Hoekstra: Pay Equity Is A “Nuisance” That’s “Hurting Business”

Former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra has an ingenious idea for helping create jobs if he makes it to Congress again — eliminate the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay act.  After all, if it’s “hurting business” it really shouldn’t be allowed.

Via Huffington Post, Hoekstra told a crowd at a campaign rally, “Will, you know, will repealing it be a priority? If you came back and said, you know, that’s really the thing that’s hurting my business the most. My guess is there are other things that we can do that have a higher priority in terms of what I, what I believe might need to be done. I think you know we need to create — that thing is a nuisance. It shouldn’t be the law.”

Ensuring that all people are paid equitably regardless of their gender, age, religion or race is a “nuisance” to businesses?  Well, why stop there?  Let’s eliminate all rules and regulations that might be a “nuisance” that hurts businesses.  Minimum wage?  Not needed.  Employee benefits and insurance?  Get rid of them.  Safety standards?  Bah, sounds expensive.

Oh, wait.  I’d better stop.  Hoekstra might add those into his campaign promises, too.

On the bright side, at least he didn’t try to claim money is more important for men than women.  Just that it’s more important for employers than employees.


Sue H.
Past Member 4 years ago

I just wish that once women achieve equal pay we then get equal payments. Why do women have to pay more for dry cleaning, clothing, footwear etc. The exact same t-shirt in the womens section is always $5-$8 more.

Lynn Mansfield
Lynn Mansfield4 years ago

Where do these Neanderthals come from?! I thought it was 2012, not 1812.

Howard Evans
Howard Evans4 years ago

Sorry, here's the rest of my apparently wordy comment.

This is a facet of our jurisprudence I've never understood. What armed robber or low end dope dealer ever had as big an impact on our society and our economy as the creators of brownfields? Penal system critics on the right can go on for hours about the horrible impact of high recidivism rates on our society. Yet corporate polluters who are fined year after year are, to them, just victims of anti-business laws.

Strangely, I'm with you, Pete. Let's get rid of the anti-business laws and replace them with criminal laws that make the corporate execs who do the crime do the time. Or is it just that personal responsibility doesn't apply to rich people?

Howard Evans
Howard Evans4 years ago

Pete, you guys are right, equal pay laws are a bonanza for lawyers. Here's a simple solution: take equal pay out of that class of laws whose regulation is by civil suit and make it part of the criminal code. Then no one has to sue, they just have to call the cops. The authorities investigate and, if they find just cause to support the charge, take some suit out for an evening news perp walk.

While we're at it, let's do the same with labor and environmental laws. Contrary to the belief of the SCOTUS conservative wing and other people with tinfoil hats, corporations aren't people, they're theoretical legal constructs run by people. Corporations can't, by their very nature, break laws; the people who run them do. Why should the people who work for a corporation pay environmental fines through lower wages, or investors pay these fines through lower dividends, or customers through higher prices? None of these outcomes stop the handful of people at a corporation who're making the decisions change the way they do business.

On the other hand, taking the corporate exec(s) who made the decision to pollute out in handcuffs in full view of news cameras and putting them on trial with a possible sentence of a decade or so doing hard time will have a profound and incredibly quick impact.

This is a facet of our jurisprudence I've never understood. What armed robber or low end dope dealer ever had as big an impact on our society and our economy as the creators of brownfields? Penal s

David L.
David L.4 years ago

WHEN some of these so-called "business owners and operators" need to look to some external scapegoat ~ in this case pay equity rates and laws ~ and yet their competitors still seem to be cruising along nicely, and managing to turn a profit...

THEN the first thoughts I have about their businesses ISN'T "oh you poor down-trodden and hard-done-by darlings ~ how can we help you..." ??

BUT ~ why don't these clowns look at their own LACKS ~ their lack of business acumen, general education, common sense, and/or all-round "smarts" ?


Lilithe Magdalene

Let him know what you think!!


Judith H.
judith H.4 years ago

He can't even string words together to make a coherent sentence. No wonder he's a "former" congressman. Hopefully he'll stay that way.

James D.
James D.4 years ago

If you are a woman the GOP is your enemy!

Vote Progressive!

Victor M.
Victor M.4 years ago

Could he be taken seriously?

Luvenia V.
Luvenia V.4 years ago

Seems to be a problem with posting so if this appears more than once I am sorry.

Most people believe that Slavery ended after the Civil war but that is NOT true. For the next 80 years black men were arrested and their work farmed out, slavery by any other name is still slavery. Today that kind of slavery is returning to American in many forms and one of them the “right to work” states. Another would be the elimination of the minimum wage. Another would be the control of workers by the employers. Another would be the repeal of the child labor laws.

There is another kind of return to slavery and that is the Privatized Prison System. If you like the wages in China at $0.38 per hour, you are going to LOVE the prisoner’s wages of $0.20 per hour. Just remember that the jobs these prisoners are doing belonged to taxpaying Americans not too long ago. Don’t spit on the sidewalks or cross against the light or YOU to might find yourself working for $0.20 hour and of course room and board.

Rob, YOU are an IDIOT, period.