Mitt Romney said that, as governor, he questioned why there were no female applicants for his administration. Women's groups, he said, then brought him "binders full" of qualified women. To this, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, "Mitt Romney, on a point-blank question the other night in the debate, refused to answer whether he believes in equal pay for equal work. He refers to women as binders and resumes. You know, a callous sort of brush-off."
Neither Obama, Romney nor the moderator questioned the premise -- that "inequalities in the workplace" result in women making "only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn." But do women, as Obama has claimed, make 72 cents on the dollar -- (SET ITAL) for doing the same work as a male counterpart? (END ITAL) Are women being exploited by sexist employers who refuse to pay women equal pay for equal work?
Way back in 1995, the decidedly non-right-wing Los Angeles Times ran a piece titled, "Women's Choices, Not Bias, Blamed for Lower Earnings." A study by the Pacific Research Institute found that "women lag behind men because they move in and out of the workforce to care for children, and tend to choose lower-paying careers than men," and that "wage disparity narrows as factors distinguishing the sexes are removed. The gap falls to 2 percent between childless men and women ages 27 through 33."
The Times wrote that U.S. Labor Department economist Tom Nardone agreed that "the wage gap appears to shrink when differences in age, education, marriage, tenure and field of work are excluded."
If exploitation means paying a woman less money than a male -- irrespective of differences in experience, duties and responsibilities -- Obama is guilty of serial sexism and exploitation.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama's 28 non-intern male Senate staffers, according to a report from the secretary of the Senate, averaged an annual salary of $54,397 from Oct. 1, 2007, to March 31, 2008. His 30 female non-intern employees averaged $45,152, or 83 cents on the dollar compared to the men. Columnist Deroy Murdock pointed out that of Obama's five top-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Of Obama's top-paid 20, 13 were men; only seven were women.
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