Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS, location, huge mortgage, location<p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas</span></strong></span></span> and her husband, who have five school-age children, pay a huge mortgage for a&nbsp;<a href="">home in a good school district</a>. Three years after they moved in, &ldquo;county officials are&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">debating rewriting school boundaries</a>, so that our house would no longer qualify for Virginia&rsquo;s Langley High School, one of the&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">top rated high schools in the state</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p> Because it&rsquo;s so hard for homeowners to move, public schools essentially have a &ldquo;captive clientele,&rdquo; writes Lukas, who is&nbsp;president of the&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a>. Education doesn&rsquo;t operate like a real marketplace, where the customer can take his or her business elsewhere if service is poor or prices are high.</p> <p> As Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wrote in&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>The Two-Income Trap</em>,</a>&nbsp;our current system &ldquo;drives couples to take on&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">bigger and bigger mortgages</a>, in part to gain access to desirable public schools,&rdquo; writes Lukas.</p> <p> Of course, everyone wants their kids to go to the best schools. &ldquo;Prioritizing those who live close by and pay taxes to support the school makes sense,&rdquo; she writes.</p> <p> However, Lukas wants to see alternatives.</p> <blockquote> <p> For example, giving all parents the right to take even just half of their students&rsquo; per-pupil spending (which is more than&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">$14,000 in my home, Fairfax County, Virginia</a>) and using it for tuition at an alternative school would increase accountability for public schools, give unhappy parents an escape hatch from bad school systems, and loosen the relationship between location and educational opportunities.</p> </blockquote> <p> In Arizona,&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">education savings accounts</a>&nbsp;allow &ldquo;qualifying families to take a portion of the state&rsquo;s allotted spending on their child&rsquo;s education and spend it on any number of individualized options, including private school tuition, online services, educational therapy for special needs and even hiring tutors in the home,&rdquo; writes Lukas.</p> <p> Florida lets as few as&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">five or 10 families</a>, &ldquo;with the same vision but not necessarily the same ZIP code,&rdquo;&nbsp; join or start their own&nbsp;&ldquo;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">micro school,</a>&rdquo; she writes.</p> <p> &ldquo;A real education marketplace&rdquo; will help kids learn more, &ldquo;reduce financial pressure on millions of families and make finding a place to call home a little less stressful,&rdquo; concludes Lukas.</p> L. LukasThu, 5 Sep 2019 15:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIs civility a lost cause?<p> It&rsquo;s Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah of summer, so I hope you are currently on a beach with a beer in hand.&nbsp;</p> <p> And while Twitter and politics may be far from your mind, a few events from the week are worth pondering.&nbsp;</p> <p> Calls for civility are frequent, with various politicians and groups raising the alarm over our growing divides.&nbsp;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s hard to be against civility, right? But I wonder how many people, deep down, really want that. Some seem to revel in the division.&nbsp;</p> <p> Take, for instance, a ridiculous social media exchange from last week that took on a life of its own.&nbsp;</p> <p> David Karpf, an associate professor of media at George Washington University, sent out a tweet playing off news that bedbugs had infested The New York Times: &ldquo;The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens.&rdquo;</p> <p> Stephens, if you don&rsquo;t know, is a conservative-leaning columnist at The New York Times &mdash; and formerly of The Wall Street Journal. He&rsquo;s a wonderful writer and a thoughtful observer. And although he must be used to the criticism that all opinion writers receive, he&nbsp;snapped at this insult.</p> <p> <a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href=";" target="_blank">He wrote an email to Karpf</a>, and CC&rsquo;d his boss, the provost, inviting him to come to his house and call him a bedbug to his face.&nbsp;</p> <p> Regardless of whether Stephens handled this in the best way, the uproar his email caused is what caught my attention.&nbsp;</p> <p> The insults and barbs against Stephens started flying, with #BretBug even trending for a while. And if you read through the comments, you&rsquo;ll see these folks were having a gleeful time smearing Stephens.&nbsp;</p> <p> And Karpf is upheld as some sort of hero &mdash; for relating another human being to an insect.</p> <p> I know there is vitriol on both sides of the political aisle, but the left is adept at smugly throwing around what <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span>, calls &ldquo;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">progressive privilege</a>,&rdquo; which slams the door on civility.&nbsp;</p> <p> Bias against conservatives is seen all too often, with individuals on the right getting ostracized. This happened in Detroit, when the Women&rsquo;s March&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">held its convention</a>here in 2017. None of the speakers remotely identified as conservative, even though the event claimed to be inclusive of all women.&nbsp;</p> <p> Similarly, a &quot;Take on Hate&quot;&nbsp;rally Thursday at the University of Michigan-Dearborn to &ldquo;address the rise of divisive rhetoric, attacks and hatred&rdquo; was hosted by only Democratic members of Congress from Michigan &mdash; including Reps. Debbie Dingell, Rashida Tlaib and Brenda Lawrence.&nbsp;</p> <p> More:&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">Dearborn gathering takes on &#39;rise of divisive rhetoric&#39;</a></p> <p> By not including at least one Republican host, that struck me as code for an event that would call out President Donald Trump and lump in all his supporters&nbsp;as a major cause of the &ldquo;hate&rdquo; problem.