Tell Me Again How There’s No War on Women…

While I am on the subject of women’s rights, I see that the thoroughly despicable Chris Christie has vetoed a New Jersey bill that would have required businesses to pay men and women equally when they are performing the same tasks.

On average, women in New Jersey make 80% of what men make for substantially similar work.

Christie called the bill “nonsensical” and said it would make New Jersey “very business unfriendly.”

Christie is currently stumping for his former nemesis Donald Trump, who holds a 70% unfavorability rating among women.

Forgive me if I am uncharitable, but the only justification (if one can call it that) for this veto is as part of a pathetic effort to be The Donald’s running mate. I mean, let’s face it–Christie is massively unpopular in New Jersey where, on those rare occasions when he has visited the state he governs, his “accomplishments” have consisted mainly of lowering the state’s bond rating and closing a bridge.

There are a lot of things that people like Christie (and Indiana’s Mike Pence) believe make a state “business unfriendly.” Laws requiring employers to pay a living wage, or give bathroom breaks or sick leave, for example. Or laws against wage theft. (Do you know what would make a state really attractive to business– “business friendly” in the Pence/Christie model? Slavery! It would be great; you wouldn’t have to pay workers at all!)

To Christie–and Pence–“business friendly” measures include right to work laws (often called “right to work for less laws,” because they make it difficult if not impossible for employees to bargain effectively with their employers), and low taxes (although lots of research suggests that the low quality of life that accompanies low taxes is a big turnoff to businesses looking to relocate).

Add to those “business friendly” measures laws making it perfectly acceptable for employers to pay women less than they’d pay a male worker. After all, we women are just incubators, necessary only to produce the next generation of voters and workers, and ultimately beholden to the un-self-aware “mansplainers” and bullies like Christie. Why should we expect wages equal to those of a man?

Come to places like New Jersey and Indiana,  “business-friendly” states where you can hire women and save money!

I’m sure Trump approves. And I’m sure Pence is taking notes….


  1. Even in this age of “enlightenment”, the world is totally over populated with dinosaurs. So many of our male leaders are moronic. Maybe someone should try to tell them that women are people too.

  2. There is another “business friendly” issue, probably lacking in all states, and that is reasonable cost to provide Internet service for seniors. We all seem to be expected to have computers and provide easy Internet access for businesses to send out ads and information as well as our health care contacts. Most businesses have web sites with Internet access for sales and services; I am losing Internet access to my second friend due to the cost, one male and one female. Being totally deaf; Internet access is vital and my primary form of communication but there is also no assistance for disabled in this state and probably many others. And no, this doesn’t really stray far from the continuing “war on women”; we also receive lower Social Security due to the lower paying jobs we served in. I have just added an issue and pointed out another “war”; the one on seniors and disabled which is against “business friendly” issues in this computer age.

    The Internet is also providing instant access to the public for this current GOP nonsensical presidential campaign run by Trump and aided by Christie. Palin is on another rampage being highly publicized on the Internet. It also provides free Public Relations for such as Pence as he speeds up his actions as governor, hoping to keep his job and Christie hoping for a better job. Trump, Christie, Pence and their ilk are all looking at privatizing Social Security which will cut our benefits…causing more seniors and disable to have to give up their expensive Internet service to stay in touch on all fronts – including business and political.

  3. For as long as women continue to be underrepresented in political leadership, pay inequity will persist.

  4. Perhaps every woman in the country should incorporate. That way states would offer incentives to bring us there and they would work consistantly to lower our taxes. Another practical solution would be the “Lysistrata” model.

  5. Peggy,

    “Perhaps every woman in the country should incorporate. That way states would offer incentives to bring us there and they would work consistantly to lower our taxes.”

    Here in the “Land of the Blind, that’s the first good idea I’ve heard in a long time. We need to convince Mel Brooks to turn it into a song like “Dancing with Hitler.” You’re a communication genius.

  6. I am deeply offended when women doing the same work get paid less, but every study I have seen when education, experience, and tenure are factored in, the income gap virtually disappears. If it is not so in New Jersey, hang him high!

  7. While I am not sure about the breadth of gender pay inequality I see no remotely plausible reason to oppose this measure. Unless it has a poison pill somewhere in the bill I can’t think that the Governor’s action is anything but sexism.

  8. Ken Glass, I am a female physician who has never taken time out of the workforce. Every study I have read shows that female physicians make less than their male counterparts, even after time out for childbearing and family obligations are factored out and work schedules are comparable.It is everywhere, and for no good reason.

  9. This is generally a group of liberal folks. Help me out with this. If the job is tied to production or requires special skills or takes a decade or longer to master or — how does equal pay work?

