Celebrating Diversity as we Remember September 11, 2001

As I scurried through the terminal to catch an early morning flight with a work associate I noticed that this usually calm and collected woman was becoming increasingly anxious as we neared our departure time. When we reached the gate she looked up at me with pleading eyes and asked if the trip was really necessary.

It was mid November, 2001, our destination was Boston Logan Airport where just weeks prior “Mohammad Atta and Abdulazis al-Oman” had boarded American Airlines flight 11, Boston to Los Angeles, highjacked the plane and flew it directly into the north tower of the New York Trade Center killing thousands of innocent people. 

The country and the world was reeling, everyone was paralyzed in fear that yet another attack could happen at any time or place so I understood her anxiety. I felt a bit apprehensive myself, however the business trip was important so I did my best to console her as we boarded our plane.

As we settled into our seats, I recalled where I was when the first plane hit the north tower. I had just arrived at work when someone ran out of the lunch room having seen it on the television. One of my co-workers ran in with the rest of us and watched in horror, her mother worked in the building on one of the floors that was directly hit. She ran out and didn’t reappear for what seemed like hours instead of minutes - her mom didn’t go to work that day, she had a dentist appointment. We all cheered and hugged her trembling body as the second plane hit the south tower.


Image: AU News

Image: AU News


By nature of our industry, we had several clients with offices in both buildings, I had traveled to NY to visit with some of them on several occasions and expected the phones to be ringing off the hook as the horror unfolded, however the phones were eerily silent.  Our company made the wise decision to close for the day. Driving home I noticed a local gas station had raised the price of fuel ten fold. I was appalled that the owner would try to take financial advantage of people during this tragedy. 

Our plane landed without incident at Logan airport, my co-worker gave a sigh of relief as we exited the plane. I looked around as we walked out and saw where the terrorists had entered and as everyone else, wished I could go back and stop them from boarding.      

The world changed after September 11, 2001, we became stronger, more aware of our vulnerabilities, but unfortunately more distrusting of our neighbors. As the years have passed we’ve seen growth in tolerance and acceptance towards others, however we’re now witnessing an attempt to take us back to our time of aversion and fear from the republican candidate Donald Trump.

Aesop's words “United we stand, divided we fall” have never been more relevant as they are today.  We have chosen as a country to be inclusive of others and have grown to understand that diversity creates unity and strength. We must never allow any voice to attempt to divide our nation by injecting hate, discrimination and fear back into our consciousness.  

What occurred fifteen years ago will never be forgotten, nor should it be, however we must always keep a sound perspective of what happened and why. There will always be hate groups and terrorist in our world but fortunately for humanity they encompass a small percentage of people. The vast majority of us are kind, caring individuals who long for peace, acceptance and inclusion to live our lives free of discrimination, hate and intolerance. Let us celebrate our diversity and abandon those who wish to divide us.  

Remembering all who lost their lives and loved ones on September 11, 2001, they will never be forgotten.      




















Union Decline Lowers Wages

There is little doubt that Republicans hate unions. Twenty six GOP states have already passed “Right to Work” laws that weaken and undermine collective bargaining. As workers struggle for fair pay, safe working conditions and benefits, the GOP’s response has been to protect and increase corporate profits instead.

I grew up in a union town, the auto industry set the gold standard in wages, benefits and job security. The middle class thrived, even for those not working in a union environment because non-union companies were forced to compete with union wages to retain workers. There’s little doubt that without strong unions forty years ago the middle class would have disappeared as it has today.

For decades corporations survived and made healthy profits while paying fair union wages, however they wanted more.  For decades politicians went to the people for campaign donations by offering policies the public wanted. However the Supreme Court ruling on “Citizens United” changed that, politicians now go to corporations for donations and offer policies that weaken regulations and will increase their profits, including “Right to Work”  laws. 

It’s not difficult to recognize how republican anti-union policies have affected workers and our economy. Wages in our country have stagnated and fallen while corporate profits have skyrocketed, the poverty rate has steadily increased and the middle class has continued to shrink.

Economic Policy Institute recently issued a report on the negative ramifications caused by the decline of labor unions. It’s well worth the read this “Labor Day” weekend and something to consider when you go to the polls this November. 

Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers

The overlooked reason why wages are stuck and inequality is growing

Report • By Jake Rosenfeld, Patrick Denice, and Jennifer Laird - Economic Policy Institute

Executive summary

“Pay for private-sector workers has barely budged over the past three and a half decades. In fact, for men in the private sector who lack a college degree and do not belong to a labor union, real wages today are substantially lower than they were in the late 1970s.

In the debates over the causes of wage stagnation, the decline in union power has not received nearly as much attention as globalization, technological change, and the slowdown in Americans’ educational attainment. Unions, especially in industries and regions where they are strong, help boost the wages of all workers by establishing pay and benefit standards that many nonunion firms adopt. But this union boost to nonunion pay has weakened as the share of private-sector workers in a union has fallen from 1 in 3 in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today.”

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Donald Trump & GOP Poised to Destroy U.S. Finance Regulations

Republicans won’t give up until they have removed every regulations our government set into place to protect U.S. citizens from another 2008 Wall Street melt down.  

Donald Trump has already indicated one of the first things he plans to do if elected is to destroy the “Dodd-Frank Act” which was specifically designed to protect Americans from unscrupulous and risky investments, provide rigorous standards and protection against another taxpayer-funded bailout.

There is no doubt that the majority of republicans want little if any regulations that could reduce corporate profits, however our country has seen and suffered enough to allow them to succeed in destroying the best protection we have against another financial crisis. 

The following article in “Politico” discusses republican goals and I’ve also attached the links for two great movie/documentaries that show exactly what caused the Wall Street economic disaster and why. Worth watching.

Exclusive: Hensarling talks Trump, reform bill



Financial Services Committee chairman told POLITICO PRO’s Victoria Guida that he plans next month to formally introduce his sweeping legislation to overhaul financial regulations and scrap key parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. 

Important elements of the plan have already drawn fire from the nation’s biggest banks as well as Fed Chair Janet Yellen, and the bill has almost no chance of passing this year. Still, the measure carries weight because it could serve as a template for financial market reform if Republican nominee Donald Trump wins the presidency. Trump hasn’t endorsed the measure, but says he wants to end Dodd-Frank. He met with Hensarling to discuss a draft that was released in June. 

Notably, Hensarling and Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, are close, which could create a further opening to advance the Texas Republican’s plan.

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Worth Watching:

“The Big Short”

How outsiders saw the financial crash coming and made millions off it. 


“Too Big To Fail”

A look at the 2008 financial crisis from the views of the insiders.


Read:  Rollback of “Frank-Dodd” 



Dan Rather - "United States Poised to Elect First Woman President

Yesterday marked the 96th anniversary of the constitutional ratification allowing women the right to vote.  It’s hard to believe today that women couldn’t always cast a ballot, it’s equally difficult to grasp that many women were beaten and died in their attempt to do so.  

Journalist, Dan Rather wrote about this historical event recently in his Facebook blog, it’s a history lesson that every American should learn about and understand. It's well worth the read.

United States Poised to Elect First Woman President

By Dan Rather

“The United States may be poised to elect its first woman as president, and if the polls hold up it could be by a landslide. While Hillary Clinton may be a divisive figure, I would like to think that what is not controversial is the notion that women should have the right to be president – let alone have the right to vote.

With this in mind, it is fitting to note that today marks the 96th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which changed the Constitution to guarantee women’s suffrage. 

It’s important to reflect that this isn’t all that long ago. There are still some women alive today born into a country in which it wasn’t a given that they would grow up with the right to vote. And it’s also important to remember just how contentious the movement was. It took decades of bravery and determination to overcome the inherent misogyny that accompanied the birth of the United States. And even today, our rates of elected women in office are low in comparison to other advanced countries. So we should acknowledge that we have a long way to go for true equality on our national stage.

As with many sweeping movements of history, there is a rather remarkable personal story at the heart of the pivotal vote for women’s suffrage. It came down to a 24-year-old state representative, Harry T. Burn, from East Tennessee who had been an avowed anti-suffragist. At the last minute, he changed his vote and broke a tie at the statehouse in Nashville that delivered Tennessee, the 36th and determining state, into the ratification column.

