I accepted the gender wage gap as a sexism problem…until I did some research.

Gender pay gap Fig-5_spring-2016


 

Recent data shows that the gender pay gap is not constant through a woman’s lifetime.

The gap stays low until 34 years of age. Why?

From Claudia Goldin, Professor of economics at Harvard University:

“Some of the best studies that we have of the gender pay gap, following individuals longitudinally, show that when they show up right out of college, or out of law school, or after they get their M.B.A. — all the studies that we have indicate that wages are pretty similar then…  

But further down the pike in their lives, by 10-15 years out, we see very large differences in their pay. But we also see large differences in where they are, in their job titles, and a lot of that occurs a year or two after a kid is born, and it occurs for women and not for men. ” (1)

If someone is out of the workforce for several years, this affects their number of years of job experience.

In addition, women work about 1 hour less than men, per day, which will lower their income in comparison to men, creating an income gap. (2, 3)

Hours worked by gender

What do you think?

Are employers using gender discrimination and causing the pay gap? Or is the gap due to choices made by each gender? Or is it both?

It’s definitely not as simple as I’d thought. And reducing this phenomenon to a one-line sound-bite is irresponsible.  I regret taking this assumption of sexism at face value, just because it was being stated by so many people, even our President. (4)

Another reminder to Think For Yourself.


Sources:

Graph: http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

(1) http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-true-story-of-the-gender-pay-gap-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

(2) http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/time-spent-working-by-full-and-part-time-status-gender-and-location-in-2014.htm

(3) http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-earnings/archive/highlights-of-womens-earnings-in-2013.pdf

(4) http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/obama-announce-new-rules-closing-gender-pay-gap-n506941

 

 

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How to make change real.

Obama-Hope-Change-Forward

We voted for change with a young, idealistic black man with our current president. Today, we look to an old, critical white man for the same change.
The most meaningful change to strive for is in our own life and our own community. The rest is…overblown. The work done up there in the halls of government is important, but not as important as the attention we give to our own lives and neighborhoods.
The best hope to have is in yourself and the friendships you forge.

Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

Who are you voting for?

When someone speaks reasonably about unreasonable things, they are either a genius, or a madman. Cast your vote carefully. If a person talks about spending money they don’t have, putting value in something that has no inherent value, taking away your liberties to fight an unseen enemy to protect your liberties, find another person to vote for. Gridlock ends when we elect people, from president to state rep, who will do the right thing, not follow what was done before because that’s the way things were always done.

Remember: There are many who are thinking just as you are.

How to get the job you love

Decide what you like, get good at it -if you’re not already- and then find the job.

The one way that is highly questionable to get you a job is having the government raise or lower people’s tax rates. Romney plans to create 12 million new jobs and Obama has given nearly trillion dollars to businesses to create more jobs. But you are a much bigger factor to getting a good job than what these guys are going to do. Much bigger.

Why?

Because seeking a top-down solution assumes the people on top know what’s good for everyone and they can anticipate what business and individual needs are, which sometimes change month to month…even day to day!

Quite an assumption to make.

It’s better not to assume and just do it yourself. And if you’re already doing it? Then help a brother or sister out. As a friend to them, you’re better at providing that empowerment to get them in a job than someone in an office somewhere who has no idea who your friend is.

Of course, the government spending could create jobs. How? The devil is in the details. The question is, who do you trust more: The government after their good intended actions brought down the housing market? Or yourself?

Let’s use our common sense to stop our leaders from driving our economic Mack truck into the ground. How much more do we need out of its engine? And how much more do we need out of ourselves?

Laws may fail us, but our morality will not

When government representatives allow immoral but technically legal corporate practices, are we being just as immoral in re-electing those same representatives back into office? Does more regulation help our moral standards or just focus on legal standards? Does it matter? Why do we need legal standards when the moral thing to do is not give our business to those who are doing wrong with our money?

The government announced that starting this month, they will be buying $40 billion worth of near worthless bonds from the Wall St banks every month to try to save the economy. Using our money.

