American Elephants

If You Want More Jobs, Stop Destroying Them. Incentives Matter. by The Elephant's Child

ObamaCare is not a popular subject, and as people actually begin to interact with it, it’s going to be a lot less popular. Democrats are desperate to make their stand for the mid-term elections about something entirely different. They have decided on the culture wars.

Today it is “Equal Pay for Women” which everyone thought was dead as a doornail after it became illegal to pay a woman differently than a man for the same job— way back in 1963— when the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed. President Obama is out there again today trying to claim that women are paid only 77¢ for the same job for which a man was paid $1.

Since that is against the law, it’s hardly surprising that the only place it still happens is in the increasingly lawless White House, where female aides are indeed paid less than male aides.


Obama brags about the Lily Ledbetter Act which he claims was to make equal pay for women a reality, but it actually only eliminated the time limit for filing discrimination claims — and was more correctly referred to as a law to benefit trial lawyers (who donate to Obama).

Nevertheless you constantly hear the 77¢ claim. Why? It is a statistical anomaly. When you look at male and female careers, men are apt to do the dangerous or high risk jobs. They have traditionally been in logging, mining, high-rise construction, linemen, explosive experts —jobs that pay way more because of the risk involved. Women are more apt to be secretaries, teachers, social workers. Women frequently drop out of the job market to raise children, for a few years or for longer periods.Women just assume more responsibility for child-rearing than men. The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act recognized that fact.

The 77¢ number comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure refers to the annual earnings of full-time, year-round workers. It doesn’t compare comparable men and women, and does not reflect that full-time men work 8%-10% more hours per week than full-time women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) is based on the faulty idea that “It’s Not Fair” in the interest of capturing more votes from women. The bill forces employers to raise women’s pay by sharply reducing their ability to defend what they believe is a justified differential in pay based on merit.  The PFA limits the use of work experience or education to discriminate by requiring employers to demonstrate that they are job-related ‘necessities.’ The bill authorizes grants to supporters of the bill like the AAUW for training women in negotiation skills. Men are excluded. It will increase the cost of employing women, and so reduce job opportunities. It will also provide a bonanza for lawyers.

If you make it more costly to hire someone, employers will hire fewer someones. The current theme in the media is the continuing dearth of jobs, the Great Recession with few jobs, why aren’t there more jobs? No one seems to point out that Obama is passing more and more laws and more regulations that eliminate jobs. Whether the Affordable Care Act, the continuing drive to shut down coal-fired power plants and destroy the entire coal industry in the name of climate change, or the simple refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline — Obama talks jobs, but his ideas are that only government really creates jobs. Then we’re back at “crumbling roads and bridges,” job-training programs, and improving education. Same old talk.

It drags on. Businesses I patronized regularly close. Supposedly the job situation here is fine, but health clubs are closing and the biggest ones are increasing their advertising. If you pay attention to new advertisers, you can tell what businesses are hurting.

Orthodoxy of Speech and Thought. by The Elephant's Child
April 8, 2014, 6:13 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Campaign season is beginning to warm up. When there is no other notable news, some candidate is always saying something that they shouldn’t or something that can be twisted into a less felicitous statement, or a career-ending mistake.

We are deep in the midst of the culture wars—politics, thoughtcrime, being offended, racism, free speech, controlled speech, prejudice, and damn foolishness.

Daily Caller, headline: “Trigger warnings; New wave of political correctness hits campuses:

Hypersensitive students and professors all over the country are about to score another victory for political correctness if they succeed in their mission to normalize the use of “trigger warnings,” which are intended to protect people from taking part in class discussions and media that might offend them.

Trigger warnings are most commonly attached to online news articles and blog posts. They warn readers that the post contains specific, offensive content. An article about sexual violence, for instance, might come with a trigger warning for rape victims. The idea is to prevent post traumatic stress.

Iowa Democrat Representative Bruce Braley is running for retiring Democrat Senator Tom Harkin’s seat, and a video turned up mocking Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school” in the midst of his campaign for the Senate in a farm state.

He told a group of lawyers at a campaign event in Texas that they could have someone who “has been literally fighting tort reform for thirty years, or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

David Perdue, GOP candidate for retiring Saxby Chambliss’ U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, blasted his opponent for not having a college degree:

I mean, there’s a high school graduate in this race, OK? I’m sorry, but these issues are so much broader, so complex. There’s only one candidate in this race that’s ever lived outside the United States. How can you bring value to a debate about the economy unless you have any understanding about the free enterprise system and how — what it takes to compete in the global economy?”

How to succeed in politics and life — diss the job of farming in a farm state, and suggest that the lack of a college degree makes you unworthy to serve n American politics. We certainly have increasing evidence that a college degree does not make you smart, nor does a PhD qualify you to run the country.

In South Carolina, Thomas Ravenel  who resigned as state treasurer after a felony cocaine charge, is challenging Senator Lindsay Graham. He said he hopes to give NSA leaker Edward Snowden the Medal of Honor, and after a ten-month prison sentence for felony cocaine distribution he “will be the most vigilant and staunch defender of all our rights.” He went on to blast the drug laws, with the usual bit about prohibition.

At the University of Colorado, student leaders are speaking out against Steven Hayward, the university’s first-ever visiting scholar in conservative thought, for statements he made in a recent interview and in a blog post.

In the post, Hayward poked fun at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — referring to the community as “LGBTQRSTUW (or whatever letters have been added lately)” — and expressed his discomfort and confusion with university training about how to respect a student’s gender identity.

At the University of Wisconsin, Jason Morgan, a doctoral candidate in history complained about the mandatory “diversity training” for new employees:

At the end of yesterday’s diversity “re-education,” we were told that our next session would include a presentation on “Trans Students.” At that coming session, according to the handout we were given, we will learn how to let students ‘choose their own pronouns’, how to correct other students who mistakenly use the wrong pronouns, and how to ask people which pronouns they prefer (“I use the pronouns he/him/his. I want to make sure I address you correctly. What pronouns do you use?”

If you are not open to “diversity” in our meaning of the word, you must be punished. If you say things that do not agree with us, you must be punished. You may not offend. You may not disagree. You may not look at us funny, and you may not laugh at us. And you may not think incorrect thoughts.

Laughter remains the best antidote.

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