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September 18, 2009

Study: Women are better than men at being nannies (and nanny-staters)

Politico’s Erika Lovley reports September 15:

Are women more effective lawmakers than men?

That’s the preliminary conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Chicago, who say that on average, women in Congress introduce more bills, attract more co-sponsors and bring home more money for their districts than their male counterparts do.

The study, which examined the performance of House members between 1984 and 2004, found that women delivered roughly 9 percent more discretionary spending for their districts than men.

[…] The researchers also found that women introduced more legislation than men who served in their same districts, often hitting the ground running in their first terms.

“We find that, on average, women sponsor about three bills more per Congress per term than their male counterparts,” said [Stanford Researcher Sarah] Anzia. “They co-sponsor more bills than other members, and they also obtain more co-sponsors for their own bills.”

Of course, it’s important to understand what one means by the word “effective”.

If the purpose of Congress is to serve as an arena where the people’s representatives brawl over who gets how much of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money, then yes: more discretionary spending delivered to one’s district is a sure sign of one’s effectiveness.

If the purpose of Congress is to enact countless laws that reach indecently into every nook and cranny of our lives, then yes: introducing more bills than the next fellow is a sure sign of one’s effectiveness.

But if the acts of Congress are supposed to be constrained within the boundaries set by the Constitution, then these women, far from being “effective”, are a pox on the republic.

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