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Pay fairness claim not backed by thorough research

Fair pay claim not backed by data

The April 18 Diane Steinle column on the Paycheck Fairness Act is rife with naive 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 is how the argument deals with the statistic with the least significance — the 77 cents vs. $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 seemed 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 women who earn more than 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 lives?

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

Scary situation on U.S. 19

Recently, as I traveled west on County Line Road, a white late model pickup truck was in front of me occupied by what looked like three young men or children. Suddenly, the young man in the far right passenger seat stuck his arm out of the cab of the truck with what looked like a pistol in his hand and fired.

We moved on to U.S. 19 traveling south in the center lane. The young man continued to point the gun and fire at other drivers, who were startled, as well as pedestrians on bicycles, who were clearly startled.

I dialed 911. At one point, I pulled up alongside them in the far right lane and the young man aimed the gun at my head. My window was open as he fired at me. Because we were moving so fast, I couldn't tell if the pistol was an air pistol or what. Finally, we saw the cruisers, and they must have stopped the vehicle just south of Clark Street.

Later, I received a call from the deputy who had the young man in custody and he asked if I could come and sign a statement at a location close to my home. When I arrived there, the pickup was gone, but he had the young man who had been using the gun cuffed in the back of his cruiser. The deputy was as nice as could be, but he told me he couldn't have the young man arrested as there was no statute in Florida law to arrest him. Apparently, the gun was a cap gun.

The young man is 17 and only 20 days away from his 18th birthday. I asked the deputy, "If you were out on a call, and you saw this young man wielding what obviously looked like a weapon of force would you be compelled to take appropriate action?" He said, "yes."

So as far as law enforcement is involved, they would take action. But, for the public at large, you're on your own with incidents like this.

Susan Falcone, Hudson

Teen court needs lawyer volunteers

Pasco County, similar to other counties, utilizes a teen court diversionary program for juveniles. Selected teens are tried by a volunteer jury of their peers instead of adults.

It allows first-time offenders who are juveniles to complete the program and finish without out a blemished record. It also allows teen volunteers to serve as prosecuting and defense attorneys. It is an ideal way for students to accumulate community service hours.

Wednesday is the last session for the school year, and several people have been faithful almost every week to make the program possible: attorneys Rob Green, D.J. Dalton, Tonya Oliver, Rosalie Johnson, Michele Emmeran and Randy Holm. Others have volunteered as needed. Thanks to all and to the teachers who volunteer their time.

Wilt local libraries decreasing their hours of operation, it's good that this program has not been cut.

It sure would be nice if some of the attorneys who are part of the West Pasco Bar Association would donate some of their time next fall when the program resumes. It also would be nice if local companies, churches, organizations and associations would provide community service opportunities for the juveniles in the teen court program. They can contact teen court coordinator Rosalie Johnson to help.

Walter Miller

Charles Miller, Hudson

Pay fairness claim not backed by thorough research 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:53pm]
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