Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Standard of Living Issues Ignored; Early Signs of a Gender Pay Gap; Tackling Rising College Costs

Standard of Living Is in the Shadows as Election Issue
New York Times
David Leonhardt

Among the many issues dominating the upcoming election, standard of living ceases to get the spotlight, and not for lack of trying. Though the economy is arguably the most pressing topic,  and as the needs of the middle-class are easily getting the most shout-outs, specifics like “income stagnation” simply aren’t addressed head-on. The different issues that impact standard of living range from health care costs to education costs, and revolve around job growth (or lack of.) Lowly income levels tie these economic forces together when it comes to the average person’s ability to get by, and neither candidate is giving specifics.

Study Says Gender Gap in Pay Starts Early
New York Times
Richard Pérez-Peña

A recent study by the American Association of University of Michigan found that the gender pay gap starts immediately after graduation. A year after graduation, women who graduated in 2008 and began working full-time earned 82% of what male counterparts earned. This is up from 80% according to similar study findings from 2001.

College Net Price is Rising
The Washington Post
Nick Anderson

According to the College Board, the cost of college is up 4% from last year. This applies to both public and private schools. Though financial aid serves to lower the burden on many students, it simply is not keeping up with rising costs. Some of the rise in costs has been attributed to the fact that many states have reduced funding for higher education. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, suggests that states start revamping their funding to universities. These schools can prepare students for the types of jobs needed by the state and can do wonders for a state’s economy.