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 RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968More Government Data Collection Is Another Knock on Workplace Flexibility<p> The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just announced that, as of March 2018, some employers will be required to provide additional data on compensation, in an effort to help them identify pay discrimination and close the wage gap.&nbsp;</p> <p> It sounds harmless enough &ndash; just another few lines in already laborious reporting requirements for companies.&nbsp; Yet this is more than just a little extra red tape (and it&rsquo;s actually quite a bit of extra red tape, as IWF&rsquo;s Charlotte Hays explains).</p> <p> The EEOC may sincerely hope that employers will react to this new requirement by ending discriminatory pay practices, but most employers already aren&rsquo;t discriminating against their employees based on sex or race, and the pay differentials that exist do so for a business reason. &nbsp;The threat of additional EEOC scrutiny, however, means they will have a new incentive to standardize their compensation practice to stamp out these legitimate differences in pay between employees.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s not just that employers may stop rewarding employees for greater productivity, longer work hours, additional duties, or years of experience. &nbsp;They also may also stop offering some workplace flexibility.&nbsp; Women&ndash;particularly working mothers who tend to place a high value on flexibility and are often willing to trade higher pay for a flexible schedule&mdash;sometimes intentionally negotiate&nbsp;a lower salary with the understanding that they would have the ability to work from home, won&rsquo;t have to travel, or could adjust work schedules to match their children&rsquo;s school calendar.&nbsp; They may know that their compensation package is a win-win for employer and worker, but the human resource manager and legal team will now have to worry about whether the EEOC will also be able to see that from the bare numbers on a form. The natural decision for businesses that want to avoid legal hassles will be to ax nontraditional work arrangements in favor of a one-size-fits-all policy.&nbsp;</p> <p> The best protection for workers isn&rsquo;t more bureaucratic oversight, but a growing economy.&nbsp; This move by the EEOC is bad for the economy, and ultimately bad for women.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2801584/Carrie L. LukasThu, 29 Sep 2016 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThese 17 Policy Reforms For Millennial Women Are Flame<p> Regardless of which political party they identify with or which presidential candidate they support, poll after poll has found what millennials really want: affordable education and more job opportunities.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Two conservative women&rsquo;s organizations &mdash; the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum (IWF) and the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) &mdash; have recently released a set of 17 policy reforms aimed at improving the circumstances of young Americans, without suggesting the government give anything away for &ldquo;free.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;The goal behind&nbsp;</span></span><a href="http://workingforwomenreport.com/young-women.php"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Working for Young Women</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&nbsp;is to highlight to millennials how there are better policies that will provide them with more and better opportunities,&rdquo; said IWF managing director Carrie Lukas. &ldquo;Instead of creating top-down reforms or expanding government programs, policymakers need better policies that create the conditions for a growing economy that offers a variety of jobs, make life more affordable, and help young people get on sound financial footing so they can plan for the future.&rdquo;</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> Among the 17 suggested policy reforms included in the report, there are several proposals that address college affordability and student loan debt.</p> <p> The report combats plans to make college tuition-free, which&nbsp;would shift costs to taxpayers, and would&nbsp;not necessarily&nbsp;improve graduation rates.</p> <p> &ldquo;While proposals to make college tuition-free may be well-intended, the reality is that these plans would destroy the important incentives that help students make responsible decisions and hold colleges accountable to their customers,&rdquo; the report says.</p> <p> Instead, the report proposes policies that would hold colleges accountable for their spending habits and for the students who default on their loans; drive competition through affordable online learning options; and create &ldquo;Education Savings Accounts&rdquo; that could be used for K-12 education, college, and beyond. The report also suggests allowing private lenders to set a market-based pricing system for interest rates on student loans, and amending the tax code to allow employers to offer a tax-free educational debt-repayment benefit.</p> <p> The report is an expanded version of IWF&rsquo;s <a href="http://workingforwomenreport.com/">Working for Women</a> report <a href="http://redalertpolitics.com/2016/07/27/iwf-offers-conservative-solutions-empower-women-will-trump-use/">released earlier this year</a>. It&nbsp;also includes proposals to reform the&nbsp;health care system, and ensure equal pay and affordable child care. Some of the recommendations include:</p> <p> &ndash; Create &ldquo;Personal Care Accounts&rdquo; to encourage employees to save&nbsp;for leave time</p> <p> &ndash; Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act</p> <p> &ndash; Unlink health insurance from employment</p> <p> &ndash; Eliminate regulations that make day care expensive</p> <p> &ndash; Strengthen equal pay protections</p> <p> Read more <a href="http://pdf.iwf.org/Working_for_Young_Women.pdf">here</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;This report offers students a different approach than what they normally hear on campus on everything from higher education to the economy,&rdquo; said NeW Founder Karin Agness. &ldquo;These policies are about returning power to individuals and creating a more flexible, dynamic society.&rdquo;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801566/Carrie L. LukasWed, 28 Sep 2016 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTime For Conservatives To Make Their Case To College Women<p> Candidates all want to gain the support of young voters, which is no easy task. &nbsp;Savvy and a little cynical, Millennials don&rsquo;t just want to hear campaign platitudes; they want to be inspired and to hear a positive vision of where our country is headed. &nbsp;</p> <p> Progressives have largely dominated the conversation about politics and public policies with young people, particularly with young women. &nbsp;But it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way: &nbsp;Conservative policy reforms would be a boon to young people, including young women. &nbsp;Not only would reducing government red tape and unleashing the market lead to greater prosperity, but it would also lead to a more dynamic, flexible and more just society. &nbsp;It&rsquo;s time conservatives aggressively make that case.</p> <p> Consider the challenges that young people are facing today. &nbsp;Yes, the unemployment rate has gone down, but that&rsquo;s in part because workers &ndash; including young workers &ndash; have been giving up on finding employment and <a href="http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2016/09/07/long-term-trends-in-employment-by-age-group">dropping out of the workforce</a>. &nbsp;And even those fortunate enough to have jobs are often in positions that fail to put them on the career path that they want. &nbsp;In fact, in 2014, more than four in ten recent college graduates worked in jobs that didn&rsquo;t require a college degree. &nbsp;That&rsquo;s up from the historical norm of one in three.</p> <p> T his is particularly bad news for those who have taken out massive student loans to finance their education. &nbsp;Today, seven out of every ten students graduates with a loan, and the average amount owed accedes $30,000. &nbsp;That&rsquo;s a lot of money, especially when most young workers are barely scraping by. &nbsp;Unsurprisingly, only about 37 percent of borrowers are actively paying down their student loans. &nbsp;This debt burden holds many young people back; they are less likely to be able to live on their own, buy a car or house, or start a family. &nbsp;And their diminished opportunities ripple through the economy, depriving businesses of what would otherwise be important potential consumers.