Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is Out • 1310 KFKA AM Coloradohttp://iwf.org/media/2793759/Hadley HeathMon, 14 Apr 2014 17:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAre enough young/healthy signing up for ObamaCare to offset the costs for old/sick Americans • WBFF http://iwf.org/media/2793712/Hadley HeathSat, 12 Apr 2014 15:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumObamacare enrollment lags for young, healthy Americans • Special Report Jim Angle Package http://iwf.org/media/2793671/Hadley HeathFri, 11 Apr 2014 16:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhen it comes to ObamaCare are the young and healthy signing up? • WXTX Newshttp://iwf.org/media/2793710/Hadley HeathFri, 11 Apr 2014 15:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEqual Pay Day is a fictitious holiday based on a faux statistic • Cavuto http://iwf.org/media/2793616/Hadley HeathTue, 8 Apr 2014 02:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPaycheck Fairness Act: Not Good for Paychecks or Fairness<p> This week the Senate is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to expand &ldquo;remedies&rdquo; to sex-based wage discrimination.</p> <p> In other words, the legislation would allow women to sue for unlimited compensatory and punitive damages, and it would promote class-action lawsuits by requiring workers to opt out, rather than to opt in. This would result in expanded legal liability for employers, smaller paychecks and less fairness for women and men.</p> <p> Like many ideas from the Left, this legislation is a solution in search of a problem. It would certainly be wrong to suggest that workplace discrimination is entirely extinct, but the PFA presumes the opposite &ndash; that men&rsquo;s earnings outperform women&rsquo;s solely because of discrimination and that more lawsuits are the fix. Reality is more complex.</p> <p> If a woman is truly the victim of wage discrimination, she already has the ability to sue. Sex-based wage discrimination has been illegal since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.</p> <p> Proponents of the PFA point out that, despite these longstanding legal protections, women&rsquo;s earnings continue to lag behind men&rsquo;s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average full-time woman&rsquo;s wages are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120110.htm">81 percent of the average man&rsquo;s</a>.</p> <p> This differential, often known as the &ldquo;wage gap,&rdquo; is an interesting figure. But importantly, it is not a measure of discrimination toward women. There are many reasons why women &ndash; on average &ndash; earn less money than men. Basically, women are more willing than men to take greater comfort, safety, leave time and flexibility as tradeoffs for lower pay.</p> <p> While the BLS calculates the wage gap between men and women, this measure includes everyone who works full time, or more than 35 hours per week. This does not take into account that the average full-time woman works 7.9 hours per day and the average full-time man works&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf">8.5 hours per day</a>.</p> <p> Men are also more likely to work in dangerous or unpleasant work conditions &mdash; which is why the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0009.pdf#http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0009.pdf">vast majority of work-related deaths are males</a>. This additional risk warrants greater compensation, and the laws of supply and demand bear this out.</p> <p> The attitude behind the Paycheck Fairness Act completely ignores that women and men may have different preferences and priorities when it comes to pay and jobs. Instead, the PFA sees more lawsuits as the &ldquo;remedy&rdquo; for women&rsquo;s wages.</p> <p> But greater damages, more class-action lawsuits and increased liability for employers are not the right approach to expanding job opportunities for women. In fact, the PFA is likely to do more to hurt women&rsquo;s economic outlook than to help.</p> <p> Employers &ndash; especially smaller ones &ndash; will face potentially bankrupting lawsuits. As companies divert more resources toward expanded liability insurance, there will be less money leftover to pay workers. The only paychecks that would benefit from PFA are the payouts for trial lawyers. Even worse: Employers will be discouraged from hiring women when they see women as legal risks rather than meritorious workers.</p> <p> Not only is the Paycheck Fairness Act bad for workers&rsquo; paychecks, it is also bad for fairness. Our legal system relies on the philosophy of &ldquo;innocent until proven guilty.&rdquo; The PFA inverts that concept by putting the burden of proof on employers to demonstrate that all salary decisions are &ldquo;job related&rdquo; and &ldquo;consistent with business necessity.