A great crowd showed up outside of the offices of Grover Norquist's lobbying organization in NW Washington, DC. There were compelling speeches given by members of the 99% and the patriotic 1%. This is a bit of a rough cut - more editing will come later.
This date symbolizes how far into 2012 the average woman must work to earn what the average man earned in 2011. While the wage gap has certainly narrowed with the past generation of working women—in 1967 women only earned about 28 cents to a man’s dollar—progress has stalled in recent years. If progress continues at its current rate, it will take 45 years to eradicate the wage gap.
Given the unfortunate fact that the gender wage gap appears to be here for a while, here are the top 10 facts you need to know about unequal pay [MORE]
Teachers, union members and others chanted, marched and yelled at people arriving for a Republican dinner Tuesday at the San Marino Club, where Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was to be a speaker. [MORE]
The Veterans Affairs Department is in the middle of an ambitious five-year plan to end homelessness among veterans by 2015. It should make sure that this effort protects the vulnerable population of women, whose risks and needs can be far different from those of men.
The number of female veterans has soared since 1990, from 4 percent of all veterans to 8 percent today, or about 1.8 million. How many are homeless is unknown, though a report by the Government Accountability Office in December found that the number who had contact with the V.A. rose to 3,328 in 2010 from 1,380 in 2006. [MORE]
The Tea Party tried to turn the group into the New Black Panther Party, and instead inspired an ongoing backlash
On Thursday I’ll be speaking at Planned Parenthood of Chicago’s annual gala, and I’m honored. (Tickets are available here.) I’ve always supported Planned Parenthood, but I think the group has helped change the political debate in this country in tangible ways over the last year or so, and I’m excited to talk about where we go from here.
We also have to thank the Tea Party, of course. My MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes joked on Monday that Tea Party extremists “thought they could turn Planned Parenthood into the New Black Panthers” – that Fox News boogeyman – but they were wrong. When they pushed to defund Planned Parenthood, they touched off a grass-roots uprising to defend not only the organization, but women’s health and freedom. It flared up again when Susan G. Komen defunded Planned Parenthood, and Komen had to reverse itself.
The report by the group Minnesotans for a Fair Economy claims the fees are the same or worse than charges imposed by traditional payday lenders. Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, which includes community, faith and labor groups, has asked Wells Fargo and US Bank to stop offering the loans.
"This product is a debt trap. That's it. It's designed for profit and we see the pain that it offers," said Darryl Dahlheimer, program director at Lutheran Social Service Financial Counseling, who supports the group's efforts to persuade the banks to stop offering the loans.
Although women are increasingly responsible for the economic security of their families, they still earn significantly less than men, according to reports released on Tuesday, Equal Pay Day.
An annual report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) found that full-time working women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to full-time working men. In median weekly earnings, women earn only $684 per week, compared with $832 per week for men.
Yet almost 15 million households in the United States are headed by women, and 8.5 million of those households include children under the age of 18. Nearly 30 percent of households headed by women live below the poverty level. [more]
This disconnect between what we pay and what we think we pay is nothing less than one of the country’s biggest economic problems.
Since the late 1970s, just before the modern tax-cutting push began, total federal tax rates have fallen for every income group. The payroll tax has risen, but declines in the income tax have more than made up for those increases. Nearly half the population now pays no federal income tax.
All told, most households pay less than 15 percent of their income to the federal government because of tax breaks, like the exclusion for health insurance, and because marginal rates apply to only a small part of a taxpayer’s income. On the first $70,000 of a couple’s taxable income, the total federal income tax rate is only 13.8 percent.
The group for which tax rates have fallen the least is the upper middle class: those households earning between about $75,000 and $300,000 a year. Their tax rates have declined over the past few decades, but only by a couple of percentage points.
What does this combination create? An enormous long-term budget deficit.
There has been much lamenting over the tone of the political rhetoric and the divide between our political parties. When I turn on the news, it's either divisive rhetoric or pundits discussing the nature and the consequences of the divisive rhetoric. After the last five years, in particular, I'm beginning to see a trend. The overwhelming message from both sides is that the system is not fair.
A story ends: At the end of the day, he pays each of his workers the full daily wage, even the last to be hired. When those who had worked the full day complain, the boss says, "Who are you to question my generosity?"
Can you imagine such a scenario? Perhaps there is a fair answer that we will all some day agree on, but can you imagine what this country would be like if we were defending our generosity, rather than fighting for our "fair" share?
Let's get beyond the charges of "class warfare" and begin to seek out measures that will enable us to be a society that is just. Maybe even a little bit generous.
When I was going through my divorce, my daughter and I went to LA for my mother's 70th birthday celebration. While we were gone, my husband closed our business. The office had been emptied of everything. He also took whatever money was in the business account, which was the only account we had. I had nothing, except a place to live until the bills came due. I also had one 6 year old daughter who was inclined to eat periodically. My parents were living exclusively on Social Security, so they could offer little financial help. With few choices and much trepidation [MORE]
There is good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years (10 percent lower than 2009, 43 percent below their peak in 1970). But the geographic variation is substantial. Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.
As of today — which is Equal Pay Day 2012 — women make 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. Over the course of a woman’s career, that disparity adds up to more than $430,000 in lost wages for an individual woman. As Center for American Progress economic analyst Matt Separa noted, the pay gap means that women fall behind economically in a number of ways:
Because of this gap women working full time are able to afford less education, housing, transportation, food, and health care for themselves and their families than their male counterparts. As a result women and female-headed households are more likely to be in poverty and less likely to have health insurance. The pay gap translates into a significant economic disadvantage for women and their families, especially when nearly two-thirds (63.9 percent) of women are now either the primary breadwinner or a co-breadwinner, bringing home at least 25 percent of their family’s income.
For the nearly two years that Kamala Harris has been California's Attorney General, she has made the fight against fraudulent foreclosures her signature issue. Now, largely due to pressure from business groups, legislators look like they may soon succeed in tanking her most ambitious plan yet to clean up the state's mortgage market. [MORE]
For the first time, the Mitt Romney campaign is fighting back in the War on Dogs.
The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher posted a blog item Tuesday with an excerpt from President Barack Obama's bestselling memoir "Dreams From My Father," in which Obama writes of eating dog meat when he was a little boy in Indonesia.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt responded with a tweet questioning Fehrnstrom's decision to embrace the story from Obama's childhood: "What's the next attack @EricFerhn and the RNC will surface on a 6-10 year old?"
The wealthiest Americans believe they've earned their money through hard work and innovation, and that they're the most productive members of society. For the most part they're wrong. As the facts below will show, they're not nearly as productive as middle-class workers. Yet they've taken almost all the new income over the past 30 years.
Any one of these five reasons should reinforce the belief that the rich should be paying a LOT more in taxes. [MORE]
Let's interrupt this tale of woe for just a minute to reflect on the value of $96-a-share stock back in 1969, when this great triumph over poverty occurred. Andrew Sabl, who dug up this old Boston Globe interview, did some quick calculations to figure out just how "not easy" it was to live off Mitt's stock portfolio:
By Ann’s own account, the stock amounted to “a few thousand” dollars when bought, but it had gone up by a factor of sixteen. So let’s conservatively say that they got through five years as students—neither one of them working—only by “chipping away at” assets of $60,000 in 1969 dollars (about $377,000 today).
Urge him to issue an executive order that will protect employees of federal contractors against retaliation for disclosing or asking about their wages. This action will especially benefit women, who are frequently paid less than their male counterparts. Send your message today -- Equal Pay Day -- which marks the date into 2012 that women on average must work to equal the same pay men received in 2011. And don't worry -- you can continue to send messages after April 17. [MORE]
The Senate rejected consideration Monday of the “Buffett rule ,” a key election-year Democratic initiative that would impose a minimum tax rate on those making more than $1 million per year, as a philosophical debate over taxes that will define this year’s elections occurred on Capitol Hill.
Today is Equal Pay Day, the date that marks the extra days that a woman would have to work in this year in order to earn what a man earned last year. The symbolic day is marked each year to draw attention to the gender pay gap. [MORE]
Suppose it’s the championship basketball game and one player is committing foul after foul. Each time, he denies he’s committed any offense. Eventually, he fouls out. But even as he heads to the bench, he’s protesting that he did nothing wrong.
The facts are the facts. The Republicans have launched a war on women. Despite all the denials, women get it — and so do the men who care about them. Just like in that basketball game, the Republicans are hearing the whistle blow.
So maybe, instead of taking turns disavowing Rosen and proclaiming their undying admiration for mothers everywhere, President Obama and Mitt Romney could engage on some of these points. That would be a more productive use of their time — and ours.
Take, for example, the issue of equal pay. The first legislation that Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which reversed a 2007 Supreme Court decision that made it harder for women to bring lawsuits about pay discrimination. (The court said that Ledbetter had waited too long to complain that she had consistently received smaller raises than her male counterparts, even though she hadn’t known of the pay disparity.)
In the end, women’s votes in November, much like men’s, will be determined by a broader set of issues, from gasoline prices to unemployment to health care. But the existence — and magnitude — of the gender gap pretty much guarantees that we’re going to be talking about gender issues until Election Day. So let’s at least make the conversation about the candidates’ views and issues on which either, as president, could make a real difference, not just a political point.
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