&nbsp;</p> <p> The political dynamic is such that anyone who identifies as a conservative or Republican is too quickly labeled by the left as a &ldquo;racist&rdquo; or &ldquo;white supremacist.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p> Stephens, a Never Trumper, got slapped with the &ldquo;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">white nationalist</a>&rdquo; label after he wrote a column earlier in the summer about Democratic presidential candidates&rsquo; extreme ideas on illegal immigration&nbsp;and expanding government programs.&nbsp;</p> <p> Such name calling precludes&nbsp;civil discourse.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Gen.&nbsp;Jim Mattis, former defense secretary,&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">recently observed</a>: &ldquo;We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our future, instead of rediscovering our common ground and finding solutions.&rdquo;</p> <p> <cta-atoms-container-inline></cta-atoms-container-inline></p> <p> As tribalism, fueled by social media, trumps civility, we&rsquo;ll&nbsp;start looking more like bedbugs to each other.&nbsp;</p> L. LukasSat, 31 Aug 2019 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumI took on a big mortgage to live near a certain public school. Parents need school choice.<p> Three years ago, when preparing to move to the Washington, D.C.,&nbsp;area with five school-age kids, public school quality had to top our list of priorities for buying a home. We were fortunate as a two-income couple to be able to consider many options, even in the overpriced metro suburbs, but not so comfortable as to afford private school tuition.&nbsp;We had to make sure our local public schools would be a good fit.</p> <p> Naturally, houses in the best school districts cost more &mdash; a lot more &mdash; than those with worse ratings. We figured that compared with&nbsp;dozens of years of private schooling, the extra mortgage debt was worth it, but it was a big financial sacrifice.&nbsp;</p> <p> Now, three years later, county officials are&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">debating rewriting school boundaries</a>, so that our house would no longer qualify for Virginia&rsquo;s Langley High School, one of the&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">top rated high schools in the state</a>. Unsurprisingly, this created tremendous debate, pitting people&nbsp;in the area who would be newly districted into Langley, who would enjoy access to better education and improved home values, against those of us who would be on the losing end on both measures.&nbsp;</p> <p> Read more <a href="">here</a>.</p> L. LukasThu, 29 Aug 2019 08:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumProgressive Privilege Does Everyone A Disservice • Point of View L. LukasWed, 28 Aug 2019 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumVIDEO: Paid Leave Sounds Nice, But...<p dir="ltr"> Government programs that provide financial support for workers who need time off sound terrific. We assume that it will help those struggling financially most, keeping them afloat and getting them through challenging times. That&rsquo;s why polls show strong, bipartisan support for <a href="">government paid leave programs</a>. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-9e1e8a1c-7fff-7e2f-edd8-74be6a9ad3d0">But as explained in this video, this isn&rsquo;t how traditional paid leave entitlement actually work. In countries and states with government paid leave programs, it tends to be the well off who use the most benefits while those with the lowest earnings are less likely to receive benefits. Yet those with lower earnings are still paying into the program, and are the most likely to face reduced job opportunities and lower earnings. &nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-9e1e8a1c-7fff-7e2f-edd8-74be6a9ad3d0"><a href="">Watch the whole video to learn more:&nbsp;</a></span></strong></p> L. LukasThu, 22 Aug 2019 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum‘Gender stereotypes’: Judge rules Harvard sanctions on single-sex clubs may violate Title IX<p> A Harvard administrator&rsquo;s interview with the campus newspaper is now coming back to haunt the elite university.</p> <p> A federal judge refused to dismiss a&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">sex-discrimination lawsuit</a>&nbsp;against Harvard by single-sex organizations that have been targeted for accepting only men or women.</p> <p> When Harvard&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">first floated its plans</a>&nbsp;to penalize final clubs, sororities and fraternities in 2016, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana told&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Harvard Crimson</a>that the unrecognized single-sex groups &ldquo;remain at odds with the aspirations of the 21st century society.&rdquo;</p> <p> A year and a half later,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Harvard finalized rules</a>&nbsp;that ban members of &ldquo;unrecognized single-gender social organizations&rdquo; from obtaining leadership positions in Harvard student groups or athletic teams. It also made members ineligible to receive Harvard endorsements for prestigious scholarships such as the Mitchell and Rhodes.</p> <p> &ldquo;It is certainly plausible that Harvard&rsquo;s purported ideal of the &lsquo;modern&rsquo; man or woman is informed by stereotypes about how men and women should act,&rdquo; U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton wrote in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer">Friday&rsquo;s opinion</a>, citing the interview with Khurana (below). &ldquo;Withholding benefits from students who fail to conform to such stereotypes violates Title IX.&rdquo;</p> <p> In validating a &ldquo;plausible claim under a theory of gender stereotyping,&rdquo; Gorton also cited Harvard&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">original rationale</a>&nbsp;for its policy: to stop the sexual assault&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">purportedly associated</a>&nbsp;with single-sex clubs.</p> <p> It wasn&rsquo;t the only time the judge would cite Harvard employees&rsquo; own words to justify letting the lawsuit proceed.</p> <p> Harvard&rsquo;s aggressive tactics to convince clubs to go coed got it sued in state as well as federal court. The state lawsuit, which has fewer plaintiffs, remains open but has seen no action since May, according to the court docket. Its &ldquo;next event&rdquo; is a hearing Sept. 10 in Boston.