    I’m pleased to seek justice, think the Ledbetter case is an abomination, despise the idea that my daughter might not make what my son does etc.

    But I’ve been in the workforce, seen a variety of jobs, what is required, what is required, what is not, what is value added and still see it as confusing when it’s clear to me that I’d often take one employee over another given choice . This seems true all the way from the kids who I hire to cut my grass or help on Saturday in the garden to who gets my legal work, to what nursing staff I find -what? more productive? as in seeing more people? or better patient outcomes? over what time? and population?

    I cannot seem to get great answers as it’s perhaps not equal capacity of people but of goal and measure or another confound.

    I agree equal merit, equal pay and don’t see how to get there.

    My personal solution has been to offer a bit better than expected for simple labor, treat fairly all but I admit so much is hidden I can’t tell when I’ve succeeded or not.

  10. Corporations like us people operate within our culture. In fact corporations because they’re wealthy can afford to create pieces of our culture, brand loyalty, by spending on advertising.

    Of course there are other forces involved in creating culture too. Many.

    One example that amuses me is that it used to be culturally “known” that airline travel was supposed to be more luxurious than alternatives. Then the environment changed both the corporate financial picture (high fuel cost) and the public tolerance for abuse (911 and TSA). The airlines adapted to the new environment and now culturally it’s ok to treat passengers as cargo.

    My opinion on the issue of equal gender pay is that the overall statistical argument is somewhat suspect but I’m sure that there are very compelling individual cases and that’s where the focus on fixing should be.

    The problem really belongs to both genders. Women can help women by owning the responsibility of running corporations right. Having lived in that world I know that it’s a tough neighborhood, perhaps even tougher for women, but some women and some men are up to it.

    Back when pay discrimination was a class issue (still is) compared to a gender issue men improved it by the labor union movement and pressured government and corporations into a new culture of pay determined by value added not by what the corporation could get away with.

    When history is written in full it will note that women did fix the pay problem and that we’re in the middle of that process, not the end, in 2016.

    My fear is that there are numerous issues like this where progress is underway but not complete and they like immigration for example compete for our attention with bigger more pervasive problems like health care costs, global warming, education and holy wars.

    Politicians lead culture in public priorities and inept politicians confuse priorities by the fact that they really offer no solutions so benefit from the feelings of public helplessness that come from being overwhelmed.

    As I tell my dog, “focus!” Prioritize! We have a couple of massive holes in the lifeboat and many leaks. Our survival depends on fixing the critical first.

  11. “If the job is tied to production or requires special skills or takes a decade or longer to master or — how does equal pay work?”

    Al; I’m confused about your confusion regarding how equal pay works…actually it should be termed “equal pay does NOT work”. People are not given jobs based on sexual identity but on their qualifications and ability to do the job. If it is tied to production – or any job description – those with needed special skills no matter how long or short the time frame to master the skills are placed in these jobs. Those with a vagina are paid less than those with a penis; this is never written into any job description nor is it listed in qualifications or experience required to be hired. It simply IS! Having a sister-in-law and daughter-in-law working for many years on production lines along side men in automotive manufacturing, they have been paid less for doing the same job – and the same amount and quality of work – as the men.

  12. I have read several articles on how male nurses make more than female nurses by about $5,000..
    I took an HR class via my SPEA graduate degree and I found it interesting. First there is still this belief that men are the head of their households and should be paid more (antiquated attitude at best) because they are supporting a family. Regarding the divorce rates in this country my argument has been then women should be paid more then men since we are actually the head of the household.

    I also learned more women and then men have college degrees and more women then men have graduate degrees…In my graduate class we read research article after article that goes over the reasons why women doing the same job as a man still gets paid less and in my opinion it goes towards cultural assumptions and norms.

  13. Pete,

    “As I tell my dog, “focus!” Prioritize! We have a couple of massive holes in the lifeboat and many leaks. Our survival depends on fixing the critical first.”

    As you said, there are a couple of massive holes in the lifeboat. No one could say it better. And what I’ve been trying to say for a long, long, time (45 years), only a few year after Jerry Falwell’s fateful trip in 1967 to Israel, that the Zionist controlled Jewish establishment is collaborating with the worst of the racist, anti-Semitic elements of the Religious Right/Far Right in order to continue the massive aid to Israel. I’m not against aid to Israel. It’s on the conditions which it has continually been given.

    It’s a MODUS VIVENDI between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Anti-Defamation League—uninterrupted aid to Israel in exchange for the shielding of massive anti-Semitism— which is at this point in time is very close to destroying American democracy. The misperception of the modus vivendi has created a disastrous political miscalculation.

