Debate Magazine

Blog For Equal Pay Day - What Would You Do with $11,000?

Posted on the 08 April 2013 by Starofdavida

Blog For Equal Pay Day - What Would You Do with $11,000?Don't forget to submit an entry to theSecond Annual Star of Davida Essay Contest!
Today is Blog for Equal Pay Day. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), legislation that President Kennedy signed into law to help narrow the wage gap between men and women. (I recently attended a discussion about the EPA, which you can read here.) Unfortunately, despite laws like the EPA, American women still make only 77 cents to every dollar the white man earns. That’s a loss of approximately $11,000 every year, about $900 a month.
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), which is coordinating this blog carnival for equal pay, has asked bloggers to say what they would do with their $11,000 in lost wages.
As an Orthodox Jew, I am religiously obligated to give ma’aser, one-tenth of my annual income to charity. There are so many worthy organizations out there doing amazing work on behalf of humynkind that could definitely benefit from a $1,100 donation. I recently donated some ma’aser money to Yeshivat Maharat’s Meah Campaign. Yeshivat Maharat is an institution that trains Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities, so I was happy to help them further this goal with my donation. Another organization that I plan on donating my ma’aser to is ORA, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, which helps divorcing couples resolve contested Jewish divorces (cases of agunah). I also like to donate to Misaskim, an organization that helps families who are sitting shivawhen a loved one dies. When my father died in October, Misaskim made the entire experience so much easier - all we had to do was make a quick phone call, tell them what we needed, and everything was waiting for us when we came home from the funeral. I cannot begin to sing Misaskim’s praises, and would love to give them $1,100 or more.
There are an infinite amount of things I could do with the remaining $9,900. Honestly, a better question would probably be what I can’t do with the money.
I could, theoretically:
  1. Put the money in a spending account and use it on petty expenses for the next four years, while I’m in college. (Thankfully, as I will be receiving extensive financial aid, I will not need to use it for tuition.) As I’ll probably enroll in a grad program or law school after I graduate college, I could also use this money during that period of time, if I don’t spend all of it.
  2. Put the money in the bank and let it collect interest until it’s time to put a down payment on a house or car, or on a wedding, if I choose to have one.
  3. Pump some money into this blog. Considering I’ve never had the funds to spend on Star of Davida, I’ve never put myself into a situation where I would have any blog-related expenses, so it would be an exciting avenue to pursue.
  4. Treat my mother to a really nice vacation. Since I’m leaving home in August and probably won’t live with her again, it would be really nice to have some time together during a trip somewhere. We’ve always loved travel, and a vacation together would be such a wonderful experience before I go to college.
  5. Buy a top-of-the-line, high-quality laptop. I will need one for school, and have yet to purchase one because of the price tag.

An additional $11,000 a year could go a long way in my house. I imagine that any average American would greatly benefit from a windfall like that. What’s so unfair is that this money shouldn’t be considered a windfall - it should be considered an expected income. It is imperative that women receive the same pay as men. How can we expect women to gain true equality if they receive 23 cents less than their male counterparts?

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