</p> <div> <p> <strong>&lsquo;Misguided efforts at social engineering&rsquo;&nbsp;</strong></p> <p> Brooklyn College Prof. KC Johnson, who closely tracks Title IX litigation,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer">called Gorton&rsquo;s decision</a>&nbsp;a &ldquo;near-total setback for Harvard on [an] issue where the university&rsquo;s behavior has been an embarrassment.&rdquo;</p> <p> The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which pressured Harvard to drop its plans&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">from the start</a>, called the ruling a &ldquo;significant blow&rdquo; to the school&rsquo;s &ldquo;misguided efforts at social engineering.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s also a blow to &ldquo;Social-Engineer-in-Chief Rakesh Khurana,&rdquo; Samantha Harris, vice president for procedural advocacy, wrote in a&nbsp;<a href="">blog post</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;Three years ago, Khurana and then-Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust ignored FIRE&rsquo;s warnings not to do this,&rdquo; she wrote. &ldquo;We hope that this time, Khurana and Harvard will heed the warning of a federal judge and withdraw its wrongheaded and discriminatory policy.&rdquo;</p> <p> The Crimson, whose quotation of Khurana helped get the university in trouble, has not reported on the ruling as of Wednesday morning.</p> <p> It did report, however, on a lawsuit against Harvard that was dismissed for lack of standing the day before Gorton&rsquo;s ruling. That suit was&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">filed by unnamed plaintiffs</a>who claim race and sex preferences at the&nbsp;Harvard Law Review&nbsp;have the effect of discriminating against those who submit articles to it.</p> <p> <strong>Like punishing gays and lesbians in the workplace</strong></p> <p> The federal suit was brought by Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and its Harvard chapter, and three unidentified male students. They contend the Harvard policy violates both Title IX and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.</p> <p> Judge Gorton dismissed the all-female Theta and Kappa as plaintiffs because they shuttered after Harvard announced the policy, and thus have no standing to sue. The women&rsquo;s groups have&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">borne the brunt of the policy</a>, lacking the resources and history of the all-male clubs to continue operating.</p> <p> The <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span> finds it &ldquo;ironic&rdquo; that the all-female group were dismissed for lack of standing, it said in a press release Tuesday.</p> <p> &ldquo;The reason that these sororities no longer have active chapters, of course, is because of&nbsp;Harvard&rsquo;s policy,&rdquo; said Erin Hawley, senior counsel for its Center for Law and Liberty.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">She previously warned</a>&nbsp;that Harvard&rsquo;s action against women&rsquo;s groups signaled it could next try to punish students who attend churches that don&rsquo;t allow female clergy.</p> <p> As an upperclassman who is not subject to the policy, which only took effect for incoming students in fall 2017, the third unnamed male also lacks standing, Gorton said.</p> <p> While the other two males have standing, the judge instructed them to &ldquo;reveal their identities if they choose to proceed&rdquo; &ndash; meaning Harvard could punish them for violating the policy.</p> <p> Harvard lost its motion to dismiss on everything aside from the limited standing issues.</p> <p> Members of the all-male clubs &ldquo;would have full access to the subject opportunities on campus&rdquo; &ndash; leadership, captaincies and fellowships &ndash; were it not for &ldquo;Harvard&rsquo;s disparate treatment&rdquo; of them based on their club membership, Gorton wrote. The policy also hinders their ability to raise funds and sustain their membership.</p> <p> Gorton agreed with the plaintiffs that the &ldquo;equal application&rdquo; of the policy to both sexes is &ldquo;irrelevant&rdquo; for Title IX purposes because it &ldquo;treats individual students differently based on their sex.&rdquo;</p> <p> He compared the single-sex club situation to gay men and lesbians in the workplace. Employment-law precedents frown on &ldquo;the equal application of the employer&rsquo;s policy to both men and women&rdquo; because the policy nonetheless draws &ldquo;distinctions&rdquo; based on sex.</p> <p> <strong>Can both hurt women more&nbsp;</strong><strong>and</strong><strong>&nbsp;be motivated by anti-male bias</strong></p> <p> &ldquo;[I]t is impossible for Harvard to apply its Policy without considering both the sex of the particular student and the sex of the other students with whom he or she seeks to associate,&rdquo; the judge wrote.</p> <p> This would lead to the result that women but not men could join all-male clubs without sanction by Harvard:</p> <blockquote> <p> It is simply irrelevant that the Policy applies equally to both male and female students. A policy is no less discriminatory or motivated by sex simply because it applies equally to members of both sexes.</p> </blockquote> <p> The remaining plaintiffs also have made plausible claims on &ldquo;associational discrimination&rdquo; under Title IX, even though there&rsquo;s no direct caselaw on the subject in the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees Gorton&rsquo;s court, he said.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s because the appeals court often looks at the &ldquo;Title VII [employment] context to analyze the scope of Title IX,&rdquo; the judge said.</p> <p> Gorton even allowed anti-male bias allegations to continue, citing his previous analysis on gender stereotyping.</p> <p> Just because women have been hit harder by the policy than men doesn&rsquo;t mean it was &ldquo;not originally motivated by bias against all-male social organizations,&rdquo; the judge said. He cited allegations that &ldquo;various Harvard committees and administrators have made disparaging comments&rdquo; about the male-only final clubs (&ldquo;a certain subset of men&rdquo;) &ndash; that they &ldquo;promote sexual violence, misogyny and bigotry.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>At least the policy is not &lsquo;coercive&rsquo;</strong></p> <p> On the civil rights claims under state law, the student organizations failed to demonstrate that the policy itself &ldquo;constitutes threats, intimidation or coercion,&rdquo; Gorton said.</p> <p> Students who are subject to the policy knew about it before enrolling and chose to attend Harvard anyway, he noted. This was the lone silver lining for the university, aside from a few plaintiffs being removed.