“'Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of our economy,' bellowed President Obama while commemorating Equal Pay Day. 'It’s the idea that whether you’re a high school teacher, a business executive, or a professional soccer player or tennis player, your work should be equally valued and rewarded, whether you are a man or a woman.'” Apparently King Obama does not realize it but there is a big difference between the way he believes things "should be" and the way things are. Let's consider that fact here today.
Who is to define what equal work is? Given the fact that every single human being who has ever existed performs tasks in a fashion different than every other human being that has ever existed (a favorite mantra of the the government school clique which instructs your children that "every child is unique"), where does our King come up with the concept that two people can perform the same job description in exactly the same way? I agree with the principle of equal pay for equal work, as it is determined by the free market and not by some career politician. The problem is not with that principle, the problem is that nobody in the universe ever engages in equal work. Experience levels, educational levels, performance abilities and a host of other factors guarantee that nobody ever does something the same way as someone else. So the question really becomes something quite different. Who is to determine what work is being performed and who is to determine how closely the work being performed compares to the work being performed by another person in the same job description? There are only two answers to those questions and those answers are government bureaucrats or the free market. For my money I will take the free market.
Ask any group of government school teachers if there is even a slight difference between them in regards to their teaching abilities and I suspect, if they were honest and did not have to worry about retribution for what they say, you will receive a cacophony of powerful assertions that some teachers are good and some teachers are bad, despite the fact they are all performing the same task and receiving the same pay scale. Should they be paid equally? Even the most hardened lover of government, like a government school teacher, would jump at the chance to be better paid for his self-perceived better teaching ability, even if that money had to come from those he appraises to be inferior teachers. My point is that once the incessantly chanted phrase of "equal pay for equal work" is actually dissected it becomes impossible to argue for equality of compensation since there is never equality of performance.
Feminists are particularly shrill when it comes to this subject. They love to rail on and on, in their squeaky high little voices, about how they keep bumping their noggins on the glass ceiling. They allege that all male actors in the free market are misogynists out to get them by making sure they never make as much money as their male counterparts. It is all propaganda, of course, as anyone with half a brain (a couple of women might meet that qualification, but other than my wife I am not sure who they are) knows that women are compensated in the free market exactly like men are....according to how much they produce. Women do not want equal pay, they want unequal pay. They want to be paid more than the market will bear based upon what they actually produce and they want the government to make sure that comes about. That makes them all good socialists.
Hadley Heath Manning of the Independent Women's Forum wrote an op-ed piece in the Denver Post a week or so ago that has received the wrath of the feminists. Hadley is not one of them. She believes in the free market and she advanced numerous arguments in favor of the correction belief that women are not being discriminated against, in terms of compensation, in the marketplace. Two women responded to Hadley by writing letters to the editor of the newspaper. Let's consider their arguments here today.
Joan Gosink of Golden writes in response to a claim made by Hadley that many women realize they will be paid less and are fine with that fact by asserting, "Most of us don't have that luxury. We would rather have the money to support our families and pay the rent....It is time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act." As I considered Joan's argument I had a new idea pop into my head. New ideas do not pop into my head as much these days as they used to. Maybe my head is smaller, or maybe I am getting even dumber, or maybe there is just no room for new ideas but this one managed to force its way into my brain and it seems to make some sense to me. Let's see what you think.
One of the favorite phrases used by people like Joan is "working women need a high enough wage to pay their bills." Joan says essentially the same thing when she exclaims that she needs "enough money to support my family." I do not doubt that Joan needs money to support her family, although I wonder if she has two cars, what the square footage of her home is, how many big screen televisions she has, what her monthly PED (personal electronic device) bill is and how many tattoos she has purchased in the last twelve months. In my experience the people who complain the most about the need for their employer to pay their bills usually spend more per month on unnecessary items than I spend on my necessities. But that is another matter and not the focus of my post today.
What I finally realized after years of listening to women complain about paying their bills is they believe that the social relationship that exists in this envy-filled country between profit seeking businesses and the women they employ is one whereby the business is morally responsible to pay their monthly expenses simply because the business has profits and they have monthly bills. I wrote a week or so ago about how businesses are always the patsy in this country. This is another example of businesses being treated like chumps. Feminists really believe that profit seeking businesses have a moral responsibility to pay their monthly bills just because the business earns a profit and they have bills they want paid. Just like businesses are expected to pay for my neighbor's daughter's abortions, now they are expected to pay the monthly bills of anyone and everyone who works for them. All of the nonsensical chatter about a $15/hour minimum wage is the same sort of thing. Those people really believe that money grows on business trees and businessmen who own those trees are morally responsible to give enough of that money to each of their employees to pay their monthly bills, whatever they may be. The idea is preposterous and immoral but it fits in well with our socialist system.
It used to be the union leaders, thankfully most of them are long gone now, who proclaimed that companies with profits needed to stop being greedy and distribute those profits to their employees, without whom, they alleged, those profits could never have been earned. Women have taken up the same chant as the old union leaders as they scour corporate income statements in search of profits which they then selfishly proclaim belong to them simply because they are employed by the company. That sort of thinking is so completely disconnected from the real world it is hard to find the words to express how stupid it is. But I will try.
Joan, listen carefully here, a businessman views labor as an expense. When you sell your labor to a company you are doing just that, and nothing more. You do not own the company. You do not have a controlling interest in the company. None of your money or capital is put at risk in the company. You are a person selling your labor to a company in search of labor and nothing more. It therefore follows that when a businessman does a good job at serving the public by producing goods and services for people at prices the people are willing to pay for those goods and services, that the profits realized by that businessman belong to him and not to Joan or any other seller of labor services. Joan has no moral claim on those profits and, although it is true her labor was instrumental in producing them, they are not her profits and she could have easily been replaced by many other people willing to sell their labor services to the business. If Joan does not like those real world conditions she can go live in a fantasy world created by Bernie Sanders where everyone makes tons of money from rich people and nobody ever has to work.
Carol Foster of Highlands Ranch goes a different route in her criticism of Hadley. She writes, "I found Hadley Heath Manning's opinion piece to be offensive. The wage gap has not resulted from choices women make, it results from gender discrimination that has existed for centuries. Obviously this woman has never had to march and burn her bra to be heard. Nor has she expressed any gratitude to those of us in the generation who did those things and from which she has benefited....Gender discrimination and race are the bases for pay inequality, and always have been." Wow! Carol is really nuts.
Carol begins, as so many do, by proclaiming her offense. Anyone who disagrees with Carol is offensive and should be forbidden to speak. What does that tell us about Carol? A lot, I would suggest, and none of it is good. After announcing that Hadley has no right to offer up her opinion Carol does not hesitate to give us hers. Surprise, surprise, Carol sees sexism everywhere. Carol is obviously of my generation. She proudly announces that she marched and burned her bra to earn whatever it is she thinks she has earned in her life. I thought that people earned things by working but now Carol tells me that we can earn things by marching and burning bras. I had better march over to Wal-Mart and buy some bras so I can make a living. Ironically, from Carol's viewpoint, she did not earn much from all of her marching and burning activities because she still thinks working conditions for women are terrible. Carol should have stayed home and left her bra on. In fact, most women should stay home and leave their bras on. Most of all however, women need to stop their incessant whining about wages. It makes them so unattractive to men and that, we all must acknowledge, is what really matters to a woman.