Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Political Hypocrisy: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Political Rhetoric: An Obama campaign ad says: “Today women work to help support their families but are paid just 77 cents for every $1 a man makes. It’s just one more thing John McCain doesn’t get about our economy.”

Factual Evidence:

1. Obama pays his own female Senate staffers, on average, only 78% of what he pays male staffers (see top chart above), and females make up 53% of Obama's staff.

2. McCain pays female staffers 101% of what he pays men (see bottom chart above), and females made 62% of McCain's staff.

3. Women occupy seven of the top 10 highest-paid positions on McCain’s staff, and five of the top 10 highest-paid positions on Obama’s staff.

4. Women on McCain’s staff earn 24% more on average than women on Obama’s Senate staff.

Source: The most recent Report of the Secretary of the Senate, which includes the salaries of every member of each U.S. senator’s staff during the period of Oct. 1, 2007 through March 31, 2008, via CNS News. This is the second consecutive six-month period reviewed by CNSNews.com in which McCain, an Arizona Republican, has paid women on his Senate staff a higher average salary than he pays men and Obama has paid men a higher average salary than he pays women.

Thanks to a comment left by "like such as" for the CNS link.


At 10/21/2008 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hardly conclusive.

One would expect that the highest ranking campaigners would have the highest salaries. You might have merely proved that Obama values a good secretary or has more part-timers than Senator McCain.

The thought that he would hire based on the abilities rather than political correctness or quotas might indicate he is a centrist rather than an ideologue. Surely, not a totally bad thing.

At 10/21/2008 5:40 PM, Blogger fboness said...

That was downright Orwellian in the face of obvious truth, qt. What a country we live in where the freedom to be in denial is a prized right.

At 10/21/2008 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is exactly the point. There are many reasons for such discrepancies that have nothing whatsoever to do with sexism. Thank you for making the point.

At 10/21/2008 6:22 PM, Blogger Hoosiers for John McCain said...

Isn't it the liberals suggesting that we disregard ability and pay equal no matter what?

At 10/21/2008 10:39 PM, Blogger bobble said...

i'd sure like to see the methodology used to create those numbers.

i looked at what appears to be the data that was used.



1. male/female is not indicated. the only way to determine seems to be the first name (Talal? Lee?). how was this handled?
2. part time or full time? we don't know. there is just an amount paid.
3. many staffers were not employed for the whole time period. how was that handled?

At 10/22/2008 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see that the point of this exersize went right over the little heads of qt and bobble...as usual.

In case you are still having trouble with this exersize in logic:

The point is NOT that McCain is "better" for women than Obama based merely on his male/female senate staffer pay distribution; that would be a clear logical fallacy.

The point is, Obama is an intellectually dishonest demogogue when it comes to women's issues. At the same time that he's using this statistic that says that women are paid on average 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid as "proof" of discrimnation, the reality of male/female pay discrepancy is in his own office.

So at the end of the day, we can't say that either McCain or Obama are actually sexist based on any of this.

We can't draw that conclusion based on McCain's opposition to the so-called "Fair Pay Act," since Obama's claimed support of it is based on dubious maniulation of statistics

And we can't draw that conclusion based on Obama's pay discrepencies within his own Senate office.

I hope that laid it out for you.

At 10/22/2008 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Couldn't have said it better.

At 10/22/2008 12:03 PM, Blogger bobble said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/22/2008 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears that McCain is paying 16 Male staff members roughly the same amount as 26 Female staff members. So 26 Females = 16 Males for McCain?

Who knows? It may be justified depending upon their individual roles, but I sure wouldn't use this data to support an argument that McCain is paying his employees fairly regardless of gender.

At 10/22/2008 5:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Funny Math. The numbers are based on individual, NOT group. 26 females to 16 males has nothing to do with the article.

Also, I would have to agree with Alex. It isn't saying that Obama is sexist, its just suggesting that the ad Obama is running is present in his own campaign for certain reasons and therefore the AD is misleading. There may be reasons for Women to be paid 77 cents to the dollar for every man. Part-time to full time has to do with it of course. My wife works part-time and makes 50-60 percent less than I do.

Its funny how such an easy article gets pushed out of context by people who are so sensitive to wanting/needing Obama to win.

At 10/22/2008 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At my last workplace, we had parity. Everyone was paid minimum wage.

Is that something to boast about?

At 10/23/2008 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was great, I'll have to forward this to my Obama fan friends


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