Thursday, April 24, 2008

Equal pay?

Thanks to Justin for drawing my attention to this fun piece of news:

Republican Sen. John McCain, campaigning through poverty-stricken cities and towns, said Wednesday he opposes a Senate bill that seeks equal pay for women because it would lead to more lawsuits.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. "This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

Hate away, please.

I especially like this part:

McCain stated his opposition to the bill as he campaigned in rural eastern Kentucky, where poverty is worse among women than men. The Arizona senator said he was familiar with the disparity but that there are better ways to help women find better paying jobs.

"They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else," McCain said. "And it's hard for them to leave their families when they don't have somebody to take care of them.

Because, you know, clearly the only reason why women are not being paid equally is because instead of being educated and training they were birthin' babies.



Anonymous said...

I call bullshit! Several reasons. The first is that there is no such thing as "equal work". You may have the same job functions as a man at your firm, but who's to say that he isn't just a little better? Since there are no identical, equal people, there is no way that two people can perform identical, equal work.
Second reason is that, well, let's face it, women are a little inferior to men when it comes to jobs. In the long term, on average, a woman will take time off for maternity leave, whereas a man will not. This is a gross generalization, I know this, but when you are the CEO of a company of let's say 5000 people, and you hire roughly the same number of men as you do women, and of these 2500 women, let's say 250 (that's just 10%) at some point in their career take time off for maternity leave, then you are going to have to pay for a temp, and his/her training, and any other fees that come with that, not to mention the productivity lost when a regular member of your group is gone for any period of time.
Reason the third is that McCain is right, as much I hate to admit. While I think that men and women should be paid the same for the same type of work, the reality is that something like this is strictly unenforceable. McCain is right: the free market should regulate pay inequities, not the government. If you find out that some firm pays women 30% less than it pays men, then two things come into play. The first is that you refuse to work for them, and you tell other people to do so, so eventually that firm will consider doing away with its archaic pay structure. The second is that if, as you claim, women are just as valuable to a company as men are, then this company is putting itself at a huge disadvantage by discriminating against women, and will soon be driven out of the market unless they decide to reconsider their archaic pay structure.
There, I have done it. I have defended the undefendable.

Emily said...

Yeah, it really sucks that women have to take time off to FUCKING PROCREATE and CONTINUE THE RACE OF MANKIND.

Seriously, arguing that women should be paid less when they are at work because they take time off for maternity leave will never win with me. That is absurd. Women already experience drastic cuts in pay as a result of taking time off, specifically if they stay at home for any length of time. They are way less likely as a result to move up in a company. But there is no way you are going to convince me that they should be punished for choosing to have a child but having a lifelong lower salary.

Anonymous said...

You know, that was just one of three reasons I gave. What's your opinion on the other two?

Also, the FMLA makes it mandatory that employers grant unpaid maternity leave, so if you want to maybe repeal that bullshit piece of socialist legislation, then we can meet somewhere in the middle?

And finally, dude, this is capitalism! The only thing that matters is the bottom line, but even the bottom line is affected by things like humane treatment of your employees. If your company policy is that no one gets maternity leave, then very few women will work for you, and the ones who do, aren't planning on having children. Why can't you trust the market to deal with these issues, but you have no problem putting this kind of power into the hands of a demonstrably corrupt government?