</p> <p> Progressive express concern about young people&rsquo;s challenges, but ignore how their policies drive these problems. &nbsp;Policymakers may have hoped that subsidizing colleges through direct aid, special loan programs, or scholarships would bring down costs for students and families. &nbsp;Yet we now know from decades of experience that school administrators see these subsidies as an opportunity to increase prices, which is why the cost of attending colleges has more than doubled after adjusting for inflation over the last thirty years. &nbsp;</p> <p> Conservatives have sound ideas for how to address this problem. &nbsp;For example, requiring public (taxpayer-funded) colleges and universities to make educational materials available online and to allow students to take tests and receive credit for attaining skills, for example, would give dedicated students the ability to get an education without paying for luxury of on-campus living. This would give students more affordable learning options and encourage colleges to focus more on their core educational mission. &nbsp;</p> <p> Conservatives also need to explain how many of the Left&rsquo;s attempts to create jobs backfire and corrupt our economic system. &nbsp;Green energy initiatives and other government spending is advanced in the name of creating jobs and saving the world, but these programs are often crony capitalism at its worst. &nbsp;Money flows to politically-connected businesses, which waste taxpayer resources and fail to create sustainable jobs. &nbsp;The red tape created by Washington ironically benefits big corporations that can afford lawyers to navigate those rules, while crushing smaller establishments. Conservatives know that the best, fairest way to create jobs is to cut unnecessary regulations and get government out of the business of picking winners and losers.</p> <p> Millennials place a high value on flexibility. &nbsp;In fact, a 2015 study of Millennials found that they are more willing than other generations to pass up a promotion, change jobs, take a pay cut, or even change careers in order to gain greater flexibility in their jobs. &nbsp;Conservatives should point out how mandated employment regulations are the enemy of true flexibility. &nbsp;In a vacuum, requiring businesses to pay workers more, provide paid leave benefits and health insurance may sound like a boon to workers. &nbsp;Yet these mandates destroy jobs and encourage business to adopt Washington&rsquo;s one-size-fits-all employment rules, discouraging companies from offering less traditional work arrangements, such as working from home or using flexible schedules. &nbsp;</p> <p> Conservatives want workers to have real freedom and flexibility to find employment situations that work for them. &nbsp;That&rsquo;s why they support commonsense ideas like reforming the Fair Labor Standards Act. This Depression Era law imposes onerous rules about how employers must track hours worked and antiquated job classifications that hardly make sense in the modern world.</p> <p> Conservatives don&rsquo;t just need slick ads or social media campaigns &ndash; when reaching out to the young Americans, they can lead with their policy vision which would create a fairer, more dynamic society with greater opportunity and more freedom for people like them.</p> <p> <em>Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, which just released <a href="https://www.flipsnack.com/F975C96BDC9/working-for-young-women-a-modern-agenda-for-improving-millennia.html">Working for YOUNG Women: &nbsp;A Modern Agenda for Improving Millennial Women&rsquo;s Lives.</a></em></p> http://iwf.org/news/2801554/Carrie L. LukasTue, 27 Sep 2016 13:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumReport: Working For Young Women: A Modern Agenda for Improving Millennial Women's Lives<p> <strong>We all want young people to succeed</strong> in living out their dreams &ndash; whether those dreams are to go to college, start a small business, become a company CEO, buy a house, get married or start a family.<br /> <br /> Progressives have largely dominated the conversation about politics and public policies with young people, particularly with young women. But it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way: <strong>Conservative policy reforms would be a boon to young people, including young women. </strong><br /> <br /> <strong>The Independent Women&#39;s Forum and The Network of enlightened Women offers this Working for <em>Young</em> Women Agenda</strong> to help young Americans achieve their dreams by creating the conditions that promote a fairer, more dynamic society with greater opportunity and more freedom for people like them.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="385" scrolling="no" seamless="seamless" src="//cdn.flipsnack.com/widget/flipsnackwidget.html?hash=ftk5rm55x&amp;bgcolor=EEEEEE&amp;t=1474914551" width="640"></iframe></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><a href="http://pdf.iwf.org/Working_for_Young_Women.pdf"><strong>DOWNLOAD THE REPORT &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></a></span></p> http://iwf.org/publications/2801539/Carrie L. LukasMon, 26 Sep 2016 13:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Study: Paid Leave Policy Can Be A Winning Issue for Conservatives<p> Americans are concerned when they hear that some workers don&rsquo;t have paid leave benefits where they work. After all, we all need time away from work, when you get sick, need to care for a family member, or have a new baby. In most other countries, such benefits are guaranteed, so many people ask: Why not here?</p> <p> It&rsquo;s no wonder that liberal politicians confidently promote their proposals that they claim will solve this problem for all American workers. Hillary Clinton proposes requiring that all businesses must provide twelve weeks of paid leave, while other leading Democrats support the government taking over the provision of paid leave entirely, by creating a new entitlement program that would pay workers when they have to take time off from work. Conservatives often assume that this issue is a political minefield for them: Pointing out the enormous costs and economic downsides of the progressive approach will only make them seem indifferent to the hardship people&mdash;particularly women with lower income&mdash;face.</p> <p> Yet new research shows that, with messaging done right, this issue could be a winner for conservatives. The Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum and Evolving Strategies recently undertook a research project to explore people&rsquo;s understanding of the paid leave issue and tradeoffs of a variety of government proposals. This research reveals that most Americans understand that government proposals come with tradeoffs and are open to the message that too-good-to-be-true promises tend to be just that. And in fact, a conservative, market-based approach to the paid leave issues actually had greater support than the traditional liberal approach.</p> <p> When people were asked without any additional information about the impact of these policy ideas, overwhelming majorities supported both the market-based approach of using Personal Care Accounts (PCAs) to allow workers to save tax-free for time off from work (84%) and the popular liberal approach of using a universal paid leave mandate to require all employers to provide paid leave (76%). When asked which policy they preferred of the two, 49% already preferred PCAs over the employer benefit mandate. And when people heard the conservative arguments against the employer mandate, support for the progressive approach dropped considerably.</p> <p> One group of those surveyed heard a message that highlighted how proponents of an employment mandate ignore the real costs that their proposal would create. The implications for business were explained: These mandates create new costs for employers, which would mean they would have to reduce pay, cut jobs and hours, or could go out of business, all of which is bad news for workers. Under a new mandate, people could expect lower take-home pay, and fewer job options. After learning about the downsides tradeoffs of the employer mandate, support for the mandate fell by nearly 20 percentage points and the percentage of people preferring PCAs over the mandate rose by 9 percentage points. The impact of this message was greatest among women, with the share of women preferring PCAs rising by 11 points.</p> <p> Another group heard a different message on the risks associated with the new mandate, in particular the risk that this mandate could backfire on that that we all most want to help, by reducing the number of jobs and take-home pay, particularly for women and those with lower income. This led to a 15 percentage point drop in support for the mandate and a 9 percentage point increase in support for conservative PCA proposal over the liberal approach.</p> <p> This should encourage conservatives not to shy away from discussing this important policy issue.&nbsp;The public wants politicians to be honest about the downsides, as well as the upsides, to government actions. Conservatives can emphasize that they aren&rsquo;t merely the party of &ldquo;no&rdquo; and don&rsquo;t oppose progressive solutions because they are indifferent to people&rsquo;s challenges. Rather they are concerned that these proposals will make matters worse, rather than better, for those who are already struggling.&nbsp; Conservatives&rsquo; market-based alternative policy solutions have a natural appeal to Americans, once they hear that these ideas even exist.</p> <p> This research project focused exclusively on the paid leave issue, but the findings have implications for other areas as well.&nbsp; Conservatives have a positive case to make when it comes to other employment mandates and welfare policy. It makes sense to people when they hear that new benefits come with costs, and are willing to reconsider their positions based on this new information. Conservatives just have to jump into to these issues with smart, considered fact-bases messages and a positive alternative vision&mdash;and start changing minds.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2801506/Carrie L. LukasFri, 23 Sep 2016 09:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStraight Talk About Paid Leave + Pinksourcing • Garrisonhttp://iwf.org/media/2801499/Carrie L. LukasThu, 22 Sep 2016 15:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolicy Focus: Overtime Regulations<p> <a href="http://pdf.iwf.org/PolicyFocus16_Sept.pdf"><img alt="" src="http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb366/IWF11/Policy%20Focus/overtime_header_zpszkcnwye0.png" style="width: 550px; height: 205px;" /></a><br /> The Department of Labor recently issued new rules governing how employers must compensate employees for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The new rules dramatically increase the number of workers who must qualify for overtime, and therefore must have their hours tracked. Supporters of the new rule claim that it will be a boon to workers, putting more money in their pockets. However, many workers will be worse off under the new overtime rules, which will discourage flexible work arrangements, create costly administrative requirements for businesses, and constrict opportunities for many workers. Workers currently guaranteed a set salary regardless of the number of hours worked will now face the prospect of lower pay if they are unable to work enough hours.</p> <p> There are better ways to help ensure that workers are fairly compensated. Policymakers can help workers by cutting back on red tape so more employers will create jobs, giving people a better chance to find the arrangements they prefer, whether that&rsquo;s working in an hourly job with overtime potential or a salaried position. Policymakers should also take a fresh look at the outdated, Depressionera Fair Labor and Standards Act, which is the foundation of these overtime regulations, and reform the law to give employers and workers greater flexibility to design mutually beneficial work arrangements.&nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://pdf.iwf.org/PolicyFocus16_Sept.pdf"><strong>Click here to continue reading the 6-page policy focus &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></a></p> http://iwf.org/publications/2801483/Carrie L. LukasWed, 21 Sep 2016 10:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumReturn to Sender: Dishonest, Political Open Letters<p> Gone are the days when political campaigns were fought with competing commercials and political rallies. With the Internet, Americans don&rsquo;t have to suffer through political ads to get their must-see TV, so politicians fight to reach people just about everywhere else. And truly savvy politicians know reaching passive viewers isn&rsquo;t enough: People want to feel a connection with their future leaders. Political pros concluded that voters didn&rsquo;t believe, for example, that Mitt Romney cared about people like them, which sealed his fate at the polls.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s a cautionary tale candidates are taking to heart&mdash;particularly candidates such as Hillary Clinton, whose strong suit has never been exuding empathy or a warm personality. Clinton struggled to appear like someone to whom the average person could relate when she was First Lady; she has an even bigger challenge now that her family has amassed gobs of money and created a gigantic family foundation that has her hobnobbing with elites&mdash;not to mention corrupt princes, foreign dictators, and shady money men.</p> <p> No wonder Clinton is struggling to portray herself as a normal, everyday working mom (and grandmother!) just like you and me. In a recent &ldquo;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-working-mothers-hillary-clinton?trk=pulse-det-nav_art">Open Letter to Working Mothers</a>,&rdquo; Clinton tells the story of her campaign bus driver, Liz, who makes ends meet driving shifts on a chartered bus, sacrificing time with her family for nights away from home to earn extra hours. Hillary wants readers to see she&rsquo;s buddies with women like Liz, and that&rsquo;s why she wants to be President: to help Liz and those like her. As Clinton writes:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> Liz is my reason. So is every other woman who&rsquo;s pulling together kids at home, working multiple jobs, getting paid wages that are far too low, and trying to afford skyrocketing child care costs, tuition fees, health care, and so much more.</p> <p> Sounds nice, right? Clinton cares about the working stiff! But how does she plan to help Liz, exactly? What would she do differently than President Obama, who also had promised to help women like Liz during his campaigns, but somehow left them all still treading water?</p> <p> Such specifics aren&rsquo;t addressed in the letter. And from the politician&rsquo;s point-of-view, that&rsquo;s the big advantage of the &ldquo;open letter&rdquo; format. Unlikely pesky press conferences (which Hillary <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/did-hillary-clinton-hold-a-press-conference-journalists-debate/article/2601129">actively avoids holding</a>) or media appearances with journalists&mdash;or even letters written to actual individual people&mdash;the real-life &ldquo;working women&rdquo; don&rsquo;t get to pose follow-up questions after receiving this letter supposedly from the candidate.</p> <p> In her letter, Hillary jokes she&rsquo;s &ldquo;had a bit of a reputation for being a policy wonk.&rdquo; She modestly continues: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s true! I sweat the small stuff.&rdquo; This is a not-so-artful attempt to distract readers from the dearth of details about the policy plans in her missive to women&mdash;or on her campaign website, for that matter.</p> <p> Just as it would be unbecoming to question whether a letter writer was being truthful about her own reputation, the format encourages readers to forgive Clinton for taking jabs at her opponent. She&rsquo;s such a nice, normal woman&mdash;writing to us in such a personal way!&mdash;it&rsquo;s expected we girls would dish a little gossip on the side.</p> <p> Mrs. Clinton isn&rsquo;t the first politician to use this format as a ruse, and she almost certainly won&rsquo;t be the last. In fact, just this summer President Obama has written two open letters, one released just this weekend in honor of Labor Day to &ldquo;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/09/04/president-obama-letter-americas-hardworking-men-and-women">America&rsquo;s Hardworking Men and Women</a><strong>,&rdquo; </strong>and then one in July to America&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/07/19/read-president-obamas-open-letter-americas-law-enforcement-community">Law Enforcement Community</a>, in which the President insists to policemen, &ldquo;We have your backs.&rdquo; (I&rsquo;m sure they felt reassured.) Like Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s, President Obama&rsquo;s letters are short on details and heavy on posturing.</p> <p> Of course, it isn&rsquo;t just politicians who have seized on the open letter device for image crafting. Charlotte Alter, writing for <a href="http://time.com/4131944/mark-zuckerberg-open-letter/">TIME</a>, brilliantly riffed on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg&rsquo;s &ldquo;letter to our daughter,&rdquo; born just days before, describing the letter as &ldquo;a press release cloaked in a baby announcement.&rdquo;</p> <p> There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with this type of marketing, but readers should see such &ldquo;open letters&rdquo; for what they are: A less-than-subtle attempt to manipulate perceptions by the letter&rsquo;s author. It poses as honest communication to share information, but really offers nothing deeper than the average slick political advertisement.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2801334/Carrie L. LukasWed, 7 Sep 2016 09:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum"Equal Pay" Is Not So Equal<p> The latest US Department of Labor data show that women working full-time make 81 percent of full-time men&#39;s wages. But this figure is both inaccurate and misleading. This statistic looks only at raw averages and does not take into account factors such as education, skills, and hours worked. After controlling for other factors, the gender pay gap practically disappears. Legislation to close the gender &quot;wage gap&quot; is misguided: in reality, there is no gap to close. -- Diana Furchgott-Roth, &quot;Sorry, Elizabeth Warren, Women Already Have Equal Pay,&quot; Economics21, The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, July 27, 2016</p> <p> &quot;We believe in equal pay for equal work.&quot; That was all Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said about the gender pay gap during her keynote address to July&#39;s Democratic National Convention. But it was enough to provoke a response from economist Diana Furchgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the free-market Manhattan Institute.</p> <p> That&#39;s hardly surprising. Furchgott-Roth has spent two decades issuing one version or another of one basic claim: &quot;there is no gap to close between men&#39;s and women&#39;s wages.&quot;</p> <p> Publishing article after article claiming that there is no gender pay gap, however, doesn&#39;t make it so. Here&#39;s why.</p> <p> <strong>No Statistical Artifact</strong></p> <p> To begin with, the gender pay gap is no statistical artifact. The most common measure of the gender pay gap compares the median earnings (wages and salaries) of full-time working women over the year to the median earnings for men. That ratio does not compare the earnings of men and women doing the same job, but rather the earnings of all men and women who work full time.</p> <p> In 2014, the latest year for which data are available, men&#39;s median earnings for the year were $50,383, while women&#39;s median earnings were $39,621, or 78.6% of men&#39;s. That&#39;s where the figure that women earn 79 cents for each dollar a man earns comes from. The National Committee on Pay Equity inaugurated the tradition of using this ratio to determine the date on which &quot;Equal Pay Day&quot; falls each year. This year, it fell on April 12, 2016, the date by which women would have earned enough to make up the $10,762 gap between their pay and men&#39;s in 2015. (Furchgott-Roth&#39;s figure for the gender pay gap, 81% in 2015, is calculated in the same way but compares the median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers.)</p> <p> Whether women earn 79 cents or 81 cents for every dollar a man earns, the gender pay gap is long standing. In 1963, the year the Equal Pay Act became law, a full-time working woman (earning the median pay for women) got 59 cents for each dollar a full-time working man received (at the median pay for men). By the first Equal Pay Day in 1996, women earned 74 cents for a dollar of men&#39;s earnings; now the figure is up to 79 cents. The gender pay gap, however, is no longer narrowing as fast it did earlier. During the 1980s, the gap declined by more than one-quarter (28.7%), as women&#39;s earnings improved from 60 cents for every dollar a man earned to 72 cents; during the 1990s, by just 6%, as women&#39;s earnings increase from 72 cents to 73 cents for every dollar of men&#39;s earnings; in the last ten years (2004&ndash;2014), by 7.4%, as women&#39;s earnings increased from 77 cents to 79 cents for every dollar of men&#39;s earnings.</p> <p> The gender pay gap is also pervasive. Regardless of her education, her occupation, her race, or her age, a full-time working woman (getting the median wage for women of that group) is paid less than a full-time working man (getting the median wage for men of that group).</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &bull;&nbsp; Women earn less than men at every educational level. In 2015, the median weekly earnings of women without a high school diploma were 80% of their male counterparts&#39; earnings, 77% for women with (only) a high school diploma, 75% for women with some college, 75% for women who were college graduates, and 74% for women with an advanced degree.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &bull;&nbsp; Women earn less than men in all but five of the 800 detailed occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (for which there is comparable data). Women in female-dominated occupations -- from maids to secretaries to registered nurses -- earn less than men do in those same jobs, as do women in male-dominated jobs -- from truck drivers to retail supervisors to janitors. The same is true for women in elite jobs such as physicians, surgeons, and financial managers.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &bull;&nbsp; Women of all racial/ethnic groups are paid less than white men and less than men of the same race/ethnicity. In 2015, the median weekly earnings of white women working full time were 80.8% of those for white men. The weekly earnings of black women were 89% of the earnings of black men; the earnings of Hispanic women, 90% of the earnings of Hispanic men. Meanwhile, the weekly earnings of black and Hispanic women were just 62% and 67%, respectively, of the weekly earnings of white men.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &bull;&nbsp; Women workers of all ages are paid less than their male counterparts. Older women, however, face the largest pay gap as they are penalized for leaving the workforce more often than men for childbirth, childcare, and eldercare. In 2014, the annual median wage of women ages 18-24 who worked full time was 88% of the median wage of full-time male workers of the same age group, but 81% for women ages 35-44, and just 68% for women over 55.</p> <p> <strong>Making the Unequal Look Equal</strong></p> <p> But those differences, no matter how widespread or long lasting, don&#39;t impress economist Furchgott-Roth. In her version of reality, those differences disappear once the pay gap is adjusted for gender differences in hours worked, education, experience, and choice of industry and occupation. But each of these adjustments is problematic or makes less of a difference than Furchgott-Roth and other pay gap deniers suggest.</p> <p> The deniers complain that earnings differentials calculated for full-time workers, including anyone who works 35 or more hours a week, mask the fact that men work more hours (in the money economy) than women. In fact, men are almost twice as likely as women work more than 40 hours a week. But that problem can be corrected by using hourly earnings to measure the gender pay gap. In 2014, hourly earnings of full- and part-time women wage-and-salary workers were 84.6% of men&#39;s. While smaller, that gap is still quite substantial and persists at all levels of education and for all racial/ethnic groups.</p> <p> Nor will making adjustments for gender differences in education and experience, two traditional measures of labor-market skills, make the gender pay gap disappear. Adjustments for education explain much less of today&#39;s gender pay gap than they did in the early 1980s. Since then, more women have graduated from college than men, and by 1999 the average full-time working woman had more years of education than her male counterpart. Gender differences in years of experience are also far smaller than they were in the past. In 1981, men had, on average, 6.8 more years of full-time labor market experience than women, but the experience gap was just 1.4 years in 2011. In their detailed study of the sources of the gender pay gap, economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn estimate that, taken together, differences in education (which favor women) and differences in experience (which favor men) explained 8.2% of the gender pay gap in 2011, or just 2 cents of the 23 cent gap.</p> <p> There is little disagreement that differences between women and men in terms of the industries they work in and the jobs they hold have a profound effect on the gender pay gap. Blau and Kahn, for instance, estimate that industry and occupation accounted for fully one-half (49.5%) of the gender pay gap in 2010.</p> <p> But just how women ended up in particular industries and occupations and not in others is a matter of sharp debate. For gender pay gap skeptics, this is a matter of individual choice. <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment, and greater flexibility,&quot; argues Carrie Lukas, executive director of the Independent Women&#39;s Forum. Women, she concludes, are &quot;willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.&quot; But the story Lukas tells is not the empirical reality faced by most women. To begin with, women&#39;s jobs do not possess the other desirable characteristics she says compensate women for accepting lower pay. </span></strong></span></span>In their study of the characteristics of men&#39;s and women&#39;s jobs in 27 countries including the United States, sociologists Haya Stier and Meir Yaish found that on average the jobs held by women offered less autonomy or time flexibility and that their working conditions were more stressful and exhausting than those of men, a condition that was surely exacerbated by women bearing an inordinate share of domestic labor. (Women&#39;s jobs did require less physical labor than men&#39;s jobs.)</p> <p> If individual choices of women don&#39;t explain what crowds many women into lower paying jobs, then what is responsible for gender segregation by occupation and industry? Gender discrimination that disadvantages women in the labor market and devalues their work is the more plausible answer. If you doubt that women&#39;s work is undervalued, political scientist Ellen Frankel Paul would ask you to consider this example: zookeepers -- a traditionally male job -- earn more than workers caring for children -- a traditionally female job. The evidence that the sorting of genders into industries and occupations is shaped &quot;by discrimination, societal norms and other forces beyond women&#39;s control,&quot; as economists Jessica Schieder and Elisa Gould argue, is compelling. For instance, it is well documented that women in better-paying male-dominated jobs have faced hostile work environments. A 2008 study found that &quot;52% of highly qualified females working for SET (science, technology, and engineering) companies quit their jobs, driven out by hostile work environments and extreme job pressures.&quot; And gender discrimination plays a role in who gets hired in the first place. In two studies, when participants reviewed resumes that were identical except for the names, the ones with male names were more likely to be offered a job. According to another study, after five top US symphony orchestras switched to blind auditions, women were 50% more likely to get past the first round. But gender norms already direct women and men toward different jobs long before they enter in the labor market. For instance, Schieder and Gould report that women arrive at college far less likely to major in engineering, computer sciences, or physics than men, even though those fields promise lucrative job opportunities.</p> <p> Most low-paying jobs, on the other hand, are female-dominated. In their 2009 study, sociologists Asaf Levanon, Paula England, and Paul Allison reported that occupations with a higher percentage of women workers generally paid less than those with a lower percentage of women, even when correcting for education and skill demands. On top of that, they found evidence that when more women enter a job category, employers start paying less. For example, as jobs in parks and camps went from being male-dominated to female-dominated, between 1950 and 2000, the median hourly wages (corrected for inflation) fell by more than half.</p> <p> Finally, the adjustments favored by Furchgott-Roth and other gender-gap skeptics are not enough to statistically eliminate the gender pay gap. For instance, one research study, commissioned by the Department of Labor during the George W. Bush administration, estimated a wage gap between 4.8 and 7.1 percentage points after making adjustments for other gender differences. In the Blau and Kahn study the remaining gender gap in 2010 was 8.4 percentage points when fully adjusting for differences in education, experience, region, race, unionization, industry and occupation. Those gender pay gaps, which assume that differences in occupation and industry are not evidence of ongoing gender discrimination, are much smaller than the unadjusted gap, but still substantial. For Blau and Kahn, the unexplained portion of the gender pay gap, &quot;suggests, though it does not prove, that labor market discrimination continues to contribute to the gender wage gap.&quot; The unexplained gender pay gap (the portion still left over after statistically adjusting for occupation, industry, or worker qualifications) has actually worsened since the late 1980s (from 7.6 cents for each dollar a man made in 1989 to 8.4 cents in 2010). In 2010, over one-third (38%) of the gender pay gap remained unexplained. If we include the portion of the gap due to gender differences in occupation and industry, a whopping 87.5%, or 18 cents of the 21 cents of the unadjusted gender gap in their study, can be interpreted as a product of continued discrimination.</p> <p> <strong>Truly Equal Pay</strong></p> <p> One important step to reduce continued labor market gender discrimination would be to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. The law would require employers to show that wage differentials are based on factors other than gender, and would strike a blow against pay secrecy by banning retaliation against employees who reveal their own wages to other employees.</p> <p> But much more needs to be done to combat workplace gender discrimination. More family-friendly policies are needed. The United States is the only advanced country that does not guarantee paid maternity leave. Comparable-worth policies are needed to promote pay equity. Those policies would ensure that jobs having the same value to employers would be paid the same whether performed by women or men. Also, in order to short-circuit historical gender pay discrimination, newly passed comparable-worth legislation in Massachusetts bars employers from asking job applicants how much they earned in previous jobs. In addition, raising the minimum wage would boost the earnings of workers in low-income jobs, the vast majority of which are female-dominated. Unionization in female-dominated occupations would also reduce the gender pay gap, as it has done among public employees.</p> <p> For Furchgott-Roth and the gender-pay-gap skeptics the pay gap disappears by statistical manipulation. These policies, on the other hand, are ways to make it go away for real.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801328/Carrie L. LukasMon, 5 Sep 2016 13:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHow Colleges Prepare Students for the Real World of Nonsensical Rules<p> When people lament the sorry state of America&rsquo;s college campuses&mdash;the politically correct culture that&rsquo;s run amok; the exorbitant tuition and other fees that lead to no measurable actual learning; the utter wastefulness of campus administrators&mdash;they often site how these educational institutions fail to prepare the next generation for the &ldquo;real world.&rdquo;</p> <p> Yet when perusing the new season of stupidity emanating from our so-called institutions of higher learning, a disturbing thought dawned on me: Colleges&rsquo; bizarre maze of useless rules and requirements may be pretty good preparation for our increasingly bureaucratic economy and civil society.</p> <p> My alma mater, Princeton, earned headlines recently for a memo issued by the Human Resource department. Over the course of four pages, HR earnestly instructed faculty about how to avoid using the term &ldquo;man&rdquo; in favor of more gender-inclusive language. As <a href="http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/28540/">The College Fix</a> reported, Princeton highlighted how to use &ldquo;person&rdquo; or &ldquo;humans&rdquo; to replace &ldquo;man,&rdquo; and how to avoid trickier, subtler, allegedly male terms: &ldquo;Artificial, handmade, manufactured, synthetic&rdquo; are all preferred to the insidious &ldquo;man made.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s tempting to scoff at such soft-headed political correctness as a silly and wasteful use of resources. Anyone who is truly offended by the use of the word &ldquo;man&rdquo; as a generic for &ldquo;person&rdquo; is certainly in for a rough ride in our increasingly coarse culture. It&rsquo;s become standard to say that in the &ldquo;real world,&rdquo; there are no such things as safe spaces, and people need to be prepared to have their sensibilities offended.</p> <p> Yet in the professional world, at least, there are plenty of equally contrived efforts to guide speech and control behavior to avoid creating controversy and giving offense. When these students enter their first white collar jobs, they&rsquo;ll undoubtedly be instructed about what&rsquo;s acceptable and, more importantly, what&rsquo;s off-limits and could be grounds for a lawsuit and termination. Schools may be doing these students a service in preparing them to walk on eggshells to ensure that, in the future, they don&rsquo;t offend coworkers, bosses, or potential clients in our highly charged, litigious world.</p> <p> Stanford University&mdash;still reeling from the horrific, high-profile sexual assault that dominated the news last spring&mdash;began the school year by announcing a new policy limiting the availability of alcohol at parties. Hard liquor is banned entirely from undergraduate parties; graduate students can still have mixed drinks, but shots are a no-no for everyone; there&rsquo;s a volume limit for any hard alcohol containers students have in their dorms, and there are even rules relating to the proof of various drinks.</p> <p> Cynics note that this policy will be worse than useless in preventing student alcohol abuse. <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_30280222/stanford-bans-hard-liquor-at-undergraduate-parties">The San Jose Mercury News</a> summed it up: &ldquo;The new rules quickly came under fire Tuesday from critics who say they will simply force binge drinkers behind closed doors and send the wrong message about alcohol being an excuse for campus rape.&rdquo; The criticisms are glaringly obvious: Singling out one form of alcohol sends a mixed message (is guzzling wine and beer somehow better than sipping a scotch?) and could ironically encourage students to binge drink before they even leave their dorms and head off to the party, and discourages students from seeking help when it&rsquo;s needed.</p> <p> Yet one gets the sense that the actual impact of the new proposal is probably beside the point. This is a P.R. stunt that is meant to send a message to the public and to concerned parents that the school cares&mdash;really, really cares&mdash;about student safety. That&rsquo;s the key goal; given the attention the announcement generated, it succeeded in that at least.</p> <p> Students will benefit from becoming familiar with such feel-good efforts to &ldquo;address&rdquo; a problem, especially when the powers-that-be are really trying to solve a perception problem, rather than the actual, on-the-ground root issue. After all, so much of what passes for policy or ideas on the Left is really just &ldquo;virtual signaling&rdquo; intended to convey one&rsquo;s moral superiority to their peer group, rather than make a positive difference in the world. In fact, this is necessary preparation for a career in Washington, when the ability to come up with an appealing name or acronym (It&rsquo;s the <a href="http://www.iwf.org/publications/2792913/Policy-Focus:-The-FAMILY-Act">FAMILY Act</a>! It&rsquo;s good for families, get it? Or it&rsquo;s the <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/04/08/equal-pay-tax-cuts-minimum-wage-column/7433171/">Paycheck Fairness Act</a>, so it must really help women earn more!) is just as important as what the legislation&rsquo;s actual impact would be. It&rsquo;s also good training if you want to join a company that&rsquo;s trying to please radical environmentalists and other <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/02/12/general-mills-cheerios-genetically-modified-column/5341009/">consumer groups</a>, while still running a business and producing usable products.</p> <p> In a better world, we&rsquo;d have a college system that was dedicated to helping students acquire truly useful skills. Yet, sadly, the bizarre politically-correct dance that students learn on campus may actually be as important as any class in getting them ready for our lawyer-dominated, virtue-signaling &ldquo;real world.