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Editorial: Why ‘Paycheck Fairness’ may not be that fair at all
About politics and other thingsApril 16, 2014 | 3,569 views | 17 comments
Don’t tell Grandma, but women are not being treated fairly, at least not according to current political rhetoric. My sweet German grandmother, God rest her soul, never worried about equality of pay, nor did she have to bother with Obamacare.
She was too busy working alongside her husband on the farm and raising her family. A headstrong woman, perhaps ahead of her time, Grandma handled all the finances for the family and for the family business. She was politically astute, and never hesitated to call elected officials to task, whether it be on local issues or national politics. Come to think of it, perhaps that is where I get my interest in all things political.
But Grandma also struggled with various and sundry health issues her entire life, having undergone multiple surgeries. This was long before insurance was common. In fact, I’d be surprised if they had any insurance at all, but somehow they paid their bills. I never heard them complain about a lack of fairness, either in salaries or in their unduly high medical bills for her many extensive surgeries.
But that was my grandparents’ generation, when people were responsible for themselves rather than expecting someone else to make up for their misfortunes. Today, not only do we expect everything to be “fair,” we do not expect to have to pay for our own medical care.
We demand to have insurance against all life’s catastrophes. Obamacare was supposed to take care of all that, but it has not worked out as planned.
Therefore, the conversation from Washington has changed quickly from health care to women’s equality. The problem with equality is that some of us were born with more or less ability and, thus, some of us are more or less equal in our lot in life.
It is this perceived inequality that the Obama administration plays up in order to turn attention away from health care. On the White House website is a “conversation starter,” but it would seem that the Internet problems that have plagued the insurance Marketplace continue to dog this White House.
As was pointed out in the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, the graphic illustration hurts the cause more than it helps.
The headline reads: “The president is taking action: Ensuring equal pay for women.” The illustration, however, betrays women.
“How do you know if you’re earning fair pay at work?” reads the next line. The graphic shows two women, in stilettos no less, who appear to be gossiping rather than talking about business as they lean into each other, one in a perky little pink dress and the other in orange.
This is the White House’s interpretation of “starting a conversation”? It continues: “That’s why President Obama signed an executive order (my emphasis) prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation.”
That’s cute. The president comes on his white horse to save these defenseless little women and that is supposed to be a reason to vote for him in November. Well, it did work for him during the last election.
The punch line on this conversation starter is the president calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
In reality, the Paycheck Fairness Act would be a very bad law because the Equal Pay Act already bans gender-based wage discrimination. Much of the so-called pay gap comes because often women choose jobs that allow them more flexibility so that they can work around their family’s demands.
Like anything, the issue of equality in the work force is much more complicated, but suffice it to say that it’s a good thing my grandma is not around. I’m pretty sure she would be giving the president a piece of her mind.
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