This passage was adapted from an article written in 1990.
Research data indicate that there is a great deal of poverty in the United States among single-parent families headed by women. This problem could result from the fact that women’s wages are only 60 percent of men’s. Some economists believe that rigorous enforcement of existing equal pay laws would substantially decrease this wage inequity. But equal pay laws are ineffectual when women and men are concentrated in different occupations because such laws require only that women and men doing the same jobs be paid the same. Since gender concentration exists (for example, 80 percent of clerical workers are women), other economists argue that a comparable worth standard, which would mandate that women and men in any jobs that require comparable training and responsibility be paid the same, should be applied instead. But some policy analysts assert that, although comparable worth would virtually equalize male and female wages, many single-parent families headed by women would remain in poverty because many men earn wages that are below the poverty line. These policy analysts believe that the problem is not caused primarily by wage inequity but rather by low wages coupled with single parent hood, regardless of sex. As a solution, they challenge the government’s assumption that a family’s income should depend primarily on wages and urge the government to provide generous wage supplements (child and housing allowances) to single-parents whose wages are low.
The passage suggests that the United States government’s policy towards providing wage supplements to parents whose wages are low is
A. considered ill advised by most economists who have studied the issue
B. based on assumptions about the appropriate sources of family income
C. under revision in response to criticism from some policy analysts
D. capable of eliminating wage inequality but not of raising incomes for both women and men
E. applicable to single-parent families headed by women but not to single-parent families headed by men
Which of the following is most clearly an example of the policy advocated by the policy analysts mentioned in line 26 ?
A. A government provides training to women who wish to move out of occupations in which women are concentrated.
B. A government supports research that analyzes the connection between wage inequality and poverty among single-parent families headed by women.
C. A government surveys wages annually to make certain that women and men in the same jobs receive the same pay.
D. A government analyzes jobs in terms of the education and responsibility they require and publishes a list of jobs that should be considered equivalent for wage purposes.
E. A government provides large rent subsidies to single parents whose wages are less than half the average worker’s wage.
According to the passage, some economists believe that, in the United States, there would be smaller differences between the wages of women and men who do the same jobs if
A. equal pay laws were enforced more fully
B. more stringent equal pay laws were passed
C. a more rigorous comparable worth standard
were developed and applied
D. more men entered the occupations in which women are concentrated
E. women received the same kind and amount of job training that men receive