&rdquo;</p> <p> These ambiguous restrictions could discourage employers from paying higher-performing workers more, from allowing employees to take more flexibility in exchange for reduced pay, or from presenting a counter-offer to retain a valuable employee. This means the PFA could lead to stricter pay schedules, less flexibility and less fairness.</p> <p> Clearly, sex-based wage discrimination is wrong. Furthermore, it&rsquo;s already illegal. Employers know that, and employees should too. This latest legislation &ndash; the Paycheck Fairness Act &ndash; won&rsquo;t lead to more fairness or better pay. It will lead to more lawsuits, more red tape and fewer job opportunities for women and men. The bill has a nice name, but the Paycheck Fairness Act is not good for paychecks, or for fairness.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2793593/Hadley HeathMon, 7 Apr 2014 19:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPaycheck Fairness Act: Not Good for Paychecks or Fairness<p> This week the Senate is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to expand &ldquo;remedies&rdquo; to sex-based wage discrimination.</p> <p> In other words, the legislation would allow women to sue for unlimited compensatory and punitive damages, and it would promote class-action lawsuits by requiring workers to opt out, rather than to opt in. This would result in expanded legal liability for employers, smaller paychecks and less fairness for women and men.</p> <p> Like many ideas from the Left, this legislation is a solution in search of a problem. It would certainly be wrong to suggest that workplace discrimination is entirely extinct, but the PFA presumes the opposite &ndash; that men&rsquo;s earnings outperform women&rsquo;s solely because of discrimination and that more lawsuits are the fix. Reality is more complex.</p> <p> If a woman is truly the victim of wage discrimination, she already has the ability to sue. Sex-based wage discrimination has been illegal since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.</p> <p> Proponents of the PFA point out that, despite these longstanding legal protections, women&rsquo;s earnings continue to lag behind men&rsquo;s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average full-time woman&rsquo;s wages are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120110.htm">81 percent of the average man&rsquo;s</a>.</p> <p> This differential, often known as the &ldquo;wage gap,&rdquo; is an interesting figure. But importantly, it is not a measure of discrimination toward women. There are many reasons why women &ndash; on average &ndash; earn less money than men. Basically, women are more willing than men to take greater comfort, safety, leave time and flexibility as tradeoffs for lower pay.</p> <p> While the BLS calculates the wage gap between men and women, this measure includes everyone who works full time, or more than 35 hours per week. This does not take into account that the average full-time woman works 7.9 hours per day and the average full-time man works&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf">8.5 hours per day</a>.</p> <p> Men are also more likely to work in dangerous or unpleasant work conditions &mdash; which is why the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0009.pdf#http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0009.pdf">vast majority of work-related deaths are males</a>. This additional risk warrants greater compensation, and the laws of supply and demand bear this out.</p> <p> The attitude behind the Paycheck Fairness Act completely ignores that women and men may have different preferences and priorities when it comes to pay and jobs. Instead, the PFA sees more lawsuits as the &ldquo;remedy&rdquo; for women&rsquo;s wages.</p> <p> But greater damages, more class-action lawsuits and increased liability for employers are not the right approach to expanding job opportunities for women. In fact, the PFA is likely to do more to hurt women&rsquo;s economic outlook than to help.</p> <p> Employers &ndash; especially smaller ones &ndash; will face potentially bankrupting lawsuits. As companies divert more resources toward expanded liability insurance, there will be less money leftover to pay workers. The only paychecks that would benefit from PFA are the payouts for trial lawyers. Even worse: Employers will be discouraged from hiring women when they see women as legal risks rather than meritorious workers.</p> <p> Not only is the Paycheck Fairness Act bad for workers&rsquo; paychecks, it is also bad for fairness. Our legal system relies on the philosophy of &ldquo;innocent until proven guilty.&rdquo; The PFA inverts that concept by putting the burden of proof on employers to demonstrate that all salary decisions are &ldquo;job related&rdquo; and &ldquo;consistent with business necessity.&rdquo;</p> <p> These ambiguous restrictions could discourage employers from paying higher-performing workers more, from allowing employees to take more flexibility in exchange for reduced pay, or from presenting a counter-offer to retain a valuable employee. This means the PFA could lead to stricter pay schedules, less flexibility and less fairness.