The Democrats' 'Fairness' Canard

Only one group of Americans can make this nation a fairer place: trial lawyers.

Only one group of Americans can make this nation a fairer place: trial lawyers.

After all, crushing injustice has enveloped the nation. New Yorkers make more money than Iowans. Female lawyers earn more than male fishermen. People who are 6 feet tall -- and I saw this in a semi-scientific study -- earn, on average, about $5,000 more annually than people who are 5 feet 6 inches tall. Beautiful women populate cable TV news shows, while doughy, middle-aged, pale-skinned columnists are relegated to the Internet and newspapers.

Unfair, but not ridiculous. For that, we turn to the deeply stupid Paycheck Fairness Act, which failed to overcome GOP opposition in the Senate (where Democrats pay female staffers 18 percent less than they do men) this week.

Let's, for a moment, pretend that laws against discrimination do not already exist. And let's, for the sake of argument, treat the Paycheck Fairness Act as earnest policy meant to alleviate a terrible societal mess rather than a political stunt that allows the White House (where women make about 10K less annually than their male co-workers) to accuse half the country of supporting a patriarchal dictatorship.

If we do, we can learn a lot about the left's view of human nature, capitalism and choices.

Apparently, we live in a country dominated by misogynists rather than in one resembling a meritocracy. If there's anything business owners love more than money, it's hating women. Alas, without government, you can never reach your potential. After all, the argument presupposed that the gender pay gap is the result of widespread "discrimination" and "unfairness" -- a matter so serious that a half-dozen senators were driven to news conferences this week to explain how terrible the problem is. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "There will be Democrats in favor of ending this discrimination, and virtually all Republicans -- and I hope that I'm wrong on this -- are going to vote against it."

So now, if you don't support a bill that allows lawyers to bore into the souls of employers and discern their motivations, you, my friend, favor discrimination. You know, just like Susan Collins of Maine and the woman haters on the editorial boards of The Boston Globe and The Washington Post.

Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men do. Period. When there is moral preening to be done, even people who think of themselves as the most thoughtful, sophisticated, non-ideological people on earth -- Democrats in Washington -- won't surrender to the complexity of an issue.

It is irrelevant that the pay gap may be the result of innocent hiring practices. It doesn't matter if women more often -- and more wisely -- take on fewer unpleasant or physically demanding jobs or that they may often choose careers that weigh the importance of salary differently than the ones men choose or that women -- and blame God or nature or both -- give birth, take career breaks and are more inclined to take part-time jobs to be able to mother those pesky kids.

As Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute points out, "an analysis of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, commissioned by the Labor Department, found that the so-called wage gap is mostly, and perhaps entirely, an artifact of the different choices men and women make -- different fields of study, different professions, different balances between home and work."

Do Democrats really believe there is a war on women in the workplace -- in their own offices, no less -- or do they simply want to lord over every aspect of the employer-employee relationship? What's most vitally "fair," it seems, is that Washington try to make the private sector run like a public-sector union shop.

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  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute points out, "an analysis of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, commissioned by the Labor Department, found that the so-called wage gap is mostly, and perhaps entirely, an artifact of the different choices men and women make -- different fields of study, different professions, different balances between home and work."

    Modern Woman (aka 'Julia'): BUT I WANT IT ALL!!! (Especially the pony Daddy never bought me.)

  • Ben the Duck||

    Why is Richard Mulligan at the podium, and why is he in drag?

  • ||

    It does give off an Empty Nest, vibe, doesn't it?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    The accompanying picture! It's Harry Reid in drag at the lectern with Harry Reid in the background! How the fuck did they do that?!?

  • Dovahkiin||

    It looks like Reid is checking out his own ass then.

  • Loki||

    Of course. Noone loves Harry Reid more than Harry Reid.

  • fish||

    Rookie mistake....not Harry and still more Harry....Harry and Ed Geins reanimated corpse in drag.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Ben the Duck nailed it! Burt Campbell is much better!

  • sarcasmic||

    If you don't want something done by government, you don't want it done at all.

  • Bee Tagger||

    The Paycheck Fairness Act seems designed to punish one group of people: businesses who already pay women well. Why else remove such an excellent comparative advantage they have when seeking out the best female labor they can find if not to punish them for their enlightenment?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Peddle your market solutions someplace else.

  • ||

    Jesus, what the fuck kind of hideous dead skin mask is that thing at the podium wearing?

  • califernian||

    These people are not serious, just was Obama is not serious about sticking it to the insurance companies with his healthcare act.

    The whole point is to grab more power and give it to their friends, in this case trial attorneys. Can you just imagine the bonanza of fees waiting for them if this passes.

  • sarcasmic||

    How would something like this be enforced?

    Seriously.

  • SugarFree||

    Hordes of trial lawyers.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know about you, but where I've worked people generally keep what they make to themselves.
    Someone would need to know that a wage discrepancy exists before filing a lawsuit, right?

  • R C Dean||

    Not at all. They just have to claim one does, and then they get access to all the company's employment records to see if there is one or not.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't you need evidence to make a claim?

  • RBS||

    Nope, just type it up and drop it off at the clerk's office. Of course the attorney who repeatedly does this might not like what the state bar has to say about it.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Then again there are tons of underemployed attornies out there who would be glad for the business. Why twiddle your thumbs when you may get lucky and build a reputation?

  • R C Dean||

    Don't you need evidence to make a claim?

    Nope. The magic words are "in information and belief . . ." IOW, rumors and innuendo are more than enough.

    Of course the attorney who repeatedly does this might not like what the state bar has to say about it.

