Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dean Heller (Again) Ignores Discrimination Against Nevada's Working Women

Surprise, surprise. Dean Heller voted (again) against the Paycheck Fairness Act. Apparently, Heller really doesn't care about the challenges facing Nevada's working women.

Berkley and other female Democrats from the House spent much of the day stumping for the Paycheck Fairness Act. As she watched from the back of the Senate chamber, Heller joined other Republicans in voting against the bill.

“There is no excuse for anybody voting against this,” she said. “This is more than a woman’s issue; this is a middle-income family issue. This is not the 1950s. We’re not talking about women who have a little job that at the end of the week they fill their cookie jar with extra money for the kids. These are the mainstay breadwinners. It’s their paycheck that is paying the rent, putting food on the table, putting clothes on their children’s backs and putting gas in the car.”

So what did Dean Heller really vote against? Here's a good explanation from Think Progress.

Pay equity is a real problem: Nearly half of all workers in the United States are women. But women tend to hold lower-paying jobs overall, and even when they have the exact same title as men, they make significantly less. Overall, women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar, and in some professions, specifically high-paying careers,that disparity is much higher. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help close the gap more quickly by providing incentives for employers not to discriminate.

Lost earnings have serious consequences: The amount of money an average woman loses to the pay gap could feed a family of four. And while the wage gap is slowly shrinking, at its current rate it won’t actually disappear for 45 years. Still, more women are becoming the primary breadwinners or dual-earners in their family, with nearly 40 percent of women out-earning their husbands and a larger number of women with high degrees entering the job market.

Existing law doesn’t go far enough: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensured that a woman has the proper window of time to sue for pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act takes significant steps to close loopholes in the original pay discrimination law, the Equal Pay Act, and to ensure that women can investigate whether they are being discriminated against. It also makes stronger penalties so that employers don’t violate pay discrimination laws. Included in the bill, too, is a grant for a salary-negotiation training program for women, who tend to be reluctant to negotiate.

Yet again, Dean Heller refuses to cease fighting the "War on Women", then acts like anyone pointing out this reality is somehow "killing jobs". Oh yes, that's right. Ensuring equal pay for equal work is now just another "job killing regulation" for Heller... Even though his opposition is really what's hurting the economy.

I'll let Desert Beacon explain the problem here.

GOP Math: Women control 73% of household spending; Our economy is 76% based on consumer purchases; therefore it’s OK to pay women 25% less?

How on this little blue planet are we supposed to sustain demand for goods and services when employers are allowed the license to pay female employees who comprise at least 47% of the total U.S. workforce 25% less than their male counterparts? And, we’re not talking about small amounts of pocket money here – 73% of American women in the workforce are holding full time jobs, 27% are only working part time.

Additionally, the increase in the female portion of the workforce isn’t slowing down [...] We’re at 47% already and we’re not even shoving up on 2050 yet. We may have even surpassed the 49% mark as at least one JEC white paper cites a 49.8% female participation in the workforce rate.

When women make less at work, that means women have less money to spend. And when American women have less money to spend, that means there's less money to be injected into the American economy. And right now, we need for American consumers to spend more so we can avoid the "double dip recession" now plaguing much of Europe.

When Dean Heller refers to the Paycheck Fairness Act as some "job killing regulation", he reveals that he's really clueless on how our economy works. In reality, the Paycheck Fairness Act would have boosted our economy if passed by simply ensuring equal pay for equal work. Not only does Dean Heller not understand the plight of Nevada's working women, but he doesn't even understand how to make our economy work again.

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