</p> <p> Clearly, sex-based wage discrimination is wrong. Furthermore, it&rsquo;s already illegal. Employers know that, and employees should too. This latest legislation &ndash; the Paycheck Fairness Act &ndash; won&rsquo;t lead to more fairness or better pay. It will lead to more lawsuits, more red tape and fewer job opportunities for women and men. The bill has a nice name, but the Paycheck Fairness Act is not good for paychecks, or for fairness.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2793666/Hadley HeathMon, 7 Apr 2014 08:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat is the Hobby Lobby case in the Supreme Court all about? • Dead Reckoninghttp://iwf.org/media/2793545/Hadley HeathFri, 28 Mar 2014 02:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHHS Mandate in the high court illustrates the inevitable conflicts that result from too much government in health care • WLW Scott Sloan Show http://iwf.org/media/2793510/Hadley HeathWed, 26 Mar 2014 17:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Supreme Court cases about much more than contraception • Neal Larson Show 590 KID Newsradiohttp://iwf.org/media/2793509/Hadley HeathWed, 26 Mar 2014 16:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHealth Care Challenge at Supreme Court “About Women’s Rights” • Voice of Russia<p> <a href="http://voiceofrussia.com/us/2014_03_27/Health-Care-Challenge-at-Supreme-Court-About-Women-s-Rights-2825/">By Molly Seder</a></p> <p> WASHINGTON (VR) &ndash; Should the government force employers offering employees health care to only subscribe to policies that cover a spectrum of birth control? Is it fair to force employers to contribute to controversial medications like &ldquo;Plan B&rdquo; pills and IUDs?</p> <p> Under the Affordable Care Act, that&rsquo;s law of the land with few exceptions. But the Supreme Court could change that.</p> <p> The nation&rsquo;s highest court heard two cases yesterday challenging regulations requiring all insurance to cover birth control. Two companies argued it violates their religious rights.</p> <p> Outside the court house Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said the case is about women&#39;s rights.</p> <p> &ldquo;I really believe that this court understood that women have the right to make their own decisions about their health care and their birth control. And it&#39;s not their boss&#39; decision,&rdquo; Richards said.</p> <p> And Terry O&rsquo;Neill, the President of the National Organization of Women, told VR that no employer can quote &ldquo;claim religion as an excuse for simple bigotry against women.&rdquo;</p> <p> But Hadley Heath, the director of health policy at the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, disagrees. She says it&rsquo;s not about women&rsquo;s rights but rather women&rsquo;s choices.</p> <p> She says women can still buy birth control even if the Supreme Court strikes down that part of the Affordable Care Act. Employees &ldquo;can choose to accept that benefit or choose to seek out health insurance in the individual market,&rdquo; Heath told VR.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2793521/Hadley HeathWed, 26 Mar 2014 16:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumObamaCare turns four, but now there are more people hurting as a result of the law than being helped • KFKA AM Coloradohttp://iwf.org/media/2793511/Hadley HeathMon, 24 Mar 2014 17:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWomen’s History Month – A Dose of Perspective<p> March &ndash; Women&rsquo;s History Month &ndash; is mostly observed by honoring trailblazing women who helped overcome challenges, triumph against sexism, and make our country what it is today. Feminists sometimes use the occasion to highlight how women have yet to achieve economic parity with men, but we should be careful to keep the right perspective when evaluating the status of women in the modern U.S.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s simply not accurate to think of all women as a marginalized victim class in today&rsquo;s economy. Using the right measures, facts bear this out. Furthermore, when women accurately assess our own success and opportunities, we can see women and men in cooperation, not competition.</p> <p> By nearly any measure, women are advancing and achieving greater success than ever before. Not only has the sheer number of women attaining higher levels of education increased, but women have&nbsp;<a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72">overtaken men</a>, earning the majority of associate&rsquo;s, bachelor&rsquo;s, master&rsquo;s and doctorate degrees.</p> <p> And according to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2011/women/">Bureau of Labor Statistics report</a>, the percent of working-age women participating in the workforce was 43 percent four decades ago. Today it is near&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_303.htm">58 percent</a>. In 2010, women comprised&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-10.htm">47 percent</a>&nbsp;of the U.S. workforce.