Women make less because they want to

There are lies, damn lies, and then statistics.  It is technically true that a wage gap exists in the United States.  If we examine in aggregate the wages of women overall and those of men, women on average make approximately 3/4 of what a man makes.  Feminists, liberals, and anyone looking to rally votes on the left has latched on to this statistic and inferred that therefore there is a structural bias or a patriarchy and this is why the pay gap exists.  Calls for legislation demanding equal pay abound, but the actual reason for this pay gap is not sexism.

The left finds itself in a conundrum with this one.  If it were true that companies place profits over people, then giving a company a surefire way to save 25% on fixed operating costs seems like a no-brainer right?  Fire all your men, only hire women and save a ton of money.  Kristen Bell and Huffington Post made an ironic video about this:

In doing this, however, they didn’t realize they were defeating their own argument.  Companies don’t do this because when we control for other variables and make apples to apples comparisons, it turns out women make the same amount as men (and in some cases more).

Just like every other product in the marketplace, there are industry standards of price.  If I told you I bought a car for $10,000, you already have a type of car in your mind, and if I told you I bought a house for $1 million, you have an idea of what that house looks like (in your area).  Markets set prices for goods.  Producers want to charge as much as possible, and consumers want to pay as little as possible, the producer that answers customer needs best is rewarded with lots of business.  Wages operate on the same principle.  A director or Vice President is paid a lot more than an office assistant, and a GOOD VP is worth even more.  If you as a company attempt to pay someone with VP experience minimum wage, that person is very unlikely to take the job because their labor is worth more…or should I say, the PRICE of their labor is higher.

Then why is it technically true that in aggregate, women’s pay is lower?  Well, one other feminist cause is to increase female participation in STEM fields.  Women tend to gravitate towards industries that pay less like social work and teaching and are less interested in engineering and computer programming.  It’s just how we are wired differently.  It’s also the same reason men gravitate towards more dangerous jobs like police and firemen, or dirtier jobs like farming and plumbing.  Women are less likely to place their career above their family and more likely to stay at home.  This doesn’t mean that one behavior is better than the other, it just means that we have different desires and goals, and that’s ok.

No matter how you look at it, and no matter over time, women have different preferences than men, and those preferences drive them towards lower paying fields.

 

The pay gap is playing with statistics.  It’s false and needs to go away because people are now asking politicians to get involved and create laws for “equal pay.”  Giving the government the ability to monitor what a company pays employees and then determine whether something is “fair” is a terrible idea.  Imagine government agents rifling through your HR files and interviewing people in your workplace.  Imagine that power given to someone who disagrees with you politically or doesn’t like your company.  Imagine Donald Trump sending his “fair pay enforcement agency” to harass Planned Parenthood or Huffington Post.  You don’t want this agency based on a myth.

 

 

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Abortion “Rights”

The day after Donald Trump took his oath of office, millions of people took to the streets in protest under the moniker “Women’s March on Washington” .  Although I think there were many reasons why these protests occurred, my attention was captured by the cry for abortion rights.

I’ve already written once about what you actually have a right to, but a quick recap is that you have a right to live, a right to liberty, and a right to own property.  The question of whether the baby in the womb is a person with rights is the only question that matters; from here on, the personhood of the child.

I know you want to talk about the consequences of making abortion illegal, but how we deal with those is completely dependent on whether or not the baby is a person.  If she isn’t a person, then the consequences of making abortion illegal very much weigh in, and frankly as a Libertarian, I would be compelled to be pro-choice (as I am in nearly every other matter).  If, on the other hand, the baby in the womb has a right to live, then we MUST protect that life and deal with the consequences in a different manner.

I think there are two areas where everyone can agree:

  1. Before conception there is no life, a sperm by itself or an unfertilized egg do not make a human
  2. Once the baby is born, it is a person and has a right to live

Personhood begins somewhere in-between #1 and #2.

How do we draw the line?

Viability

This is effectively how the Supreme Court addressed the personhood question in Roe. The problem with using fetal viability as a benchmark for the beginning of rights is that viability is wholly dependent on external factors.  Say for instance, a child in New York City may be viable at 22 weeks whereas one in Nairobi would need to be at 34 weeks or more because of the technology available.  Are we to argue that personhood begins at a different time for a child in the United States than it does for one in rural China?  Of course not.

Your rights are a matter of your nature, they are independent of external forces.  So whether or not technology exits to incubate a child outside of her mother is irrelevant to the question of whether that child is a person.

My Body My Choice

I agree.  I’m a Libertarian.  I belive you own your body, what you put into it, who you share it with, and how you use it to earn money is ALL your business and as long as you don’t hurt someone else, you should be free to do it.  The problem with this argument is that the baby is not your body.

The baby is in your body, and that is a very important difference.  That child has her own DNA, her own fingerprints, lungs, blood type, heart, limbs, etc.  No human being has two sets of DNA.  The child may be dependent on your body (see above) for a while, but dependency does not signify ownership and relinquishment of rights.  The day she is born, she is wholly dependent on your body still, but that doesn’t mean you have a right to kill her.

Assigning a Date to Personhood

The problem with attempting to bestow personhood at any point other than conception is that you cannot objectively define the difference between one moment in gestation and the preceding moment.  Say you attempt to define personhood as beginning in the 13th week.  Is it at the end of the week?  If so, what about the 12th week and 6 days and 23 hours?  What about an hour before?  What about a day before?

There is a distinct, measurable, objective difference between an unfertilized egg, and the moment of conception…which starts with a flash of light by the way.  Instead of a big bang, a small bang if you will.

 

Whether or not the consequences of making abortion illegal are extremely detrimental to our society are secondary arguments that can only be considered after defining personhood.  I do not believe one can make the case logically or scientifically that personhood begins at any point other than conception which frames the discussion about abortion completely differently.  You are now talking about capital punishment, not an outpatient procedure, and we take the former very seriously (for the record I also oppose the death penalty).

-LJF

 

 

What do you ACTUALLY have a “Right” to?

I wish we would bring back civics into our education system, because you all are getting dumber er’day.  Seriously, scroll through a comments section on a news article and tell me idiocracy isn’t more than one or two generations away…max!

Anyway, with Trump getting into the White House and appointing Goldman Sachs to his cabinet, I know I’m going to spend a lot of time railing on Republicans for the next several years, so occasionally I like bag on the Democrats so they don’t feel left out.  Also, John just put out a great post criticizing McCrory for acting like a little punk who flips the board game when he realizes he’s losing, so I feel like we need to even things out a bit.

Democrats and “Rights”

Democrats have a long and rich history of little to no understanding of what a right actually is.  Ever since FDR got them all fired up with his second bill of rights, there is virtually no act or privilege that they don’t think they have a right to:  education, housing, abortion, birth control, health insurance, etc.  Some of you are reading this right now and thinking, “Those AREN’T rights?” No, they aren’t.

Bear with me…

Let’s start with what you actually have a right to: Life, Liberty, and Property.  You have a right to live and not be murdered.  You have a right to freedom and not be made a slave.  You have a right to own property and not have it stolen from you.  If anyone attempts to infringe on those rights, you have a right to use violence to stop the aggressor.

These rights are natural, meaning they are a part of your nature.  You don’t need to learn these, they are instinctual.  Even my two year old understands these rights.  If you put my son in danger, he will fight to get out of it, timeout works because I am taking his liberty, and he fully understands what belongs to him (anyone with a child is tired of hearing “mine!”).

But Louis, people need healthcare, it’s a basic human right!  No, you do not have a right to the labor of a doctor.  You do not have a right to the labor of a nurse.  You do not have a right to the property of a hospital.  All those things belong to someone else, and if you claim them as your “right”, then you are taking away their liberty and their property.

You cannot have freedom and a right to education or healthcare; it makes slaves out of teachers and doctors.  You know what else people need?  Food, water, and shelter, but you don’t have a right to waltz into a McDonald’s and demand they feed you, or walk into a hotel and demand they give you a room.  Your needs don’t determine your rights.

But that’s not what we’re advocating Louis!  We’re saying government should pay for those services so people can get them free.  And how exactly do you think the government is going to pay for it genius?  It’s going to extort money, steal my property under threat of violence, to take the income generated from my labor to pay for what you want.  Yes, the Income Tax is slavery and theft, but that’s for another post.

You can’t force someone else to work for you, so you can’t demand goods or labor as rights.  People are not your property, and everything you love is not a right.

-LJF

There Are No Unbiased Sources

Being biased isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There are times when your biases can literally save your life.  When it comes to politics, however, if we allow ourselves to dive deep into an echo chamber, our positions will only become more extreme and our communities more divided.

The beauty of being a libertarian is that my viewpoints are rarely represented in the media, so I am forced to confront my biases daily to stay informed.  No matter what news channel I tune into, there will be either a left or right bend to the information.  I know this, I don’t pretend that I’m receiving “truth”.  I analyze the information I’m receiving, and if something seems too ridiculous to be true, I look for another different biased source to help me form an opinion

Bias only becomes a problem when we rely on it so much that we are unwilling to accept any information that contradicts our bias, or don’t feel the need to.  We’ve all probably laughed hard at Jimmy Kimmel’s Lie witness news segments, but that is what happens when you begin to believe that anyone who doesn’t share your political viewpoints is evil.

[Jimmy Kimmel Lie Witness]

Now you laugh, but the majority of you do that same thing every. single. day.  I know because I have Facebook too.  For the past 8 years I’ve been watching Republicans complain about the growth of the Federal Government and the terrible state our economy is in.  Now, Trump hasn’t even taken office and they are already touting how the economy is rebounding!  Also, last I checked, walls, religious registries, and war were not the outputs of small government.

Democrats are guilty of it too, Paul Krugman took to the NY Times and said the economy would never recover from the election (by the way, it did).  The hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Things have gotten worse in the era of social media.  Facebook is a business, and the goal of that business is to entertain you, so it is going to push articles and content that confirm your biases.  It does so on purpose to entertain you because that’s what you have told Facebook it’s what you want to see, but that doesn’t mean the information you are receiving is necessarily the whole truth.

 Here’s what I want you to take away:  neither Democrats nor Republicans nor any other political group is inherently evil…except communists, fuck those guys…and Nazis….ok, I take it back….let’s start over.

Here’s what I want you to take away:  Most people are not extreme left or right.  They aren’t evil, and they don’t want to hurt you.  We interact with each other every day, at work, out shopping, or at church.  In the end, we all want the country that our children inherit to be better than the one we have.

Democrats believe that government is a force for good and social programs are a form of charity.  Republicans believe in the free market and positive social change is brought about through a strong family unit.  Libertarians take the best of both of those worlds and actually believe in freedom and the constitution unlike you statists (see my bias?).

The point is to recognize your bias and be willing to change your opinion.  Take the shackles off your brain and look around, the world is more complicated than left vs right.

-Louis Fernandez

Election 2016: From a Libertarian Perspective

I am a pro-life Christian Libertarian Veteran Hispanic…and I think those are enough labels to give you an idea of where I’m coming from. Basically, picking a candidate this election was a lot like picking which STD was just right for me.

The Primaries

Have you ever played a video game and created a special save at a critical juncture just in case if you screw things up you could go back to? Yeah, we should have done that in the primaries. I look back fondly to the summer of 2015 when the idea of Rand Paul, Jim Webb, or Austin Peterson as our next President was still within the realm of possibility. As the months, and the campaigns wore on, my hope dissipated and a year later I felt like Ace Ventura when he discovers Finkle is Einhorn and cries in the shower.

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Johnson

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The Libertarian party learned a hard lesson this year. Austin Peterson was definitely a better candidate who was truer to small government principles, a good speaker, young, energetic, well spoken, and smart. Instead we went with a more “pragmatic” choice. Gary Johnson was a former Republican governor with plenty of name recognition and experience on the campaign trail. Gary was a flawed candidate though.

Let’s face it, the dude is weird, and for all his experience he sure carried himself like a rookie. Obviously I had a problem with his stance on abortion, but coupled with his glaring foreign policy gaps (Aleppo much?), his stance on gay wedding cakes (decidedly un-libertarian), and his choice of Bill Weld as VP drove far too many Libertarians away from the party’s choice.
Although Gary garnered more votes than any other third party candidate since Ross Perot, against the two most disliked candidates ever (for as long as we have data) he really should have fared MUCH better. I expected to see a Libertarian on the debate stage this year and was grossly disappointed that it didn’t happen…that being said, maybe we lucked out by not having his goofy ass up there.

Clinton

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Hillary is the personification of corruption in American politics. Here is a lady that has become a millionaire without creating a single product or selling anything other than political promises (literally). Rigging the primary was an affront to any measure of democracy that still exists in our country. It is clear that the decision to have Hillary Clinton be the nominee in 2016 was made back in 2008. The fact that the democrat party has super delegates is beyond me, and without them, Hillary doesn’t win.

As a former intelligence officer who has handled Top Secret information, I was especially appalled at the idea of her having a personal server. What she did was tantamount to laying down on the highway to take a nap and thinking that you’re not going to get hit by a car, and for what? Convenience? Actual lives of foreign assets with families are put at risk because of that gross negligence, and she didn’t give a damn. For those of you that don’t know, to move Top Secret information to an unsecured server is not an accident, you have to physically move files because those are completely different networks, and the email saying “remove the markings and send” show me that it was a willful act. The fact that the FBI chose not to prosecute just shows that people like her operate under a different set of laws…but the citizenry punished her.

More than personality problems, her policies were also no good. How is it that the DEMOCRAT is the most Hawkish candidate?! Democrats are supposed to be socially liberal, but here was a lady who has no problem with the racist drug war, fine with bombing people all over the world, and changed her stance on gay marriage for what appears to be political expediency. Her only economic promises were to raise taxes and continue Obamacare, which by the way saw MASSIVE premium hikes to millions of people right before an election. I know the Democrat talking point is that this is somehow Republican’s fault or that these increases are somehow less than what would have been. Both are bullshit. You had insurance companies write a law that limited competition allowing them to increase prices and force everyone to buy their product. I recently had conversations with my neighbors who are retired that are now considering going back to work to handle the increase in healthcare costs. The majority of Americans saw rate increases, lost their doctors, and were forced into a different plan…all despite Obama’s repeated promises ad nauseam in 2009. The effect this had on the election has been incredibly minimized in my opinion.

Democrats, you lost because you picked Hillary Clinton and didn’t show up to the polls.
Frankly, when I heard her stage was in the shape of the USA under a glass ceiling for her to give her “acceptance speech” and then she didn’t even show was hilarious to me. It made the pain of the prospect of a Trump presidency almost bearable for a moment.

Trump

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I think Donald Trump is a piece of shit. He’s a serial unapologetic sexual predator whose moral bankruptcy is shadowed only by his megalomania and narcissism. I have sandals I wear every day in the summer that flip-flop less than this dude on pretty much any issue. This is a man who minimizes the sacrifices of POW’s and has literally no appreciation for the cost required in earning a purple heart. The way he spoke to and about a gold-star family was sickening, and advocating for the murder and torture of innocent women and children is despicable. His comments about Judge Curiel are the very definition of racism, undertones of which (whether implicit or explicit) certainly permeated throughout his campaign from his very first speech. Economically, his nationalistic stance on trade could be a nuclear bomb for our economy if he pursues the positions he advocated in many speeches. If we go into Smoot-Hawley territory again, we will certainly delve into another depression, which frankly this economy can’t stand. He is the product of a silver spoon upbringing and a mommy that told him he was amazing too many times.

There are few people in America that I like less than Donald Trump. That being said, I’ve looked at his 100 day plan, and as long as we avoid a trade war with China or push the rest of the world to drop the dollar as their reserve currency, will probably be okay. I’m looking forward to a full repeal of the atrocity that is Obamacare, and a return of the anti-war left…I’ve missed you, it’s been lonely these past 8 years.

In the end I believe our country will survive. The one thing that sets US citizens apart from all others in the rest of the world is that someone, somewhere in your lineage said, “Screw this, I can do better.” You either left tyranny, or you fought it here within our borders. Regardless, you have earned your freedom and have shown a willingness to fight to maintain it, and in THAT I will join you gladly.

God Bless every one of you, and God Bless the already great United States of America!

– Louis Fernandez