominance, women would become more independent and the structure in marriages would be lost.

Gender Pay Gap by Adam Tulloch

The gender pay gap is the difference between men and women earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings. A good example of this difference is the NBA and WNBA, WNBA the women play at high level of competition same as the men do in the NBA. The pay gap between the two organizations is extreme from the men millions each year and the women their best player makes just around six figures. Tina Charles the WNBA raining MVP that hasn’t missed a game since she was drafted makes a reported $105,000 and The NBA the highest paid player Kobe Bryant $23,500,000. There is a lot more politics involved when it comes to sports but the facts are simple women will not make as much as men, my guess it is because of lack of fans attending game and apparel sold. The WNBA fan base is slim mostly because the slower game from the NBA games and generating star players to attract people and sell apparel has yet happen. The is no right way to explain how the gap between the two will ever be the same but in future times there could be a shift that can make that that gap disappear and match the male counter parts. Outside of sports there is still an extreme difference in the pay gap with all jobs I don’t have the stats to support this but here the thing I see women working hard everyday to achieve goals that they set for themselves. Some women that I have personally met enjoy helping people weather its children, the elderly, or mental patients. Sometimes money doesn’t matter to a lot people men or women if they have set a goal on what they want to do they follow and obtain it everyone finds happiness in doing something they love WNBA doesn’t pay the ideal salary but they play their hearts out every time they touch the floor.

Women are 72% of a Man

With the rise in popularity in the Kardashians and Ebola, gender income inequality has taken a back seat in the great agenda. Today, women make roughly 72 cents compared to the dollar that men counterpart make. This is doing the same job, with the same education and same experience. Candidates have other issues that must be taken care of such as their stance on abortion and reproductive health insurance instead of addressing the growing problem of gender inequality in this day and age.
It is 2014 and we are still having issues of inequality. America, land of the free, home of the American Dream, oh yea, also the land where women are still paid a fraction of what they deserve but that’s okay because our representative has a clear stance against abortion, a stance in which will garner the most votes.
There was a study done using Yale, the Ivy League college and the destination of many young aspiring students and professors. The study consisted of two identical resumes but one had the name Jennifer and the other had John, applying for the same job. The one application with the name John was given a job offer 4000 dollars more than the application with the name Jennifer. Even Yale cannot escape this stigma with underpaying women, Yale, the top school in all of America, still underpays women.
This issue seems to be one of the past, the one we read about in 5th grade as children and saying to ourselves, “Wow that time sucks, I’m glad it’s over”. How is this still an issue? How are there not any significant laws in place to stop this from happening? How can we live in a time where the public preaches acceptance but are still stuck on an issue seemingly from the dawn of time?

Let’s Talk Some Cents: Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is a long-standing issue that has faced our government and country for longer than it has been dubbed “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” As “far” as we may have come in recent years, the fact still remains that for every one dollar that a man earns, a woman still only makes 78 cents to man’s dollar. The question then becomes a matter of why. Why are women still paid less than men? Why do women lack executive presence in the workforce? Why don’t women fight harder for their rights and why aren’t men a stronger part of this fight? As complex as these questions are, the answers remain quite simple:
Women take on caring professions more than men
Social and gender norms

Ultimately, if we wish to truly make a stand and issue a change against the gender pay gap, we must all reframe the way we think now and the way we raise future generations of children. While this is far easier said than done, gender pay gap is an issue that is worth the fight and should be brought to Congress’ attention. The appropriate changes can be implemented and approved by Congress to make it illegal for women in the same job with the same amount of experience to be paid less than men.

By: Maureen Smith

The Gender Pay Gap – A Feminist Story

By Tim Schilling

Women, right? Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. So since we have to live with them, why not treat them differently than how we treat us men? I mean, come on. We are smarter, stronger, and faster than women, right? We were born this way, you could say. And it is how we were raised to believe. This is why feminism is such a hot issue right now in this society. This society that is supposedly in the greatest country on the planet. But that’s wrong. It’s all very, very wrong.
A woman will make 78 cents for every dollar that a man makes, generally speaking. That immediately gives women a disadvantage. That 22 cent difference is huge for some people and will add up by the end of the year. For some (not by their own will) penny pinched women, it could mean skipping a meal for themselves that week so their children could eat instead. Who needs feminism when the people who are affected by this the most can’t even afford to eat, let alone advocate for something that should not even be an issue anymore? Is that fair? A single cent pay gap is still unfair. The workforce is extremely competitive. We all know that. But a gap this large, and that feminists are being increasingly viewed as misandrists in the media sometimes, is uncalled for.
So, what’s the deal? Is it that the old, white, privileged men that are currently in charge of most of America now are too scared to allow a woman, and let’s not even start talking about the gay, black, and Latino pay gap, make more money than them? What’s the harm in a little friendly competition? There’s no harm in that, I say. Equal pay, which in turn is a step forward to truly equal rights for everyone, is the way towards a more fair and stable economic society.

American Winter by adam tulloch

American Winter

The HBO documentary touched on a lot of different problems the people face while living in America. Families get thrown out on the street if they cannot pay their debts and it’s not their fault. Granted everyone has a high school education and did not pursue a college education the way they wanted to but the problem remains there’s not enough help from the government. We need more welfare housing, clothes, and food. We see that there is a small amount of jobs available and with limited number jobs families are affected and forced to live in inequality. The United States does not make sense the government will spend millions of taxpayer dollars going to war, putting people in confined space, and yet the ordinary people from this film are living as bad as they are it is unmoral. I don’t get how America sees itself as the greatest country on earth when there is so much inequality.
The poor can’s even afford medical care, the little girl in the film was crying because she felt it was her fault for why her mom was in so much debt. I question weather or not I can call this the great country on earth when it doesn’t even take care of home. I can find in any research of another country having such a insane gap between the rich and the poor. Each family this documentary showed all have their hardships and the worse moments of them all was the children feel it is there fault why there parents are struggling the way they are. The kids can grow up in two ways where they could stay the way they are and get accustomed to the life they live or they will be motivated to never live like that again and will grow up motivated to never go back to that living style again.

