Despite generally being wrong about many things, a top official at the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce is rightfully apologizing for a blog post on their site accusing people concerned about pay inequality of having a "fetish for money."
In case you missed that particular stroke of genius, Brad Peck had taken the anniversary of women's suffrage as an opportunity to tell women that the answer to the pay gap was "choosing the right place to work and choosing the right partner at home." He also quoted a libertarian blogger saying that progressive efforts around the wage gap showed a "fetish for money" that did not take into account other valuable things, such as the chance to be told, in the absence of fact, that your individual choices are to blame for you being paid less for the same job.
Now, David Chavern, the COO of the Chamber of Commerce (which, it is easy to forget, is a private, nongovernmental agency and a lobby) has rebutted it with some energy:
There is a lot that I don't like about the piece. It is simplistic and misguided. Even worse, I find it very, very old fashioned. "Women still face challenges at work because of their own work-life choices", blah, blah, blah. It is an argument from the 1960's.
Well, maybe the 1980s, but we'll give him the "blah blah blah."
Chavern goes on to point out that women's choices don't explain why the number of female top executives has essentially remained the same. He notes that Peck didn't account for the vast and growing quantity of female entrepreneurs, and notes, "Why is it that a large number of large, institutional environments don't work for women — but ones they create for themselves do?"
Good question. Chavern saves his ultimate smackdown for the end:
The bottom line is that I found Brad's post to be both wrong and wrong-headed. Luckily, as the COO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce my opinion on these matters counts a lot more than his does when it comes to Chamber policy and operations.
Owned, it is fair to say (though we did cheer on the commenter on the post who suggested, in lieu of firing Brad Peck, cutting his salary.) Now they just have to put their money — or lobbying muscle — where his mouth is. That's a fetish we can all get behind.
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