Wage War Wages On
The hacking incidence at Sony may have hurt actor Seth Rogen and the release of his film, “The Interview,” but it was a boon for actress Charlize Theron. After leaked emails revealed her male co-star Chris Hemsworth was being paid $10 million more than her in their film, “The Huntsman,” she successfully renegotiated equal pay for equal work — the longtime behest of gender equality activists.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Charlize Theron Negotiates $10M Raise after Sony Hack Reveals Male Costar Was to be Paid Millions More,” from Think Progress, Jan. 12, 2015.]
A recent study revealed the extent of geographical reach of unequal pay among men and women. In every state in the U.S., men make more money than women. Among the wealthiest women, the vast majority acquired their wealth as relatives of wealthy men.
[CLICK HERE to read the report, “Men make more money than women in every single state across the U.S. — with Louisiana’s $16K gender wage gap being the widest,” from DailyMail.com, Jan. 15, 2015.]
In Washington, the debate over raising the national minimum wage is expected to continue. Critics argue that a mandatory increase, on top of the employer health insurance mandate, would be devastating to businesses and a major setback in unemployment levels.
However, the Peterson Institute for International Economics recently tackled the question of whether raising the pay of low-skilled workers at large corporations can lead to higher productivity. It reports a plethora of advantages, including lower turnover, less absenteeism, less supervision, better health, improved productivity, attracting more high-quality candidates with higher IQs and a better fit for the job, more inventory knowledge and higher customer satisfaction.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Higher Wages for Low-Income Workers Lead to Higher Productivity,” from The Peterson Institute for International Economics, Jan. 13, 2015.]
Another topic heatedly debated in Congress is the employer mandate imposed by the health care law. Many legislators are seeking to change the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s definition of a full-time employee to one who works 40 hours per week instead of 30. However, according to the Commonwealth Fund, this change would mean twice as many workers may have their work hours reduced and shift more workers to either Medicaid or the health care exchanges, which would increase the federal deficit by an estimated $73.7 billion over 10 years.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why Changing the Definition of Full-Time Work Under the ACA Will Put More Workers at Risk and Increase Federal Spending,” from The Commonwealth Fund, Jan. 24, 2014.]
In his new book, “American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., proposes transforming the way the Earned Income Tax Credit works. Rubio believes the credit isn’t effective because it’s paid as a one-time lump sum, which many people then spend on something frivolous. He recommends the credit be doled out in equal increments via a worker’s paycheck, essentially increasing his take-home pay throughout the year.
[CLICK HERE to read the report, “Sen. Marco Rubio charts conservative solutions to vexing problems in ‘American Dreams’,” from Tampa Bay Times, Jan. 11 2015.]
While income inequality may be a hot topic in America, another issue we should concern ourselves with is making sure our net worth accumulates over time, and leveraging the assets we do have. Earning a higher salary as we get older and acquire more skills and experience is all well and good. But the key is to utilize financial strategies that can help ensure our retirement income will last as long as we do. As always, we’re here to help you do just that.
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