</p> <p> Modern day feminists sometimes point to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/business/careers/boardroom-boys-club-women-still-mostly-shut-out-n44196">disproportionately low number</a>&nbsp;of women in certain higher-paying professions, or at certain levels &mdash; i.e. corporate boardrooms &mdash; as evidence that American women still lack opportunities. They emphasize that women still have a long way to go before achieving parity with men.</p> <p> But women don&rsquo;t need to be equally represented in all facets of American life in order to prove that we are free and prosperous.</p> <p> A better measure of women&rsquo;s &mdash; and men&rsquo;s &mdash; success is whether they are living the lives they want to lead, in accordance with their personal preferences. While each person is an individual, and will have&nbsp;<em>individual&nbsp;</em>preferences, the two sexes show substantial differences.</p> <p> For example,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/most-working-moms-prefer-part-time-work/">Pew Research</a>&nbsp;asked working moms if they would prefer part-time or full-time work. Fully 62 percent of working moms would prefer to work part time, compared to only 21 percent of working dads.&nbsp; Considering this significant difference in the two groups, it&rsquo;s not surprising that we see more men climbing the ladders of careers that require full-time work.</p> <p> But a more important truth is this: Comparing outcomes between men and women is simply a useless exercise. This approach tells us little about the expectations and&nbsp;<em>opportunities</em>&nbsp;that men and women face. And these economic comparisons represent the misguided attitude that men and women are in competition.</p> <p> In reality, men and women&rsquo;s interests are tied, and we want the most freedom and greatest prosperity for all of our neighbors, regardless of sex.</p> <p> Instead of slicing the pie between men and women, we should focus on the state of the whole pie: When the American economy is growing and strong, both men and women benefit. Conversely, if the economy tanks, that&rsquo;s bad news for us all.</p> <p> In fact, perpetuating the idea that men are the economic winners and women are victims may do harm. It may encourage young women to accept the status quo as if there is nothing we &ndash; as individuals &ndash; can do to better our own circumstances.</p> <p> One favorite &ndash; and often misinterpreted &ndash; statistic on women is the &ldquo;wage gap,&rdquo; or the disparity in average wages between men and women.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2010.pdf">According to BLS</a>, women earn 81 percent of men&rsquo;s median wages. This statistic does not take into account different fields, professions, experience levels or hours worked. It&rsquo;s an average.</p> <p> If we want more young women to maximize their earning potential, we should encourage them to choose higher-paying jobs, spend more time on the job, or ask for raises more frequently. Really, we should just make sure women are informed about the tradeoffs involved in these choices, and then let each woman decide.</p> <p> American women are strong, empowered and capable. When we consider women&rsquo;s history, we see what great obstacles women overcame to shatter glass ceilings and reach new achievements. American women &ndash; like men &ndash; will continue to overcome, to learn and to grow.</p> <p> But most importantly, we will seek happiness on our own terms, we will work with &ndash; and not against &ndash; men along the way, and we will not see ourselves as helpless victims in this modern era where we are more successful and free than ever.</p> <p> By&nbsp;<a href="http://redalertpolitics.com/author/hheath/" title="Posts by Hadley Heath">Hadley Heath</a>&nbsp;///&nbsp;March 23, 2014</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2793494/Hadley HeathSun, 23 Mar 2014 13:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhite House enlists celeb moms in last ditch effort for ObamaCare sign-ups • AM Colorado http://iwf.org/media/2793448/Hadley HeathMon, 17 Mar 2014 13:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumYo, Millennials: Marriage Creates Financial Security, Not Vice Versa<p> Many of today&rsquo;s young adults have put the cart before the horse when it comes to marriage and money: They&rsquo;re delaying marriage, and citing the lack of a solid economic foundation as the reason. Ironically, marriage itself can provide financial security, if it&rsquo;s a life-long investment and with the right partner.