The Wall Street Journal is attacking the equal employment provision of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, claiming that this historic civil rights law's protection is unnecessary since "market forces" will ultimately reduce such workplace discrimination on the basis of sex.
On December 3, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Young v. UPS, a pregnancy discrimination case where former UPS driver Peggy Young alleges that her employer failed to treat her equally during her pregnancy. Even though UPS had previously accommodated other drivers who were unable to perform the specific duties required for their jobs, the company refused to reassign Young after her doctor told her she should avoid lifting more than 20 pounds. Because of this unequal treatment, Young is arguing that UPS violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, whose statutory text clearly guarantees pregnant workers the right to be "treated the same for all employment-related purposes" as other workers "similar in their ability or inability to work."
The Journal isn't convinced that Young has been discriminated against, however, or if she was, whether she deserved the protection of civil rights law. In a December 2 editorial, the Journal admitted that UPS had "acted like dunderheads" when they refused to accommodate Young's pregnancy and argued that "[s]ympathetic plaintiffs make good headlines, but they often make bad law." The Journal rejected Young's sex discrimination claim, suggesting that UPS's "pregnancy-neutral policies" were sufficient and that Young was asking for "a special accommodation" that her employer shouldn't have to provide.
The editorial went on to criticize Young's decision to sue, suggesting that she should have skipped the lawsuit and let "market forces" correct UPS' "dumb corporate behavior":
Typically, discrimination claims are brought either by showing disparate treatment of an individual or disparate impact on a group based on statistical evidence. Ms. Young took neither path. Her argument is that UPS is liable because it failed to extend a special accommodation beyond the neutral policies that otherwise cover workplace disability.
The effect would expand the boundaries of discrimination law and ramp up penalties for businesses. If Ms. Young's theory succeeds, Title VII would have a third category of discrimination for which employers could be accused of discrimination even if their policies were neutral.
In the real world, most employers aren't in the habit of picking fights with their pregnant employees to make their lives miserable. UPS had accommodated Ms. Young during previous pregnancy-related requests, including rounds of in vitro fertilization. We agree with Ms. Young that UPS managers acted like dunderheads when they sent a longtime employee on unpaid leave, but not being nice enough is not the same as discrimination under the law.
The answer to dumb corporate behavior is market forces, not more legislating through regulation or the courts. UPS has since changed its policy and other companies have been put on notice. We hope the Justices will resist creating a long-term problem to fix a temporary condition.
A Chicago Tribune editorial claimed the city council's decision to increase Chicago's minimum wage to $13 by 2019 would drive business to the suburbs where labor is cheaper. Yet, research shows that city-wide minimum wage increases have little to no impact on the movement of the labor force within a state and that wage increase can benefit local businesses.
ABC's World News Tonight pushed the myth that building the Keystone XL pipeline could create up to 40,000 jobs. In fact, the pipeline is expected to create as few as 50 permanent jobs.
During a November 18 report on the failed Senate vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, World News Tonight anchor David Muir stated that "many argued it could have created thousands of American jobs." ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl added that "the jobs estimates range from 4,000 to 40,000 jobs. Proponents say it not only creates jobs, but it could lead to energy independence."
But PolitiFact has classified similar claims that the construction of the pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs to be "mostly false," because a vast majority of the jobs would be temporary, and it "does not amount to tens of thousands of full-time jobs in the most common sense of employment." According to PolitiFact, "the State Department estimates the operation of the pipeline will only create 35 permanent, full-time jobs and 15 temporary contractors" once construction is complete.
The pipeline would also do little for "energy independence." Much of the oil that would be carried by the pipeline is slated for export, and U.S. imports of oil would be minimally affected by the supply that would flow through the pipeline.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough peddled the myth that building the Keystone XL pipeline would "create 50,000 new jobs," even though independent fact checkers have called that figure false. The pipeline is projected to create as few as 50 permanent jobs.
The House of Representatives passed a bill to fast-track approval of the Keystone XL pipeline for the ninth time on Friday. A parallel measure will be considered in the Senate on Tuesday. The administration has indicated that it plans to delay approval of the pipeline while a legal challenge to the proposed route proceeds and suggested that President Obama would veto the effort to accelerate the process.
Scarborough questioned any decision to delay the pipeline on the November 17 edition of Morning Joe and wrongly claimed that the project would "create 50,000 new jobs."
The implication that building the pipeline would create 50,000 jobs that don't currently exist is not true. As PolitiFact noted in calling similar job creation estimates false, many of the jobs that would be supported by the pipeline already exist, and the majority of the construction jobs that would be supported are short term.
"A State Department review found the project could support -- not create -- 42,100 jobs. But that number needs considerable explanation and does not amount to tens of thousands of full-time jobs in the most common sense of employment," PolitiFact noted. "The figure represents the project's estimated direct, indirect and induced jobs over two years of construction, and all but 50 are temporary."
Right-wing media resurrected the myth that increased immigration hurts American workers in response to President Obama's plans for executive action on immigration. In fact, studies consistently find that immigration does not lead to higher unemployment or lower American wages and that it actually helps the economy.
Fox News revived a long debunked myth to inflate the number of long-term, sustainable jobs that would be created by the Keystone XL pipeline.
From the November 10 edition of Fox News' Your World:
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From the November 3 edition of Premiere Radio Network's The Sean Hannity Show:
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Fox News misleadingly claimed that a Republican Senate majority could be a "big plus" for the stock market and generate economic growth of 3 percent to 4 percent, but hid the reality that growth has already topped those levels.
On the November 3 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum warned that the midterm elections could have a "big impact on your money" and argued that despite recent stock market growth, "we could be seeing an even bigger rally if the GOP takes the Senate." Fox Business host Stuart Varney agreed, attributing the stock market rally of the past two weeks to the fact that "Republicans look more and more likely to take the Senate," and predicting that policies produced by a Republican-led Senate could set the economy on a path toward "3 to 4 percent" growth "instead of 2 percent." MacCallum and Varney claimed that 4 percent growth is something the economy has not seen in "a long time":
In reality, the American economy has grown by an average of 4.1 percent in the last six months -- while the Senate remained under Democratic control. The second and third quarters of 2014 had the strongest back-to-back growth rates the U.S. has seen since 2003, with respective growth rates of 4.6 percent and 3.5 percent. In fact, growth rates have topped Varney's arbitrary "3 to 4 percent" threshold during four of the past five quarters.
As Bloomberg News' Dave Weigel noted, Varney's speculation also ignores the Dow Jones industrial average's gain of more than 4,000 points since the 2012 election. The Dow is up more than 9,000 points since President Obama was first inaugurated in January 2009.
CNN's Candy Crowley failed to fact-check GOP Senator Rand Paul (KY) as he attempted to distort and scandalize Hillary Clinton's recent remarks on the efficacy of so-called trickle-down economic theory.
During the November 2 edition of CNN's State of the Union, host Candy Crowley interviewed Sen. Paul and allowed Paul a platform to attack Hillary Clinton. Paul attempted to paint Clinton's recent comments on the failures of trickle-down economics as a suggestion that she believes government is primarily responsible for creating jobs:
CROWLEY: But you feel this is a referendum on the president. What does it say about Republicans, because a lot of these races, about ten of them are still pretty darned close, which means that those Democrats have been able to survive in the worst of environments.
PAUL: Well, I think it shows that our country is pretty evenly divided and it tilts a little bit one way and a little bit the other way. But, I think that when you have a president and then you have Hillary Clinton saying the same thing, saying that businesses don't create jobs, a lot of Americans are scratching their heads and saying, "who do these people think create jobs if businesses don't? Do they think government creates jobs and that that's how America became great?" And I think there's a fundamental, philosophical debate in our country. But I sense a lot of people saying to themselves, "you know what, I think if we don't understand businesses create jobs or we don't understand that we want American money and businesses to come home and we want to do something constructive, then maybe we need new leadership in the country." So I think people are ready for new leadership.
The full context of her remarks reveals that Clinton never said "government creates jobs" -- a fact Crowley failed to correct Paul on. Rather, Clinton's stated position merely emphasized the important role consumer demand plays in generating success for American businesses, and pointed to increases in the minimum wage as a potential avenue for enhancing the demand side of the economy:
CLINTON: Don't let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that. I've been through this. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990s. I voted to raise the minimum wage and guess what? Millions of jobs were created or paid better and more families were more secure. That's what we want to see here, and that's what we want to see across the country.
And don't let anybody tell you, that, you know, it's corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know, that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried. That has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.
One of the things my husband says, when people say, what did you bring to Washington? He says, well I brought arithmetic. And part of it was he demonstrated why trickle-down should be consigned to the trash bin of history. More tax cuts for the top and for companies that ship jobs overseas while taxpayers and voters are stuck paying the freight just doesn't add up. Now that kind of thinking might win you an award for outsourcing excellence, but Massachusetts can do better than that. [Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley] understands it. She knows you have to create jobs from everyone working together and taking the advantages of this great state and putting them to work.
Crowley also failed to mention that Clinton reiterated this position during a clarification of her original comments:
CLINTON: So-called trickle-down economics has failed. I shorthanded this point the other day, so let me be absolutely clear about what I've been saying for a couple of decades: Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out -- not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.
Colorado's two largest newspapers, The Denver Post and The Gazette, have rarely mentioned Hispanic voters and the issues that matter to this key electoral bloc in their coverage of the state's U.S. Senate race.
A new report that ranked the United States 65th in the world on gender pay equality discredits Fox News' continuing campaign to dismiss the gender pay gap.
According to a recently released report by the World Economic Forum examining gender equality across the world, the United States ranks 65th in their survey of 142 countries and earns a wage equality score of only 66 percent -- meaning women earn only two-thirds of what men earn for similar work. The report, which drew from nine years of data, found that there has been "only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace" since they began surveying the issue, and predicted that women won't see full gender equality in the workplace until at least the year 2095.
Despite the persistence of pay inequality in the United States, Fox News has continuously rejected the gender wage gap as a myth and a "meme," denied its existence entirely, and falsely attempted to attribute the gap to women's personal choices and "emotional difference[s]."
Just weeks ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, the network has even downplayed pay inequality as an issue not important enough to "drive voters to the polls," but polling data shows the issue matters to women. A September poll from Gallup found that "nearly four in 10 Americans say equal pay is the top issue facing working women in the United States today." That number was even higher for working women themselves, a majority of whom cited it as the most important issue they faced.
From the October 28 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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From the October 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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From the October 27 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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