    Donald Trump and his Tea Party are unfortunately the result of the massive chirade I have just briefly outlined.

    If WE can’t admit to all of the above then forget about “plugging” the massive hole in the lifeboat. There is no more critical problem.

    Pete, I’m sure you know the problem is much, much greater than just Sheldon Adelson.

  14. No one is asking that women get the same pay as men for different jobs where different skill sets are involved; only that they get the same pay as men for the same jobs or those requiring the same skill sets even if the job descriptions superficially vary. That is fair and just and should be the law of the land, and unlike Christie’s penchant for state policies that are “business friendly,” how about state policies that are “labor friendly,” where right to work and other such anti-labor statutes are repealed and women are guaranteed to make the same wages for the same or substantially same jobs requiring the same or substantially the same skill sets?

    One of the ways to bring this gross gender inequity into sharp relief is to reverse the parties. Thus how long would such an inequity survive if men were only paid 80 per cent of what women make for the same or substantially the same job involving the same or substantially the same skill sets? My guess? The likes of Christie and Pence would call a special session to repeal such a gross inequity – and make New Jersey and Indiana (respectively) great again!

  15. One would not be too far wrong to assume that any politician talking about jobs is lying.

    Jobs here come from corporate innovation, not government. Government regulation is necessary to insure competition and corporate actions consistent with the long term greater good.

    Jobs must be created in that context not at any cost.

  16. Marv, Isreali aid doesn’t bother me as I’d rather have them policing the Middle East than us. Trouble is that we pay them to do it then do it ourselves anyway. The real solution is for us to get off our addiction to their oil ASAP which is now required for many other reasons anyhow. Once we don’t care about what’s under their ground we can back off and let them figure out their cultural issues.

    Politics will always contain elements of dysfunction as do all human institutions. But despite the dysfunction institutions are required as tools for us to solve existential problems.

    Today’s existential problems are, IMO, health care costs, global warming, education and holy wars. Other things pale in comparison. We the people have to avoid chasing the shiny objects waved by inept politicians and get functional politicians in office working on those four existential problems despite the difficulty. That’s what our future depends on.

  17. Pete,

    Today’s existential problems are, IMO, health care costs, global warming, education and holy wars. Other things pale in comparison. We the people have to avoid chasing the shiny objects waved by inept politicians”

    And before you can deal with the existential problems you better do something to avoid those SHINY OBJECTS (called racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia) waived by inept politicians.

    I would strongly suggest, if you fail to do so you can forget dealing with the existential problems you have listed. No doubt it is a dilemma.

  18. Good point Marv.

    Do you believe that we can change who we are?

    I don’t seem to be very successful at getting people to become who I think they should be.

    On the other hand I have observed some success in growing new people into more functional adults as a parent, grandparent and sometimes educator. It’s pretty slow tedious work though.

    Bernie keeps hoping for a “political revolution” which means to me that he believes that enough people have already changed and they just need to be organized, led and focused.

    I certainly hope that he’s right regardless of who ends up doing the organizing, leading, and focusing.

  19. Pete,

    “Do you believe that we can change who we are?”

    I doubt that. However, from a lot of what I would call social and trial experience, I believe most people who are stuck in an automobile on a railway crossing with a locomotive bearing down on them will do everything they can to get out of the way as soon as possible. However, I will admit that they can’t do that if they’re blind or can’t hear the engine coming.

  20. An award-winning documentary on the Reuther Brothers and their efforts to organize unions. Victor Reuther (Walter’s brother) said the women on the factory floor could do more piece work than the men on many jobs because the women had better fine motor skills. But the women were paid MUCH less than the men. When the Reuthers finally gained recognition for their union and bargained first contract, Victor Reuther made sure that first union contract provided equal pay for women.

    I’m thrilled that the business community is so vocally and visibly supportive of LGBT rights but still long for the time when the business community is equally supportive of fair treatment of women.

  21. I mentioned the book “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer a couple months ago. Jane provides an enormous amount of factual data to provide the political background story from over 60 years ago to today.

    The book is so full of facts on every page that it is taking me a very long time to get through it, but I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in really know how we have arrived at such economic inequality.

    Many wealthy elites who are far right conservatives actually accumulated their phenominally great wealth from government contracts to the Defense department. This is why the Republican establishment is always demanding more money for defense. They even managed to get congress to approve weapons or equipment that they didn’t want or need. Such is the power within the right wing for their own personal gain at the expense of taxpayers. Then they condemn government for wasteful spending on what they consider to be entitlements. They continually lobby congress to create laws that will provide them with low wage slaves.

