Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Two Posts Worth Reading

On the Townhall blog today, there are two excellent posts, both worth taking the time to peruse.

The most recent is by Mary Katherine Ham, on the topic, "Another Reason for the Pay Gap." Mary Katherine highlights an article in today's Washington Post online, an article which explains that the biggest reason women today don't make as much as men do is that they are unwilling to negotiate for higher pay. Here's the beginning of the Post article:

About 10 years ago, a group of graduate students lodged a complaint with Linda C. Babcock, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University: All their male counterparts in the university's PhD program were teaching courses on their own, whereas the women were working only as teaching assistants.

That mattered, because doctoral students who teach their own classes get more experience and look better prepared when it comes time to go on the job market.

When Babcock took the complaint to her boss, she learned there was a very simple explanation: "The dean said each of the guys had come to him and said, 'I want to teach a course,' and none of the women had done that," she said. "The female students had expected someone to send around an e-mail saying, 'Who wants to teach?' "

There's much more, both in Mary Katherine's post and in the Washington Post article, to help you understand why, in the researcher's words, "Women working full time earn about 77 percent of the salaries of men working full time."

The second great post is by Dean Barnett, on "The Left and Good News From Iraq." It points out that news from Iraq is almost entirely positive lately - and that the left is not happy about it. It's a somewhat long article, but a very good one. Here are a couple of highlights:
Historians will long debate how much blame President Bush will get for these blunders. War is a tough business, and even successful ones are chock-full of screw-ups. Abe Lincoln doesn’t take much of a rap in the history books for letting the inept George McClellan or the buffoonish “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker run his armies during the Civil War. The fact that he got it right by the end of the war essentially erased many of those mistakes.

Since David Petraeus came to command in Iraq, unanimously confirmed by our prescient and wise senators, have you noticed what we haven’t heard? We haven’t heard any stories of operational stumbling. We haven’t heard any stories of strategic cluelessness. We haven’t heard anything that resembles the breakdowns at Abu Ghraib or the temporizing in Fallujah. In short, General Petraeus is running things superbly in Iraq.

. . .
The left doesn’t want good news out of Iraq, and it certainly doesn’t want the American public supporting the war effort. In a story that James Taranto noted last week, the New York Times asked in its most recent poll a recurring question that they also asked in past polls: “Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the United States have stayed out?” When asked the same question in May, the 35% of the public said yes, 61% said no. This time around, 42% said yes and 54% said no, narrowing the percentage of people who consider it a mistake to invade Iraq vs. those who thin it was the right thing to do from 26% to 12%.

The Times found this result so “counter-intuitive” that they re-polled the question. Much to the paper’s surprise/horror, they got the same result. It’s odd that the Times settled on the word “counter-intuitive” to describe the polls’ results. With the situation improving in Iraq and the war effort having dramatically improved, why would you be shocked that the public feels a bit better about the war unless you’ve come to adopt your own echo-chamber rhetoric as gospel truth?

Excellent points.

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