Friday, February 06, 2009

Not stimulating for women

As I was driving my son to school this morning, I heard that 82% of the people who've lost jobs are men. This is because many of the jobs that have been lost are in traditionally male occupations such as construction and manufacturing. I've seen around the online magazines and blogs commentary about how the stimulus package is focusing on trying to get those men back to work while ignoring traditionally female occupations such as health care and childcare. Jennifer Barrett at Slate presents the same argument today and wonders if this isn't a good time to start working on the wage gap. I agree. She argues for having basically a quota on hiring women in male-dominated fields and on men in female-dominated ones. I have a better idea. I'm guessing that many of those women working as nurses, home health-care aids, teachers, and daycare workers have a husband at home who just lost their job and it may be a while before they get another one. Why not raise the wages of the traditionally female jobs? I mean, whether a male or female takes the job, they still don't pay enough? And that might help cover some of the income loss resulting from a spouse's job loss. There are probably a million reasons why this won't work, but you know, if you're gonna give AIG a few billion to stay solvent, how about a similar about to hospitals and daycare centers so they can raise their wages to something people could actually live off of?