Thursday, February 9, 2017

Rights-Violating Gender Pay Equity Laws are Insulting to Women

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a so-called Gender Pay Equity bill, though for technical reasons, not principled opposition. But Gender Pay Equity laws should be defeated, on principle. This does not mean that women, on principle, should not be treated fairly. On principle, they should. But Gender pay equity laws are not about fairness.

The gender pay equity proponents claim that a man and a woman doing the same job should be equally compensated. “Equal pay for equal work,” they simple-mindedly call it. In theory, all things being equal, who would disagree with that? But gender pay equity proponents want to impose this principle by force across the board through laws like the Federal so-called Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009, which “makes it unlawful for employers to pay people different rates for the same kind of work based on their gender,” according to John C. Ensslin for

These laws are morally wrong, and fallacious in practical terms: In reality, all things are far from equal.

As anyone who has ever done an honest day’s work knows, equal work is a myth. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, produce at different rates, vary in ability to engage in teamwork, have their own unique goals, etc. Two people with the same job title doing the same job can and do produce at vastly different rates and can be vastly different in terms of things like reliability.  One person could be fast, but makes more mistakes than another who works slower but whose quality of work rarely results in mistakes. Also, different workers of equal productivity could have different values. A man who is a “breadwinner” may put a premium on maximizing his monetary compensation, while a single mom co-worker may forego a higher pay scale in favor of more work time flexibility, such as more time working from home, in order to better take care of her young children—which a woman close to me actually did.

The Left’s gender pay equity movement treats all women—and by extension men—as homogeneous grains of sand on a beach. In effect, like mindless robots. To paraphrase Peter Schwartz from his Capitalism Magazine article on racism:

The essence of gender pay equity is the idea that the individual is meaningless and that membership in the collective–the gender–is the source of her identity and value. To the genderist, the individual’s moral and intellectual character is the product, not of her own choices, but of the genes she shares with all others of her gender. To the genderist, the particular members of a given gender are interchangeable.

Every woman who believes that pay should be earned, rather than “achieved” at the point of a governmental gun pointed at the head of her employer—and who has any self-esteem worth noting—should be insulted and outraged to be treated in such meaningless fashion. She should be outraged to be stripped of her freedom to forge her own agreement with her employer, or in the case of businesswomen, the freedom to decide for herself what her employees are worth to her. And everyone who values liberty and justice should be outraged at such laws.

Even if the “pay gap" between women and men, such that it exists—and the gap has been “wildly exaggerated *,” according to the NJ Star-Ledger, not exactly part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy—is due to women being less aggressive than men or even if some employers engage in gender discrimination, the government has no legitimate role in ramming one-size-fit-all pay dictates down the throats of all private employers. People not happy in their jobs are free to seek employment elsewhere. That such laws are called “pay equity” is a perversion of the term equity.

Gender pay equity laws violate the individual rights to private voluntary agreements between employer and employee, and are thus immoral. Employers and job seekers have a moral right, and should have the legal right, to negotiate their own terms of employment without coercive interference from government. Politicians passing laws dictating what private employers must pay their employees and what employees may agree to work for is essentially gangster economics. The New Jersey pay equity law, and all gender pay equity laws—including the federal one—are impractical, unfair, and immoral.

* [Obama's] claim that women earn 77 cents to a man's dollar is a wild exaggeration. . .His 77-cent number is based on a metric that doesn't take into account the fact that women tend to choose lower-paying professions and take time off when they have children. As a measure of unfair pay, it's worthless. When researchers consider these factors, the gap closes to 91 or even 95 cents to a man's dollar.—Obama-backed pay equity bill was a cynical ploy

Related Reading:

This ‘Women’s History Month,’ Distinguish Between Just and Unjust Equality


Mike Kevitt said...

I think most women are not offended by gender pay equity laws, because they think of themselves as women, and as individuals only within the female sex. They look at the collective first, and at the individual second. Men are the same way. That's the way people are, generally. It's been burned into their consciousnesses from day one since the beginning of human existence. People rarely choose to not accept it.

But women will likely call you on your statement that women are less aggressive than men and that women tend to choose lower paying professions, claiming that that's a sexist statement. They'll claim that WOMEN aren't that way, ignoring the fact that some are, and that some men are, too.

The collectivist orientation is as strong today as it was 200,000 years ago, in both women and men. People do choose, but they nearly always choose collectivism. That's because there's strength in numbers, and the most easily identifiable numbers come directly from sensory perception, no thinking needed.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

Actually, I didn't say that women are less aggressive than men. I said "even if" they are. It was hypothetical, not meant as a judgement.

As to the collectivist "instinct" within mankind, I believe that progress toward a fully civilized society is largely process of replacing collectivism with individualism.