By Bill Spadea
This post originally appeared at NJ 101.5
In a complete capitulation to the Democratic governor and the legislative majority, the Republicans in both houses laid down their arms and principles and allowed for yet another bill that is vague and onerous to business in the Garden State. Only two courageous leaders, Assembly members Michael Patrick Carroll and Jay Webber, had the guts to stand up for logic and reason and call out the disastrous “equal pay” bill for the farce that it truly is.
The bill will require men and women with “substantially similar” jobs to receive the same pay. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not even close. The new law fails to account for experience, skill set, education and any other variables that make job seekers and holders unique. The objections voiced by ONLY TWO members of the legislature were spot on claiming that the vague language will be the subject of judicial interpretation as the law will surely create litigation opportunities. The lawyers and political elite win over the taxpayers and job creators again.
I was thinking of the bill in the context of my own previous job in the real estate industry. At the time I left to get into media, I was an experienced VP serving in the company for 14 years. My pay was commensurate with my experience and skill set that I brought to the job every day. Under the new law, the company would potentially be required to pay a woman of less experience being hired to replace me the same compensation unless they could prove that it made a substantial difference in the job. Of course, that’s where the problem comes in: According to whom? Lawyers and judges deciding whether pay scales are about experience or gender? The bill is so vague that the lawsuits may already be lining up. The sad unintended consequence will be a hesitation on the part of company owners to hire a woman when they could easily pay a man less.
In addition to litigation and discrimination that this disastrous bill may lead to, there’s the simple fact that the gender pay gap doesn’t exist at all. Not only are there many cities across America where women earn more than men in similar jobs, but pay is related to market, experience, education and CHOICES.
It is disappointing and dangerous for the future of our state that only two legislators had the courage to stand up. The rest of the cowards in the Republican Party handed the new governor an enormous victory. And by failing to stick together as a caucus, the two brave legislators now have no cover from the onslaught of attack ads that will be headed their way. Shame on the cowards in the legislature who were more concerned with the potential of a tough campaign than to stand on principle. I know many of these legislators are smart enough to know the truth, but shame on them for cowering to the political will of the ignorant majority. Especially disappointed in the women Republicans who chose to pander to the fake gender gap letting young women down across the state in order to score political points on the other side. Seems that the GOP has decided that there is no way to win in New Jersey unless you pander to emotion and left-leaning talking points.
Let me say this. With only 35% of the registered voters participating in the 2017 gubernatorial contest, the Republicans have made a colossal error. The 65% who didn’t vote either have no interest in the aggressive spending and taxation from the majority party or they simply don’t care enough to show up. Either way, we know many, or not most, have a plan to exit our state as soon as they can. That’s literally millions of people fighting and struggling to make ends meet. Millions who worry about the job climate and tax burden in NJ. Millions who would leave today if they could afford to get out. Millions desperate for an opposition to the status quo. Millions who would vote for a candidate who could deliver a message of common sense and reason to bring businesses and taxpayers back into the fold to create true fairness among middle and working class citizens.
Placing yet another burden on businesses by creating a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist is one of the may reasons people are leaving NJ. Failing to stand up and speak for taxpayers and middle class families is why if he doesn’t become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, Phil Murphy will have the next 7 years in office with a stronger Democratic majority in both houses to seal our states financial fate for good. Unless, of course, the opposition party can be saved by the few courageous souls left willing to risk and potentially sacrifice political opportunity in order to stand on principle.
Thank you Jay Webber and Michael Patrick Carroll. Seems you guys are the last Republicans standing.
With the GOP now irrelevant, who will stand up for working and middle class taxpayers in our state? The search continues.