    Dark Money provides insight into how they have taken over a large percent of universities to teach their economic theories. They have done this by providing student grants or creating paid fellowships. The universities seem more than happy to accept the tainted money. This recently happened at Ball State and I am Very Angry that my taxes are supporting a state university that now has a new school sponsored by the Kochs to teach their right wing ideas.

    This group of wealthy elites is also responsible for creating the idea of school vouchers to force taxpayers to support private and religious schools, which should both be illegal.

    They continue to infect every aspect of control within our society. They send judges and their families on 2 week all expenses paid vacations to exotic luxury resorts where they instill their ideas into the judges on how they want court cases to go. They want all decisions to decide in favor of businesses, no matter whether the businesses broke laws to pollute natural resources or broke employment laws or any other laws.

    Regarding unfair treatment by employers – I have held jobs that required more education, more knowledge and more responsibility only to find out that men working at lesser jobs with less responsibility were actually being paid more money than I was. I have witnessed the same with many other women. Some women even supervise men who are being paid thousands more dollars. Men are still making these decisions of unfair employment standards.

  22. @Ken Glass, could you cite a primary source, such as government data, and not just an opinion piece?

  23. The Daily Caller is a libertarian extreme right wing publication that does not publish stories with factual evidence to back up what they write.

  24. You have to give Thomas Sowell credit, he knows political strategy 101 well. Accuse your opponent of what you are guilty of. So he follows this quote by him:

    “What bothers me is that when he says things like that there is no need to produce one speck of evidence to back that up,” he elaborated. “You simply make the assertion and it’s repeated enough — it’s the old formula by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, that the people will believe any lie if it’s big enough and told loud enough, often enough. And that’s the basis of so many of these things that are said. Once you start getting into facts, then all of this stuff crumbles. But the problem is neither the media nor a good share of academia feel like testing these fashionable notions.”

    with not a spec of data to support his point.

    The data behind the fact of all of the economic growth going to the wealthy in America over the last 15 years is well known. It’s indisputable.

    Why does he obfuscate? He’s a big fan of power not freedom. Unfortunately for him America did not fall for what he did. A majority now knows that power comes at the expense of freedom. Sorry Tom. You’re not entitled. It must be tough.

    Now that we know where the wealth went we are going to have to reclaim it and get it back into play fixing our 4 existential problems as government is required by our Constitution to do.

  25. Pete,

    It’s always best to get minorities to do your dirty work. It makes many, not everyone, hesitant to criticize. Sowell has made a lot of “dough” from playing his part over a long period of time.

  26. Ken, your reference seems to make some good data supported points but the author can scarcely be called objective.

    Here’s what Wikipedia says of her employer.

    “The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.[2][3] Its research is dedicated to issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare.”

    “Founded in 1938, AEI’s stated mission is “to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate”.[4] AEI is an independent nonprofit organization supported primarily by grants and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.”

    “Some AEI staff members are considered to be among the leading architects of the Bush administration’s public and foreign policy.[5] More than twenty staff members served either in a Bush administration policy post or on one of the government’s many panels and commissions.”

    As I said earlier today I think that some of the gross overall data is suspect but I’m also sure that incidences of gender based pay discrimination exist dis favoring females much more than males. It’s a problem that has been the subject of much progress but the ultimate solution is probably as far away as the solution to racism or religious or sexual preference discrimination is. We still have a ways to go.

    Humans are inherently tribal and self centered. We are significantly defined by emulating the behaviors that we observe in others who we assume are like us. Problems nag us for generations despite significant recognition of their destructiveness. It’s who we are.

    But we are also problem solvers and that is why our trajectory has almost always trended up but slowly.

    We have always lived in a forgiving environment but we left that a few billion people ago. It’s still indeterminate as to whether our progress can keep ahead of our destructiveness.

    We’ll just have to see.

  27. Ken,

    “Beautiful. Thomas Sowell is just a Step -n- fetchit for the man.”

    Not exactly, but you’re close. Thanks for your keen perception.

  28. Ken,

    I didn’t say Sowell wasn’t intelligent. I think he’s very intelligent. But he has his role. That’s all.

    role n. 1. the part played by an actor 2. a function assumed by someone [an advisory role]
    ~Webster’s New World Dictionary

    In many situations, Jews have played a similar role. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s top assistant was a Jew. It helped deflect criticism of his not so veiled anti-Semitism.