Many historians attribute his change of heart to a note he got from his mother just before the vote.

Dear Son:

“Hurrah and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt! I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt (suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt) put the "rat" in ratification.”

-- Your mother

Burn listened and voted accordingly. The next morning he addressed the Tennessee House of Representatives and said, "I know that a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."

I have often felt if our leaders listened more to their mothers, or better yet, if more mothers and women in general were our leaders - regardless of political party - our country would be a better place.”

Dan Rather has daily posts on Facebook, read this and many more here: https://www.facebook.com/theDanRather/

So Long Roger Ailes - Hello Mini-Me

When Roger Ailes stepped down as chairman of Fox News due to multiple sexual harassment accusations, there was a glimmer of hope that Fox might change their reporting platform to become a more balanced, substance based news site. 

We should have known better.

Rupert Murdoch just announced the names of Ailes replacements, Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy, two of Ailes loyal followers who will likely carry on his reputation of far right fact free reporting.  

Fox News Names 2 Insiders to Top Posts


In assuming the leadership of Fox News last month, Rupert Murdoch pledged a fresh start at a network reeling from accusations that its longtime chairman, Roger Ailes, had overseen a culture of harassment and intimidation.

But on Friday, Mr. Murdoch made clear that — for now at least — Fox’s new era will be led by its old guard.

Two veteran executives with deep ties to Mr. Ailes were named co-presidents of Fox News, the network announced, a nod toward corporate stability that was also taken as a sign that Mr. Murdoch was not yet prepared to fully overhaul management at one of his most profitable franchises.

Bill Shine, an affable Ailes loyalist who is well liked by some of the network’s longest-serving anchors, like Sean Hannity, will oversee programming at Fox News and Fox Business Network. Jack Abernethy, a trusted Murdoch hand who runs Fox’s television station group, was placed in charge of business operations, including finance and advertising sales.

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Robert Reich - "The Real Threat to American Sovereignty"

The disastrous Supreme Court ruling on “Citizens United” literally opened the door, not only to unlimited U.S. corporate money, but also to unregulated foreign dollars flooding into our political system.  Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich addressed this issue in his recent blog. 

To fully understand how money in politics has influenced our elections, policies and laws, this is a must read. 

Robert Reich

This week's essay:  “The Real Threat to American Sovereignty”

“Without a border, we just don’t have a country,“ Donald Trump says repeatedly. For him, the biggest threats to American sovereignty are three-dimensional items that cross our borders, such as unwanted imports and undocumented immigrants.

He’s wrong. The biggest threats to American sovereignty are invisible digital dollars wired into U.S. election campaigns from abroad.

Yet Trump seems to welcome foreign influence over our democracy.

Sovereignty is mainly about a government’s capacity to govern. A government not fully accountable to its citizens won’t pass laws that benefit and protect those citizens – not just laws about trade and immigration but about national security, the environment, labor standards, the economy, and all else.

To state it another way: Without a functioning democracy, we just don’t have a country.

Trump’s recent public request that hackers connected to the Russian government sabotage his opponent Hillary Clinton is the tip of a Trumpian iceberg of foreign influence.

He’s also been actively soliciting campaign funds from officials of foreign governments – in the United Kingdom, Iceland, Australia, and elsewhere.

Terri Butler, a member of the Australian parliament member was surprised to receive fundraising solicitations from Trump at her official government email address, asking her to make a “generous contribution” to the Trump campaign.

Bob Blackman, a member of Britain’s House of Commons, who has also received fundraising requests from the Trump campaign, says "I did not sign up, these are sent unsolicited.”

Another member of the U.K. parliament, Peter Bottomley, has received three such solicitations. "Neither [Trump’s] sons nor anyone else has answered my questions about how they acquired my email nor why they were asking for financial support that I suppose to be illegal for [Trump] to accept,” he says, In Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, chair of the Left-Green Movement, a democratic socialist party, has “no idea” how she got on Trump’s fundraising list.

Someone should let Trump know it’s illegal for candidates for federal office to solicit foreign money, regardless of whether the donations ever materialize. In addition, foreign individuals, corporations and governments are barred from either giving money directly to U.S. candidates or spending on advertising to influence U.S. elections.

