Brian LevineNovember 19, 2010
04:31 PM EDT
This morning, the Vice President spoke at a Middle Class Task Force Event that was co-hosted by the Department of Justice’s Access to Justice Initiative. He announced new steps that our Administration is taking in partnership with the legal community to strengthen foreclosure mediation programs, help veterans cope with legal challenges, and make it easier for workers to find a qualified attorney when they believe their rights have been violated.
First, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the American Bar Association (ABA) are launching a new partnership to help workers resolve complaints received by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, such as not getting paid the minimum wage or overtime, or being wrongfully denied family medical leave. DOL resolves more than 20,000 of these complaints every year, but because of limited resources, there are thousands more they are unable to pursue. Starting next month, people whose cases cannot be pursued will be provided with a newly created toll-free number that will connect them with an ABA-approved attorney referral service so they can find a qualified lawyer to help with their claims.
Valerie JarrettNovember 19, 2010
02:57 PM EDT
President Obama declared today the first-ever National Entrepreneurs’ Day, part of a full-blown National Entrepreneurship Week that, in the President’s words, aims to “renew our commitment to supporting the entrepreneurs who power the engine of our Nation's economy.”
Entrepreneurship is a core American value. And supporting a culture that is conducive to entrepreneurship and startups is a core component of the President’s National Innovation Strategy, for achieving sustainable growth and quality jobs. Startups are inherently bold and by their nature constantly facing the risk of failure. But startups also bring an unparalleled wealth of transformative innovations to market—think of everything from the airplane to the automobile to Amazon.com—and have been the Nation’s engine of job creation over the past three decades. It is the entrepreneurs who are tackling the Nation’s challenges in clean energy, medicine, national security, and other fields. They will build the leading industries of the 21st century.
This week, leaders from throughout the Obama Administration have highlighted a range of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and high-growth startups, through a series of five daily White House blog postsand a live web chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
And this afternoon, Aneesh Chopra, the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer, is joining up with Steve Case,co-founder of AOL and a co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for a discussion with DC-area entrepreneurs at an Entrepreneur Town Hall. Among the topics: What are the key challenges and opportunities facing innovative startups in the Nation’s capital? And what can the public and private sectors do to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems here and across the country?
This is not just a job for government, as the President emphasized this Wednesday when awarding the National Medals of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Fostering a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship “depends on all of us,” the President said, “including businesses and universities and nonprofits.” This is a call to action that the President first proclaimed when signing the Small Business Jobs Act.
This Administration is committed to working with the private sector to accelerate the success of entrepreneurs and high-growth startups, and to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to dream big in our innovation Nation.
November 19, 2010
12:40 PM EDT
Today, eleven remarkable people will give eleven riveting talks. What's unique about them, besides experiences like being a female engagement team Marine in Afghanistan or an explosive ordinance disposal technician in Iraq, is that they're all from the Department of Defense. The eleven speakers of TEDxPentagon represent America's men and women in uniform, and the families who stand strong alongside them. Watch the live stream here.
Like other remarkable speakers who come together under the umbrella of the TED conferences (Technology, Entertainment, and Design), these speakers will share experience, lessons, and stories that range from wonderful to terrifying, and enlightening to inspiring.
Katelyn SabochikNovember 19, 2010
10:43 AM EDT
Today at 1 p.m. EST Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Fast Company will be hosting a special live chat to answer your questions about this Administration's role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship. During the event, you can watch live and submit questions on facebook.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our National Entrepreneurship Week blog post series:
- Entrepreneurs: Building Businesses, Creating Jobs, Strengthening Our Economy by SBA Administrator Karen Mills
- Moving Ideas from the Lab to the Marketplace by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
- Vetrepreneurs: Helping Our Vets Start Their Own Businesses by Jonah Czerwinski, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Director of the VA Innovation Initiative at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Entrepreneurs Fueling Innovation by Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy
- Government as Convener - Fostering Entrepreneurial Ecosystems by U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra
Aneesh ChopraNovember 19, 2010
10:18 AM EDT
Ed. Note: This week the Obama Administration celebrating America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses as part of National Entrepreneurship Week. Join Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today at 1 p.m. for a live chat on entrepreneurship and innovation.
This week on the White House blog, we’ve highlighted the Obama Administration’s role in improving entrepreneurs’ access to capital, driving innovation from the lab to the marketplace, empowering vetrepreneurs, and fueling disruptive energy startups. Today, in celebration of the first-ever National Entrepreneurs’ Day, I thought to highlight the emerging role of government as convener to catalyze entirely new ideas and business models. Through competition in prizes and challenges, open data downloads, and participation in voluntary consensus standards activities, entrepreneurs are finding new ways to participate – and succeed in building the industries and jobs of the future.
