SAVING CANDIDATE HARRIS: PolitiFact explains the pay gap again!

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2019

Grim future scholars respond:
As we noted last Tuesday, it started on MSNBC.

Candidate Kamala Harris had said that she would unveil a proposal to battle the gender pay gap. (It's also called the gender wage gap.) On Monday evening, May 20, she discussed her proposal on The Beat with Ari Melber.

Describing the problem she hopes to solve, Harris made the statements shown below. As we noted on May 21, no expert, authority, griot or specialist actually believes the bulk of what Harris said and implied:
MELBER (5/20/19): Let's start with this. What does your plan do to combat the gender pay gap?

HARRIS: Well, first of all, it is just a fact, right? So the reality of this is that we don't have to debate the point, which is that, on average, women make 80 cents on the dollar to men. If you're talking about African-American women, that's 61 cents. If it's Latinas, it's 53 cents.

So there is an obvious issue that we have around, not only disparities but fairness, and equal pay for equal work. So let's get beyond that because it's not a debatable point.

The question becomes, what are we going to do about it? And I think the goal, we would all agree, should be that people should be paid equally for equal work. And this has not changed over decades.

[...]

HARRIS: Look, Ari, it's for real that that woman is getting paid 80 cents on the dollar. It's for real that that other woman is getting paid 61 cents on the dollar.

It's for real that that other woman is getting paid 53 cents on the dollar. And she's sitting at her kitchen table in the middle of the night trying to figure out how she can pay her bills.

When she wakes up at the same time the next morning as the guy who was working in the cubicle next to her, she performs the same work, but she's not getting paid the same amount. That's for real too.
As we noted on May 21, no specialist actually believes the bulk of what Harris said. More specifically, no one believes that women, "on average," are paid 80 cents on the dollar as compared to the man "in the next cubicle" who's "doing the same work."

Beyond that, no specialist believes that the average black woman is paid 61 cents on the dollar compared to the average man who's "doing the same work." The claim is familiar and tribally pleasing, but no one really believes it.

We even said, in last Tuesday's post, that this familiar old claim "seems absurd on its face." And yet, it remains a familiar and pleasing part of standard liberal discourse as our flailing and floundering nation moves towards Mister Trump's War.

We liberals have heard and repeated such claims for decades, but no specialist believes that they're true. That said, something else is true:

No anthropologist believes that we human beings, on average, actually cared about what was true! That's certainly true of future anthropologists—the disconsolate scholars who report to us from the caves in which they glumly huddle in the gloomy years which have apparently followed Mister Trump's Inevitable War.

Did humans actually care about truth? These anthropologists understand that our species, Homo sapiens, ran on other types of fuel.

According to these future scholars, our species ran on Professor Harari's "gossip" and "fiction," with a strong dose of intolerance thrown in the stew. ("Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark," Harari wrote, still speaking in present tense.)

According to these disconsolate experts, our species, on average, didn't much care about facts, preferring novelized stories instead. And sure enough! Even after we challenged Harris' initial presentation, she went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and did it all over again!

She repeated the same familiar claims upon which our self-impressed tribe has long fed. And as with Melber, so too here! Colbert played along with Harris' claims, whether from ignorance or perhaps from tribal deference.

Harris appeared with Colbert on Tuesday night, May 21. Two days later, the weary souls at PolitiFact critiqued what she had said.

PolitiFact gave the candidate an overall "Mostly False" rating. Early in its critique, PolitiFact quoted a chunk of what Harris told Colbert.

As President Reagan might have said, there she (and we) went again:
HARRIS (5/21/19): The law says that men and women should be paid equally for equal work, but what we know is that in America today, women on average are paid 80 cents on the dollar of what men are paid for the same work. African American women, 61 cents on the dollar, Latinas 53 cents on the dollar. And these are actually not debatable points.

COLBERT: So this is not hours worked, on average. This is hour for hour.

HARRIS: Yeah, and for the same work. Or it could be the annual salary, but it’s for the same work.
Uh-oh! Colbert's (largely incoherent) question suggests the possibility that he knew that Harris was wrong. He got a flatly inaccurate reply from Harris, then proceeded to let it go.

The session with Colbert occurred last Tuesday night. Last Thursday morning, the long-suffering souls at PolitiFact responded, in an essay bearing this headline:
On Colbert, Kamala Harris flubs wage gap statistic
That headline is likely too kind. It's plain from PolitiFact's critique that Harris's presentation, however familiar, was grossly misleading and/or simply wrong pretty much all the way down.

As usual, PolitiFact tried to straighten things out. Wearily, they noted that they've corrected this type of misstatement in the past. Tomorrow, we'll review their critique of Harris.

Later in the week, we'll look at the way upper-end journalists reported Harris's plan. In effect, these hapless graduates of Harvard and Yale were Saving Candidate Harris. As we'll note on Thursday, liberal academics have tended to behave this way in the past.

Wearily, PolitiFact corrected the record again. More interesting was the reaction from several anthropologists who reported to us from the future.