&rdquo;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2801281/Carrie L. LukasWed, 31 Aug 2016 13:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum2016 & Issue Of Child Care • KSRO Morning Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2801291/Carrie L. LukasTue, 30 Aug 2016 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDemocrats Face Uphill Battle Achieving Equal Pay<p> Democrats have catapulted equal pay close to the top of their election-year agenda, but efforts to address the gender wage gap face an uphill battle at both&nbsp;the state and federal levels.</p> <p> On the campaign trail, <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-equal-pay-problem-solving-would-be-top-priorities/">Hillary Clinton has made the issue a major selling point of her economic vision</a>, vowing to close the wage gap by fighting for pay transparency and calling on Congress to pass key legislation she&nbsp;first introduced when she served in the Senate.</p> <p> &ldquo;Guaranteeing equal pay won&rsquo;t just increase paychecks for women &ndash; it will boost family budgets and get incomes rising across the board. I don&rsquo;t understand why Trump&rsquo;s against that,&rdquo; the Democratic presidential nominee said in a speech on the economy in Michigan earlier this month.</p> <p> Donald Trump, on the other hand, <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-trump-camp-pays-female-staff-35-percent-less-than-men/">has not been consistent on the issue</a>. Last August, he told MSNBC that men and women deserve the same pay if they&rsquo;re doing the same job: &ldquo;If they do the same job, they should get the same pay.&rdquo;</p> <p> A few months later, at an event hosted by No Labels in New Hampshire, Trump appeared to shift on the issue. A voter asked him if a woman would make the same salary as a man if he&rsquo;s elected president.</p> <p> &ldquo;You make the same if you do as good a job,&rdquo; Trump replied.</p> <p> Under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, men and women in the same workplace are supposed to receive equal pay for equal work,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/women-still-earn-less-50-years-after-equal-pay-act/">a wage disparity still exists</a>, several studies show. The Labor Department estimates that a woman working a full-time job, year-round in 2014 made only 79 cents for every dollar that a man earned working the same amount of time, according to&nbsp;data compiled by the Census Bureau,</p> <p> For the last decade, Democrats on Capitol Hill have pushed for a legislative fix to close that gap, but they&rsquo;ve been largely unsuccessful. Since Clinton first introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate in the mid-2000s, they&rsquo;ve lobbied for consideration of the bill, which would update the 1963 law. It would require employers to show that wage differentials are not based on gender, it would prohibit employers from punishing employees who ask about wage practices or those who make their salaries public and it would require that wage comparisons be made across geographical areas to determine what would be fair pay, among other things.</p> <p> Senate Republicans <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/senate-gop-blocks-democrats-equal-pay-bill/">blocked the measure in 2012</a> and twice in 2014 and there hasn&rsquo;t been a major vote on it since. Before one of the votes two years ago, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, argued that it would &ldquo;double-down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers.&rdquo;</p> <p> With little movement on equal pay in Congress, states are tackling the issue themselves.</p> <p> In 2016, 25 states considered equal-pay related measures and only four of them enacted measures into law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seventeen of the 25 states rejected the proposed measures while others sat in legislative limbo. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed an equal pay law in May that would have prohibited an employer from paying one sex less than the other for &ldquo;substantially similar&rdquo; work. According to NJ.com, Christie said the bill oversimplified wage comparisons because it didn&rsquo;t take differences in employees&rsquo; work and conditions into account.</p> <p> Experts who track the gender wage gap say there are many different factors that contribute to the gender wage gap and it isn&rsquo;t so simple.</p> <p> &ldquo;There are a hundred different things that we can claim are the cause of women&rsquo;s lower average earnings, relative to men, of equal, observable ability, education, skill,&rdquo; said Claudia Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard University. &ldquo;For each one of these, we play the game of whack-a-mole and say, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going to fix this one and fix this one,&rsquo; where the problem is something completely different.&rdquo;</p> <p> Emily Martin, general counsel and vice president for Workplace Justice, told CBS News that women being paid less than men is one piece of the puzzle, but then there&rsquo;s also the fact that women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs and underrepresented in higher-wage jobs. She said there are also women who face unfair financial situations later on in life because their care-giving obligations like caring for children might force them to leave the workforce for an extended period.</p> <p> Despite the lack of progress to solve the issue at the state and federal levels, Martin said having even a few states pass equal pay laws is &ldquo;pretty substantial.&rdquo;</p> <p> Maryland&rsquo;s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed a sweeping equal pay law in May that aims to strengthen protections against discrimination in the workplace, prohibits employers from restricting employment opportunities based on gender identity or sex and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who publicly discuss their salaries.</p> <p> Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker also signed a major equal pay law in early August and one of its components is the first of its kind in the country: the new law will prohibit employers from requesting the salary history of a prospective employee during a job interview. The passage of the law came after a two-year lobbying campaign by a coalition of groups, which even included the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.</p> <p> Terry O&rsquo;Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, explained that banning employers from demanding salary history is a big deal because women can receive an unfair offer for a new job as a result of&nbsp;a&nbsp;lower&nbsp;salary history, perpetuating the gender pay gap.</p> <p> &ldquo;It makes her first experience with being underpaid get kind of baked into the cake of her entire career,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Neill told CBS.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, managing director of the conservative Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, however, said she&rsquo;s concerned that an outright prohibition could wind up hurting prospective employees.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m concerned about it,&rdquo; she told CBS. &ldquo;I think telling employers they can&rsquo;t ask that question, it&rsquo;ll put some people at a disadvantage. Being willing to work for less is a selling point for some candidates and instead of having that option and [allowing an employee to say], &lsquo;Let me get my foot in the door and get started at less than the other guy,&rsquo; [the employer is] going to say, &lsquo;Okay, I&rsquo;m going to take the guy with the most years of experience.&rsquo;&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">She added, &ldquo;Creating all of these regulations and preventing people from seeking information isn&rsquo;t going to stop bad behavior necessarily.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> California, which <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-gives-equal-pay-for-women-a-big-boost/">enacted a major equal pay law</a> last year, is considering a bill now that would make employers meet a fairly high bar if they need to ask for salary history information. It says that an employee&rsquo;s &ldquo;prior salary cannot, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation&rdquo; unless there&rsquo;s a bona fide factor and it would make it easier for employees to sue if they find out employers only used salary history if a pay differential existed with a male co-worker working the same job.</p> <p> According to the American Association of University Women, 48 states and Washington D.C. have an equal pay law or an employment discrimination law in place -- though their protections vary greatly. Alabama and Mississippi, meanwhile, have neither type of law on their books.</p> <p> If change on equal pay continues at the same pace, the Institute for Women&rsquo;s Policy Research predicts it could take more than four decades -- until 2059 -- before women and men are paid equally.</p> <p> Martin says that although no one can &ldquo;wave a magic wand&rdquo; with equal pay, she&rsquo;s hopeful that the latest bit of momentum could speed up that outcome.</p> <p> &ldquo;While I don&rsquo;t think we will get to eliminating the pay gap next year, I think it&rsquo;s a multi-year process,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s increased political will to shorten that timeline by a lot.&rdquo;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801256/Carrie L. LukasMon, 29 Aug 2016 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAffordable day care gaining bipartisan traction despite ‘terrible’ effect on children<p> The notion that the government should make day care more affordable has gained bipartisan traction in this election cycle, but studies suggest that extensive use of commercial day care facilities &mdash; especially for children younger than 3 &mdash; can do more harm than good in the long term.</p> <p> What&rsquo;s more, surveys indicate that most Americans are skeptical about outsourcing care for their children.</p> <p> &ldquo;Parents kind of instinctively know that especially little kids need time and attention,&rdquo; said former domestic policy analyst <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/carrie-lukas/">Carrie Lukas</a>, managing director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</p> <p> With both of the major parties&rsquo; presidential nominees promising to help working families, affordable commercial child care has become an issue to attract voters.</p> <p> Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has said she would cap day care expenses at 10 percent of a family&rsquo;s income and increase wages for industry workers to prevent high turnover rates. Republican nominee Donald Trump has introduced a plan to make child care expenses tax-deductible, and his aides have expressed interest in extending tax benefits to stay-at-home parents.</p> <p> But researchers in child development and public policy question the wisdom of making commercial day care more affordable.</p> <p> &ldquo;I think it would be terrible for our kids,&rdquo; said <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/steven-rhoads/">Steven Rhoads</a>, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. &ldquo;Studies indicate that there are real risk factors &mdash; anxiety, aggression, even when they get older, criminal behavior. It&rsquo;s not a close call in most of these studies.&rdquo;</p> <p> <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/steven-rhoads/">Mr. Rhoads</a> is the author of &ldquo;Taking Sex Differences Seriously,&rdquo; which examines the policy implications of biological differences between the sexes.</p> <p> He recommends policies that allow families with children to keep more of what they earn. &ldquo;It would be better to find ways to support families with young children more generally,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/carrie-lukas/">Ms. Lukas</a> said any child care plan should allow parents to make whatever decision is right for them.</p> <p> &ldquo;We all want to make life easier on working parents, but I worry when you start just subsidizing child care,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not really fair to families that are making different choices when it comes to child care, whether that&rsquo;s working parents who try to work different hours so they can be home with kids or who make a real financial sacrifice so that they can keep a parent at home.&rdquo;</p> <p> Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research studied the effects of an affordable child care initiative in Quebec. By the year 2000, a $5-per-day day care policy had been implemented for all children younger than 5. The study, published in 2005, found that commercial day care was associated with health and behavioral problems in children.</p> <p> The health problems were neither surprising nor new. Infants frequently put their hands into their mouths and share toys, and day care centers have long been associated with higher rates of infection. However, the study found that children in day care also exhibited higher rates of physical aggression and emotional anxiety.</p> <p> A follow-up study last year found that the behavioral effects persisted into adolescence. Teens exposed to the Quebec day care program exhibited more emotional and behavioral problems, including anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity.</p> <p> In addition, adolescent Quebecois had higher rates of crime compared with the general teenage population in Canada, and those exposed to day care programs had higher crime rates on average at every age than their peers.</p> <p> One explanation for the findings is that children in day care produce elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to higher rates of fear and anxiety.</p> <p> A 2006 meta-analysis in Early Childhood Research Quarterly found that &ldquo;the effect of day care attendance on cortisol excretion was especially noticeable in children younger than 36 months.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;We speculate that children in center day care show elevated cortisol levels because of their stressful interactions in a group setting,&rdquo; the study said.</p> <p> A 2010 study conducted by University of Minnesota researchers noted that, during stages of rapid brain development in infancy, &ldquo;contact with parents prevents elevations in cortisol, and this has been interpreted as nature&rsquo;s way of protecting this developing brain from the potentially deleterious effects of this steroid.&rdquo;</p> <p> Adults with children in day care exhibited &ldquo;more hostile, less consistent parenting&rdquo; and &ldquo;worse adult mental health and relationship satisfaction,&rdquo; the 2005 Quebec study found.</p> <p> Parental guilt and stress associated with day care, especially among mothers, are not simply a social stigma but rather an evolutionarily hard-wired response, <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/steven-rhoads/">Mr. Rhoads</a> said.</p> <p> &ldquo;Mothers aren&rsquo;t designed to be comfortable,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just social construction for the guilt, because mothers who worried or were anxious when their kid wasn&rsquo;t in sight were more likely to have kids who thrived and made it through to the next generation.&rdquo;</p> <p> Other research paints a more complicated picture. In the United States, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development followed 1,364 children from birth beginning in 1991. It found that children who spent more than 30 hours per week in day care were nine times more likely to exhibit behavioral problems by age 4 than their peers who spent less than 10 hours per week in child care.</p> <p> The study also found that children who attended smaller day care centers with lower child-to-adult ratios and better-trained staff achieved some cognitive gains that lasted into adolescence &mdash; although behavioral problems persist regardless of day care quality.</p> <p> A 2014 follow-up to the Quebec study by the Canadian Labor Market and Skills Researcher Network found that the age at which children enter day care was an important variable in determining the effect: The earlier children were exposed to day care, the worse they fared.</p> <p> &ldquo;The estimates indicate that, on average, children who gain access to subsidized child care at earlier ages experience significantly larger negative impacts on motor-social developmental scores, self-reported health status and behavioral outcomes including physical aggression and emotional anxiety,&rdquo; the researchers said.</p> <p> However, children 3 and older from disadvantaged backgrounds showed some behavioral benefits from attending day care.</p> <p> <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/steven-rhoads/">Mr. Rhoads</a> said there may be room for targeted day care assistance, although Republicans often express worry about giving incentives for negative behaviors.</p> <p> &ldquo;My argument would be maybe it&rsquo;s different for single parents, but that&rsquo;s very complicated,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Ages would also be very important. There&rsquo;s no benefit before 3, and there are costs. So I would say there shouldn&rsquo;t be subsidies for day care before the age of 3.&rdquo;</p> <p> A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that 60 percent of Americans believe children fare better when one parent stays home. Only 16 percent of Americans in a 2013 Pew survey said it is best for children to have a mother who works outside the home full time.</p> <p> &ldquo;We should be thinking of ways to make child care more affordable for parents who need to use it, but the goal shouldn&rsquo;t be to push more parents to make that choice,&rdquo; <a href="http://m.washingtontimes.com/topics/carrie-lukas/">Ms. Lukas</a> said.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801253/Carrie L. LukasSun, 28 Aug 2016 08:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCriticizing Hillary’s Age And Pantsuits Doesn’t Make Me Sexist<p> You&rsquo;ve been warned, Hillary haters. We&rsquo;re all misogynists now.</p> <p> I went to bed thinking I was a true feminist, one who believes in equal pay for equal work for guys and gals, no whining no special treatment (which has pretty much been achieved &mdash; up yours, National Organization for Women!) Then I awoke to learn that, deep down, I&rsquo;m a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing one-woman frat party.</p> <p> Or maybe I&rsquo;ve <a href="http://nypost.com/2016/07/28/im-a-feminist-and-im-tired-of-hillarys-sexist-campaign/">just made the deeply sexist observation</a> that Hillary Clinton wears pantsuits.</p> <p> The mainstream media are mainlining dwindling estrogen in an all-out effort to transform Clinton from a corrupt, former secretary of state into the corrupt first woman president of the United States. A major strike in the effort to shut down naysayers came in the Aug. 17 issue of The Atlantic <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/the-era-of-the-bitch-is-coming/496154/">in a piece entitled &ldquo;The Era of &lsquo;The Bitch&rsquo; is Coming.