Paycheck Fairness Act: Does anyone ever know anything here?


Not if the swells can avoid it: Yesterday, the GOP filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Unless you read the New York Times, where Jennifer Steinhauer went to heroic lengths to avoid using the F-word.

Maybe it’s editorial policy. But how many people know what kind of “procedural hurdle” Steinhauer is talking about in this news report:
STEINHAUER (6/6/12): A bill that would pave the way for women to more easily litigate their way to pay equality failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday as Republicans united against the measure for the second time in two years.

As Lilly M. Ledbetter, the woman whose name was attached to a 2009 law that ensured equal pay for women, watched from the gallery, the Senate voted, 52 to 47, to open debate on the legislation, 8 votes short of the 60 required.

“It’s a very sad day here in the United States Senate,” Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, said after the vote.

The bill would have built on the 2009 Ledbetter legislation, which adjusted the statute of limitations on equal pay lawsuits. Tuesday’s bill sought to bar companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities and open pathways for female employees to sue for punitive damages in cases of paycheck discrimination. In 2010, the same bill failed a procedural vote in the Senate when no Republican supported it.
A majority supports the bill in the Senate, but the bill was filibustered. How many readers understand either fact from reading this murky report?

That said, deception is everywhere concerning this bill. On Monday night, Al Sharpton was discussing the problem which lies behind this measure.

Here is the transcript of Sharpton’s remarks. This helps explain why many liberals are misinformed about this facts behind the Payment Fairness Act, from Rachel Maddow on down:
SHARPTON (6/4/12): Welcome back to Politics Nation.

We all agree that women and men doing the same job should get paid the same wage, right? Wrong. It’s the latest chapter in the GOP war on women.

Here is a fact. A woman today makes 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, 77 cents. And it’s true for practically every single occupation out there, a driver, a manager, a janitor, a sales person. If you’re a woman you’re making less than a man. Same thing if you’re a cook, a CEO, a security guard, or a police officer. Men make more.

Right now, the only thing protecting women from this discrimination is the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which the president signed within days of taking office. Almost every Republican voted against it. And tomorrow, they are doubling down. The Senate votes on the Paycheck Fairness Act. It would hold companies actable for pay gaps between men and women. Allow more time for women to sue for pay disparity. It stops companies from retaliating against employers who share salary information, and it will offer training to women on how to negotiate a fair salary.

The bill is expected to fail, but the president is speaking loud and clear. Here is how he put it today:

OBAMA (videotape): Women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns over the course of her career. A woman with a college degree will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who is doing the same work. So, at a time when we’re in a make or break moment for the middle class, Congress has to step up and do its job.

SHARPTON: Equal pay for equal work. Who could be against that?
From that presentation, anyone would think that women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same or equal work. Anyone would think that the “77 cents on the dollar” figure is a measure of discrimination.

In fact, no one actually makes that claim, except folk who are misinformed or who are trying to play you. Back in April, this led to that pitiful flap involving Rachel Maddow and Alex Castellanos.

Maddow bungled this matter on Meet the Press, then refused to correct herself on her eponymous program. In fact, Maddow furthered the inaccurate notion that “77 cents on the dollar” is a measure of discrimination—a measure of what women get paid for doing the same work. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/7/12, with links to a prior report.

Welcome to the clownish world of modern American discourse! The paycheck bill met a “procedural hurdle.” And “77 cents on the dollar” is a measure of discrimination!

Does anyone ever know anything here? Not if the swells can avoid it!


  1. Then it follow that Our Dear Leader, TDH, is yet another "swell", because he also gives a thoroughly misleading account of what these numbers means.

    He neglects to note that of those 23 lost cents on the dollar, about 12 cents is attributed to discrimination, after correcting for a million and one other factors which, if you really stretch it, could account for lower wages for women.

    TDH also fails to note that, however you calculate it, women are STILL power than men, to the tune of 23 cents -- for example, that women take time off to pursue silly activities like child birth, or taking care of the kids, accounts for a large portion of the wage disparity. Trouble is, a retired woman has the same costs as a retired man and most folks wouldn't regard the additional duties performed by women as frivolous.

    So, if she finds herself earning, for every hour work, 23% less than her male counterparts, over a lifetime, this is a problem, for herself and for society.

    Unless, of course, you're TDH. Then the only problem is getting the figure exactly right. Let those women eat cake! I mean, what's 23 cents, much less 12?

    1. shorter rant: It's not misleading people that's the problem -- it's pointing out the misleading. Oooh, that really gets my goat!

      Anonymous Idiot

    2. @Anonymous Idiot

      Still waiting to hear, A.I. -- are you Bob?

      One might also point out that there's a certain peril, for a blogger who almost never provides factual information, and does little or no original research on any question, and who quite openly concedes his ignorance on any number of questions, to attack figures he really doesn't understand.