Think it will work?

Willing to bet your retirement on it?

Because if you have a 401k, you already are.

Your strength is needed. Now…more than ever.

Some people think they know better than others. You know the type. They give advice on everything. They believe they have the system of do’s and don’ts that will work. They want what is best for you. And they believe they know what the best thing for you to do is. In fact, they think they know what is best for everyone.

Others believe it’s better for people to make their own choice. They believe people will strive, work, share, and care for others. Not because we’re forced to, but because in a stable system of laws, that is what we will do. They believe people should have the freedom to live how they want, but without hurting others. To choose what passion to follow, where to work, how much to pay, how much to get paid, what to buy, how to explore their own consciousness, and who to congregate with.

There are those who want a system of control because they want to protect people, not just from others, but protect them from making the wrong choices. They want to protect us from ourselves. They are cautious of people. Do they even trust people?

They like giving guidelines, and providing a program. They believe in a high standard of living, and they want everyone to have that standard, not just the opportunity for that standard, because they think everyone deserves it. And they will engineer a system using their formula of mandates that will get you this, regardless of how this effects the financial condition of the country. They will make it too affordable to pass up or they will cook it into the system so you have no choice.

These people truly want to help others.

And they believe they are the expert authority on that. And they believe in a central authority. Like a central bank that controls money, or a central insurance company that controls health care, or a central department of energy and agriculture to provide corporate welfare. Or a police authority that has taken our right to trial, so we can be arrested without charge.

Those who believe in people are different. They are courageous, because living an empowered life is damn scary. But that is why we are here. Not to make a perfect world, but to accept that life is not going to be perfect, and anything that is worth doing in life is risky. And caring about someone else is not about giving them something. It’s about being their friend and helping them face to face, not through a check delivered by a service taken from our paycheck.

We’re here to make choices, not have someone else make them for us.

We’re here to get hurt, mend, learn, and grow. And when we see someone else hurting, we’re here to extend our own hand and help them up. Not pay others to help them for us. Because people need to intimately know they are valued before they can do something of value. And because you cannot make someone care about you by forcing them to share with you.

We’re here to explore our passions and our own consciousness without being restricted on what we can do, unless it hurts another person.

We know that we cannot get as far alone as we can by joining others, but not in faceless networks. We’re here to share life in a community, because we must have the opportunity to learn that without guidelines or incentives, a rich life is one of honest collaboration with others.

We know that if we give leaders the authority to do things on behalf of us, we must remain aware of how they are using this power. And that we must stop them when we feel they are doing a disservice to us.

We know that we should treat everyone else how we would want to be treated. And so we act accordingly.

These people trust humanity to do the right thing.

Some might call these libertarian values.

But they are not.

They are called human values.

And I believe it is how we should live.

How bizarre, how bizarre

Last night, Romney was criticizing a law that doesn’t really exist, and Obama was talking about doing something that he said he would do when he ran for office the last time.

Romney said that the Dodd-Frank Act “designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they’re effectively guaranteed by the federal government.”

But most of the Act is unenforced, since regulators don’t know how the Wall Street banks make-up what they sell. Bernie Frank (Democrat) even said that since regulators have not defined what a qualified mortgage is, the policy “has no effect” on loans now, which “will not be covered by this.”

And Obama talked about preventing loopholes and tax breaks for businesses shipping jobs overseas, and what has been done about that in 4 years? Will Romney be able to change any of this?

How bizarre.

Why do we continue to vote for these parties?

Let’s make the change.

How to make your vote count

Many feel that money influences our representatives.

Many believe that elections are decided by money rather than votes. I think this is correct, but only in so much as we believe that is true and willingly throw our vote away or not vote. I know this because I was one of those who felt helpless and didn’t bother voting.

I was helping to creating an environment of hopelessness. An environment that promoted the idea that our neighbors are ignorant, dumb, and lazy. Then I realized something important. With this attitude, we will never elect any real change into office. We will think our personal vote doesn’t matter because it will be diluted by the mass of humanity who isn’t paying attention.