  29. Marv! I continue to wonder why people with non-progressive views are unprincipled actors while progressives are Herod and freedom fighters. Thomas Sowell was an enthusiastic believer in big federal government until he worked for the government. His articles and books are sourced and based in original research data, not the papers published based on such data. No one will debate him, they just dismiss him as a pawn of the right. If it weren’t for the lack of awareness of most of the electorate, the various factions would be forced into genuine debate. I look forward to that day. Hope some of you will join me.

  30. Ken,

    “Marv! I continue to wonder why people with non-progressive views are unprincipled actors while progressives are heroes and freedom fighters. ”

    I’m not in disagreement with you on some of your points. But, I’m a progressive leaning centrist, not a diehard progressive and definitely not a typical Bush/Regan conservative. But when Thomas Sowell starts with his pitch that there is no institutionalized racism that’s when I don’t come aboard your ship for a sail (sale).

    And I make sure not to forget that Thomas Sowell reminds me, in many ways, of the likes of a Ben Carson.

  31. Marv! The difference I see between Ben And Thomas is that most of Ben’s public statements are opinions based on his own morality and most of Thomas’ public statements are based on data he has researched or studied.

  32. Ken,

    I agree with your differentiation. As I said before, even with the keen differentiation you made, I still see Sowell and Carson as being very much alike in that they play similar roles in ultra-conservative circles. Both the academic and the political.

  33. Marv! Why is it a “role” when Sowell expresses his well-reasoned, thoroughly researched and data supported opinion. But anyone who doesn’t question orthodoxy of the left is a great visionary worthy of a Nobel prize.

  34. Ken,

    “But anyone who doesn’t question orthodoxy of the left is a great visionary worthy of a Nobel prize.”

    I just listened to the audio by Sowell on the link you provided. He’s an intelligent defender of institutional racism. That’s his role like I’ve thought for many years. Some of the things he points out are true. Some in my estimation are not. After listening to the short audio, I’ll again renew my comment, with added confidence, that he’s in it for the “dough” that he receives for the ROLE that he plays. He has my vote for an “Oscar.”

    We have both taken up more than enough space on this issue. You disagree with me. I accept that. I disagree with you. Try to accept that. Finis.

  35. I agree entirely about the Ledbetter case for example, promoted to supervisor after demonstrating job and people skills coupled with longevity. I can find no reason to think she was properly paid.

    I’m thinking a lot more about the 3 year employee and the 10 year employee who do substantially the same job by description but if troubleshooting or training is needed the 10 or 3 person is the one called upon. Likely not even part of the description.

    I choose nurses on purpose as from unit to unit work descriptions vary widely, strengths as well, so an apple/orange dichotomy seems often clear.
    Same with teaching, – I’m not arguing the relative values of sex or gender. I’m exploring classification, grouping and criteria.

    I’m a clinical social worker by history. Most often medical, usually hospital based but private practice eventually. Most practitioners in my field are female, most of my supervisors, mentors, as well, at least the first decade. I’ve worked or been denied work where I was the odd fit that might have been taken advantage of but wasn’t, or perhaps the oddity outweighed the value. The job varies greatly, again, yet system wide classification didn’t actually approach the variables IMO, but wages were based on that classification.

    Maybe a good example is sports franchises. Indianapolis has a women’s pro-basketball team. They have substantially the same job. Orchestral players. Yet breakout stars get paid, while the brilliant teacher may not, the nurse that holds a unit together may not. Time and circumstance may make a soloist star one day and a bit player the next.

    I’ve almost always stood pro-union as it empowered socio-economic class balance, tipping the field a bit toward work over capital which I believe necessary. I’ve also thought at times that when negotiating a labor contract the labor position should have greater voice in how rewards are distributed.

    Pay ranges with discretion are vulnerable to cultural bias but without them rewards and individual merit becomes discounted and incentives lose power.

    My politics screams at me to address the commonality of human beings a bit more than the difference but I don’t think it’s as easy as it might appear. Some cases seem very clear. Others mired in one after another inequity.

  36. Al; your mention of 10 years vs. 3 years is a major point that many do not take into consideration or simply do not understand. A job position should have a base starting salary which should apply to men AND women; someone who has held the position for 10 years would have received raises so salary would be higher than the person working 3 years. A new hire woman in the same position should not expect to start out at the same salary as either the 10 year or 3 year employee who are men. I think many people do not take this into consideration but look only at the male/female factor.

    As has been mentioned earlier; there are too many employers who still consider men to automatically be the “head of household” when the number of women, single-head-of-households has risen dramatically, most have children to support. And many of them do not get child support from fathers who are making more money than mothers who have full financial support for children. There is more to the imbalance than simply higher salaries for men than women doing the same job, women seem to be assumed not to have the same financial responsibilities as men. Believe me…this is not true these days.

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