Women need a basic income because our economy shortchanges families, children, workers, and females. Sadly, being female is often a ticket to poverty in America.
For example, the average working American woman made $31,610 a year in 2017, the US Census Bureau estimates. Meanwhile, the average working man in America had a take home pay of $44,408 a year.
Moreover, the median female income in America in 2017 was $41,977 a year according to the Census Bureau. However, the average 2017 male income in America was $52,146 a year.
America Shortchanges Women and Men
Interestingly, you can argue America’s economy short changes both women and men. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates America’s GDP Per Capita Income for 2017 at $59,500 a year.
To clarify, the GDP Capita Income is the theoretical amount every American could make; if you divided America’s $21.063 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up equally among all citizens. However, the St. Louis Federal Reserve estimates America’s Real Median Personal Income at $31,099 a year for 2016.
The real median personal income is the amount of money the average American makes every year. Thus, America short changes everybody but women get a worse return on their investment (ROI) in America than men. Although, the ROI the average American man gets is terrible.
How America Shortchanges Families with Children
Disgustingly, the biggest reason American women make so much less than men, is children. In fact, our economy is hostile to children and the people who have them.
For example, parents; usually mothers, must take large amounts of time off from work to care for kids. Consequently, parents make less money but their expenses increase because of kids. Additionally, problem pregnancies can keep women from working when they need extra cash for baby expenses.
Children make no money but they still eat, require a roof over their heads, healthcare, clothing, and generate many other expenses. Therefore, people often face higher expenses and less income when they have kids.
Single women face the worst deal because they often have to support kids on one salary. Yet, a single mom still has to take time off from work to care for kids.
How America Shortchanges Women
To add insult to poverty, the jobs women are most likely to fill often pay the least. For instance, Payscale estimates the average hourly wage for a retail sales associate in the United States is $10.44.
Retail sales associate is one of the most common jobs for women in America. Moreover, retail is one of the few jobs available to a woman with no college degree in most communities.
Meanwhile, the average waitress makes $20,820 a year in America, US News and World Report estimates. At the high end of the scale, the average female bank teller makes $24,184 a year, Data USA calculates. Disgustingly, the average male bank teller makes $26,739 a year.
Women’s jobs are disappearing
Frighteningly, tellers’ jobs are disappearing at a rate of 8.32% a year, Data USA calculates.
To elaborate, ATMs, apps, and online banking are replacing most bank tellers. In fact, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan brags about eliminating 84,000 jobs between 2010 and 2018.
Furthermore, retail giants, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) are experimenting with cashier-less stores to reduce the need for retail workers. Plus, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is trying to replace janitors; and even managers, with robots and artificial intelligence. If these efforts succeed, hundreds of thousands of retail jobs working and middle-class women rely on could vanish in the next decade.
Under those circumstances, the only jobs for woman without a college degree will be as a waitress, a laborer, a maid, a cleaning woman, a babysitter, or a healthcare aide. Thus, vast numbers of our poorest women could face life without a paycheck in a few years.
Plus, many families will rely on one paycheck because women can no longer find work in their communities. As a result, many families will drop out of the middle class, and totally disrupt our social structure.
How Basic Income could help women
A basic income could increase women’s pay and help them survive in our changing economy.
Specifically, paying a monthly cash dividend of $1,000 to every American regardless of age, sex, income, or government benefits will help rectify income discrepancies. For example, the dividend could raise the average working woman’s pay from $31,610 to $43,610 close to the $44,408 median pay for men.
In addition, a $1,000 a month; or $12,000 year, basic income could increase the $41,977 median female income to $53,977 a year. That could be slightly higher than the 2017 US median male income of $52,146 a year.
However, basic income or a national dividend could be a better deal for men. In fact, the male median income could rise to $64,146 a year with a dividend. More than the CIA’s $59,500 estimate for the GDP Per Capita Income.
Why Caregivers Need a Basic Income
Fortunately, we can easily rectify this discrepancy by paying the basic income or dividend to children.
I think all the time women take off to care for children, elderly loved ones, the sick, and the disabled is the main cause of this discrepancy. Caregiving hurts families because it increases expenses when a person has to leave work to do it.
A basic income with no age limits will give every a family an extra family $1,000 for each person regardless of their work status. Consequently, a woman who has to take time offer to care for a disabled child will receive a $2,000 a month income.
Pay Children a Cash Dividend
Plus, each family will receive $1,000 a month for each child. To explain we can pay the dividend to the child’s parents or guardian until he or she turns 18. Hence, families will not need to fear lost income when they have kids.
For example, a household of a mother, father, and two kids will receive $48,000 a year in basic income. Thus, no family will require trips to the food bank if somebody has to quit work.
Finally, unpaid caregivers do not contribute to Social Security. Consequently, they receive less money when they quit working. A basic income will give every senior citizen a $1,000 a month basic income besides Social Security.
Basic Income and Women
The basic income will not solve all of women’s problems; or eliminate sexism, but it could make women’s lives in America far easier.
For instance, a cash dividend will make caregiving and parenting far easier. In addition, a cash dividend will help women without college degrees – a group that America chronically short changes.
In addition, a lot of men will work less with a basic income. Many men end up working longer hours; or taking extra jobs or gigs, to make up for the income their wives and partners do not receive.
However, many Basic Income schemes like insurgent presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s (D-New York) Freedom Dividend shortchange women and families. In fact, Yang admits his dividend will not cover people under 18, Social Security recipients, persons who participate in welfare schemes like Food Stamps.
How to Make the Freedom Dividend Work for all Americans
Fortunately, the Freedom Dividend can cover all Americans with a few changes. Specifically, eliminate the 18 year age requirement, and make the Dividend available to all Social Security and welfare recipients.
Finally, Yang believes America could pay for the Freedom Dividend with a 10% national Value Added Tax (VAT). In detail, the government collects VAT at each stage of the supply chain. They usually levy VAT on the cost of the product minus the cost of materials.
Theoretically, a national VAT in the USA could raise $2.1063 a year; if we collect it on the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimated the US GDP at $21.062 trillion in 1st Quarter 2019.
Basic income will not solve all of women’s problems, but it could make life far better for many American women. Thus, all Americans need to consider a basic income.
Originally published at https://marketmadhouse.com on June 1, 2019.