But I was wrong. I was more than wrong, in fact. I was part of the problem!

As much as people are focused on themselves and their wants and their opinions, they are also influneced by their environment. In fact, studies have shown if a person is given a test with an obvious answer, they will change their answer to the wrong one when they are put into a group of people who provide that wrong answer!

It is indeed true, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Devalue your vote and your fellow citizen’s capacity to do the right thing, and after a time, you will find that that is precisely the environment you live in.

Value that vote. Ask others how they’re voting. And why.

In Egypt (and Syria, and Tunisia, and Bahrain) people are rioting against military police because they don’t want to be told what to do by a dictator. They are being arrested without trial by secret police and being tortured because they want the right to vote.

Don’t throw your vote away.

The question to ask yourself is: What are the most important issues? And are the Democrats or Republicans addressing these issues, or avoiding them?

Remember, the power is still with us.

TED Talk Tuesday invaded by FOX News: What if…?


“What if the two-party system were actually a mechanism used to limit so-called public opinion? What if there were more than two sides to every issue, but the two parties wanted to box you in to a corner, one of their corners?

What if there’s no such thing as public opinion, because every thinking person has opinions that are uniquely his own?

What if public opinion were just a manufactured narrative that makes it easier to convince people that if their views are different, there’s something wrong with that – or something wrong with them?

What if the whole purpose of the Democratic and Republican parties was not to expand voters’ choices, but to limit them?

What if those vaunted differences between Democrat and Republican were actually just minor disagreements?

What if both parties just want power and are willing to have young people fight meaningless wars to enhance that power?

What if both parties continue to fight the war on drugs just to give bureaucrats and cops bigger budgets and more jobs?

What if government policies didn’t change when government’s leaders did?

What if no matter who won an election, government stayed the same?

What if government were really a revolving door of political hacks, bent on exploiting the people while they’re in charge?”

Who watches the watcher?
The answer is clear.
It’s you and me!
An enlightened and knowledgeable population.
The government and corporations and banks don’t rule us.
They serve us.
We can change the power imbalance that has drifted to them.

Yes.
We can.

National Defense Authorization Act has been passed: The government has now taken our right to trial

During Hurricane Katrina, martial law (termed state of emergency) was declared in New Orleans while the city streets were cleared, power was restored, and looting stopped. Martial law power was instituted during World War II when Japanese-Americans were imprisoned to protect all of America from the possibility that ethnic loyalties would turn the Japanese violent.

Martial law is declared when the safety of the populace is threatened. It gives military control over an area and military power over you. You can be arrested and jailed indefinitely until the military decides to release you. It is one of the paradoxes of life. We fight war for peace. We have martial law take our freedom, to protect our freedom.

Earlier this month, the government claimed the power of martial law

Congress passed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which has declared that American citizens who are suspected of supporting terrorism can lose their right to trial. This emergency measure is to protect us and is only temporary. Like in New Orleans, after power was restored and the roads cleared, martial law was lifted. Like after Japan surrendered to the US in World War II, the Japanese-Americans were released from prison.

But how long can the government hold current martial law power when our war isn’t against a group with a leader or against looters during a natural disaster? When do we win the war on terror?

It’s true, the military is not patrolling the streets, but why wasn’t the wording in the NDAA made more clear than “supports terrorism”? Why didn’t it specify that support is giving information, material, or physical help to a terrorist? Why didn’t the law err on the side of protecting our freedom while protecting us from terrorists? Why did they instead take absolute power over arresting Americans in the US?

A terrorist attack killed nearly 3000 Americans on 9-11.
In comparison, over 28,000 babies born in the US die before their first birthday

In reaction to the attack on 9-11, the government waged war in three countries, created a Department of Homeland Security, and has taken our right to trial.

I think we must ask why they deserve to take such a power to protect us in a war that has no end in sight.

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/02/president-obama-signed-the-national-defense-authorization-act-now-what/

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20081015/infant-mortality-us-ranks-29th