American Elephants

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Eliminate Many Jobs For Women by The Elephant's Child
April 9, 2014, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Politics

Yesterday was “Equal Pay Day.” Supposedly the day when women catch up to men in the pay department. Obama reiterated the 77¢ that women are supposed to receive for any man’s $1 in pay. “It’s not a myth, it’s math,” Obama said.  We might ask if he controlled for education, experience, training, accomplishments, skill level, tenure, occupation, region, degree of risk — no? Then what level of math are we talking about?

The White House has no business trying to set salaries for American businesses. That’s a totalitarian move in the American free market.

Anyone who has worked in an organization of any kind knows the play of personality, education, ambition, character, looks, sex and a couple of hundred other variables at work. A while back, an executive was featured on the cover of an American business magazine because he had a temper and when aroused was apt to throw chairs. Get a bunch of people together and wait for dissension to arise. People should get combat pay just for participating in an organization, and extra if Human Resources is involved. “How engineers see meetings” suggests the problems. Combat pay. I’ve been in meetings like this. Can you imagine that more equal pay would improve anything?

Women who do the same job as men receive the same pay by law, established by the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Lily Ledbetter Act simply gave a woman longer in which to decide to sue. No real help for a woman, but a big payback to the Trial Lawyers. Now we have the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), designed to convince women that Democrats care about them — and that Republicans are waging a war on women.

The PFA is another payback to trial lawyers. Studiously avoided are words like “lawsuits,” “government reporting requirements” and “red tape.” Government bureaucrats are empowered to collect information about compensation practices and establish a “national award” for employers deemed superior in advancing “pay equity.” The incentives (Liberals don’t understand incentives) are all wrong. Businesses would limit the number of employees, adopt more rigid, one-size-fits-all compensation packages, and hire fewer women. It’s like forcing union regulations on every business. No advancement based on merit. Little opportunity for promotion.

“Equal Pay” sounds good, but the government does not help anyone by attempting to regulate the free market. It’s a proposed law that would directly harm working women — particularly those looking for a job.


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