Transparency: Mostly Absent in the 24/7 News Cycle
Hub Question: Dr. Billy Kid
Why did Republicans vote down the equal pay bill?
In Response to the Question Posted Above
Feeding the Headline Guppies
On the face of it, your headline (and thousands of others just like it) suggests that the dark forces of the Republican Party have struck another blow to equality for women. Easy enough to pick up that stream of thought and run with it – the curb appeal of the headline alone will garner plenty of head nodding and 'tsk-tsking' among the ranks of the Headline Only Readers (HOR?).
A slightly closer look at the facts may reveal the truth about the bill and the republicans who blocked it. Or, not. Depends on your agenda. If your goal is to paint the (your) opposing party as discriminatory, go no further. Your headline serves that cause and adds to the rampant destruction of constructive debate between the (primarily) two party political factions in this country
If, on the other hand, you are actually interested in the truth, as opposed to adding to the constantly growing snowball effect of lies, intentional deceit, covert and overt efforts to paint the other party as something they are not, further study of the bill is in order. A closer look reveals why no reasonable American from either party would have authored or passed such a bill under normal circumstances.
This being an election year, much of what we hear and see in Washington is showboating and has little actual relevance. The bill’s authors have no intention of supporting any such bill beyond the headlines they garner. The intention is only to provide bloggers and writers such as yourself, and millions of others like you, headline fodder for your articles, newspapers and websites, thus, spreading the deceit and furthering the cause. In this case, the ‘cause’ is making the republicans appear to be anti-women. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, but who cares about truth? It’s an election year and there is an agenda.
The data regarding men’s pay vs. women’s pay is grossly miscalculated for the purpose of the Headline Guppies. Figures used are median income levels.. meaning, across the board, men generally make more than women – but NOT in the same job, doing the same work with the same experience and education.
The Real Facts
The median income of full-time, year-round workers was (at the time of the bill proposed) $47,127 for men, compared to $36,278 for women (or 77 percent of men's median income)*. Women's 77 cents to men's dollar does not account for the number of hours worked each week, experience, seniority, training, education, or job description. It compares all women to all men, not people in the same job with the same experience.
What the bill would have actually done is increase the opportunity for lawsuits against (evil) employers (Lawyers win again!). As hated as these job providers are, having them further bankrupted with stifling regulations and constant threats of lawsuits does little to help grow the economy or provide employment opportunity for those who wish to work.
Wage gaps exist between male and female workers. There are many obvious reasons for it – experience, age, education, etc. Paying a woman less than a man in the exact same job with the exact same experience, education and performance and doing the exact same work is already illegal. And, it’s bad business. Human Resource departments exist, in part, to ensure this kind of practice is not allowed, thus preventing the employer from any lawsuit based on an oversight – clerical or otherwise.
Passing legislation and then putting that legislation into practice is no small feat and comes at an enormous cost to taxpayers, businesses and ultimately, the workers employed by the effected business. Gratuitous bill passing is costly. It serves no one.
The bill was never meant to be passed. It was meant to feed into blogs and articles and mostly, headlines, in order to keep the ‘us against them’ mentality alive and threatening during the upcoming election cycle. It won’t be the last bill paraded to the 24/7 news cycle and blogs, and the proliferation of self-proclaimed pundits on all things political.
I recommend common sense. Look at the bill. Look at the headline. Look at the people proffering either. Who gains from the deceit? Who is damaged? It isn’t complicated. Ignoring the facts, however, defines your motives and propagates a dangerous practice in our culture. I refuse to participate.
Do You form opinions from headlines without reading the article or following up with fact checks?
© 2012 bzirkone