</p> <p> The remaining plaintiffs can still argue MCRA claims, though, that particular individuals &ldquo;suffered other threats of discipline or intimidation&rdquo; by joining the prohibited groups, or that they were &ldquo;coerced into not joining&rdquo; those groups.</p> <p> Harvard said it disagreed with the judge that a policy that treats men and women equally can nonetheless violate the law.</p> <p> Spokesperson Rachel Dane told&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Boston Globe</a>&nbsp;that the policy is a &ldquo;measured and lawful policy that treats all students equally.&rdquo; She praised the court, however, for finding that &ldquo;the policy is not coercive&rdquo; under state law.</p> <p> Plaintiffs&rsquo; attorney R. Stanton Jones told the university to accept that its policy is &ldquo;discriminatory twice-over,&rdquo; as Gorton explained: It constitutes sex-based discrimination toward the social organization and the student who associates with it.</p> <p> In the statement cited by the&nbsp;Globe, Stanton said Harvard should &ldquo;stop discriminating against its students and trust them to make their own choices about who to associate with.&rdquo;</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> L. LukasWed, 14 Aug 2019 07:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum"Checking Progressive Privilege" shines a light on political intolerance • Larry O'Connor Show L. LukasMon, 12 Aug 2019 15:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLetter in Support of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights<p> <a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 250px; height: 41px;" /></a></p> <p> August 6, 2019</p> <p> The Honorable Mike Pompeo<br /> Secretary of State<br /> U.S. Department of State<br /> 2201 C Street, N.W.<br /> Washington, DC, 20520</p> <p> Dear Secretary Pompeo:</p> <p> So many people advocate today in the name of &ldquo;human rights&rdquo; that social goals are often confused with God-given fundamental or unalienable rights, a problem leading to less individual freedom, not more. Clarification of human rights is the first step in an effective strategy to protect human rights around the world. For this reason, we welcome your announcement of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights which will ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America&rsquo;s founding principles of individual dignity and freedoms, later reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.</p> <p> As America&rsquo;s founders state in the Declaration of Independence, unalienable rights are based in natural law and include &ldquo;Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.&rdquo; Rights like freedom of conscience, speech, and belief are &ldquo;natural&rdquo; or &ldquo;God-given&rdquo; because they&rsquo;re inherent to all human beings&mdash;we are born with them. These rights are to be&nbsp;<em>protected</em>&nbsp;by the government, not given by the government, as demonstrated in the U.S. Bill of Rights.</p> <p> In like manner, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognizes man&rsquo;s inherent dignity and&nbsp;that &ldquo;the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.&rdquo; Human rights are the foundation of our common dignity, and when we protect this foundation, we then have the freedom to advocate for our goals, ideologies, and political preferences.</p> <p> However, the foundation of human rights is being watered-down by activists around the world promoting political ideology and identity group goals as &ldquo;human rights.&rdquo; Examples of this type of activism include:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="">the right to a clean environment</a>, the right to&nbsp;<a href="">free university education</a>, the right to&nbsp;<a href=";ref=opinion">internet access</a>, the right of&nbsp;<a href="">access to abortion as healthcare</a>, and even the&nbsp;<a href="">right to not be offended</a>&nbsp;(in direct conflict with the clear right to freedom of expression). This dilution undermines fundamental principles, including the fact that&nbsp;<em>all</em>&nbsp;people are equal and have common dignity. While many such activists are busy furthering their policy preferences as &ldquo;rights,&rdquo; they ignore clear and expressed human rights like that protected by Article 18 of the UDHR&mdash;the right to choose and change one&rsquo;s faith&mdash;which is still heavily suppressed in far too many countries around the world.</p> <p> Ideological activism presented as &ldquo;rights&rdquo; distracts from the fundamental purposes of protecting human rights. This critically undercuts the focus on the&nbsp;<em>real&nbsp;</em>victims of human rights abuse such as&mdash;a pregnant&nbsp;<a href="">Sudanese woman imprisoned for her Christian faith</a>&nbsp;and forced to give birth with her legs in shackles, men in Syria and Iraq being&nbsp;<a href="">thrown off buildings</a>&nbsp;to their death, a girl being&nbsp;<a href="">shot in the head</a>&nbsp;for simply wanting to go to school, and the millions&nbsp;<a href="">of Uyghur Muslims detained, imprisoned, and oppressed</a>&nbsp;because of their faith.</p> <p> A diluted human rights narrative allows totalitarian and authoritarian governments the&nbsp;<a href="">guise</a>&nbsp;of promoting social or economic benefits as &ldquo;human rights,&rdquo; while simultaneously becoming egregious violators of fundamental human rights themselves as they censor freedom of the press, oppress religious minorities, or imprison political dissidents. The UDHR called for &ldquo;the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p> Fundamental human rights are for all people&mdash;regardless of their background, socio-economic status, or beliefs, and we believe the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights can bring focus back to protecting needful victims of human rights abuse. For these reasons everyone&mdash;including the most prominent human rights organizations&mdash;should get squarely behind this commission.</p> <p> We applaud you and your staff for your &ldquo;fresh thinking&rdquo; approach to U.S. foreign policy. Thank you for committing the time, resources, and effort to protecting the fundamental human rights of all people.</p> <p> The U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights can do more than clarify and help remedy human rights abuses; it has the potential to reassert the&nbsp;<em>right</em>&nbsp;kind of American leadership on the world stage. We have seen this before: Eleanor Roosevelt led and chaired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee. We are grateful for your leadership in creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to continue America&rsquo;s legacy in defending universal human rights around the world.</p> <p> The world is better and freer when America leads.</p> <p> Sincerely,</p> <p> Penny Nance<br /> CEO and President<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Tony Perkins<br /> President<br /> Family Research Council</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas</span><br /> <span style="background-color:#ea425b;">President</span><br /> <span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell<br /> Former, U.S. Ambassador<br /> United Nations Human Rights Commission</p> <p> Kay Coles James<br /> President<br /> The Heritage Foundation</p> <p> Gary L. Bauer<br /> President<br /> American Values</p> <p> Ralph Reed<br /> Founder and Chairman<br /> Faith &amp; Freedom Coalition</p> <p> Anne Schlafly Cori<br /> Chairman<br /> Eagle Forum</p> <p> William L. Walton<br /> President<br /> Council for National Policy</p> <p> Peter Zoehrer<br /> Executive Director<br /> Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF)</p> <p> Mr. Kelly Shackelford, Esq.<br /> President, CEO &amp; Chief Counsel<br /> First Liberty</p> <p> Mark Tooley<br /> President<br /> Institute on Religion and Democracy</p> <p> Heather R. Higgins<br /> CEO<br /> Independent Women&rsquo;s Voice</p> <p> Wendy Wright<br /> President<br /> Christian Freedom International</p> <p> Gary Marx<br /> Former E.D.<br /> Faith &amp; Freedom Coalition</p> <p> Rabbi Pesach Lerner<br /> President<br /> Coalition for Jewish Values</p> <p> Fr. Frank Pavone<br /> National Director<br /> Priests for Life</p> <p> Art Ally<br /> President<br /> Timothy Partners, Ltd.</p> <p> John Stemberger<br /> President &amp; General Counsel<br /> Florida Family Policy Council</p> <p> Frank Wright, Ph.D.<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> D. James Kennedy Ministries</p> <p> Catherine Glenn Foster<br /> President and CEO<br /> Americans United for Life</p> <p> James Bopp, Jr.<br /> General Counsel<br /> James Madison Center for Free Speech</p> <p> Austin Ruse<br /> President<br /> C-Fam</p> <p> David Nammo<br /> CEO &amp; Executive Director<br /> Christian Legal Society</p> <p> Eunie Smith<br /> President<br /> Eagle Forum</p> <p> Mark Fitzgibbons<br /> President of Corporate Affairs<br /> American Target Advertising, Inc.</p> <p> Janet Morana<br /> Co-Founder<br /> Silent No More Awareness Campaign</p> <p> Dran Reese<br /> President<br /> The Salt &amp; Light Council</p> <p> Steve Berger<br /> Sr. Pastor<br /> Grace Chapel</p> <p> Marlo Tucker<br /> State Director, California<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Ruth Smith<br /> Area Director, California<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Terri Johannessen<br /> State Director, Florida<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Barbara Ferraro<br /> State Director, Hawaii<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Tanya Ditty<br /> State Director, Georgia<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Deborah Leininger<br /> State Director, Illinois<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Tamara Scott<br /> State Director, Iowa<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Barbara Saldivar<br /> State Director, Kansas<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Penny Morrell<br /> State Director, Maine<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Haven Howard<br /> Area Director, Missouri<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Jill Coward<br /> State Director, North Carolina<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Linda Thorson<br /> State Director, North Dakota<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Linda Schauer<br /> State Director, South Dakota<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Kori Peterson<br /> Area Director, Texas<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Beverly Roberts<br /> Area Director, Texas<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Toni DeLancey<br /> State Director, Virginia<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> Maureen Richardson<br /> State Director, Washington<br /> Concerned Women for America</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> cc:&nbsp; &nbsp; Senate Foreign Relations Committee<br /> House Foreign Affairs Committee</p> L. LukasTue, 6 Aug 2019 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumProgressive Privilege Harms Conservative and Progressive Causes<p> In 1988, women&rsquo;s studies professor, Peggy MacIntosh wrote an<a href="">&nbsp;article</a>&nbsp;detailing ways that she, as a white person, was privileged compared to her African American peers.&nbsp; From the content of textbooks, news and entertainment programming, to how her actions and statements would be perceived from authority figures, to the color of band-aids, she showed how being white afforded unearned benefits, and not being white meant unearned burdens.</p> <p> Since then, our society has become more conscious of how our culture creates expectations for what is normal and good, and has historically favored whites, males, heterosexuals, and Christians, marginalizing Hispanics, African-Americans, women, the LGBT community, and members of other religions. Today, entertainment, news stories, commercials, and academic materials contain much greater diversity in terms of race, sexuality, and religion. This is progress in terms of inclusivity and fairness.</p> <p> Yet one form of privilege has been overlooked or dismissed:&nbsp; the privileged afforded to those with progressive political ideologies.&nbsp;</p> <p> In 2018,&nbsp;<a href="">Glamour Magazine</a>&nbsp;included 11 recognizable progressive leaders among their women of the year. Not one conservative was featured. Turn on any&nbsp;<a href="">awards show</a>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<a href="">late-night comedy hour</a>&nbsp;and you expect to hear progressive leaders applauded and conservatives denigrated.&nbsp;<a href="">Fictional television dramas</a>&nbsp;abound with progressive characters who are compassionate and aspirational, while conservatives are often caricatured as racist, sexist, and&nbsp;<a href="">mean-spirited</a>.</p> <p> College administrators know it&rsquo;s important to have professors from a variety of backgrounds and demographic groups to provide students with a variety of perspectives and role models. Yet campuses commonly have zero registered Republican professors. Gender studies departments, unsurprisingly, were among the least ideological diverse.