Why hasn’t Trump been held accountable? Because the Federal Election Commission, charged with enforcing the law, is gridlocked by its Republican appointees.

So we’re left with a presidential candidate screaming about threats to American sovereignty from trade and immigration, who’s simultaneously urging officials of foreign governments to compromise American sovereignty.

The hypocrisy doesn’t end there. Leading Trump supporters like Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary committee, is quick to blame global American corporations for disregarding American borders.

“There just seems to be this view, particularly in much of our business community — they’ve already transitioned to a trans-national status,” Sessions says. “They just see the world differently. Borders are just impediments to them.”

Yes, but the only way Americans have a fighting chance of getting trade deals that are in our interest – or, for that matter, any other kind of legislation that helps the vast majority – is by restricting the flow of global corporate money into American politics.

Yet Sessions is one of the staunchest defenders of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling, which held that corporations are people under the First Amendment and can therefore contribute to election campaigns. (He’s even favorably compared “Citizens United” to “Brown v. Board of Education.”)

Not incidentally, “Citizens United” opened a back door for global corporations to influence American elections.

Just last week “The Intercept” reported on two Chinese citizens living in Singapore who own a U.S.-based firm called American Pacific International Capital, on whose board Neil Bush (Jeb’s brother) serves. Last year, the corporation donated $1.3 million to the Jeb Bush super PAC.

There’s reason to believe a lot more foreign money is being funneled into American election campaigns, either through tax–exempt entities that don’t have to reveal the identities of their donors, or via super PACs. So far in the 2016 election there’s been a surge of contributions to super PACs by so-called “ghost corporations” whose ownership remains unknown.

The underlying problem is even larger, because almost all large publicly-traded American companies have some foreign ownership. The Treasury Department estimates that about a quarter of the total market value of public U.S. corporations is owned by foreign nationals.

So whenever these corporations make campaign donations they in effect funnel some of their foreign shareholders’ assets into American politics.

That wouldn’t matter so much if these global corporations cared about America. But they don’t. They care only about their global bottom lines. As an Apple executive told The New York Times, “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.”

Donald Trump is right to worry about American sovereignty. But the real threat to our sovereignty isn’t imports or immigrants. It’s global money influencing our politics.

Protecting our democracy requires two steps that Trump and his leading supporters oppose:

  • First, enforce our laws against soliciting or receiving foreign money in our election campaigns.
  • Second, reverse “Citizens United.”

BLOG: www.robertreich.org 

Head Start Programs - Should they be Increased or Reduced?

A recent opinion in the Washington Post written by Grover “Russ” Whitehurst made me wonder exactly what he was proposing and why.  Was it written to improve educational opportunities for our most vulnerable or to save money by reducing options.  You decide. Link to compete opinion below. 

Opinion - Washington Post

“This policy would help poor kids more than universal pre-K does”

By Grover "Russ" Whitehurst *

“For a half-century, our nation has focused on school-readiness programs such as Head Start as the best way to help low-income children escape the cycle of poverty. The idea is to level the playing field in cognitive and social skills by the time these children enter kindergarten so that they can keep pace with their more advantaged peers as they progress through school. In the next decade, we will spend $100 billion at the federal level just on Head Start, and all but a few states are funding their own pre-K programs.

Unfortunately, children who attend Head Start do no better in school than equivalent children who do not. Even the best pre-K programs’ positive impacts fade away in a couple of years, and some early-childhood programs actually leave children worse off than if they hadn’t participated at all.

Which is why lately there has been a push by politicians to go one step further and create preschool programs for all, regardless of income. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently established such a program; Boston and the District are implementing them. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigned on plans to make universal pre-K a national priority. President Obama has proposed a federal-state partnership, called Preschool for All, that would leave taxpayers with a bill on the same order of magnitude as that for Head Start. 

The current annual federal expenditure on the EITC is about $65 billion. During the 2013 tax year, the average EITC was $3,074 for a family with children. In contrast, Head Start runs about $8,000 per child. Boston’s and the District’s pre-K programs run more than $16,000 per student. Spending less (EITC) is actually more effective than spending more (Head Start, universal pre-K). It’s a win-win.”

