Welcome back to the David Dorer Show! This week is the “War on Whatever” Edition where we will discuss Cliven Bundy’s war against Federal Rangers, the War on Women and the gender gap in wages, and the heating up of political controversy over viable female candidates in the 2016 Presidential bid.
My panelists this week include T-Bone (@tboneafterkdark), Molly McWilliams-Wilkins (@MakeItWorkMolly) and, Andrew, CEO of @RedClayTees.
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CLIVEN BUNDY vs. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Cliven Bundy lost a court case in 1998, United States v. Bundy, because Bundy Ranch was illegally grazing on Federal lands without paying the proper fees. Because of this, and Mr. Bundy’s “rioting against the Federal Government“, Tea Partiers have rallied to his side, drawn guns of their own, and created a stand-off in southeastern Nevada over whether Federal agents can enforce the findings of a Federal Court.
To me, this is less about due process and rights and more about arbitrary obstinance to government: a showing of force that when conservatives don’t get what they want, they will just blatantly disregard the rule of law. Harry Reid agrees, and called Bundy supporters “domestic terrorists.” I don’t know that they are terrorists, but the last time a bunch of anti-tax, anti-Federal-law, rebels took arms against an arm of enforcement of the Federal Government, George Washington shut them down, and hard.
UNITED STATES PUBLIC POLICY vs. ALL WOMEN
Man, what an issue. Noting the fact that there is nothing worse than a conversation about women’s rights by a bunch of men, I rallied to have a split-panel of women and men for this episode specifcally to discuss this issue. Molly McWilliams-Wilkins of Make It Work Molly, has been so kind to join our panel (illustrating that even conscious efforts for straight equality isn’t an easy task) so we don’t resemble the He-Man-Woman-Hater’s-Club of internet political talk radio. I’ll leave that to Glenn Beck.
There are a couple of issues to address in this segment. First, President Obama issued two executive orders and Democrats have been pushing legislation in Congress to bridge the pay gap between men and women in the workforce. Some see this as a mid-term election ploy to get female voters riled up over fuzzy math.
The math being pushed is that a woman makes $.77 on the dollar for every dollar a man makes. This has been called out by conservatives as being not representative of discrimination, but a representative of American women’s aggregate decision to work more flexible jobs or lesser paying jobs to focus on family. It is still illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, and if there is a discrimination on the basis of gender, the statute of limitations for such limitations has been greatly increased by the Obama Administration for gender discrimination lawsuits. In fact, some researchers show that the pay gap based on similar jobs with similar experience is actually less than a 10% disparity between men and women.
My issue with this is two fold. First, regardless of if the numbers are skewed or dirty, there is still a gap, big or small, even when you account for factors of workplace equality and diligent efforts by employers to remain 100% compliant with Title VII. That is to say, regardless of the law, the effect is still resulting in a disparity; and, if this disparity is the result of ineffectiveness of the law, or, a failure for our society to adjust our norms about women in the workplace, something need be done.
In either instance, systemic issues with pre-existing legislation or a failure to have the message of equal opportunity permeate through all sectors and job levels for female workers, the disparity is significant enough in terms of the outcome to warrant an investigation. If our laws are ineffective, they should be changed. If our laws are good, but our social constructs have yet to be properly erroded, conscious efforts to abandon the ideas of the past should be taken, maybe not legislatively, but rather through our education system, benefits, scholarships, and grants for innovation in the field of better jobs for women.
In any case: inequality in outcome is not a legitimate basis to call any particular action discrimination. However, inequality in outcome can be an indicator that there is an inequality in opportunity, and a failure to investigate potential inequalities in opportunity, social or legal, is a failure of our country as a whole.
DEMOCRATS, THE PARTY OF WOMEN?
This leads to our last issue. I am inclined to believe that the Democratic Party is pushing wage-gap and gender inequality in the midterms in order to ramp up their policies as being pro-women, so that they can run a woman candidate for 2016 election for President. Many believe this is just Hilary’s day; however, I feel there are heavy Democratic contenders for that spot, as well as in other gubernatorial races like Texas with Wendy Davis, where the Democrats have to show early that they are the party of the modern female voter. We will touch on this, as we run out steam on the rest.