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Commissioners insult women by refusing to sign Proclamation for Equal Pay Day

Paycheck Fairness Act may finally close the gender gap, column, April 18

Commissioners insulted women

First of all, I would like to thank Diane Steinle for the wonderful column. She reminded all of us how long women have worked to obtain equal pay with men. It has taken us 40 years to reach 77 cents for every dollar for the men.

The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009. Now, we need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives already has passed, but for some reason, the Senate is dragging its feet.

An intelligent person, an educated person, would have to agree that equal pay for equal work should be a given. Yet I watched as two elected Pinellas County commissioners refused to sign the Proclamation for Equal Pay Day. It was signed by the other five members of the County Commission because they believe in equal pay. Neil Brickfield and Nancy Bostock have been elected by the citizens of Pinellas County and should believe in equality for all. Yet they refused to sign the proclamation. What a slap in the face of every woman in Pinellas County to have this done to them.

Women in Pinellas County need to remember this at election time.

Margaret Hyde, Clearwater

Paycheck Fairness Act may finally close the gender gap, column, April 18

Column misses issue's complexity

The Diane Steinle column is rife with naïve conclusions (relating primarily to the statistics of the issue).

It is typical of the excesses, over-simplifications and non sequiturs that occur in editorials and political discussions that are grinding an ax. It would be refreshing to see an objective, comprehensive position on such matters.

The most logically inconsistent aspect of the article is how the argument deals with great detail relating to the statistic with the least significance—i.e., the 77 cents versus $1 figure. This female-male earnings ratio is an overall average, as noted by a quote from critics, that masks any effects from career choices, etc.

In an attempted rebuttal of the critics, the article quotes the American Association of University Women as vaguely stating there seems to be a gap attributable to sex discrimination when these effects are considered. However, no quantification of this "gap" is identified. Is it too much greater than 77 cents to justify passage of the act?

And then, of course, there is this obsession with averages that afflicts all arguments in political matters. Admittedly, it is convenient to deal with only a single statistic and compare its value applied to two (or more) groups. However, this convenience excludes the important consideration of the variance in the data from which the average is determined.

If you objectively examine the data, you will find that there are many, many women who earn more than many, many men.

In all fairness, shouldn't the men in the low end of earnings data also be trained in salary negotiations? Wouldn't these men also suffer the losses in Social Security and pension benefits and increase the possibility of living in poverty in the last years of their life?

Why is the discussion limited to gender disparity? What about racial disparity (probably involving much less than a 77 cents on the dollar situation)? Ethnic disparity? Age?

Donald Barnhill, Trinity

Exams to take place of FCAT, story, April 21

FCAT was good for firm, not kids

As the mother of Pinellas County schoolchildren (thank goodness the last one graduates this year), I would have hoped that someone would have looked at how poor our college entrance and graduation rates were during the FCAT reign of terror.

Strong students probably did well, but average students were pushed to pass the FCAT through remedial courses and then could not pass the SAT, as they did not have all the needed courses.

As a Democrat I say, Gov. Charlie Crist, you did at least two good things during your term, but shame on all of you who supported the FCAT so that the corporation that created it got wealthy at the expense of our children's education.

Diane Pearson, Dunedin

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Commissioners insult women by refusing to sign Proclamation for Equal Pay Day 04/24/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:11pm]

    

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