Read Full Opinion



Perhaps I’m missing something here, but it appears Whitehurst is suggesting that reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is more effective than providing additional funding for Head Start programs.  If that is the case it’s difficult to follow his ideology. 

If, however, he is suggesting that we reduce the investment in Head Start programs and provide a higher EITC to those in need to cover educational costs, that too has more than a few problems including who and how would it be administered; participation criteria; individual state participation options and governance; and lastly how much would the EITC increase be?

Increasing the EITC is needed without a doubt, especially with todays low and stagnant wages, it’s necessary to pay for food, housing as well as education. However any small increase would not cover all these expenses especially if Head Start and pre-K options were greatly reduced or eliminated all together.  

Americas most vulnerable need assistance to help ensure that their children have every opportunity to compete with others in a competitive school environment. Our countries education system as a whole is declining, especially in republican states legislating with austerity principles. 

Let’s not make it even harder for our young children, it shouldn’t be a choice between one or the other - we need to expand both.

Head Start Facts and Impacts

“School Readiness and Academic Success”

  • Children in Head Start make progress toward norms in language,literacy and math during the program year and score at the normon letter-word knowledge at program exit (Aikens et al., 2013).        
  • Children in Early Head Start show significantly better social-emotional, language, and cognitive development than control group children, and are more likely to be immunized and have services for children with disabilities (Love et al., 2002).
  • The nationally-representative Head Start Impact Study found Head Start children scored better than a control group of children in all measured domains of cognitive and social-emotional development at the end of their Head Start experience (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).
  • Head Start children in foster care or other non-parental are more ready for school than peers who did not participate in Head Start (Lipscomb et al., 2013).
  • Compared with matched children who were in parental care before kindergarten, Head Start children performed considerably better on cognitive measures (Zhai et al., 2011).      
  • Children who attend Early Head Start and transition to Head Start are more ready for kindergarten than children who do not attend Head Start (Love et al, 2002).     
  • Head Start graduates in the Baltimore City Schools enter kindergarten with higher attendance levels than their peers and maintain those levels through third grade (Connolly & Olson, 2012).        
  • The Harrisburg Preschool Program Evaluation, examining a collaboration between the Harrisburg School District and Head Start, found graduates had higher mean scores in the fifth grade than a control group on all academic and executive function outcomes (Greenberg & Domitrovich, 2011).

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Additional Resources:  


*Grover “Russ” Whitehurst, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, directed the Education Department’s Institute of Education Sciences from 2002 to 2008.  


Robert Reich - "American Political, Economic System at Crisis Point

For those of us that have spent the last year supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and the "progressive" values he instilled, we're at a loss as to what to do now that he will not be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich provides some great insight and tips on where we go next.  

Robert Reich

“Now that the convention is over, I want to say something to those of you who understand that the American political-economic system is at a crisis point -- that the widening inequalities of income and wealth are undermining our democracy, and are creating a vicious cycle of wealth translating into power and thereby enhancing wealth. This must be reversed.

First, big changes in the structure of power don't happen easily or quickly. They take great energy and tenacity. That's why the movement Bernie's campaign spawned is so important. In many ways it is still just beginning. So if you have "felt the Bern," don’t be discouraged or cynical. The moneyed interests would like nothing better than for all of us to give up. Then they win it all. We must keep building that movement.

Second, even if you take Hillary Clinton at her word and believe she will fight to reform the system, she can't possibly do it on her own. She will need a large, tough, energetic movement to push her and others in Washington to do the right thing. I have served in Washington and I know the truth: Nothing good happens in Washington unless good people outside Washington are mobilized and organized to demand good outcomes.

Third, we must act soon and not wait until just before the midterm elections of 2018 or the year before the presidential election of 2020. At this point I don’t know what Bernie is planning to do with his list of contributors and activists; hopefully he will use it in ways that help you and others at the grass roots to continue to mobilize and organize. Regardless, you can accomplish a great deal on the basis of the contacts you’ve already made, and the organizations you are already engaged with.