These disconsolate future scholars rolled their eyes at PolitiFact's attempt to straighten things out. "That just isn't the way this doomed species worked," one grim expert said.

Tomorrow: The fact-checker's tale

69 comments:

  1. "And yet, it remains a familiar and pleasing part of standard liberal discourse"

    It's neither pleasing, nor is it part of any discourse, Bob.

    It's a familiar zombie food; the shit your liberal zombie cult feeds to its pet zombies. To motivate the pet zombies to stumble to voting places next November, and provide your zombie cult with enough power to continue its globalist quest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "The claim is familiar and tribally pleasing, but no one really believes it."

    These people believe it. They are Ph.D. researchers who qualify as "specialists" in this field. They support Harris, not Somerby or Politifact.

    https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuLPnBRDjARIsACDzGL0f3k7H40-t5xHOa5_9tmaic4hX-hLXcqpaNUyA8L-S15hVxQzvzjEaAhaEEALw_wcB

    These people believe it too. They are a professional association of women with degrees, the AAUW (American Association of University Women):

    https://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

    https://www.aauw.org/article/pay-gap-remains-at-20-cents/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuLPnBRDjARIsACDzGL1BV7A-9mLHjSZ0IXCRfDYPDA4CG9bTuuFFM4TdapGXae4kWKdoRtMaAhcbEALw_wcB

    The Pew Research Center believes it:

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/03/22/gender-pay-gap-facts/

    Who doesn't believe it? Right wing economics groups and think tanks. Forbes Magazine doesn't believe it. FEE, a conservative economics working group doesn't believe it.

    Why might companies, conservatives and their think tanks be invested in "refuting" this pay gap? Can you think of any reasons why corporations might not want to pay women equally?

    Somerby is siding with the wrong people again. He is heavily promoting part of the attack on women being funded by business and conservatives, and he is behaving like a sexist jerk. He has perhaps not spent much time working alongside women in a corporate environment, so he may not know how this happens, but it is very real to those who come from those trenches.

    The idea of narrative shouldn't be used to justify dismissing research as fiction, and it shouldn't prepare one to accept whatever alternative story the right wants to peddle. Somerby should know better. Liberals do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harris herself pays men a higher median salary than women both in her Senate office and on her campaign.

      The plot thickens.

      Explain that stank snatch.

      Delete
    2. "Who doesn't believe it? Right wing economics groups and think tanks. Forbes Magazine doesn't believe it. FEE, a conservative economics working group doesn't believe it."

      They believe it. They just don't give a fuck about it.

      Delete
    3. @11:46, please cite a source for that accusation.

      Delete
    4. Men Paid More Than Women in Kamala Harris’s Senate Office and Campaign

      https://freebeacon.com/politics/men-paid-more-than-women-in-kamala-harriss-senate-office-and-campaign/

      Delete
    5. Washington Free Beacon, a conservative paper. They "analyze" pay of Democratic candidates, including Hillary in 2016. They do not control for job title or content. If Harris had more women in clerical jobs, the supposed gap would emerge. Senate offices, unlike campaigns, do not have large numbers of unpaid volunteer staff to do clerical work. Still, she achieved a 95% comparing women's to men's salaries. This was comparing only permanent full time staff, not temporary or part-time workers.

      Washington Free Beacon has succeeded in showing how pervasive the problem is. Well done!

      Delete
    6. By the way, @12:55 is NOT @11:46.

      Delete
    7. Public employee salaries are public record in CA, but it is hard to see how Washington Free Beacon would have access to know who was working in her offices at what point in time in order to make this kind of comparison. The paper notes that Harris did not respond and did not participate in the story and she did not provide the data, so how can we know how accurate it is, particularly when the paper has a political agenda, as it manifestly does.

      Also, you have to ask, if all of the most well-intentioned feminist candidates cannot achieve parity on their own staffs, how can anyone seriously deny that this is a problem in our workforce? How much worse will companies that are not trying do?

      But that is accepting the Beacon's figures, which I do not, since they cannot have had sufficient access to do a proper study. That's why these independent, objective studies by university-based researchers or government agencies are needed.

      Delete
    8. "They do not control for job title or content. "

      Neither does Harris's 80% figure. That's the point.

      "employee salaries are public record in CA, but it is hard to see how Washington Free Beacon would have access to know who was working in her offices at what point in time in order to make this kind of comparison."

      They provide the source. It is from the mandatory Senate filings in the case of her Senate office and from the FEC in the case of her campaign.

      Delete
    9. " you have to ask, if all of the most well-intentioned feminist candidates cannot achieve parity on their own staffs, how can anyone seriously deny that this is a problem in our workforce? "

      By understanding it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. It's very simple.

      Delete
    10. There is a gender pay gap (3-4%). It is an important issue that needs to solved. You are right to be concerned and even pissed off about that 3-4%. But use the right figures to describe it.

      Delete
    11. "It is an important issue that needs to solved"

      There is no issue, and there's nothing to solve.

      You can analyze by any parameter - eye color, blood pressure, weight, height, whatever - and discover a 'gap'.

      And at that point you could start another zombie crusade, or accept that correlation is not causation and try to occupy yourself with something useful.

      Delete
    12. Let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same “it” mentioned below, namely “that women, ‘on average,’ are paid 80 cents on the dollar as compared to the man ‘in the next cubicle’ who's ‘doing the same work.’” In other words, that the wage gap is a matter of parallel pay scales, one for each sex, with the women’s scale offset lower by 20 cents on the dollar.


      These people [Institute for Women’s Policy Research] believe it.

      No, they don’t.
      From https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuLPnBRDjARIsACDzGL0f3k7H40-t5xHOa5_9tmaic4hX-hLXcqpaNUyA8L-S15hVxQzvzjEaAhaEEALw_wcB

      Reasons for the gender wage gap are multi-faceted. IWPR’s research shows that, irrespective of the level of qualification, jobs predominantly done by women pay less on average than jobs predominantly done by men….This persistent occupational segregation is a primary contributor to the lack of significant progress in closing the wage gap.

      These people [AAUW] believe it too.

      No, they don’t.
      From https://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

      The gender pay gap is the result of many factors, including occupational segregation, bias against working mothers, and direct pay discrimination. Additionally, such things as racial bias, disability, access to education, and age come into play.

      The Pew Research Center believes it

      No, they don’t.
      From https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/11/how-pew-research-measured-the-gender-pay-gap/
      What explains this gap in the earnings of women and men?

      Some of it is due to differences in the types of jobs (occupations) women and men do and some of it is due to the effects of parenthood on women and men. Research also suggests that women may not negotiate for higher wages as aggressively as men or they may be more likely to trade off higher wages for other amenities, such as flexible work hours. Other pieces of the puzzle—attributes employers value but that are not captured in available data or the presence of discrimination—are more difficult to quantify.

      Delete
  3. If women are being paid equally to men, hour for hour, in the same jobs, as Somerby asserts, how does it result in an 80% gap for full time pay taken in aggregate? Those who wish to dismiss the 80% statistic need to explain that, since it is key to their argument. The explanations I've seen hypothesize less than full time work by women.

    A Harvard study discussed by FEE involves comparing men and women in union jobs that require equal pay. Even in those jobs, women earn less. They found that women train and bus drivers were accepting less desirable routes in order to avoid working more overtime and in evenings, resulting in a pay differential.

    Note -- they found a gender gap. They attributed it to women's choices, NOT the assignment of more desirable routes and overtime to me. They had no way of knowing whether women were seeking such routes or whether they were being assigned them by supervisors but they ASSUMED that women were seeking less desirable routes because they were mothers or wanted to work during daylight hours. Their assumptions (explanations of the data patterns after the fact) may sense in the context of gender roles, but are they true? We won't know because they didn't interview drivers to find out the reasons for their route assignments. And remember, they too found a gap between men and women, even in a union situation with mandated equal pay.

    And THIS study is used to overturn the 80% figure. It doesn't do that. It supports it. But they believe they have refuted it.

    This is the slippery evidence Somerby is relying on. But he hasn't bothered to read beyond the right-wing propaganda that claims the 80% figure is debunked. It isn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The explanations I've seen hypothesize less than full time work by women. "

      Don't forget how dumb you are. You're the one who thought Stormy Daniels was a sex positive feminist icon who was going to take down Trump. You're comically wrong about most of the things you post. Your record of being clear - or even sane - is not very good. So don't forget tot take that into account when evaluating these things.

      Delete
    2. If women are being paid equally to men, hour for hour, in the same jobs, as Somerby asserts, how does it result in an 80% gap for full time pay taken in aggregate?

      An excellent question. You could find the answers by following the links given by 10:54A above. (If you’re 10:54A, then how embarrassing for you.) The reasons are many and various, including the over-representation of women in skilled, but undervalued professions like teaching, nursing, and social work.

      Delete
    3. The question why professions like teaching, nursing, and social work, staffed in large percentages by women, are undervalued, goes to the heart of the 80% pay gap, and is a big part of the reason why liberals even discuss the gap, but we are told that that is outside of Somerby’s scope, and thus we must concede that, indeed, Somerby is correct as far as the narrow limits of his discussion take him. Which isn’t very far.

      Delete
  4. Sorry, forgot to cite the study used by FEE:

    https://fee.org/articles/harvard-study-gender-pay-gap-explained-entirely-by-work-choices-of-men-and-women/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Somerby claims that Politifact refutes the 80% figure but he doesn't link to Politifact. His link is to his own article claiming that Harris conned peopled. No Politifact refutation linked there either. Just a link to the interview segment with Harris.

    We have to take his word that Politifact agrees with him. Here is what Politifact says:

    "In a nutshell, Harris incorrectly explained the meaning of the gender wage gap. The 80 percent figure is not an apples-to-apples comparison of men and women performing the same work. Instead, it refers to average pay for all jobs held by men and all jobs held by women."