      For example, in this case, Our Dear Friend might have put the 23% in context. What it means for women generally -- believe me, it's still quite significant -- and to what extent it doesn't mean what some people claim, according to Our Dear Friend.

      But no matter! That's too much to ask. Besides, I'm an idiot! So says your sock puppet, anyway. Or is it Bob's sock puppet?

    3. Shorter:

      It's not the misleading it's who you are, Anonymous Idiot. If you're Bob, I'm not as stupid?

      Anonymous Idiot

      "The 23%" -- it's not what Maddow pretends it is.

      What's *really* important is Just Who Dares call me out on my idiotic defense of it.

    4. @Anonymous Idiot

      How very, very tiresome. Could it be you're a little less charming and informative than you suppose??

      But never mind. This is the internet, after all, and TDH has got to be among the least rewarding destinations these days, in no small part thanks to your contribution.

      So keep it up, you'll have the place to yourself, soon -- Bob and Bob, as it were.

    5. "you'll have the place to yourself, soon"

      If only you would help make it so!

  2. "about 12 cents is attributed to discrimination,"

    Who says this? Thank you.

  3. This is such B.S., and yet here we go again. In no way does the usage by either Maddow or Sharpton imply that 77% discrepancy applies to every occupation, nor does it imply necessarily that every bit of it is due to active, contemporaneous sex discrimination. If The Howler infers that, he is reading into it what isn't there. The 77% figure is simply a fact as reported in likely the most thorough study available, and that is all they said -- that it is a general figure across all occupations. The fact that there are some who claim the difference can be significantly explained away by factors other than sex discrimination does not make those claims correct either. It's a pretty safe bet that someone knowledgeable about the history of sex discrimination in employment would be able to find a historic explanation grounded in discrimination in each of those supposedly "other" factors.

    It is also a fact that the same survey showed a remarkable consistency of a wage disparioty across an overwhelming majority of occupations, regardless of whether they are considered predominantly "men's" or "women's" jobs.

    This is manufactured outrage. There's plenty of genuine material to make this unnecessary -- although not necessarily enough to support some of the daily diatribes.

    1. "This is such B.S., and yet here we go again. In no way does the usage by either Maddow or Sharpton imply that 77% discrepancy applies to every occupation, nor does it imply necessarily that every bit of it is due to active, contemporaneous sex discrimination."

      So, according to you, neither Sharpton nor Maddow are under any obligation of putting what many would call a scare stat into context?

      And, forgive me, urban legend, but feminists have said so many things that turned out to be utter crap I am simply not inclined to take their word, including yours, for any claims as to what certain studies are supposed to actually say. I'd rather trust the Washington Post and authors such as Christina Hoff Sommers who did a very nice dissection of the wage-gap claims already. I recall how feminists were insisting that the Duke lacrosse players were actually guilty after the case against them had completely fallen apart and they'd been explicitly exonerated by the North Carolina attorney general. I also remember how Harvard Psych professor and avowed feminists Judith Herman started a literal, feminist-endorsed witch hunt with her crackpot repressed memory theory.

      Then there was the Super Bowl Sunday domestic violence canard:

      There have been others. There have been many others. Feminists no longer have any credibility with me because of this shit. Feminists are a national joke. So, even if you are right this time, which I sincerely doubt, I think you'd better acquaint yourself with the story of the boy who cried wolf.

    2. "The fact that there are some who claim the difference can be significantly explained away by factors other than sex discrimination"

      Yeah, "others."

      Like the authors of the study!

      The authors of the study don't claim that the 77 is explained by discrimination.

      And they don't claim that it is a "same job, same work" comparison either.

      Only fools and charlatans try to imply that. Maddow, for example clearly tries to imply it as detailed in this instance, and previously.

      But it's not right.

      The authors of this study don't think so either.

    3. Hieronymous: "Feminists are a national joke."

      I guess that about shows how seriously we should take your comments.

      Anonymous 7:52: Please show the exact language you believe demonstrates that Maddow "implies" that. There is no reason why we should take your word for it -- or should we just because you are the one claiming it? Do you -- or the Howler, for that matter -- grasp the distinction between "imply" and "infer"?

    4. Urban legend,

      If you don't think feminists are a national joke then that shows how seriously we should take your comments.

      You apparently know little of their history of making spectacular jackasses out of themselves. Duke lacrosse was only the latest in a long series of jumping to the wrong conclusion. I've already mentioned a few in this thread with links. Feminists themselves complain about how women don't support them.

      You are obviously an ignorant twit.

  4. The Washington Post actually has done a credible job regarding this issue:

    Whenever feminists make some spectacular claim of victimization never fail to assume that they are exaggerating to a bare, minimal tune of 300% (i.e., Sandra Fluke re: cost of birth control).

  5. " As Lilly M. Ledbetter, the woman whose name was attached to a 2009 law that ensured equal pay for women,"

    If that law ensured equal pay for women then why do we need this new law?