&nbsp;<a href="">The National Association of Scholars</a>&nbsp;&ldquo;could not find a single Republican with an exclusive appointment to fields like gender studies&rdquo; among 8,688 tenure-track professors at 51 top ranked liberal arts colleges they studied.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s tempting to dismiss the concept of progressive privilege: Even if there is bias against conservatives in favor of progressives, some may say it isn&rsquo;t as harmful as privilege based on race, religion, gender or sexuality. But while political beliefs may not be an immutable characteristic, they are part of people&rsquo;s identities and belief systems, making the demonization of this identity hurtful. Moreover, progressive privilege profoundly impacts our political and policy environment, harming&nbsp;<em>both&nbsp;</em>conservative and progressive causes, and making political discourse more rancorous.</p> <p> Conservatives frustrated by unfair treatment in the media and culture seek outlets that cater specifically to them and gravitate to leaders who call out &mdash; even fight against &mdash; a media they view as unfairly hostile. Legitimate criticism from sources assumed to be bias aren&rsquo;t heard or trusted, even when it should be.</p> <p> Progressive causes are also weakened by media bias which leaves them out-of-touch with many Americans. Consider the fate of the Women&rsquo;s March. More than a million women took part in demonstrations after President Trump&rsquo;s inauguration. Mainstream media outlets &mdash; from&nbsp;<a href="">CNN</a>&nbsp;to&nbsp;<a href="">Time</a>&nbsp;to&nbsp;<a href="">Vogue</a>&nbsp;&mdash; ran fawning coverage of the Women&rsquo;s March leadership, ignoring and even chastising ignoring conservative concerns about their radical statements and associations. Two years later, when rank-and-file followers of the Women&rsquo;s March learned of these same associations, they called for a leadership change and support fizzled. Had the press been more neutral and covered the March&rsquo;s leadership fairly, the movement would have been a stronger, more effective force for progressive causes.</p> <p> And why is it called the &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March,&rdquo; anyway? That&rsquo;s another instance of progressive privilege. Liberal women&rsquo;s groups routinely are allowed to speak for all women, ignoring the existence of women with other views. Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, the group I lead, is consistently qualified in the media as conservative or right-of-center. That&rsquo;s fair. But it&rsquo;s not fair that American Association of University Women, Women&rsquo;s March, National Organization for Women, or National Women&rsquo;s Law Center are just presented as women&rsquo;s organizations, rather than progressive or liberal women&rsquo;s organizations, when that&rsquo;s what they really are.</p> <p> Restoring civility in this era of intense partisanship begins by remembering that those on the other side are simply people who hold different points of view. They deserve to be treated with respect, even as the issues and ideas are vigorously debate. A step forward in this process would be for our leading cultural institutions &mdash; our university, entertainers, newsmakers, business and tech leaders &mdash; to wake up to the subtle biases against conservatives and for progressives that are helping drive people into two separate camps. Checking progressive privilege would help create a more truly diverse and inclusive society, where more civil and productive political discussions thrive.</p> L. LukasTue, 30 Jul 2019 07:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumChecking Progressive Privilege and the Exclusion of Conservative Voices • Bill Meyer Show<p> Order the book <a href="">here</a>.</p> L. LukasTue, 23 Jul 2019 09:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumChecking Progressive Privilege <div> <p> <a href=""><img alt="" class="pull-right" src="" /></a></p> <p> When I talk to someone in the media, they always ask if they can identify Independent Women&#39;s Forum or Independent Women&#39;s Voice as &quot;conservative&quot; or on the political right. That&#39;s fine. But it made me think, why is it that conservative women&#39;s groups are always labeled as such, when far left groups are referred to as just women&#39;s groups or movements. No one ever called the Women&#39;s March, the far left progressive Women&#39;s March, although that&#39;s what it was.<br /> <br /> Our culture affords the progressive world view the privilege of being the normal, default. It&#39;s a similar privilege that society came to recognize decades ago that was enjoyed by whites, heterosexuals, Christians, and males.<br /> <br /> That&#39;s why I wrote the book,&nbsp;<em>Checking Progressive Privilege</em>. In the book,&nbsp;I explore and explain how society surrounds us with messages that define those on the political left as normal and morally right, while excluding and demeaning those on the right. Progressive Privilege doesn&rsquo;t just harm conservatives; it harms everyone by making society less fair and more polarized and divisive.<br /> <br /> Through this book, our <a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1563973657935000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHqnivlOyWQ2BJQpYYZA2C_Q7gd9g" href="" target="_blank">website</a>, and social media, we will continually highlight examples of Progressive Privilege from a wide range of sources, including news outlets, talk shows, magazines, commercials, movies, and academia.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 450px; height: 144px;" /></a></p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> L. LukasTue, 23 Jul 2019 08:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumOne Type Of Diversity Never Seems To Matter<p> Glamour Magazine&rsquo;s<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">&nbsp;<span data-ga-track="ExternalLink:">2019 college women of the year</span></a>&nbsp;checked every box on progressive&rsquo;s diversity list. Each woman was undeniably impressive and accomplished. But it was no accident that they also represented an array of ethnicities and were advancing abortion rights, gun control, climate change solutions, and a political platform similar to Alexandria Ocasia Cortez&rsquo;s.&nbsp;</p> <p> One sizable minority group--representing about 30 percent of American women--was left completely out: That&rsquo;s women who identify as conservative.