    Politifact acknowledges that women are paid less than men, but it attributes the gap to different career choices by women and men, less experience (due to time out of the workforce). Politifact says this despite the evidence that women are offered lowering starting salaries than men for the same jobs, and similar studies.

    But Politifact does not discredit the 80% figure at all. It disputes that it is for the exact same jobs compared head-to-head. That particular statistic isn't calculated that way. Other head-to-head job-for-job studies of pay gaps do make such comparisons and they too show a gap -- just not 80% specifically.

    So, Politifact and Somerby are correct on a technicality but they are wrong if they use that technicality to assert that women and men are paid equally, as conservatives have been doing. And Somerby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This isn't a technicality. Politifact disputes the head-to-head comparison that Harris claims leads to the gap. Neither TDH nor any other rational person asserts that there's no aggregate pay gap. But the solutions to the aggregate problem will be different from the ones to solve the alleged "head-to-head" problem.

      "Conservatives" don't see a problem at all. TDH sees a problem that's badly represented.

      Delete
    2. ‘“Conservatives" don't see a problem at all. TDH sees a problem that's badly represented.’

      Agree with the first sentence. Not sure about the second. It isn’t actually at all clear what “TDH”
      believes about this. He never discusses issues of discrimination. One gets the impression he wishes liberals would never discuss it at all.

      Delete
    3. What’s not “actually all clear” is what Somerby believes about all this, assuming that “this” refers to inequalities between the sexes in the workplace. That’s because he doesn’t tell us his personal feelings about the matter. I don’t see how we have any path to that knowledge, and I don’t understand why anyone would be much interested.

      But we do know what TDH presents. (There’s no need for scare quotes. When Somerby posts blog entries, he is The Daily Howler.) And what TDH writes about is the bad presentation of claims and the failure of the press to discuss those claims properly. You’re certainly entitled to your “impression” that he wishes liberals wouldn’t discuss women in the workplace. But that impression arises from your own head, not TDH’s.

      Doesn’t mean you’re necessarily wrong. I just don’t know how to find out whether you’re right, and I don’t know why it’s important to know.

      Delete
    4. Well, if he is a conservative masquerading as a liberal with an agenda of undermining liberals, it might be important to uncover that fact. It’s important from the standpoint of intellectual honesty, truth in advertising. We will probably never know though. But why do you care what I find semi-important?

      Delete
    5. I care enough about the topic to enter the discussion. I don't care at all about what you personally find important, semi-important, or unimportant. I do find it somewhat adorable that you think TDH (blog or blog owner) could "undermine liberals."

      Delete
    6. "I do find it somewhat adorable that you think TDH (blog or blog owner) could "undermine liberals."

      Agreed. The only way that happens is if you really think Somerby is a liberal. As they say in the courts, "facts not in evidence".

      Delete
    7. As they also say in the courts, "You have no standing." But thanks for sharing your views on the blog owner's "real" political leanings.

      Irrespective of the blogger's politics, for this blog to "undermine" anyone, it would have to be influential. Talk about facts not in evidence.

      Delete
    8. ???
      I have no view on the blog owners "real" political leanings. Objectively, I see no evidence he is a liberal. That doesn't mean he's not one. It just means the evidence he is one is not there.

      Delete
    9. I don't think you know what objectively means.

      Delete
  6. Harris was referring to a specific hypothetical person when she said “that woman” on Melber’s show. She says this during the “[...]” in Somerby’s quote:

    “Because here`s the reality of it, Ari, every day in America there are women who are you know, hanging out at the water cooler with one of their colleagues who works in the cubicle right next to them, does the same work they`re doing, and then they might start talking about what they got their kids for Christmas or what`s you know, what the new car is or the new washing machine they brought, and it becomes clear to that woman they`re not getting paid of the same amount.”
    (http://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/msnbc-live-with-ari-melber/2019-05-20)

    Harris said the preceding before she said the following that Somerby quotes: “it's for real that that woman is getting paid 80 cents on the dollar. It's for real that that other woman is getting paid 61 cents on the dollar.”

    Now, Harris’s quote on Colbert is less defensible, but it was certainly true for someone like a Lily Ledbetter, who, it turns out, at Goodyear, was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236. That ranges from 71% to 87% of the males.

    Ultimately, Harris’s actual proposal is more about easing the burden placed on the employee of proving pay disparity and shifts some of the onus to the company. Harris clearly knows that not all employers are guilty. She says “There should be a consequence to the corporation if they`re not paying people equally for equal work.“

    ReplyDelete
  7. Somerby wants to be technically correct, that the statement “women earn 80% of men”, while technically correct, doesn’t take a whole host of factors into account which presumably explain away the bulk of the disparity. Somerby frames his discussion in very narrow terms to show either that Candidate Harris is making an “inaccurate statement” or is “conning us rubes”, depending upon his mood.

    And since he limits himself this way, as a criticism of Harris and an ostensible press critique, he limits the discussion as to *why* women earn 80% of men to mere statistical factors, as if they are an immutable given. It is still valid to question why women make the choices they do (fewer hours, lower-paying jobs), or indeed why there are lower-paying jobs principally staffed by women. These are root questions that Somerby doesn’t have any desire to deal with. He just wants to show why liberals are “wrong” about the 80% and consequently, why conservatives are “right” when they object in the way that Somerby does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are root questions that Somerby doesn’t have any desire to deal with.

      You’re catching on. TDH isn’t interested in discussing the societal problems involved in the aggregate pay gap. He wants to discuss how liberal politicians and media present the problem. Perhaps that makes him a bad human being, but doesn’t that mean you’re in the wrong place?

      He just wants to show why liberals are “wrong” about the 80% and consequently, why conservatives are “right” when they object in the way that Somerby does.

      Liberals like Harris are wrong when they present the 80% as a problem of head-to-head comparisons between pay scales. “Conservatives” aren’t so much “right” in their objections as they have had handed to them an effective weapon to blunt the discussion of a real problem.

      Delete
    2. Why would that mean I’m in the “wrong place?” My goal is not simply to be in places where I 100% agree with the blogger. If Somerby, who calls himself a liberal, wants to offer a critique of something or other, then I, who also call myself a liberal, am interested to know what a fellow liberal is saying. If I disagree, or think that he is misrepresenting liberal ideas or liberal candidates, or is being unfair to them, then I want to offer my opinion to correct what I see as a mistake. If Somerby chooses to ignore important questions when he criticizes liberals, then perhaps he is not serving his readers well, and a little context, provided by a commenter, is in order.

      Is he a bad person? I have no idea, but why would that matter? If he is, then shame on him. If not, then perhaps he could try new approaches to his writing.

      At any rate, your suggestion, that I might be in the wrong place, sounds an awful lot like “go away.” Why you think it’s important to say things like this, I don’t know. And why you think it’s so important to take time to correct anonymous commenters on an obscure blog is a mystery. You can enjoy the blog, and let others vent.

      Anyway, Somerby was at one time a semi-important blogger, but perhaps now he is an inconsequential hack with almost zero readership, or perhaps he is just a tired performance artist on auto-pilot. But I still take him seriously. Maybe that’s my bad.

      And who knows? Perhaps Somerby is glad for the number of “hits” and comments. It does seem clear that, without the critics, there would be almost no discussion in the TDH comment box.

      Delete
    3. 5:12

      I think deadrat stated it pretty clearly, but I'll add my cent:

      TDH criticizes the media, most of which feeds readers and viewers with bullshit. He takes side trips at times, but in those he states more-or-less clearly that his posts (such as those concerning philosophy or science) are also in the same milieu.

      I’ve posted kudos, as well opprobrium, regarding Bob’s posts. But since so many people seem to misunderstand the core substance of this blog, most of what we read here seems to be from people who hate the blog, for whatever reason, and post excoriations nearly every day. That doesn’t even count the idiots like Mao, who set their clock by Bob's posts.

      Since the context you provide is based upon a fallacy, that Somerby is criticizing liberals (as they’re now defined, whatever that definition is) rather than the liberals who consume and accept corporate media novels, then perhaps you really are in the wrong place. It’s been left to posters like deadrat and others to attempt to add balance to the comments. I admit, I can’t add nearly as much to the dialogue as it exists on this comment board as can deadrat. But you should at least, by now, be able to understand what this blog is about.

      Leroy

      Delete
    4. Why would that mean I’m in the “wrong place?”

      Because your main criticism seems to be that TDH isn’t discussing the right topics. Kind of like showing up on an anime fan site and complaining that there’s not enough discussion of French existentialist writers.

      If Somerby chooses to ignore important questions when he criticizes liberals, then perhaps he is not serving his readers well, and a little context, provided by a commenter, is in order.

      Perhaps, but is that really your call, even if TDH doesn’t discuss Sartre very often?

      Is he a bad person? I have no idea,

      If that’s true, it’s progress of a sort. But aren’t you being just a tad coy?

      but why would that matter?

      It doesn’t.

      If he is, then shame on him. If not, then perhaps he could try new approaches to his writing.

      And why should he do that?

      At any rate, your suggestion, that I might be in the wrong place, sounds an awful lot like “go away.”

      Things often sound like other things to you when they aren’t. TDH obviously doesn’t care who posts what to his comment section, and his is the only opinion that matters on that subject. It is immaterial to me whether you go or stay, and I wouldn’t presume to offer you instructions on the matter.

      Why you think it’s important to say things like this, I don’t know.

      One more thing to add to the list. (Hint: it’s not important to me.)

      And why you think it’s so important to take time to correct anonymous commenters on an obscure blog is a mystery.

      It’s not important. But I’ve made no secret why I do it: I love the sound of my own voice, and it’s my time to waste as I see fit.

      You can enjoy the blog, and let others vent.

      What fun is that?

      And who knows? Perhaps Somerby is glad for the number of “hits” and comments. It does seem clear that, without the critics, there would be almost no discussion in the TDH comment box.

