One thing one can’t deny about the “Big Lie,” it sure works.
An H. F. Elson from Bethesda, Maryland indignantly writes the editor of the Washington Post:
“The April 10 news article “Senate Republicans block wage-equality legislation” reported that Republicans “say that the bill is unnecessary because discrimination based on gender is already illegal.” Pardon my sarcasm, but existing laws have worked really well, haven’t they? Republicans fear the bill would increase civil lawsuits, but the threat of lawsuits is the only way to get these needed changes in compensation made. When are Republicans going to stop antagonizing thinking, intelligent women?”
Let’s see…it’s hard to write such an incompetent and irresponsible letter while simultaneously being snotty about it, but H.F. was up to the challenge:
1. Discrimination based on gender IS already illegal. The law in question was Democratic showboating with a bad bill that would permit lawsuits when no evidence of intentional gender discrimination exists.
2. Yes, H.F., the existing laws have worked very well indeed. The remaining differences in pay by gender are almost entirely due to factors other than discrimination.
3. The only way to get the changes made in compensation would be for women to behave exactly like men, and adopt the same priorities and career paths. Lawsuits, on the other hand, are just a way to increase the costs of doing business, lose jobs, and give more money to trial lawyers—who are overwhelmingly male, by the way.
4. “When are Republicans going to stop antagonizing thinking, intelligent women?” The real question is when will “thinking, intelligent women” stop accepting on faith outright misrepresentations about gender pay inequities, and do some research before adopting partisan talking points and writing snotty letters to the editor?
There are virtually no serious analysts of this topic that accept the proposition that “women get paid only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men in the same jobs” as an accurate measure of discrimination in the workplace and gender inequity. The misleading nature of that statistic and similar ones has been thoroughly explained and vetted in scholarly documents and the news media for decades, yet whenever Democrats want to activate their “base,” which includes a disproportionate number of women, their candidates and leaders shamelessly use the same dishonest figures. Obama and Biden used this tactic during the 2012 sliming of Mitt Romney, for example, because, after all, the ends justify the means, and besides, mean old Romney kept all those poor women in binders.
I just about fell off of my chair when President Obama sank to this abysmal deceit again in his 2014 State of the Union message, when he intoned, Continue reading