Jesse LeeNovember 19, 2010
08:00 AM EDT
In the fourth edition of White House White Board, Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, discusses the President’s tough decisions on the American auto industry in light of the General Motors IPO.
Arun ChaudharyNovember 19, 2010
12:00 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk step by step with the President as he attends the G-20 in Seoul, Korea and the annual APEC meeting in Yokohama, Japan, awards the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, and the National Medals of Science and Technology, affirms the Administration’s commitment to promoting equality in the work place at a meeting of women leaders in the Roosevelt Room, and more…
November 16th, 2010
- President Obama Presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta: "We’re All in Your Debt"
November 17th, 2010
November 18th, 2010
Jesse LeeNovember 18, 2010
05:22 PM EDT
The last time GM made as much news as their IPO has it was on the brink of destruction, at a point where many didn't think the situation was salvagable. Today's news was considerably better, as the President explained this afternoon:
Today, one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story.
General Motors relaunched itself as a public company, cutting the government’s stake in the company by nearly half. What’s more, American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM.
And that’s a very good thing. Last year, we told GM’s management and workers that if they made the tough decisions necessary to make themselves more competitive in the 21st century -- decisions requiring real leadership, fresh thinking and also some shared sacrifice –- then we would stand by them. And because they did, the American auto industry -– an industry that’s been the proud symbol of America’s manufacturing might for a century; an industry that helped to build our middle class -– is once again on the rise.
Our automakers are in the midst of their strongest period of job growth in more than a decade. Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the industry has created more than 75,000 new jobs. For the first time in six years, Ford, GM and Chrysler are all operating at a profit. In fact, last week, GM announced its best quarter in over 11 years. And most importantly, American workers are back at the assembly line manufacturing the high-quality, fuel-efficient, American-made cars of tomorrow, capable of going toe to toe with any other manufacturer in the world.
By contrast, independent estimates have said that a million or more American jobs would have been lost had the government not taken the tough steps it did, dealing another brutal blow to the larger economy when it was teetering on the bring of complete disaster...
November 18, 2010
04:36 PM EDT
The medals, presented by the President in front of an enthusiastic audience of over 200 guests, are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors. Recipients are selected based on their outstanding contributions to human knowledge and for enhancing American competitiveness and quality of life.
Jesse LeeNovember 18, 2010
12:43 PM EDT
This morning the President went to a meeting hosted by the Vice President to discuss the New START treaty and why it is in our clear national security interest that the Senate approve it this year. The President said that "the key point here is this is not about politics, it’s about national security" -- and indeed the names on the attendee list spoke to the gravity of the issue and overwhelming support from America's foremost national security experts: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry; Senator Richard Lugar; former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker, and Henry Kissinger; former Secretaries of Defense William Cohen and William Perry; former National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright; and Senator Sam Nunn.
Asked afterwards if the treaty would get the votes necessary to pass the Senate despite some in the minority calling for delay, the President replied "I’m confident that we should be able to get the votes." His remarks had already made clear why that should be:
Brian BondNovember 18, 2010
10:31 AM EDT
The life that lies ahead is so much greater than the difficulties that lie behind you. It will get better,” said Vice President Biden in a video message, joining thousands of Americans that have come together to share their messages of hope and encouragement for LGBT youth who are struggling as part of the It Gets Better Project.
Vice President Biden wanted to share his message of support following the tragic suicides of so many young people due to bullying and taunting. Like President Obama, he wanted to speak directly to youth out there that are experiencing incredible pain and feelings of isolation because they may be or are perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
If you are a young person who’s been bullied or harassed by your peers, or you’re a parent or teacher who knows a young person being bullied or harassed, here are a few resources that can help:
November 18, 2010
10:16 AM EDT
Earlier this week, I witnessed the next chapter of America’s love affair with the automobile here in the nation’s capital. I took part in a ribbon cutting at the first public curbside electric vehicle (EV) charging station, made possible by Coulomb Technologies. It looks like a parking meter that Steve Jobs might design. And plugging in for a charge is simple – easier than even pumping gas. Soon brand new EVs – like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt – will be able to power up at stations like this one whenever they need it.
As President Obama says, “The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.” The Recovery Act is the largest clean energy investment in American history, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Entrepreneurs, just like Richard Lowenthal and Praveen Mandal whose Coulomb Technologies manufactured the charging station in DC, are making the cutting edge stuff that will power the cars of tomorrow. Soon, more than 20,000 stations will be popping up nationally to charge new EVs. Coulomb Technologies’ $15 million Recovery Act award will deploy 4,600 charging stations as part of this effort.
Valerie JarrettNovember 17, 2010
06:14 PM EDT
If you heard that a proposed bill got 58 votes in support and 41 votes against, you'd think that would be a good thing, right? Not in the United States Senate, where the Paycheck Fairness Act died when a vote to move the bill forward failed by just that count -- 58 to 41, two votes short of the 60 votes required. It is the very same bill that passed in the House with bipartisan support in January 2009. Today, only Democratic senators voted to support Paycheck Fairness for women -- not a single Republican voted to allow the Senate to move forward. It is notable that the first vote after the election in which the American people sent a clear message that they want Washington to work better, the Republicans blocked a common sense measure aimed simply to help ensure that women get the pay they deserve.
This afternoon, I participated in an inspiring meeting with leading advocates for women and girls who have been working tirelessly for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This meeting included women who have dedicated their careers to the fight for equal rights for women, including Lilly Ledbetter, who became a relentless advocate for equal pay after fighting her own battle against discrimination. I was joined by senior women in the Administration including Melody Barnes, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Tina Tchen, Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss today’s Senate vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Administration’s ongoing efforts to promote equality and economic security for American women and their families.
Shortly after the start of the conversation, President Obama joined the meeting and offered thanks to Lilly and the advocates for their incredible hard work and dedication. He expressed his disappointment and frustration, but noted the Administration’s past support of the bill and our commitment to closing the wage gap. Watch a video from the meeting:
Despite today’s vote, the Administration will continue its fight for equal pay for women – an issue that in these trying economic times is even more pressing given American families’ reliance on women’s income. The National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, with representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Office of Personnel Management, (“OPM”) continues its pursuit of pay equity for women. The agencies are strengthening their own enforcement efforts and working together, building regional partnerships to promote earlier and more effective collaboration on investigations. And with leadership from OPM, we will continue to improve the federal government’s role as a model employer.
This Administration will keep fighting to improve the economic security for women and their families. This includes working hard in this session and the next Congress we will keep fighting for things such as an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other measures we have supported that must now be extended. The President is committed to working with the women who joined us today and people around the country to support women and their families.
Valerie Jarett is Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls
Brian BondNovember 17, 2010
05:58 PM EDT
Earlier this year, President Obama called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create new rules for Medicare and Medicaid hospitals that would allow patients the right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay. The Presidential Memorandum instructed HHS to develop rules that would prohibit hospitals from denying visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued that rule – a rule that will let patients decide whom they want by their bedside when they are sick – and that includes a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner. The rule presents an important step forward in giving all Americans more control over their health care.
Kori SchulmanNovember 17, 2010
04:07 PM EDT
Today, President Obama named fifteen recipients of the 2010 Medal of Freedom -- the Nation’s highest civilian honor -- presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
"These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they’ve excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place," said President Obama. "I look forward to awarding them this honor next year."
The following individuals will receive the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom:
President George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. Prior to that, he was Vice President in the Reagan Administration, Director of Central Intelligence, Chief of the U.S. Liaison’s Office to the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and a Member of the House of Representatives from the 7th District of Texas. He served in the Navy during World War II. President Bush and President Clinton worked together to encourage aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. She is the first woman and first East German to serve as Chancellor of a unified Germany, which this year marks its 20th anniversary. She has often said that freedom is the happiest experience of her life. Chancellor Merkel was born in Hamburg but was raised in what was then Communist East Germany after her family moved to Templin. Her political career began when she joined the new Democratic Awakening party in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1990, as West and East Germany merged into one reunited country, her party joined with the Christian Democratic Union, and she was elected to the German parliament. She has been chairman of the CDU since April 2000 and was recently reelected to another term.
Congressman John Lewis
John Lewis is an American hero and a giant of the Civil Rights Movement. He served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), helped to organize the first lunch-counter sit-in in 1959 at the age of 19, and was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. In May 1961, he participated in the initial Freedom Ride, during which he endured violent attacks in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Montgomery, Alabama. In 1964, he helped to coordinate the Mississippi Freedom Project, and, in 1965, he led the Selma-to-Montgomery march to petition for voting rights where marchers were brutally confronted in an incident that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Eight days later, President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress, condemned the violence in Selma, and called for passage of the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted within months. Since 1987, John Lewis has continued his service to the nation as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th District, which encompasses all of Atlanta.
John H. Adams
John H. Adams co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970. Adams served as Executive Director and, later, as president of the nonprofit environmental advocacy group until 2006. His tenure is unparalleled by the leader of any other environmental organization. Rolling Stone writes: “If the planet has a lawyer, it’s John Adams.”
Dr. Maya Angelou is a prominent and celebrated author, poet, educator, producer, actress, filmmaker, and civil rights activist, who is currently the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. She has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal for the Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008.
Warren Buffett is an American investor, industrialist, and philanthropist. He is one of the most successful investors in the world. Often called the “legendary investor Warren Buffett,” he is the primary shareholder, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Mr. Buffett has pledged that all of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway – about 99 percent of his net worth – will be given to philanthropic endeavors. He is a co-founder of The Giving Pledge, an organization that encourages wealthy Americans to devote at least 50 percent of their net worth to philanthropy.
American artist Jasper Johns has produced a distinguished body of work dealing with themes of perception and identity since the mid-1950s. Among his best known works are depictions of familiar objects and signs, including flags, targets and numbers. He has incorporated innovative approaches to materials and techniques, and his work has influenced pop, minimal, and conceptual art.
Gerda Weissmann Klein
Gerda Weissmann Klein is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who has written several books about her experiences. After Nazi Germany took over her homeland of Poland, Klein was separated from both her parents: they were sent to Auschwitz and she to a series of labor and concentration camps. In 1945, she was sent on a forced 350-mile death march to avoid the advance of Allied forces. She was one of the minority who survived the forced journey. In May 1945, Klein was liberated by forces of the United States Army in Volary, Czechoslovakia, and later married Army Lieutenant Kurt Klein, who liberated her camp. A naturalized citizen, she recently founded Citizenship Counts, an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship. Klein has spoken to audiences of all ages and faith around the world about the value of freedom and has dedicated her life to promoting tolerance and understanding among all people.
Dr. Tom Little (Posthumous)
Dr. Tom Little was an optometrist who was brutally murdered on August 6, 2010, by the Taliban in the Kuran Wa Munjan district of Badakhshan, Afghanistan, along with nine other members of a team returning from a humanitarian mission to provide vision care in the remote Parun valley of Nuristan. Dr. Little and his wife, Libby, lived and worked in Afghanistan for three decades beginning in 1976, raising three daughters and providing vision, dental and mother/child care to the people of that country through the NOOR program (Noor means “light” in Persian) that Dr. Little ran for the International Assistance Mission.
Yo-Yo Ma is considered the world’s greatest living cellist, recognized as a prodigy since the age of five whose celebrity transcends the world of classical music. Born in Paris, Ma was a child prodigy who went on to study with Leonard Rose in New York. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at age nine. He was the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize in 1978, and, in 1991, Harvard awarded him an honorary doctorate in music. He serves as Artistic Director of the Silk Road Project, and has won sixteen Grammy awards. He is known especially for his interpretations of Bach and Beethoven, and for his ability to play many different styles of music, including tango and bluegrass. He serves on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Sylvia Mendez is a civil rights activist of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. As an eight-year-old, her parents attempted to enroll Mendez in an all-white school in their community, but were denied entry at and were told to go to the school for Mexican children. Her father and other parents sued and prevailed. The Mendez v. Westminster case was a landmark decision in the civil rights movement against segregation. Mendez currently travels around the country giving speeches on the value of a good education.
Stan “The Man” Musial is a baseball legend and Hall of Fame first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. Musial played 22 seasons for the Cardinals from 1941 to 1963. A 24-time All-Star selection, Musial accumulated 3,630 hits and 475 home runs during his career, was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player three times, and was a member of three World Series championship teams. Musial also served as the Cardinals’ general manager in 1967, when the team once again won the World Series.
Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times. The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.
Jean Kennedy Smith
In 1974, Jean Kennedy Smith founded VSA, a non-profit organization affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center that promotes the artistic talents of children, youth and adults with disabilities. From 1993 to 1998, Smith served as U. S. Ambassador to Ireland, and played a pivotal role in the peace process. Smith is the youngest daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center.
John J. Sweeney
John J. Sweeney is the current President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO, and served as President of the AFL-CIO from 1995 to 2009. The son of Irish immigrants, a domestic worker and a bus driver in the Bronx, he worked his way up in the labor movement to become President of the Service Employees International Union, growing the union to serve as a strong voice for working people. As President of the AFL-CIO, he revitalized the American labor movement, emphasizing union organizing and social justice, and was a powerful advocate for America’s workers.
