May 05, 2014
DelBene pays female staff 78 per cent of males

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene took a shot in the war on women in Kirkland two weeks ago, according to the Seattle Times. She said that women are paid 77 per cent of men, claiming that gapĀ on the "real-life consequences of the gender wage gap." She, however, is exemplary; she pays her female employees more; they get 78 per cent of male employees.

But when you point out that her own data shows she commits the very sin she decries, her staff spokesperson says you just don't understand. The men do different jobs - better jobs. In her office the issue is equal pay for equal work. In her politics any difference is clear evidence of discrimination.

And she is incensed that the Republican National Congressional Committee (NRCC) did the comparison using full-time employees who have been employed for at least a year. That sounds reasonable. But it comes up with a worse number - 53 per cent - so she blames the Republicans for bad math. Again, it is her own data. And the Seattle Times helps her by putting her claim in the sub headline high on its home page today, saying the Republicans' math is wrong.

The Sea Times could cover the difference in analysis in the article without helping her reelection campaign by puttiing her view high on its home page. And the difference is not math - the calculation - but is how to choose which set of employees are included. The NRCC made a reasonable choice, but it made the Times's congresswoman look bad.

Seattle Times

The April 30 Kirkland event referred to in the first paragraph is covered here - Kirkland Reporter - but it does not contain the DelBene quote cited by the Seattle Times.

Posted by Ron Hebron at May 05, 2014 12:07 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Is there a point somewhere in your post that you're trying to make? There are only two employees with the same job. Flunk statistics much?

"Among Millennial women, 75% say this country needs to continue making changes to achieve gender equality in the workplace"

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/12/11/on-pay-gap-millennial-women-near-parity-for-now/

If you'll look closely at the tabs, you'll see that 97% of millennial women think your post is shallow and insipid. Smooth move, Ron.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 5, 2014 01:16 PM
2. It seems that Ron agrees with Rep. DelBene: our House should pass, or at least consider, the equal-pay bill. Ron, please tell me if I got that wrong, and if I did, what exactly you believe we should do.

Posted by: tensor on May 5, 2014 03:56 PM
3. .
@Ron, "I am a retired operations researcher - that's using math and discrete-event simulation to solve business problems", Hebron,

You're not so good at teh math, are you?

Is the point of this post that you are as deficient at math as the Republican National Congressional Committee (NRCC)?

You attempt to caveat your erroneously arrived opinion by saying "...the difference is not math - the calculation - but is how to choose which set of employees are included."

Are you really so dense as to not understand the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data (a.k.a. statistics) is the math?

Try this mental exercise Ron.
Let's set the tax rate at 1%, but let's make the taxable income the average income of a sample set.

Your income tax shall be assessed on the average of the income of you and Bill Gates. You OK with paying that? What if we include everyone on your street in the sample?


To the extent you would like some standard method to measure gender pay disparity, then DelBene's support of the Paycheck Fairness Act would go a long way to help you better understand "which set of employees are included"; to wit

- Revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.
- States that the bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor: (1) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, (2) is job-related with respect to the position in question, and (3) is consistent with business necessity. Makes such defense inapplicable where the employee demonstrates that: (1) an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential, and (2) the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.

In the meantime Ron, "I am a retired operations researcher - that's using math and discrete-event simulation to solve business problems", Hebron, try and organize a class in intro statistics for yourself and your fellow ill-educated fellow travellers at the NRCC.
Maybe then you'll be better qualified to use math to understand and solve the pay equity problem, because currently you are not qualified to opine about that which you do not understand.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 5, 2014 05:07 PM
4. I understand your point, even though @1-3 don't appreciate the truth. Proposing a solution would help though even if there is no real solution, which there probably isn't. Kudos for accepting comments.

However, there is a more relevant point to make. Jim Miller needs to grow a pair, to put it bluntly. He exemplifies what is wrong with the Republican establishment and the Republican party, by being afraid to accept any comments on his posts - he at least owes readers of SP an explanation. Your elitist attitude and inaction does nothing to advance a cause and has loser written all over it. If you have a conscience and integrity, give us your reasoning, then show some courage and open up your posts to comments or kindly stay away !

Posted by: KDS on May 5, 2014 07:33 PM
5. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene took a shot in the war on women in Kirkland two weeks ago, according to the Seattle Times. She said that women are paid 77 per cent of men, claiming that gap on the "real-life consequences of the gender wage gap." She, however, is exemplary; she pays her female employees more; they get 78 per cent of male employees.

Excusing any faulty math, that's a valid criticism to make... but where does she stack up compared to other members of Congress? And how would this justify providing LESS access to good jobs with equal pay, or preventing employees in the labor market from receiving information that can help them to participate in that market?

@4. However, there is a more relevant point to make. Jim Miller needs to grow a pair, to put it bluntly. He exemplifies what is wrong with the Republican establishment and the Republican party, by being afraid to accept any comments on his posts - he at least owes readers of SP an explanation. Your elitist attitude and inaction does nothing to advance a cause and has loser written all over it. If you have a conscience and integrity, give us your reasoning, then show some courage and open up your posts to comments or kindly stay away !

Agreed. Being unable to take criticism is the sign of a closed mind, unwilling to accept new information. That is a very dangerous perspective to take in politics, especially since in belies a deep-seated uncertainty in one's own convictions.

Posted by: demo kid on May 5, 2014 08:53 PM
6. "Proposing a solution would help though even if there is no real solution, which there probably isn't."

Rep. DelBene has proposed a solution. Do you believe it to be deficient, and if so, why? Why would paying women the same as men for the same exact work not be a "real solution"?

"...even though @1-3 don't appreciate the truth."

I asked Ron to correct me if I was wrong about his statements. Why do the other commenters not "appreciate the truth"?

Posted by: tensor on May 5, 2014 09:11 PM
7. "Proposing a solution would help though even if there is no real solution, which there probably isn't."

Rep. DelBene has proposed a solution. Do you believe it to be deficient, and if so, why? Why would paying women the same as men for the same exact work not be a "real solution"?

"...even though @1-3 don't appreciate the truth."

I asked Ron to correct me if I was wrong about his statements. Why do the other commenters not "appreciate the truth"?

Posted by: tensor on May 5, 2014 09:11 PM
8. The real punishment is not that they get paid less, but that they work for a Democrat. This will scar these poor women for life.

Posted by: Mike on May 5, 2014 09:38 PM
9. @6 & 7 - That ball is in Ron's court.

...even though @1-3 don't appreciate the truth."

You (tensor) have a history of not appreciating the truth if it is incriminating to your ideology, which a majority of blog posts do - you are a blind partisan and your comments often don't pass the smell test. If you took off your blinders and were more objective, more of the "other commenters" could take you seriously, but don't show that something like that bothers you (/sarc). LMAO !

Posted by: KDS on May 5, 2014 09:57 PM
10. KDS - I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I wanted examples,, not just a blanket claim with no grounds for support. If what you say is correct, you should have little problem linking to my past comments, and showing how I "don't appreciate the truth." Ditto with the other commenters you mentioned.

Meanwhile, what is the basis for your claim of "no real solution" to the problem of gender inequity in pay? Wouldn't simply paying women the same compensation for the same work as men, by definition, provide a "real solution"?

Posted by: tensor on May 5, 2014 10:04 PM
11. The discussion will continue on anonymous Mike BS's blog. He needs to tell us where it is.

Posted by: Ron on May 5, 2014 10:18 PM