&rsquo;&rsquo;</a> Seriously.</p> <p> &ldquo;You know it&rsquo;s coming,&rsquo;&rsquo; journalist Michelle Cottle wrote.</p> <p> &ldquo;As hyperpartisanship, grievance politics, and garden-variety rage shift from America&rsquo;s first black commander-in-chief onto its first female one, so, too, will the focus of political bigotry.</p> <p> &ldquo;Some of it will be driven by genuine gender grievance or discomfort among some at being led by a woman. But in plenty of other cases, slamming Hillary as a bitch, a c&ndash;t (Thanks, Scott Baio!), or a menopausal nut-job (an enduringly popular theme on Twitter) will simply be an easy-peasy shortcut for dismissing her and delegitimizing her presidency.&rsquo;&rsquo;</p> <p> The breathtaking assertions left my poor little head in a tizzy.</p> <p> Critics of President Obama&rsquo;s many leadership failures were dismissed as bigots, while Clinton&rsquo;s detractors, even the non-obscenity-spewing variety, were branded as uncomfortable with women in leadership roles, or as garden-variety sexists.</p> <p> On Planet Democrat, questioning authority is no longer a citizen&rsquo;s right. It&rsquo;s an abominable breach of morality and human decency.</p> <p> Other outlets infantilized the candidate even further. Quartz struck one for the warped sisterhood, putting out a piece this month arguing that even discussing the things Clinton &mdash; a self-proclaimed &ldquo;pantsuit aficionado&rsquo;&rsquo; &mdash; wears on her rump amounts to sexual bias.</p> <p> &ldquo;To many, the distinction between a suit and pantsuit smacks of sexism,&rsquo;&rsquo; <a href="http://qz.com/746212/why-is-a-suit-only-a-pantsuit-when-a-woman-wears-one/">the Web site&rsquo;s Marc Bain wrote.</a> &ldquo;It arguably turns women into the other, the non-standard case. While a &lsquo;suit&rsquo; connotes power and authority, a &lsquo;pantsuit&rsquo; suggests a lesser form that pretends to being a suit, leading to an understandable dislike.&rsquo;&rsquo;</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, has a problem with calling all things Clinton off-limits. &ldquo;The mainstream media and left is pushing the idea that all criticism of Hillary Clinton boils down to sexism,&rsquo;&rsquo; she wrote me in an e-mail. &ldquo;Voters &mdash; but particularly women voters &mdash; aren&rsquo;t supposed to linger on issues of ethics or policy agenda, but just to accept that it&rsquo;s time for a woman and, therefore, all good people will vote for Mrs. Clinton.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;Frankly, it&rsquo;s rather sexist. &lsquo;&rsquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> It gets worse.</p> <p> &ldquo;Yes, it&rsquo;s Sexist to Speculate About Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s Health,&rsquo;&rsquo; <a href="http://www.glamour.com/story/yes-its-sexist-to-speculate-about-hillary-clintons-health">Glamour magazine declared on Aug. 17.</a></p> <p> &ldquo;Doesn&rsquo;t she look tired?&rdquo; has always been code for &lsquo;this woman is weak,&rsquo; and now Trump supporters are using it to attack Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s health,&rsquo;&rsquo; Cady Drell wrote in the publication aimed at women.</p> <p> Still, concerns about Clinton&rsquo;s physical soundness have abounded, even among people who oppose her Republican rival. In December 2012, while serving as secretary of state, she fainted &mdash; State Department officials blamed dehydration from fighting a stomach virus for her collapse. <a href="http://nypost.com/2012/12/15/hillary-clinton-faints-sustains-concussion/">She hit her head and suffered a concussion</a>, pushing back for more than a month her testifying before Congress about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.</p> <p> As a result of the fall, she was hospitalized in January 2013 for a blood clot located in a vein behind her right ear, which her personal doctor maintains was successfully dissolved with blood thinners. Her doc says she&rsquo;s physically fit to be prez. As far as her cheerleaders are concerned, it&rsquo;s case closed.</p> <p> Clinton turns 69 in October. If elected, she&rsquo;d be the second-oldest first-term president in history, after Ronald Reagan. Trump, who turned 70 in June, would be the oldest. I hardly think questions about either candidate&rsquo;s health should be off the table.</p> <p> Nor have I heard The Donald complain that all the ragging he endures over his crazy corn-colored hairdo amounts to reverse sexism.</p> <p> If this country is to elect a Madam President, it&rsquo;s time every one of us grew a pair.</p> <p> <strong>Homeless remedy is inn-sane</strong></p> <p> A posh New York City hotel whose rooms typically rent for $200 to $300 a night is being used to house at least 40 homeless people</p> <p> Down-on-their-luck women and children are being watched by a security guard posted on a floor on <a href="http://nypost.com/2016/08/22/luxury-hotel-now-doubles-as-city-homeless-shelter/">which they live in The Excelsior hotel</a> on Manhattan&rsquo;s Upper West Side, paying customers complained on Yelp and Trip Advisor.</p> <p> A mom and her two daughters were <a href="http://nypost.com/2016/02/10/four-stabbed-at-nyc-hotel/">stabbed to death at a Staten Island hotel</a> used as a temporary shelter in February, allegedly by the woman&rsquo;s boyfriend. The good news is that homeless folks at The Excelsior have some protection from those with ill intent.</p> <p> The bad news is that area residents and visitors are upset that the nabe has been made more vulnerable to violence.</p> <p> Suitable, well-guarded housing, not luxury digs, is the answer to homelessness.</p> <p> <strong>A King and his &lsquo;staying&rsquo; queen</strong></p> <p> Maybe 40 isn&rsquo;t the new 20 after all. How about 56?</p> <p> Veteran broadcaster Larry King&rsquo;s wife, Shawn King, 56, <a href="http://pagesix.com/2016/08/24/larry-kings-wife-allegedly-having-affair/?_ga=1.255415424.929664914.1423553034">allegedly has been carrying on a yearlong affair</a> with Richard Greene, a public-speaking guru whose Web site boasts that his clients have included Princess Diana, Naomi Campbell and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, among others, <a href="http://pagesix.com/2016/08/24/meet-the-man-allegedly-having-an-affair-with-larry-kings-wife/?_ga=1.255415424.929664914.1423553034">a source close to the Kings told Page Six&rsquo;s Oli Coleman</a>.</p> <p> Larry King, 82, is said to be &ldquo;heartbroken,&rsquo;&rsquo; &ldquo;embarrassed and furious&rsquo;&rsquo; over the revelations of alleged faithlessness by his wife of 19 years.</p> <p> Lawyers representing Shawn and Larry, as well as a rep for Greene, called the story of an affair &ldquo;inaccurate.&rsquo;&rsquo; Maybe the couple will give their August-December union another whirl?</p> <p> I wish I believed in love that much.</p> <p> <strong>Going to the dogs</strong></p> <p> This should give two-legged politicians pause. Or paws.</p> <p> Duke, a dog, was re-elected mayor of the village of Cormorant, Minn., this past weekend for his third consecutive one-year term. The 9-year-old great Pyrenees is among animals elected mayors of municipalities around the United States, including two other dogs, a cat and a beer-drinking goat named Clay Henry III. This nation&rsquo;s voters should consider electing a two-toed sloth as president in 2016.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801243/Carrie L. LukasThu, 25 Aug 2016 08:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum2016 – Never a Better Time to Be a Working Woman<p> A recent article by former White House official Avra Siegel in Fortune was titled &ldquo;The Brutal Truth About Being a Pregnant Worker in 2016:&nbsp; It&rsquo;s Pretty Awful.&rdquo;&nbsp; At Acculturated, I explained how Siegel, while heavy on the self-pity (in spite of having unlimited paid sick leave and even an on-sight office nap room), overlooks the costs and other drawbacks of her proposals and fails to consider the perspective of childless workers.</p> <p> Siegel&rsquo;s overwrought headline aside, it&rsquo;s worth noting that while, of course, pregnancy comes with challenges&mdash;and those who haven&rsquo;t gone through the experience may not fully appreciate these&mdash;there&rsquo;s actually never been a better time to be a pregnant working woman than 2016.&nbsp;</p> <p> Off the top of my head:&nbsp; There is far more public discussion and awareness of the challenges of pregnancy; Women are increasingly in leadership positions in companies and organizations, which should make the topic and considerations for pregnancy less taboo; and technology has created a multitude of work options (telecommuting, working from home, etc.) that help workers who aren&rsquo;t at 100 percent, whether because they&rsquo;re pregnant, undergoing chemotherapy, or have some other health condition.&nbsp;</p> <p> Life will always present challenges&mdash;and not just for pregnant women.&nbsp; People get sick, depressed, and face every conceivable difficultly.&nbsp; Those who work in service-oriented jobs have less flexibility than those whose tasks revolve around a computer.&nbsp; Sometimes not showing up is just not an option. &nbsp;This has always been true and&mdash;while technology will continue to bring more flexibility&mdash;it will always be the case in many jobs.&nbsp; Yet women today have it far better than even our mother&rsquo;s generation did, nap rooms or no, and that is progress worth celebrating.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2801255/Carrie L. LukasWed, 24 Aug 2016 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum