Saturday, January 5, 2008

C-J's "Forum Flashes" Give Me The Vapors

The other "Forum Flashes" in today's Courier Journal were even more annoying than the attack on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, discussed below. First, the C-J praised Gov. Steve Beshear for appointing former state Rep. Eleanor Jordan executive director of the Commission on Women, then in the second "Flash" characterized as "[b]one-headed" the comments of Bill Stone that "the Commission on Women is another wasteful government department." On the contrary, Stone's remark was right on the (taxpayers') money.

It is ridiculous to be wasting tax dollars on a commission to represent women in Kentucky. The C-J claims that having such a commission will be the panacea for all sorts of so-called feminine ills in the Commonwealth: that "Kentucky women rank 49th in the percentage who have had four years or more of college, 46th in the number of businesses that are women-owned, and 50th in health and well-being."

Here's a thought. How about abolishing this commission and using the money saved to help deal with the budget deficit, or even, return it to the taxpayers of Kentucky, both women and men, so we can use it to, for example, pay for college, start a business, or pay for health care. We surely don't need Eleanor Jordan telling us how to run our lives.

The fallacy of a women's commission is that it assumes that there is a difference between women's issues and men's issues. Women benefit just as much as men from low taxes, a vibrant economy, educational choice, strong national security and the rule of law. To pander to women simply to win their vote is a waste of scarce resources that we cannot afford at a time when Gov. Beshear tells us that we are in such dire straits.

The implicit assumption of a women's commission is that women are too stupid to do the right thing -- apply for jobs, get the training, go to college, get child care -- without having a government commission to spell it out and direct the way. We fundamentally dispute that. We think women are smart enough to know that: give them the money! Give it to them in direct grants without agencies.

Perpetuating state bureaucracy is surely not the answer for Kentucky's women, and contrary to what the C-J asserts, it is not "slightly Stone Age" to suggest abolition of a silly government program for women that appears only to benefit the woman given a job to head it.

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