Tags: women | war | small | business

The War on Women Fallacy

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Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 07:37 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Democrats have been hammering Republicans for their supposed war on women. But women are waking up to the reality that the Obama administration is waging war on them by not creating what millions of women want most: a life-sustaining job that provides security for their families.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while nearly 6 million women are currently unemployed, more than 400,000 have recently lost their jobs, and poverty rates among women have soared to record highs.

Since President Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate among women has jumped from 7 percent to 8.1 percent. Young women have fared even worse. Their unemployment rate has risen from 12.5 percent to 14.4 percent since 2009.

Women are finding they have no friend in the White House when it comes to supporting their economic future. And the polls reflect this.

An Oct. 15 USA Today/Gallup Poll suggests women, especially blue-collar "waitress moms" whose families have been hard-hit by the nation's economic woes, will be the quintessential swing voters in 2012's close race.

Even veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says: "In every poll, we've seen a major surge among women in the favorability for Romney. Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them."

But the unemployment figures alone don’t reflect how the economy impacts women. I’m referring to women-owned small businesses.

While small businesses in general is being ignored by the Obama administration, women-owned small businesses are faring worse.

Women owned 7.8 million businesses representing 28.8 percent of all American companies in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners.

A report by the National Women’s Business Council, a non-partisan federal government council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the president, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration, lays out the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

The report divulges that nearly three quarters of women-owned firms utilize personal assets to finance capital investments because they have less access to external capital as compared with men-owned firms. Only 5.5 percent of women-owned firms expanded with a business loan from a bank or financial institution, compared with 11.4 percent of men-owned firms.

What does this say about a war on women? It is the same war being waged against all small business: higher taxes, excessive regulations and less access to capital. Did the Republicans wage this war? Or was it waged by an Obama administration where less than 8 percent of all politically appointed officials have any kind of business background?

The result is that women are being held back from creating success for themselves, employees and families, which has a negative impact on all of us.

The report also reveals that women have been launching new enterprises at a greater rate than men have. Despite this progress, the average revenue of majority women-owned businesses was still only 27 percent of the average of men-owned businesses.

Or let’s look at women’s relative inability to procure federal funding. The Small Business Administration has a long-standing goal of allocating 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned businesses. In fiscal year 2009, only 3.7 percent of federal contracts were awarded to women-owned businesses.

Why doesn’t this make news? Since small businesses are our most potent job creators, think what would happen if women-owned businesses got the support they needed. They could be hiring, both women and men.

Let me put this into perspective. If U.S.-based women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the 5th largest gross domestic product in the world, trailing closely behind Germany and ahead of countries including France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

We should all be sick and tired of having the Republicans being accused of waging a war on women. The real war is the economic war being waged by the Obama administration against women workers and women-owned businesses.

If women want to succeed in this economic war, they will need to change generals. Put someone in charge with a business background who will fight for them, not against them.

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NealAsbury
Democrats have been hammering Republicans for their supposed war on women. But women are waking up to the reality that the Obama administration is waging war on them by not creating what millions of women want most: a life-sustaining job that provides security for their families.
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2012-37-25
Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 07:37 AM
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