      Who knows indeed. I’ve always speculated that Somerby doesn’t read his commentariat. Because why would he? And, yeah, the critics drive the discussion, such as it is. Don’t you think that’s about par for a political blog?

      Delete
    5. " But you should at least, by now, be able to understand what this blog is about."

      I don't see the word "asymmetrically" in your explanation.

      Delete
  8. Somerby's "specialists," who all know what he knows, are like his anthropologists. Figments of his imagination.

    He wants to make assertions and have them be believed without any supporting evidence, but he doesn't have the authority, so he invents it.

    He used to have interns, then analysts, but now he has future anthropologists. Looks like a turn for the worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironically, these "specialists" can be found by following 10:54A's links. Or by consulting Politifact.

      The "future anthropologists" is definitely a rhetorical turn for the worse.

      Delete
    2. Somerby didn’t cite 10:54’s links. And Politifact aren’t truly ‘experts’ in wage and pay matters.

      Delete
    3. No, 10:54A cited 10:54A's links. Do I need to explain what ironically means in this context?

      And no, Politifact aren't experts, but they cite experts.

      Delete
  9. I think if we attempted to address wage suppression in general, we would fix much of the gender wage gap. It's always good to start fixing things from the bottom up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How? If you raise everyone’s wages by the same factor, you have preserved the gender gap. You still have to address the gaps between subgroups of workers.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  10. You wouldn't tolerate getting to vote in three out of every four elections. You wouldn't like it if someone said you could only pick up three out of every four paychecks. But that is, in effect, what we have said to the women of America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @4:28 Could is the wrong word. It's what women chose. Women chose to work in lower-paid jobs, on average. Women chose to take time off work to raise children. Women chose less demanding jobs in order to have more time for their families. (My daughter requested to be demoted for this purpose. She's well-paid in the high-tech job, but she could have earned more if she had been willing to work large amounts of overtime.)

      But, I suspect that the situation is changing. My field of actuarial work was 99% male when I entered. Today, half the people coming through the exam process are women. More and more of my doctors are women. More and more lawyers are women.

      Delete
    2. A big part of society's problem is that men don't want to take time to raise children, and men don't want to have more time for their families. At least that's what the guy who's racist tropes about fatherless black kids says.

      Delete
  11. When Somerby feels justified in saying something like “Maddow doesn’t care about low-income kids”, (actual quote), because of a lack of discussion or a lackluster discussion, then Somerby’s commenters are equally justified in saying that Somerby doesn’t care about gender discrimination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maddow is supposed to be covering important political and societal topics. Somerby writes a blog dedicated to a narrow topic and one that nobody reads.

      See the difference?

      Delete
    2. Somerby is free to have his own cable show where he can report on the subjects he wants.
      Maddow is trying to get eyeballs and help the network sell advertising.

      Delete
    3. You're right of course. But that's not how she presents herself, nor how her fans take her. Thus TDH's criticism, which given your cogent description of Maddow, seems naive.

      Delete
    4. The degradation of TDH's work the last few years has been disappointing, to say the least. I don't think Somerby's heart is in it any more.

      Delete
  12. There is no point in trying to discuss anything with this blog's trolls. In my opinion, they include Mao, David in Cal, Leroy, deadrat, and CMike. They are trolls, not because of their opinions, but because they do not seriously consider what others write and they are frequently hostile and destructive of any conversation here, especially deadrat.

    There is apparently no disagreement that women are paid less. David raises those regressive arguments such as women want to be paid less because they don't want to work or have careers. Deadrat thinks he knows what Somerby means and viciously attacks anyone who posts anything at all, focusing on nitpicks smaller than Somerby's, entirely unwilling to deal with the mail issues people raise. CMike won't discuss anything without filling the comments with large amounts of cut-and-past quoted materials that often have little to do with the discussion, and that he refuses to state the relevance to current threads. Mao is bot with no apparent POV, and David is a dishonest spewer of conservative propaganda who makes up anecdotes to undermine whatever point is made. Today he says his daughter likes to be undervalued and underpaid, so apparently that makes discrimination against all women OK. Leroy is a conservative and really doesn't belong here, since he seems as clueless as anyone on earth and generally undoes hours of discussion by ignoring what has been said in order to support either Somerby or whatever conservative point Somerby has raised.

    When you post a source and a troll comes back and lies about what it says, there is no point in commenting or discussing anything. And that is their goal -- to disrupt discussion in a liberal blog. Some of them may be paid to do it.

    I am ignoring Mao, deadrat, Leroy, David in Cal, and CMike, from now on. I suggest others do the same, if you can resist them. We will all be happier if we can cut down the chaff here so that liberals can discuss liberal issues with other liberals. Conservatives have their own blogs. If any conservative wants to talk seriously, they can stop the obstruction and talk like normal people. That goes for the guy with the filthy mouth too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about deadrat. Plus, he didn't even know tone was a literary term. What a dumbass.