An Immobile American Dream: American Winter Radio Script

American Winter
Maureen Smith


In the Gantz brothers’ documentary, “American Winter,” the filmmakers offer a culturally representative view of poverty in America, which shows how the film’s families’ living situations completely debunk the trickle down economic system. In most cases, the media underrepresents and undermines the lives of those affected by poverty through unfair stereotypes and assumptions, exaggerated statistics and misleading media examples, but “American Winter” accurately displays our country’s biggest crisis.

It is a weekday afternoon in Portland, Oregon. Inside the office of fair housing and equity, Nick Fish, Housing Commissioner of Portland, greets walkins who are fearful of losing their homes due to poverty. The four different couples start their stories out describing how they never believed they would be in their current impoverished situation, but the way the economic system is built, it is clear that being well off is dependent more on external factors rather than internal factors.
Nick Fish: Our economy has become a one strike and you’re out economy. Most people are astonished how quickly they can fall into it. Unfortunately, the way our economy is built, the number one factor that predicts whether someone will be wealthy is if his or her parents are wealthy.

The tape cuts to each family talking about the way the media portrays poverty and those afflicted with it. One couple, Pam and Brandon, note that the media portrays poor people as being uneducated, lazy, greedy and dependent on the government for financial assistance.
Brandon: I am college educated and have always had a job that I worked hard at in order to move my way up in each company and provide for my family. I want nothing more than to be financially independent and to have a job that pays beyond minimum wage.
Kate Core of Portland Homeless Solutions: No matter how well-educated they are, the fact that they’re above 50 handicaps them. Moreover, children that grow up in poor households struggle to learn in the middle of a crisis. When children grow up poor and have a hard time focusing in school as a result of their circumstances, it perpetuates the cycle of poverty and they are more likely to feel hopeless and not learn enough to push themselves out of poverty.

Ultimately, the documentary advises Americans on how to change their mindset on the impoverished and it also educates the audience on the way the media portrays poverty.
Nick Fish, Housing Commissioner of Portland: Once you break down the barriers and stereotypes, and see them as your brothers and sisters, it changes your view on homelessness, which can happen to anybody.
Bishop C.T. Wells, community services leader: The response ‘fend for yourself’ is not routed in the fabric of America.
Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist: We’re all better off when we’re all better off, and when people realize that, everyone is able to thrive and survive. If you believe wealth trickles down from the top, then the only reason you would give to the poor is for charity.

According to this documentary, the negative stereotypes about poverty that the media portrays contribute to the growing poverty line in this country, which is entirely aggravated by the media’s misrepresentation of the impoverished. In order to stop perpetuating the vicious cycle of poverty, people need to get involved in social services and advocacy. The laws were not written for what to do before people are destitute, only after they become destitute, so people need to work on prevention, as it is much cheaper to make investments upstream to keep people out of homelessness than it is to provide for them after they are already homeless and destitute.

“American Winter”
2013 ‧ Drama/Documentary ‧ 1h 30m

Review by Michael Stadtlander

American Winter is an appropriate title for this HBO documentary focusing on the lives of eight families facing extremely poverty in the city of Portland OR. The film is aptly named for its overwhelming cold feel and sense of desperation. Unlike other films which showcase the lives of individuals currently homeless, this piece focuses on families on the verge of homelessness. Many of these people express a feeling of shame having never been up against such harsh odds before. The film is quite chilling and conveys a strong feeling of fear since many of these families feel relatable and make the viewer think about their own situation and what they might due faced with similar odds. After watching the film I couldn’t help but consider my own living situation and evaluate what I would do if I were to lose my job or have my car break down. This documentary carries much weight on it’s shoulders and will leave the viewer with a heavy heart. It is a well crafted piece and deserving of the award of “Best Documentary” it won at the Portland Film Festival in 2013.

“American Winter“, an indept look into inequality.

“American Winter“
This documentary follows the personal stories of families struggling to get by after the most recent economic crisis. This eye opening experience sheds light on the millions of families that have to struggle to get their most basic of needs to merely survive. After the Great Depression, safety nets were created to help citizens whom are in their time of need. This safety net has severely weakened by the massive budget cuts. This would in turn create the perfect storm where there are a greater amount of families in need but fewer resources available to these same families.
Filmmakers were able to monitor the emergency hotline and record calls from distressed families in the Portland. As the documentary unfolds, the stories begin to take shape and become more and more in-depth. The film allows the audience to take a front row seat to watch as families, very similar to their own, try to keep their head above water. These families gave a vivid realization as to what could happen to anyone at any moment. Having children go hungry, families having no heat for the winter time and families having to deal with health issues that overwhelm any budget because of rising health costs.
The eight families put a face to the rising inequality and humanized the experience. This allows the audience to familiarize themselves and draw a closer connection between the people displayed in the documentary and viewers, whom have little to no knowledge of the inequality and how this affects normal, everyday people.
As a documentary that looks to shed light on the rising inequality throughout America, this film succeeds in getting their message out. This film goes the extra mile to completely engross the viewer in these families’ hell that is their everyday life.