Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, April 1, 2003 at 1:00am

There are reasons for wage disparity


In her recent letter to the editor, Sandra Bennett states that women continue to suffer from pay inequity (March 28, "Support equal pay for women"). She seems to be implying that discrimination is the reason for the difference in the averages of all men's and women's wages - the average wage gap. But she's wrong. There is very little difference in men's and women's income after adjusting for such factors as differences in occupation, experience, age, education and consecutive years in the work force.

Personal choices made by men and women outside the work environment have a major impact on men's and women's earnings. Decisions that affect seniority and turnover are important. The great majority of women have children sometime in their lives, and women are more likely than men to work part time. They make personal decisions to balance work and family priorities. As a result, women's opportunities for promotion may not be as great as men's.

Women may be less willing than men to work the long hours and consecutive years to get to the top. They may be less willing to relocate or work unpopular shifts. To argue that gender discrimination is the primary cause or even a major factor accounting for the earnings difference is simply misleading and irresponsible.



Arnett gave aid to Iraq government


I listened to the broadcast interview of Peter Arnett (MSNBC) made for Iraqi State Television. This is the same guy who 12 years ago on CNN continuously repeated the propaganda of Saddam Hussein when he accused the United States of bombing a baby milk factory without any evidence except the statement of the enemy. At that time our government stated it was a chemical factory for manufacturing munitions.

By his giving aid and comfort to the Iraqi government in this time of war, Arnett has given false hope to our enemy, which will serve to prolong their resistance past logic and increase the death and destruction on both sides. While it is the right of Americans to speak their views openly in domestic civil demonstrations, those who are given a public platform like Arnett carry an ethical responsibility to use judgment, morality and journalistic common sense while our young soldiers are in harm's way.

I would hope that both the parent company, General Electric, and MSNBC not be painted with the same brush of judgment for failure as Arnett and that they will separate themselves from the responsibility of the potentially horrific end results.



No comparing Clinton, Bush


I agree with Phyllis Close's letter, "Don't compare Bush, Clinton," (March 28) on the point that one shouldn't compare presidents George W. Bush with Bill Clinton.

Clinton was born to a poor, single mother in a small town in Arkansas. He had to prove himself through merit and determination. He earned his education (Yale, Rhodes scholar at Oxford) through hard work and intellect. His brilliance as a thinker and speaker has been matched by few presidents.

Clinton brought the Israeli/Palestinian crisis the closest it's been to a resolution in years. He led this country through eight years of unprecedented peace and prosperity. He truly cared for the disadvantaged and understood their plight. It was truly unfortunate that he wasn't forthright about his behavior with Monica Lewinsky, yet he was condemned - in a targeted witch-hunt - for having the same failings that many of his accusers possessed.

President Bush is the privileged son of blue bloods (Republicans would be reluctant to admit that the Bushes are probably the most Kennedy-esque political dynasty in America today). His academic career was a joke. He was admitted to Harvard and Yale based on legacy and money alone. He floundered around until his 40s - sprinkled throughout with a DUI and allegations of substance abuse - leaving failed businesses in his wake. Bush's true ambition was to be commissioner of Major League Baseball, but when that seemed impossible, he settled for the governorship of Texas, which was financed by his father's oil buddies. Bush's brother Jeb delivered Florida to him in the 2000 election, and when that didn't work, the Supreme Court conservative majority, several of which were appointed by his father, handed him the presidency.

Bush has embarked upon a pre-emptive war (of questionable legality) against a sovereign nation without provocation (goaded by his father's former cabinet). He has made this country even more of a terrorist target, and he has bankrupted future generations by his total submission to special interests.

If I had to pick between an "immoral" president who values peace, responsible spending, and a foreign policy that seeks to unify rather than alienate, or a "moral" cowboy who is a warmonger, caters to big business and has made our country less secure through his arrogant actions, I know which one I would choose.



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Filed under: City Voices