Fourth, I don’t think it possible to build and sustain this movement within the Democratic Party – not because the Democratic Party is stupid or evil but because there is no Democratic Party as such. Like the Republican Party, it’s mainly a giant money-raising machine designed to raise big donations from wealthy people and corporations. Which is precisely the problem.

Fifth, the most immediate and important goal is to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. Some of you think a Trump presidency would galvanize a more forceful progressive movement in response, but rarely if ever in history has a swing toward the authoritarian right moved the political pendulum further back in the opposite direction. Instead, it tends to entrench and legitimize authoritarianism, and move the “center” further rightward. Besides, Trump could do huge and unalterable damage to America and the world in the meantime. Think of the Supreme Court.

What all this means is that over the next months you will need to do two things that seem superficially contradictory but which, as a practical matter, are not: Support Hillary (or at the least do nothing that increases the odds of Donald Trump becoming President). And also continue to build on the momentum of the Bernie campaign toward the long-term goal of reclaiming our economy and our democracy for the many, not the few.”


Women's Work and Gender Pay Gap

One of the first jobs I landed after graduation was at a stock brokerage firm.  I was hired along with a one other applicant, a male, to work in the same department doing the same job of executing stock orders.  

I was thrilled to work at such a prestigious company, anxious for all the experience I would obtain for future endeavors. That is until during a lunch conversation with my male counterpart that he discussed his starting pay. His casual disclosure reveled that he received a considerably higher starting salary then I did.

Even at my then young age, I wasn’t timid about approaching my boss the next day to discuss this wage discrepancy.  My boss didn’t do what I thought he’d do and raise my salary, instead he justified the variance in his response,  “He’s a man, he has a wife to support and you are single, we always compensate for that.”  I pushed back and asked if I were married would I have received the same consideration?  He refused to answer my question and proceeded to say that if I’m not happy to let him know so he has time to replace me.  I was tempted to walk out, however I swallowed the injustice and reluctantly stayed.  

Unfair, you bet, but that was in the 1970’s when business norms supported their discriminatory mindset.  What alarms me is today, nearly four decades later these norms haven’t budged, unless of course you work in a union environment where wages are the same for all workers regardless of sexual orientation.  

Economic Policy Institute recently completed an alarming report on wage differentials, it’s well worth the read:

“Women’s work” and the gender pay gap"

How discrimination, societal norms, and other forces affect women’s occupational choices—and their pay

Report • By Jessica Schieder and Elise Gould - Economic Policy Institute

What this report finds: Women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men—despite the fact that over the last several decades millions more women have joined the workforce and made huge gains in their educational attainment. Too often it is assumed that this pay gap is not evidence of discrimination, but is instead a statistical artifact of failing to adjust for factors that could drive earnings differences between men and women. However, these factors—particularly occupational differences between women and men—are themselves often affected by gender bias. For example, by the time a woman earns her first dollar, her occupational choice is the culmination of years of education, guidance by mentors, expectations set by those who raised her, hiring practices of firms, and widespread norms and expectations about work–family balance held by employers, co-workers, and society. In other words, even though women disproportionately enter lower-paid, female-dominated occupations, this decision is shaped by discrimination, societal norms, and other forces beyond women’s control.

Why it matters, and how to fix it: The gender wage gap is real—and hurts women across the board by suppressing their earnings and making it harder to balance work and family. Serious attempts to understand the gender wage gap should not include shifting the blame to women for not earning more. Rather, these attempts should examine where our economy provides unequal opportunities for women at every point of their education, training, and career choices.

Introduction and key findings

Women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men (Hegewisch and DuMonthier 2016). This is despite the fact that over the last several decades millions more women have joined the workforce and made huge gains in their educational attainment.

Critics of this widely cited statistic claim it is not solid evidence of economic discrimination against women because it is unadjusted for characteristics other than gender that can affect earnings, such as years of education, work experience, and location. Many of these skeptics contend that the gender wage gap is driven not by discrimination, but instead by voluntary choices made by men and women—particularly the choice of occupation in which they work. And occupational differences certainly do matter—occupation and industry account for about half of the overall gender wage gap (Blau and Kahn 2016).

To isolate the impact of overt gender discrimination—such as a woman being paid less than her male coworker for doing the exact same job—it is typical to adjust for such characteristics. But these adjusted statistics can radically understate the potential for gender discrimination to suppress women’s earnings. This is because gender discrimination does not occur only in employers’ pay-setting practices. It can happen at every stage leading to women’s labor market outcomes.

Take one key example: occupation of employment. While controlling for occupation does indeed reduce the measured gender wage gap, the sorting of genders into different occupations can itself be driven (at least in part) by discrimination. By the time a woman earns her first dollar, her occupational choice is the culmination of years of education, guidance by mentors, expectations set by those who raised her, hiring practices of firms, and widespread norms and expectations about work–family balance held by employers, co-workers, and society. In other words, even though women disproportionately enter lower-paid, female-dominated occupations, this decision is shaped by discrimination, societal norms, and other forces beyond women’s control.

This paper explains why gender occupational sorting is itself part of the discrimination women face, examines how this sorting is shaped by societal and economic forces, and explains that gender pay gaps are present even within occupations.

Key points include:

    •    Gender pay gaps within occupations persist, even after accounting for years of experience, hours worked, and education.

    •    Decisions women make about their occupation and career do not happen in a vacuum—they are also shaped by society.

    •    The long hours required by the highest-paid occupations can make it difficult for women to succeed, since women tend to shoulder the majority of family caretaking duties.

    •    Many professions dominated by women are low paid, and professions that have become female-dominated have become lower paid.

This report examines wages on an hourly basis. Technically, this is an adjusted gender wage gap measure. As opposed to weekly or annual earnings, hourly earnings ignore the fact that men work more hours on average throughout a week or year. Thus, the hourly gender wage gap is a bit smaller than the 79 percent figure cited earlier. This minor adjustment allows for a comparison of women’s and men’s wages without assuming that women, who still shoulder a disproportionate amount of responsibilities at home, would be able or willing to work as many hours as their male counterparts. Examining the hourly gender wage gap allows for a more thorough conversation about how many factors create the wage gap women experience when they cash their paychecks.

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Trump V.P., Mike Pence Crosses the Line

Over the past few days our country has been inundated with a deluge of Republican speakers spewing hatred, fear and vulgarity designed to divide our country and democrats within it.  

Republicans have a lot on the line here, their party is in shambles and they risk loosing ultra conservative regressive policies should they loose the election.  Most people understand that desperate people perform desperate acts, however republicans have gone entirely too far.  

Seasoned Journalist, Dan Rather addresses this issue on his Facebook blog.  Well worth the read. 

Dan Rather


“I am a big fan of fact checking politicians, but we must acknowledge the long tradition of hyperbolic electoral rhetoric from candidates of all political stripes. The allegations slung about in stump speeches often are as grounded in reality as a cow jumping over the moon. We wink at our partisans. Shake our heads at our opponents. But in the end we sort of understand it is part of the game.

Sometimes, however, it goes too far. And last night, Mike Pence crossed a line that was reckless with the truth. The topic was Benghazi and the sentence in his speech was: "It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm's way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said 'What difference at this point does it make?’

The first claim is vague enough in its phrasing that Pence can claim Clinton bears some general responsibility since she was Secretary of State, even though she has been cleared of any personal culpability by multiple investigations. But it is the second comment, Clinton's quote, that I find so objectionable. Look up the transcript of the Congressional hearing where that statement took place, or better yet watch it on YouTube. You will see that Pence took it shamelessly out of context. This is not a question of perspective but of fact. It's not just an issue of fairness but of basic accuracy.

Many have commented at the level of fierce vitriol towards Clinton being whipped up at the convention. A lot of this is understandable. Clinton is not popular with even some Democrats. If Donald Trump is going to win in November, trying to tear down Clinton even further is a good strategy. It could unite his base and maybe lure over Independents. But it is one thing to ramp up the negatives, it's another to call for violence or incarceration. Both of these have happened at this convention.

By taking such a provocative quote so out of context, Pence is playing to the exaggerated paranoia in the hall. It is irresponsible. Fair journalists should call him on it. That is not being biased, or in the tank for Hillary. It's about being fair. I will be watching closely at the Democratic Convention for similar lines crossed.”

Source:  https://www.facebook.com/theDanRather/?fref=nf