</p> <p> This isn&rsquo;t new: Glamour&rsquo;s 2018 women of the year were similarly lopsided, including eleven identifiable Democratic or progressive activists and zero Republicans. Vogue just ran&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">an effusive piece</a>&nbsp;about five Democratic women running to unseat Trump. Women&rsquo;s magazines routinely include elegant airbrushed photos of female Democratic senators or representatives, their story told as a triumph over hardship and victory for the cause of progress and justice. Conservatives never make the cut. It&rsquo;s not just women&rsquo;s magazines: From morning talk shows to late night comedy to your average Netflix drama, progressive values are showcased as normal and morally superior, while conservatives are ignored or belittled.</p> <p> There&rsquo;s a word for this phenomenon: privilege.&nbsp;</p> <p> For decades, academics have raised awareness about how, even as explicit discrimination decreased, whites, males, Christians and heterosexuals enjoyed a privileged status in our culture. They dominated our textbooks, advertisements, and entertainment. Their traditions and perspective were depicted as normal and good, while others were aberrant or ignored. Woke to this subtle but still harmful form of discrimination, cultural institutions have worked to reverse it and include people who represent a diversity of ethnicities, cultures and sexualities.&nbsp;</p> <p> But the desire for diversity only goes so far. Cultural leaders today make sure to feature people with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, but somehow never manage to consider political or ideological diversity. In fact, as everything from the coffee we drink to the shoes we buy has become politicized, our culture has become&nbsp;<em>more&nbsp;</em>conformist in depicting one ideology as good, and the other as not.&nbsp;</p> <p> No one was really surprised when Nike caved to progressive pressure to pull their flag-emblemed shoes. The surprise was that they considered creating such sneakers in the first place. Gillette, Audi, Secret, Patagonia, and Bud Lite, all created advertising campaigns specifically to flaunt their affinity for progressive causes. Taylor Swift, who once avoided politics, now unironically sings about &ldquo;calming down&rdquo; and lamenting discrimination, while perpetuating crude stereotypes about white, overall-wearing, illiterate, homophobic tailerpark dwellers.</p> <p> Our educational system is the biggest bastions of progressive privilege. A university consisting of 90 percent white, Christian, male professors would rightly be pilloried for lacking role models and offering a too limited perspective. Yet a study conducted by&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">The National Association of Scholars</a>&nbsp;of 8,688 tenure-track professors at 51 top ranked liberal arts colleges found more than 10 registered Democrats for every one Republican professor. Nearly 40 percent had&nbsp;<em>no</em>&nbsp;registered Republicans, and the&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">study&rsquo;s author</a>&nbsp;reported not finding &ldquo;a single Republican with an exclusive appointment to fields like gender studies.&rdquo;</p> <p> Democrats used to hearing conservatives whine about liberal media bias may be tempted to dismiss the concept of progressive privilege. But progressive privilege isn&rsquo;t just hurting conservatives. It makes our entire political culture more divisive.&nbsp;</p> <p> Conservatives tired of seeing their ideas snubbed in mainstream newspapers and on TV have naturally turned toward alternative information sources friendly to their ideas. Millions of conservatives were frustrated by leaders resigned to being the butt of progressive jokes and being stereotyped as callous bigots. They wanted someone to fight back, and found that in Trump.&nbsp;</p> <p> Progressives seem to assume that they can write off anyone who doesn&rsquo;t embrace the social justice worldview. They end up surprised when that turns out to be a sizable share of voters.</p> <p> Becoming woke to progressive privilege would benefit them, and create a fairer, more inclusive society. And isn&rsquo;t that what we want?</p> L. LukasTue, 23 Jul 2019 07:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew book: Checking Progressive Privilege [Encounter Books: Carrie Lukas]<p> <img alt="" height="62" src="" width="200" /></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Immediate Release<br /> July 22, 2019<br /> Press Contact:;</span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <a href=""><img alt="" height="369" src="" width="250" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:24px"><strong><em>Encounter Books: Checking Progressive Privilege&nbsp;</em><br /> Release Date: July 23</strong></span><br /> <span style="font-size:20px"><em>Carrie Lukas reveals how marginalizing and stereotyping conservatives has warped political environment</em></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Washington, DC &mdash; The concepts of white, heterosexual, and male privilege have long been understood and discussed. &nbsp;But a different form of privilege&mdash;Progressive Privilege&mdash;has been overlooked. Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum (IWF) is pleased to announce that on July 23, Encounter Books will release <em>Checking Progressive Privilege</em>, a Broadside by IWF president Carrie Lukas. &nbsp;</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">In <em>Checking Progressive Privilege</em>, Lukas explores the overlooked phenomenon that helps fuel the lack of civility in the debate between sides, makes it harder to distinguish facts from falsehoods, and discourages good people from getting involved. The Broadside reveals how marginalizing and stereotyping conservatives while depicting the progressive worldview as normal and morally superior has warped our political environment and made our country more divided.</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Lukas issued the following statement:</span></span></p> <blockquote> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">&ldquo;<em>Checking Progressive Privilege</em> puts progressive privilege in the context of other forms of privilege. It explains how society surrounds us with messages that define those on the political left as normal and morally right, while excluding and demeaning conservatives. Just as importantly, it explains how it isn&rsquo;t just conservatives who are harmed by progressive privilege, but rather it harms everyone, by making society more polarized and divisive.&rdquo;</span></span></p> </blockquote> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Lukas is the co-author of <em>Liberty Is No War on Women</em>, and the author of <em>The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism.</em> Lukas has written for <em>The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, </em>and <em>The New York Post, </em>and testified before the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security and the House Education and the Workforce subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Before joining IWF in 2003, she worked on Capitol Hill as the senior domestic policy analyst for the House Republican Policy Committee and at the Cato Institute. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard&#39;s Kennedy School of Government.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif"><em>Checking Progressive Privilege</em> is available on <a href="">Encounter Books</a> website. &nbsp;For media copies and digital manuscripts, please contact</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">For more information on IWF&rsquo;s Progressive Privilege project, visit <a href=""></a>.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">####</span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif"><a href=""></a></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif"><em>Independent Women&#39;s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren&rsquo;t just well intended, but actually enhance people&rsquo;s freedom, choices, and opportunities.</em></span></span></p> L. LukasMon, 22 Jul 2019 14:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumChecking Progressive Privilege with Carrie Lukas • WMAL L. LukasThu, 18 Jul 2019 09:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDon't Use The National Defense Authorization Act To Push Unrelated Financial Regulations<p> The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is being debated in Congress, which naturally means that members are offering amendments entirely unrelated to our nation&rsquo;s defense in hopes of advancing policies that probably wouldn&rsquo;t win support if they were publicly debated and considered.&nbsp;</p> <p> One such amendment, introduced by Representative Katie Porter (D-CA), seeks to limit the ability of servicemembers, veterans, and surviving spouses to access small-dollar, high-interest loans, typically referred to as payday loans. &nbsp;</p> <p> Putting aside the merits of the policy itself, the amendment is an attempt to short-circuit a review and legal process that is well underway. According to the&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">Federal Register</a>, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection issued a rule in October 2017 to restrict how high-cost, short-term financial products, including payday loans, can be offered. The rule took effect in January 2018, but had a compliance date of August 19, 2019. The rule was challenged in federal court, and in June 2018, the federal court issued a stay, postponing the August 19, 2019 compliance date for fifteen months to give time for further federal review and clarification.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Rep. Porter&rsquo;s proposed amendment to the NDAA resurrects the August 19th deadline, which means that some (not all) provisions in the rule would go into effect in a little more than a month. Compliance in this short a time frame would be effectively impossible.&nbsp;</p> <div _nghost-c29="" ng-version="5.2.0" vest-pocket=""> <p> Yet, it isn&rsquo;t just the method of creating this policy that&rsquo;s problematic. The policy itself is also misguided paternalism. It falls in the category of so many government rules: It sounds good, but in reality, it&rsquo;s not.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Certainly, it sounds like a worthy goal to prevent people from making what seem like very poor financial decisions. Everyone would prefer that people plan ahead, build up an emergency fund that can be drawn upon when needed, and avoid bouncing checks and incurring fees, or borrowing at high interest rates. But the reality is that sometimes people end up in a financial jam with no good options.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> What do people with limited resources and urgent financial needs do when small-dollar, high-interest loans are outlawed?&nbsp;</p> <p> A study by the&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">New York Federal Reserve</a>&nbsp;found that Georgia and North Carolina&rsquo;s bans on small-dollar loans created new problems, rather than solving them. As IWF&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">Charlotte Hays</a>&nbsp;explained:&nbsp;&ldquo;consumers&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">bounced</a>more checks, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection at a higher rate, and complained more to the Federal Trade Commission about lenders and debt collectors.&rdquo; Those extra bounced-check fees added up to an additional $36 million in Atlanta in the year following their ban on small-dollar loans.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Washington, D.C. elites may cringe at the idea of loans with interest rates well into the double digits, but the people who make use of these loan products, know that sometimes they make sense.&nbsp; So do financial industry leaders.&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a>, an industry information website, highlighted research by the economic research firm Moebs Services, showing how banks have increased overdraft fees on checking accounts, driving people into the payday loan market:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> The average price of a $100 payday loan is $18, the same price a typical overdraft charge was in 2000. But since then, banks have raised the median price of an overdraft charge to $30&mdash; increasing the price of a service that has not increased in value.</p> <p> &ldquo;So the consumer says, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not going to put up with that&rsquo;,&rdquo; says Moebs, &ldquo;and who&rsquo;s standing there to provide help? The payday lender.&rdquo;</p> <p> Regulations restricting how much payday loans can charge and be structured will mean that providers will stop offering loans to customers with the worst credit histories. Those are people who are the least likely to have other options, meaning they will end up paying higher fees to traditional banks or even turn to a black market.&nbsp;</p> <p> This new regulation should be fully analyzed and vetted, not wedged into a bill where it doesn&rsquo;t belong. &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> L. LukasMon, 15 Jul 2019 10:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum