Fight Sexual Harassment With This One Weird Trick

Today's Agenda

Fight Sexual Harassment With This One Weird Trick

Just Hire More Women

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are many complex problems in the world today, but sexual harassment really shouldn’t be one of them. For example, men who complain they don’t understand the “new rules” for workplace behavior in the #MeToo era are either lying or should really have more women friends explaining things to them. 

Unfortunately, basic HR training videos will not always edify such people. But an even simpler, more effective way to curb harassment is to just put more women in positions of power, points out Tara Lachapelle. Or maybe you don’t even have to give them all that much power – just more jobs.

Recent accusations against CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves are a reminder that the media industry in particular could do a lot better in this regard. Here’s a nice chart put together by Elaine He:

Fight Sexual Harassment With This One Weird Trick

As you can see, not much has changed for women in the media in the past decade; in some cases it’s gotten worse. (Even in 1998, men pretty much knew how they were supposed to behave in the workplace, but still didn’t do it.) Hiring more women could change the media’s internal culture, which could also affect norms more widely, Tara writes: “The lack of women in leadership roles helps explain the perpetuation of sexist stereotypes on camera, which then ooze into society.”

In conclusion: Hire and promote more women. And click here to read the whole thing.

Calling All White House Grownups

Recently at Bloomberg Opinion we kicked around the question of whether the White House’s “adults in the room” should stick around or make a statement against President Donald Trump by quitting. The correct answer, according to Bloomberg’s editors, is that any responsible citizens working for Trump owe it to the country to hang in there: “Against the odds, these officials are having some moderating effect on the president. If they were to go, they could well be replaced by a cadre of less qualified Trump enthusiasts and sycophants.”

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is apparently one of the grownups minding the store, and he recently promised to hang on through the 2020 election (basically an eternity in Trump White House years). But Jonathan Bernstein argues Kelly’s tenure so far hasn’t been all that impressive and that he may be keeping somebody more effective from taking the job.

Madman Theory Doesn’t Work With Trade

Richard Nixon thought pretending to be a madman, just itching to nuke somebody, would help him fight the Soviet Union. Trump has suggested he likes this approach to foreign policy. The jury’s out, but it’s not the most controversial theory ever. But Trump seems to think acting crazy works for trade policy too, suggests David Fickling. For example, in just the past 24 hours, the White House expressed openness to re-starting trade negotiations with China … and then threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods even higher. This is no way to do trade, David writes: “When a counterparty’s objectives are unclear and her gambits contradictory, we tend to give up on her.” Click here to read the whole thing

Meanwhile, Trump has opened a surprising new trade-war front: against the Koch brothers. They have criticized Trump’s protectionism, which makes him tweetin’ mad. Joe Nocera suggests Americans of all political stripes should be grateful for the Koch brothers and that Republicans in particular should not be afraid of taking their side. Click here to read the whole thing.

Asking the Wrong Question About Work Requirements

When thinking about whether we should make recipients of government assistance work to earn their relief, we often resort to technical questions such as what constitutes “work” or the details of specific exemptions from such requirements. Michael Strain suggests we should first be asking broader questions about what we value as a society

Bonus work reading:

Apple Settles Into a Happy, Boring Life

Apple Inc. once relied on its ability to grow iPhone sales to the moon. At first blush, then, this chart would seem to be terrible news for Apple:

Fight Sexual Harassment With This One Weird Trick

Ah, but if you realize that Apple is now able to charge eleventy gajillion dollars for each of those iPhones, suddenly the picture looks a lot better, writes Shira Ovide:  “Apple is less thrill and more financial guile, and that’s perfectly fine. Apple doesn’t stay out late on the weekends anymore. Apple perches on the sofa with a cup of chamomile tea and a cardigan. It’s a different reality but a sensible and good life.” Click here to read the whole thing.

Chart Attack

Which U.S. presidents enjoyed the best GDP growth? Justin Fox has the numbers, which may surprise you:

Fight Sexual Harassment With This One Weird Trick

Wall Street has lately punished downside earnings surprises far more than it has rewarded upside surprises, notes Stephen Gandel

Fight Sexual Harassment With This One Weird Trick

Speed Reading

Meet Bill Browder, the hedge-fund manager who rents a lot of space in Vladimir Putin’s head. – Joe Nocera 

China’s Belt and Road project is leaving Pakistan and other partners in financial distress. – Christopher Balding 

Facebook Inc. isn’t making it easy to identify truly bad actors. – Leonid Bershidsky 

Junk municipal bonds are dancing hard while the music plays. – Matthew Winkler

One reason not to worry too much about 3-D-printed guns: They’re lame. – Elaine Ou 

But the First Amendment does protect plans for 3-D-printable guns. – Noah Feldman

And yes, it’s really possible for most people to be above-average. – Faye Flam


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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Mark Gongloff is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. He previously was a managing editor of, ran the Huffington Post's business and technology coverage, and was a columnist, reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.

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