</p> <p> The Pew Research Center just released a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/">fascinating new report</a>&nbsp;on Millennials &ndash; the generation born between roughly 1981 and 1998. From the report: &ldquo;Most unmarried Millennials (69 percent) say they would like to marry,&nbsp;but many, especially those with lower levels of income and education, lack what they deem to be a necessary prerequisite&mdash;a solid economic foundation.&rdquo;</p> <p> This sadly represents a bigger issue; many young adults today see marriage as an accomplishment rather than a journey. It could be that Millennials see financial security as a proxy variable for &ldquo;Have I made it yet?&rdquo;</p> <p> The idea that someone must be a fully developed person (or that there is such thing) before marriage is misguided. Marriage is intended to be a lifelong relationship in which the two partners shape each other and change and develop together, often helping each other realize potential they wouldn&rsquo;t otherwise.</p> <p> When it comes to money, marriage can provide stability and economies of scale that aren&rsquo;t as accessible for singles. The Book of Ecclesiastes has something to say about this: &ldquo;Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.&rdquo; This wisdom is just as true today as it was in Biblical times.</p> <p> Social science&nbsp;<a href="http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/1/the-benefits-of-marriage">bears this out</a>: Married couples have increased odds of affluence, increased chances of moving out of poor neighborhoods, increased incomes, and are more likely to avoid poverty.</p> <p> Millennial women are more likely than their female predecessors to have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/03/06/womens-college-enrollment-gains-leave-men-behind/">higher levels of education</a>&nbsp;and higher earning potential.&nbsp; Combining two one-income households into one two-income household means Millennial couples can reduce their overhead cost of living and improve their ability to pay down debt (a huge problem for the youngest generation) or even begin to save.</p> <p> Marriage also wards against one very serious financial setback affecting many Millennials: single parenthood. Where there is sex, there is a risk of pregnancy, and demographic trends suggest that Millennials are not delaying sexual activity as late as they are marriage.</p> <p> According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/">Pew</a>, 47 percent of births to Millennial women are non-marital, about double the rate of previous generations. And according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013.html">Census Bureau</a>, about 45 percent of single-mother households live in poverty compared to 13 percent of married households.</p> <p> Millennials would do well to avoid single parenthood, either by marrying earlier or delaying sex until our later wedding dates. Sharing a household is financially beneficial for childless married couples, but it&rsquo;s even more critical for those with children.</p> <p> Therefore, young adults who are serious about their relationships should see marriage as a bedrock foundation for future financial success, not a finish line. A lack of material wealth should not be a reason, or an excuse, for avoiding marriage.</p> <p> There are, of course, important caveats to this argument.&nbsp; Financial insecurity comes in various strains.&nbsp; Sometimes it is a symptom of &ldquo;just getting started&rdquo; &ndash; youth, inexperience, and an accompanying low income. These circumstances can change and improve over time, and often improve faster when two people work together.</p> <p> Sometimes, however, bad finances are a symptom of irresponsible behavior. It&rsquo;s important to discern whether you and a potential spouse have the same values and expectations when it comes to money, and that you practice good money management, like balancing your budget and saving for rainy day funds.</p> <p> Furthermore, some&nbsp;<a href="http://nationalmarriageproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/KnotYet-FinalForWeb-041413.pdf">studies</a>&nbsp;show that delaying marriage at least until partners are finished with their education is beneficial to their future earnings. Also, marriage can have a great return on investment, but only if it is a long-term &ndash; not short-term &ndash; investment.&nbsp; Divorce can have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twoofus.org/educational-content/articles/the-financial-impact-of-divorce/index.aspx">terrible financial consequences</a>&nbsp;&ndash; so invest wisely.</p> <p> Couples should not marry for financial security alone, but they also shouldn&rsquo;t let less-than-perfect bank accounts stop them from marrying. In fact, if Millennials avoid marriage because they lack a golden nest egg, they may be feeding a self-perpetuating cycle. Bottom line: Marriage is the solid economic foundation we lack.</p> <p> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/HadleyHeath">Follow Hadley on Twitter</a>.</em></p> http://iwf.org/news/2793433/Hadley HeathFri, 14 Mar 2014 14:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum