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Letters to the editor 10/11
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Editor:

The gender pay gap in the United States is an issue that needs to be addressed, especially by college students. As a woman, I find it discouraging to see that statistics show a significant difference in pay between men and women in nearly every field of study. Even more appalling is the fact that, in some areas of employment, this gap has actually widened during the past few years. Although I understand that women are still completing the transition from being stay-at-home mothers to professional workers, I do not see how this fact could account for a gender pay gap that is becoming larger as the years progress. 

Washington State University is home to more than 9,000 female students, and I have no doubt that each one of these women wants to be financially successful. Because of this, I urge females to immediately begin contemplating the financial aspects of their future. For those women who find that their future career currently holds a significant gender pay gap, it is time to take this matter into our own hands.

Although we cannot force employers to treat men and women equally, we can make it extremely difficult for them to choose men instead of women. How exactly can we do this? By doing more during our college career than simply earning a degree. Every female student should be working to find a way to set herself apart from the crowd and to put herself one step above her male counterparts. If we as women want to be paid fairly in our profession, we must become far more than just average workers during the next few years of our lives.

Haleigh Miller
freshman, chemical engineering and bioengineering

Editor:

While William Stetson is factually correct in his Oct. 7 opinion column, his analysis is topical. Stetson blames the government for the recession and ineffectual regulations riddled with oversight and loopholes, but exempts the corporations that take advantage of them. Theoretically this is fine, but looking deeper, despite the idealistic narrative suggested by Stetson, elections largely depend on name recognition and marketing – both of which are dependent on money. Politicians in office or seeking election ultimately rely heavily on campaign financing provided by corporations, creating a clear conflict of interest.

For context, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans own 42 percent of the nation's wealth, and the wealthiest 10 percent own 80 percent of the wealth. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2010, executive compensation within 25 financial firms reached a record high of $135 billion. Consider the fact that corporations may freely spend any amount on political campaigns. The conflict of interest is fairly obvious; we are asking our congressmen to regulate and police the same people who fund their campaigns. Add to this the fact that officials and politicians enter politics from business at an alarming rate, and it should surprise no one that regulations are lax and the government ineffective, or that corporations do have real political influence and power over policy.  

James Bonner
freshman, molecular biology

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