An editorial from the Dallas Morning News:
The speed of the cultural revolution sweeping through high-profile workplaces is breathtaking: Not only are women’s accounts of being harassed, groped or sexually assaulted on the job being taken seriously, consequences are ensuing.
Let’s not squander this moment. We must not respond with shrill vengeance but with constructive ideas that ensure the noxious behavior stops once and for all.
Rather than be satisfied to dance around the hot garbage of men toppled from prestigious jobs after sexual misconduct investigations, what actions can each of us take to make sure this movement sticks?
Those are the conversations with the potential to put the #MeToo campaign into the history books.
National columnist Kathleen Parker has ruefully labeled 2017 “the year of the groper,” as we’ve watch an almost daily unfolding of pathetic and revolting behavior as the firewalls of power and money crumble.
NBC fired longtime Today host Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior on the job. Public radio star Garrison Keillor was canned the same day because of improper conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion.
In Congress, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., faces a growing number of allegations of sexual harassment while Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., was popped Thursday with yet another groping accusation.
Who knows what new names may emerge between now and the time you read this editorial.
Was the catalyst for the ”no more silence” culture shift the election of President Donald Trump a month after his crass 2005 brag about grabbing women “by the pussy” went public? Or the recent fall of Harvey Weinstein, one of the entertainment industry’s mightiest executives?
Whatever the reason, let’s not lose sight of what’s important here: Making workplaces safe for all employees, women and men.
While neon-light names have captured the nation’s attention, don’t forget about the mundane workplaces where similar bad behavior festers: The women waiting tables late into the evening, those up before dawn to begin changing hotel sheets, the ones standing in factory assembly lines.
Everyone at every job site needs to do better. We can all practice “see something, say something.”
For those of us who came of age when rules about acceptable behavior were still overtly tilted toward the men, outing old perpetrators likely is of little value. A far more effective strategy is to vow to be a strong mentor on this issue to younger female colleagues.
The many good men who make up our workplaces can do more as well, starting with taking a firm stand against demeaning talk about female co-workers.
Likewise, we can all be mindful of shades of gray. While some cases of inappropriate behavior are clear-cut, many others are complicated and even contradictory.
It’s worth a reminder to all who celebrate this #MeToo movement as a tipping point: Accountability falls on each of us to use this moment effectively.
GOP’s tax win is a loss for the rest of us
From The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board:
Congressional Republicans finally appear poised for a signal legislative achievement after months of near-misses and face-plants caused by intraparty squabbling. Now that the Senate has joined the House in passing versions of a bill to cut taxes — with the support of virtually all Republicans and no Democrats — there’s little doubt that the GOP majority will work out a measure that Republicans in both chambers can support, and send it to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
But the first big win for Republicans in Washington is a loss for the rest of us. Yes, there may be plenty of Americans who will see their tax bills go down, certainly at first. The biggest beneficiaries, though, will be businesses with the highest profits and individuals with the highest incomes, and some of the biggest losers could be those who can scarcely afford the higher tab — graduate students, for example. More broadly, the measure will cause either much larger deficits or large cuts to Medicare and other federal programs, quite possibly accompanied by higher interest rates for borrowers.
The Senate version also includes a booby trap for the state exchanges where millions of people buy healthcare insurance: an end to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that adult Americans obtain coverage. That seems certain to drive premiums even higher and cause millions more Americans to go without insurance. That’s an incredibly reckless path to travel.
There’s a good argument to be made for simplifying the tax code, winnowing the thicket of tax breaks and using the extra revenue to lower rates, as Congress did with the bipartisan Tax Reform Act of 1986. For one thing, doing so would help make the U.S. more competitive with the lower tax rates charged in the rest of the industrialized world.
But President Trump and many congressional Republicans weren’t satisfied with simply reforming the tax code. Instead, they’re rushing through a deep cut in rates, particularly for businesses, far beyond what could be offset by eliminating some deductions, exemptions and credits. With no hearings on its specifics, little debate and a raft of provisions aimed at winning individual lawmakers’ votes, the measure is bound to be a magnet for unintended consequences.