The Ottumwa Courier

Letters to the Editor

April 21, 2012

Loebsack's numbers for equal pay are misleading his constituents

OTTUMWA — Today I received an email that Rep. Dave Loebsack has sent to his constituents talking about equal pay. He used the same figure that one often hears, saying women earn 77 cents for each dollar men earn and the reason is unequal pay. That figure is misleading.

It would certainly be a number to cause great concern if men and women made identical career choices. But, for various reasons, they do not. Many women take years away from their field of endeavor to raise children. There is absolutely nothing wrong about that, but it naturally causes them to fall behind in the progression of knowledge in the field and to lose valuable years of experience.  

Even within similar fields, there are differences. In medicine, for example, more women choose pediatrics and more men choose surgery. Becoming a surgeon requires more years of expensive training, and so it is only natural that it pays more. Far more men also choose jobs that pay more because they are physically strenuous or dangerous. Women are overrepresented in the social sciences, while more men choose the math or engineering sciences. Men are also more likely to choose salaried jobs that entail many more than 40 hours a week. These are just a few of the different choices men and women make.

When controlling for all of these factors, and others, by selecting men and women who work the same number of hours in the exact same jobs for the same number of years with identical training, the pay gap disappears.

I am disappointed that an elected representative would fail to properly educate himself on the issue before making such a misleading statement.

Randall Bradley

Ottumwa business owner

1
Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Guardian angel rescued me On Dec. 18, I had been to Walmart and as always, I stopped by the Walmart gas station to fill my car up. I got out, pumped gas and I went to get in the car. I locked my keys in! So I had no choice but go see if the cashier could help me. And lo and b

    January 21, 2014

  • Why close plant when it could be cleaned up? Doe Run Company, south of St. Louis, is the third-largest lead smelter in the world and the only one in the western hemisphere. They provide for the lead demand in the U.S. and are a major contributor to the world market. On Dec. 31, they close due

    November 8, 2013

  • Collect lids and fight breast cancer The Southeast Iowa Affiliate of Susan G. Komen represents a 10-county area in its fight to end breast cancer. Your local affiliate is fighting for the screening and treatment programs that save lives and the research that brings us closer to a cure.

    November 8, 2013

  • Who are Tea Party Patriots? First and foremost, if you love God, you may be a Tea Party Patriot. Second, if you love this country we call the United States of America, you may be a Tea Party Patriot. Third, if you value freedom and all the people in our past and present who hav

    November 5, 2013

  • Branstad, please use the heart God gave you To Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa: Please use the heart that God gave you. I am a senior citizen who is suffering needlessly because you have outlawed the only substance that can take away my horrible pain and discomfort. Pharmaceutical narcotics are in

    November 5, 2013

  • Library doing many great things for the community This past week was National Friends of the Library week. Here in Ottumwa, our public library would not be able to provide all the materials, resources and programming that it does without the support and assistance provided by our local Ottumwa Publ

    October 29, 2013

  • It's up to you to make Ottumwa great If a person were truly honest with themselves every time they bought something they would ask, "Am I getting my money's worth?" If the person selling would truly be honest with themselves they might ask, "Have I met or exceeded my customers' expectat

    October 29, 2013

  • Life too complex My knowledge of electronics stops with the on and off switch. I was persuaded to try a new-fangled cell phone. One of the more simple ones. It takes pictures, prints them, records day, date, time. Tells me where I am, where I should be, how I got the

    October 29, 2013

  • Think before voting We just had a Sara Palin type month. Now I hear that the Tea Party wants to take over the Republican Party. They think we have too much government. People out of work, not their problem. People living on the streets, they don't care. The Tea Party th

    October 29, 2013

  • Why micromanage Halloween? I take no pleasure in composing this letter. Once again another year, the Ottumwa police have made their draconian edict of setting the date and hours for beggars night. It's too bad that even a volunteer kids' holiday has fallen under the auspices o

    October 29, 2013

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National