Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 2, 2014

Letters for April 2

Goshen News

---- — Paycheck Fairness Act would help cut wage gap

The wage gap continues. Tuesday will be the symbolic day when women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from 2013. Nationally a woman earned 77 cents on the dollar (or 77 percent) for doing the same work at an equivalent job as a man did during 2013. Indiana women earn less (73 cents on the dollar). The numbers are even lower for women of color.

Women in the current economy make up the majority of workers and are frequently the primary bread winners. Why should women be paid less for doing the same job? They should not. Employees should be paid based on skills and performance, not on gender.

The average loss per year of pay for women is $10,784 because they are paid less than men. The pay gap has not budged in the past 10 years. Congress should pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help reduce the discriminatory practice of paying women less for equal work.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has worked to bring attention to the wage-gap problem. Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said, “I support the work of Goshen’s branch of AAUW as they work to bring the importance of equal pay more sharply into focus. I encourage residents and employers in the Maple City to recognize the full value of women’s skill and vital contributions to the labor force. And I encourage businesses to take the ethical initiative to conduct an internal pay evaluation to ensure women are being paid fairly within their own organization. To implement fair pay makes a huge difference to families over the course of their lifetime, and it strengthens the local economy.”

— Joy Hess

Goshen branch of the American Association of University Women

Far-right Republicans laughing all way to bank

Ronald Reagan, admittedly a Republican icon, nonetheless did irreparable harm to our democracy by making government the bogeyman. Of course government can overreach, but good government protects its people and is answerable to them. Government should be “We, the people.” Corporations and billionaires loved Ronald Reagan and have come dangerously close to taking over our entire body politic — from Congress up through the Supreme Court.

Many Republican elites and corporations continue to be intent on taking down Obamacare. We’ve had four years of constant propaganda and falsehoods about a healthcare system that will give “We, the people” affordable healthcare for the very first time in our nation’s history. Why can’t we have something for our tax money besides stupid wars?

But, Obama haters and Obamacare bashers, be careful what you wish for. If these billionaires and corporations succeed in dismantling Obamacare, they won’t stop there. Far-right Republicans salivate at the chance to get hold of the heap of money in Social Security. Then it could well be Medicare’s turn. Both are largely well-run government programs. When corporations have the control and power, people have little power. When government is in charge of something, people can have a voice and can un-elect those in office, then go on to make changes and solve the problem.

In order to vote intelligently, however, the people of a democracy must have correct information. It looks to me like half the country has been duped by decades of corporate-sponsored propaganda, even no-conscience lies, from the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. The result: Billionaires and corporations are laughing all the way to the bank as they buy more and more governors, senators, legislators and Supreme Court justices, sealing their hold on outrageous sums of money and virtually complete power.

— Joann Smith