See the 2009 Medal of Freedom recipients here.
Stephanie CutterNovember 17, 2010
01:12 PM EDT
Today, Bloomberg News reported that big insurance companies – companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp – spent $86.2 million to fight health insurance reform in 2009. Insurance companies and their allies were desperate to preserve their ability to discriminate against you if you had a preexisting condition, drop your care when you got sick and limit the amount of care you could receive in a year or a lifetime.
Thankfully, they didn’t succeed, but some folks still want to take us back to the bad old days when insurance companies had all the power and doctors and patients took a back seat. In fact, the New York Times recently reported that since the law was passed, opponents of reform spent $108 million on negative television advertisements about the law. And these powerful interests may spend millions more opposing reform in the future.
Millions of Americans are already benefitting from the law. Americans like Dawn Josephson of Florida, whose child finally received comprehensive health insurance coverage, even though he had a pre-existing condition and Jennifer Restemayer of North Dakota, whose daughter Allison was diagnosed with a rare disease. Jennifer feared hear daughter would hit her lifetime benefit cap until reform made those benefit caps illegal. You can read their stories and many more by visiting our 50 States/50 Stories map on WhiteHouse.gov/HealthReform.
Some may be willing to spend millions to take us backwards, but we will continue to move forward by fighting for Americans like Dawn and Jennifer and delivering the benefits of reform to the American people.
Stephanie Cutter is Assistant to the President for Special Projects
November 17, 2010
11:56 AM EDT
Ed. Note: This week the Obama Administration celebrating America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses as part of National Entrepreneurship Week. Join Commerce Secretary Gary Locke this Friday at 1 p.m. for a live chat on entrepreneurship and innovation.
National Entrepreneurship Week follows Veterans Day, the annual moment for Americans to honor all who served. This week, let’s remember that Military Veterans gain valuable experience from their service to our country, making them a sought-after member of the American workforce. They are innovative, dedicated, and trained in the most cutting-edge technologies. Their leadership skills often drive them to entrepreneurship in America’s start-up economy where more jobs are created than in any other sector.
Entrepreneurship is an attractive option for Veterans, but the challenges of starting a new business can be tough. Therefore, across the federal government, a wide array of options serves Veterans interested in overcoming these barriers and starting their own businesses – call them Vetrepreneurs.
Kori SchulmanNovember 17, 2010
10:00 AM EDT
Ed. Note: Watch the President award recipients at the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation Ceremony live on Wednesday, November 16 at 5:25 p.m. EST on WhiteHouse.gov/live.
This evening, President Obama will award recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors.
Yesterday, three National Medal recipients joined us for Tuesday Talks – including Steven Sasson, the inventor of the digital camera; Marye Anne Fox, a pioneer in organic photochemistry and electrochemistry; and Warren Washington, a leader in climate change research. They answered your questions on a range of topics – from the evolution of digital photography to careers for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) -- in a live video chat on WhiteHouse.gov and Facebook.
You can check out the full video of the chat or use the links below to jump directly to the questions you're interested in.
Terrell McSweenyNovember 17, 2010
07:00 AM EDT
Yesterday I picked up my Wall Street Journal and read an opinion piece “Washington’s Equal Pay Obsession” arguing that the Paycheck Fairness Act is unnecessary because, in a nutshell, women don’t face rampant pay discrimination. Instead, the author asserted, the wage gap exists because women are mothers.
So let’s break this down.
First, there is ample evidence that women – regardless of their parental status - do face pay discrimination. Yes, part of the wage gap is a result of occupational choices and other factors. No one denies that. Most economists agree, however, that no matter how many variables you control for an unexplained wage gap between men and women persists. For example, Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn did an excellent breakdown of the wage gap in 2007 and identified that 41% of the wage gap between men and women could not be explained by controlling for variables. Regardless of the precise percentage of the wage gap, we have a responsibility to ensure that no one in this country makes less as a result of his or her gender.
Wage discrimination is real.
Sarah BernardNovember 16, 2010
06:20 PM EDT
November 19th at 1:00 PM EST, the White House is hosting a special live chat with Gary Locke, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He'll answer your questions about this Administration's role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship. (If you want to study-up, you can read about his thoughts on "moving ideas from the lab to the marketplace" here first).
Submit your question now at fastcompany.com, and Fast Company editors will select as many as they can to pose to the Secretary on Friday. Then be sure to tune in on the 19th at 1:00 PM EST to watch at whitehouse.gov/live. During the event, you can also submit questions at whitehouse.gov/live or on facebook.
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