      Delete
    2. Let me type this slooowly so you can understand. Tone can not be directly understood by the reader within the glyphs, therefore it doesn't exist, despite it being a part of the literary lexicon for centuries.

      I see you are all ready to ply me with questions, now that you learned that I am the real deadrat: it is so fascinating! Whence did I come? What are the ways of the glyphs and allusioms to Gordon Jump? Is there immortality there, and, also, what is the price of coal at the stock exchange of Hell? Unfortunately, my dear reader, despite my desire to the contrary, if I had such a desire, I am powerless to satisfy your very proper curiosity.

      xoxo

      Delete
    3. There is no point in trying to discuss anything with this blog's trolls.

      This is trivially true. Trolls by definition are uninterested in discussion, just any reaction they can get. But you have to be able to spot a troll.

      In my opinion, they include Mao, David in Cal, Leroy, deadrat, and CMike.

      Mao is a troll, in fact, this comment section’s Village Troll. Even if he hadn’t admitted that all he’s after is a response, no one who was after anything else would spew dembot or zombie cult and call Hillary a witch. Ignore him; it’s easy.

      David isn’t a troll; he’s an idiot. As far as anyone can tell, he’s incapable of investigating the claims of the right-wing sources he regurgitates here. He’s incapable of understanding anything beyond his own experience. Do not excoriate him. Reasonable people don’t ascribe agency to idiots. And they don’t engage them either.

      Leroy, deadrat, and CMike (if I may include myself in a third person compound) all have one thing in common — they disagree with you.

      They are trolls, not because of their opinions, but because they do not seriously consider what others write

      I’ll speak for myself here because Leroy and CMike can defend themselves. I take commenters seriously. I think your real objection is that I don’t treat them courteously, but that’s different. I take them seriously enough to check their evidence:

      When a commenter claimed that experts believe Harris’ claims about the pay gap, I followed the links given, read the material linked to, and quoted from what I found.

      When a commenter claimed that in NYC public schools, Asian students and black students didn’t study together in large enough numbers to warrant calling the mix integration, I looked up the demographic information to refute that claim.

      When a commenter noted that TDH criticized Harris for her position on the wage gap but left Bernie Sanders untouched, I checked Bernie’s website and found his position to be identical to Harris’ and responded that the commenter had a point.

      You may find I’m wrong (and remember that disagreeing with you doesn’t make me wrong), but I don’t disregard the arguments of others.

      and they are frequently hostile and destructive of any conversation here, especially deadrat.

      It’s a fair cop on hostile. Also rude, snide, boorish,and contemptuous. But it’s simply impossible for me to destroy conversation. Anyone is free to refute what I say or ignore my tone or ignore me entirely. if you don't want to be ridiculed, don't write ridiculous things.

      There is apparently no disagreement that women are paid less.

      That’s what the facts say.

      David raises those regressive arguments such as women want to be paid less because they don't want to work or have careers.

      David is an idiot. Pity him and pass him by.

      Deadrat thinks he knows what Somerby means and viciously attacks anyone who posts anything at all, focusing on nitpicks smaller than Somerby's, entirely unwilling to deal with the mail issues people raise.

      I think I know what TDH’s blog entries mean. He’s a fairly clear writer.

      I assume you mean main issues people raise. And that’s true. I think people often raise issues that aren’t germane to the blog entries. So what?

      CMike won't discuss anything without filling the comments with large amounts of cut-and-past quoted materials that often have little to do with the discussion, and that he refuses to state the relevance to current threads.

      Not my impression. Do you have an example?

      con't->

      Delete
    4. <- con't

      Mao is bot with no apparent POV

      Nah, he’s a troll on a feed. Of course he has no POV; he’s a provocateur.

      and David is a dishonest spewer of conservative propaganda who makes up anecdotes to undermine whatever point is made.

      Idiots can’t tell the difference between honest and dishonest, and it’s a mistake to attribute agency to him.

      Today he says his daughter likes to be undervalued and underpaid, so apparently that makes discrimination against all women OK.

      Idiotic, no? No surprise there.

      Leroy is a conservative and really doesn't belong here, since he seems as clueless as anyone on earth and generally undoes hours of discussion by ignoring what has been said in order to support either Somerby or whatever conservative point Somerby has raised.

      A conservative? How so? I think Leroy’s smart because he agrees with me. Or is it the other way around?

      Hours of discussion? How much time are you spending here? And how can anyone “undo” a comment thread?

      When you post a source and a troll comes back and lies about what it says, there is no point in commenting or discussing anything.

      If someone misunderstands your source, point out how they’re wrong. Just because people don’t agree with your evidence doesn’t make them liars.

      And that is their goal -- to disrupt discussion in a liberal blog. Some of them may be paid to do it.

      How much do you get paid to “disrupt” a discussion on a blog no one reads, and where do I pick up my check?

      I am ignoring Mao, deadrat, Leroy, David in Cal, and CMike, from now on.

      Good plan for Mao and David. Why not lay out counterarguments for the others? As always, Brave Sir Robin, it’s up to you.

      I suggest others do the same, if you can resist them.

      I find myself irresistible.

      We will all be happier if we can cut down the chaff here so that liberals can discuss liberal issues with other liberals.

      You might be happier if you found a blog dedicated to liberal issues. Just a suggestion.

      Conservatives have their own blogs. If any conservative wants to talk seriously, they can stop the obstruction and talk like normal people.

      “Conservatives” long ago lost the ability to think or talk seriously. They’re not “normal people” although they walk amongst us as human. Outside of flooding the comment section, they can’t “obstruct” a blog’s commentary any more than the Mumbai movers can.

      That goes for the guy with the filthy mouth too.

      Who thereby has already told me more about himself than about any political issues.

      Delete
    5. Warning! Accept no substitutes. The real deadrat posts by Google ID. Besides, it's easy to tell us apart -- I'm the handsome one.

      Delete
    6. Plus, he didn't even know tone was a literary term. What a dumbass.

      It's my own personal troll! Where ya been? I know you think you're my toughest critic, but you're really my biggest fan. Welcome back, bitch.

      Delete
    7. me, me, me, me!

      Delete
    8. Somerby's, and the corporate media's, schtick is that conservatives have no agency. That's why piece of shit Republican Trump-voters get a pass for their actions, and the blame is laid on liberals for making conservatives do things.

      Have you heard the doozy about how if liberals used the exactly precise numbers Somerby and the media want them to use about the pay gap, that conservatives will come to the table and something can be done about it?

      It's schtick. And it's all done in service to conservatives.

      Delete
    9. Somerby's ,,, schtick is that conservatives have no agency.

      Really? TDH doesn't concern himself much with what conservatives do. Can you point me to a DH blog entry that claims that conservatives have no agency?

      Have you heard the doozy....?

      No. Does anyone on the left believe in "bipartisanship" anymore? Can you point me to a DH blog entry that urges the correct use of statistics in the pursuit of the cooperation of "conservatives"?

      It's schtick.

      If it's anything like you say, it would be shtick.

      Delete
    10. "Can you point me to a DH blog entry that claims that conservatives have no agency?"

      All of them, Katie. Calling "others" racists or stupid is how we got Trump as President.

      "Does anyone on the left believe in "bipartisanship" anymore?"

      I can't mind read, so I'm not sure, but having lived through the Obama Presidency, I'd be surprised if they do.

      Delete
    11. All of them? How about this one. It’s all about Harris; nothing to do with “conservatives”

      Calling "others" racists or stupid is how we got Trump as President.

      I take it you mean that the others thereby have no agency because they react badly to being insulted.

      Have I got that right? Because that’s pretty much a reaction across the board.

      Delete
    12. They have no agency, because them voting for a racist grifter, and self-admitted sexual predator isn't the reason Trump is President. Them being called "racists" and/ or "stupid" by liberals is the reason Trump is President.

      Delete
    13. Agency is the power to act on one’s own behalf. Your agency may be taken from you if you lack capacity, which is the ability to make rational decisions when presented with the relevant information. (Note that rational doesn’t necessarily mean right.) Calling a group of people names is not a means of diminishing the capacity of the group members to the point where they lack agency.

      I think you may mean that TDH has absolved Trumpers of their responsibility for voting for “a racist grifter,” traitor, ignoramus, “and self-admitted sexual predator” and transferred that responsibility to liberals who called Trumpers the names they deserve. Do I have that right? Because I’m only guessing at this point.

      Delete
  13. We will all be happier if we can cut down the chaff here so that liberals can discuss liberal issues with other liberals.

    Conservatives, by and large, are happy to have liberal voices to debate the issues with. E.g., Rush Limbaugh moves liberal callers to the front of the queue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Limbaugh puts phony liberals in the front of his queue, just like the corporate media usually hires phony liberals for "balance".
      The few time Limbaugh accidentally puts a real liberal on the air, he kills the call, and does his schtick to an empty line.

      Don't kid yourself, Limbaugh is just as big a coward as the rest of the modern conservative movement.

      Delete
  14. People who don't understand sexism, according to this blog:
    Working women, Roy Moore's accusers, Pew Research

    People who get it:
    A reactionary anti-theist who says "narrative" a lot

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm not sure who you're citing as "A reactionary anti-theist…", but surely you must know that all religious texts are narratives, in which the adherents are meant to believe unconditionally.

    Critical thinking is a relatively new concept, and not doing so well. In fact, the Republican platform in Texas specifically wanted to deep-six that shit back in 2012.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/texas-gop-rejects-critical-thinking-skills-really/2012/07/08/gJQAHNpFXW_blog.html?utm_term=.49558e6b3de6

    Since I think that all religious texts are total bullshit (minus the “Golden Thread” of mercy and compassion, which occur in most, for obvious anthropological reasons), and meant to convert the “sheep" into followers rather than seekers, then you can count me as an anti-theist.

    Leroy

    ReplyDelete