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The GOP Case Against Pay Equity

Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, consumers, corporate, dishonesty, economy, equity, women )

- 1542 days ago -
President Obama received a fair amount of applause on Tuesday night when he spoke up in support of pay equity. "Today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns," he said in the State of the Union.

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Kit B (276)
Thursday January 30, 2014, 8:09 pm
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President Obama received a fair amount of applause on Tuesday night when he spoke up in support of pay equity. “Today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns,” he said in the State of the Union. “That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.”

It seemed like the kind of sentiment that would enjoy broad, bipartisan support. The truth is more complicated.

For example, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the House Republican Conference chair, was asked yesterday whether she agrees with the president’s position on laws mandating equal pay for equal work. “Yes, absolutely,” she responded. “Republicans and I support equal pay for equal work.”

McMorris Rodgers neglected to mention that she, like nearly every other congressional Republican, voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Or consider this exchange on Fox News yesterday between Martha MacCallum and Alan Colmes about Obama’s comments on the issue.

-----MacCallum: I think most women do not want to be treated as sort of a special class of citizens. They want to go to work every day, they want to get paid for being a professional, for doing their job really well. And they don’t want to be treated like some group of people who have to be, you know, given a little special handout just to make sure that they’re okay. ----

Colmes: It’s not a special handout. It’s equality. It’s equal pay for equal work.

MacCallum: Many women get paid exactly what they’re worth, Alan.

After having watched the clip a few times, I’m still not sure what that means, but it was emblematic of a larger pattern of conservative hostility towards remedies for women facing wage discrimination.

Indeed, I remember last summer when Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said women don’t want federal laws to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. Rather, Blackburn said, women “want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions themselves.”

The position continues to be incomprehensible. Conservatives like MacCallum, Blackburn, and others aren’t arguing that wage discrimination against women never happens; they’re arguing that there’s no need for laws to discourage wage discrimination against women.

As MacCallum put it yesterday, having a law to require employers to pay women equally for equal work is “a little special handout” that treats women as “sort of a special class of citizens.”

Women, the argument goes, don’t even want protections against discrimination.

As the gender gap continues to grow, here’s hoping Republican officials reflect on moments like these.

By: By Steve Benen | The Rachel Maddow Blog | MsNBC |


Carol P (46)
Thursday January 30, 2014, 8:16 pm
I thought the GOP was trying to engender female voters.

pam w (139)
Friday January 31, 2014, 9:36 am
MacCallum is an ignorant ass, isn't he? Really.

. (0)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:15 am
It's called Pay Equity here in Canada and as afar as I can tell it was; next to the long gun registry, the biggest misuse of Canadian taxpayer money.
Barky's plan is not all inclusive. It doesn't address women's situation or fast food workers or anyone outside the Federal sphere of operation. I don't see what all the ballyhoo is about. It's nothing more than lip service at this point. "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" as the French say or in English it means "the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing."

JL A (281)
Friday January 31, 2014, 11:18 am
They trust women with being able to make these decisions without statutory foundations but not to make their health care decisions?

Robert B (60)
Friday January 31, 2014, 11:50 am
MacCallum does not seem to grasp rational thought very well. There must be a short circuit between the ears caused by fecal matter. If you have 10 people behind screens. All with the EXACT same skill set for a particular job and you went down the line quoting a pay scale for each person. Would you first ask each one if they were a man or woman before you stated their pay scale? That would only make sense in the Twilight Zone and sometimes when I listen to a conservative speak I feel like Rod Serling must be looking over my shoulder and laughing.

Roger G (154)
Friday January 31, 2014, 2:27 pm
noted, thanks

Craig Pittman (52)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 5:03 am
Are these politician purposely using nonsense babble to confuse voters or are they truly that ignorant. Either way they have no business being in a position to make decisions about anything. Yikes! This issue is dead easy, you do a job you get paid a living wage that is the same as everyone else doing the same job.

Kit B (276)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 8:23 am

It does seem to be a simple answer, work at a job, get paid a living wage. We forget that there are other forces at work. Rand Paul recently said that his sisters are doing well, one a doctor the other a lawyer, how shallow is that? A wealthy family, born to privilege and these 2 women are doing fine. The rest of his statement is more telling, "I'm more worried about the young men". Well of course his, as long as those young men are white and well educated. There is a clear class war a part of that is a structured and demeaning voice against the empowerment of women.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 8:57 am
Noted, thanks. Equal pay for equal work regardless.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 6:24 pm
Of course we need equal pay for equal work in writing. Those crazy Fux Noise women are like bobble-head Barbies. My opinion is that it would just be so much simpler for those few states that have been "hold-outs" for pass the Equal Rights Amendment. It is way past time!

lee e (114)
Sunday February 2, 2014, 7:44 am
Nothing to add - Kit, Craig, Robert, JL, Pam - can't send you more stars, but agree with you all :)
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