    Attaboy? Neither the state bar nor the courts have shown the slightest interest in policing frivolous lawsuits.

  • ||

    Neither the state bar nor the courts have shown the slightest interest in policing frivolous lawsuits.

    No. Shit. I don't have a problem with bringing suit, per se, but I do have a major problem with punitive damages. Actual damages, fine. No argument there.

  • RBS||

    When I was in law school I pissed off half of my section when I suggested the same thing.

  • RBS||

    Sigh, I know. Sometimes I get my hopes up. I used to think that being an ODC attorney would be a terrible job. But now I think it would be a lot of fun to smack some of these douchebags I work with around.

  • SugarFree||

    That's the point of the law. It would make all wages transparent.

    We have wage transparency here. I throw what people make back in their face all the time. Good, cheeky fun.

  • ||

    That's the point of the law. It would make all wages transparent.

    That brings up something interesting. How would you account for jobs that rely on gratuities, like the restaurant industry or even burlesque type stuff? Or, to hit closer to home, fee for service physicians v. defined salary and benefit physicians? Would insurance reimbursement also be fair game, as well as payment for participation in various scientific and academic studies? How about private practice v. a physician (or other practitioners with independent billing ability, like ARNP's or CRNA's) either employed in a corporate medical outfit or by the state?

  • ||

    Look, there is only one way to make things truly fair, I consulted with TONY and he assured me that you will all agree because we all think things should be fair. We need to have a single payer system in this country, not just for healthcare but for employment. All property, profits and productivity will belong to the people and be overseen by the department of Fully Undertaking the Complete Killing of Unfairness (FUCKU). This department will set pay scales for every job and issue ration cards for fuel and food. Housing will be government supplied also, all houses the same to be fair to everyone. If there is anything else you think you need or want you can apply to the government for Certificates Of Need (CON) and a panel of government top men from FUCKU will approve or deny your request.

    Come to think of it, we should also have only one type of clothing for everyone to wear so that no one gets uppity.

    It is such a simple and obvious solution I cant believe that no one has tried it before.

  • ||

    Also, sales occupations that rely on commission, such as a car salesman?

  • Rasilio||

    Actually most companies required you to keep your salary a secret and some go so far as to threaten to fire you for revealing it.

  • ||

    Part of the Paycheck Fairness Act is that one can't be punished for revealing one's salary.

  • R C Dean||

    With great ceremony and expense.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A new department of gender equality would be created and would be required to get salary and benefit records from every business where bureaucrats would determine if there is an infraction.

  • SugarFree||

    Anyone dumb enough to believe that his legislation would result in higher wages for women instead of lower wage for men is too stupid to be allowed to vote.

    Crabs clawing over each other to get out of a bucket.

  • tarran||

    I wonder why the authors of this law want to make it harder for women of childbearing age to find work?

  • R C Dean||

    You've seen the Julia ad, right? That's their vision for women, and having a job is oddly not a big part of it.

  • ||

    That seems a bit incongruent, dont'cha think?

  • R C Dean||

    Nah. The underlying theme is the inherent dependency of women on the government looking after their interest. Poor dears, just can't manage their own affairs, apparently.

  • ||

    And they have the temerity to accuse fiscally conservative people (read: libertarian/conservative men and sisterhood traitors) of sexism and wanting inequality. Who's the real patriarchist here?

    Makes me wanna puke.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's exactly the same as liberals calling conservative black house niggers or lawn jockeys.

    It's fucking hilarious.

  • ||

    Oddly?

  • SugarFree||

    Well, then we have a law that 50% of any workforce has to be menstruating females.

    Of course, we'd have to fire 45% of our workforce to get to 50% guys...

  • Paul.||

    There's a menstruating guy down blog crying on cnn!

  • SugarFree||

    Poor guy. Today's been pretty hard on idiots.

  • RBS||

    That guy is going to regret crying in public on national tv.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm sure the sex workers union will comp him for a romp with a gal with enough seniority.

  • Paul.||

    Fuck you, it shows he's sensitive and not afraid of his emotions. You 30 cent-higher-earning brute!

  • ||

    Anyone dumb enough to believe that his legislation would result in higher wages for women instead of lower wage for men is too stupid to be allowed to vote.

    Nah, it would result in businesses making sure that they only hire the smartest and most competent women, and substitute male hires for the rest of the women they would hire without this intervention.

    Which incentive for hiring more men would, ironically, drive up the wages paid such lower-level males.

    So, more unemployment for women, and higher wages for men. Fucking unintended consequences, how do they work?

  • ||

    So, more unemployment for women, and higher wages for men. Fucking unintended consequences, how do they work?

    Ah, my friend, you just enunciated the rationale for the Fairness In Employment And Hiring Act, which will be the next one...

  • ||

    Do Democrats really believe there is a war on women in the workplace -- in their own offices, no less -- or do they simply want to lord over every aspect of the employer-employee relationship?

    They believe whatever they need to at any given moment to justify the consolidation of power in their hands. Truly, they have mastered the art of doublethink.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    The Dems aren't concerned about women or pay or employment. This whole thing is there just to put an issue out there to club the Repubs with. The MSM play along as the Dems knew they would.

  • mr simple||

    Of course they have. These are the people who tell you that cuts in the rate of growth of the budget is budget cuts, tax deductions are subsidies, disagreeing with someone from a 'victim' class means you hate all people of that class, and democracy and bipartisanship means they get their way. I could go on.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    I could go on.

    Please do. However, remember that there are character limits to a post. You could be here a while.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men do.

    Where are all these women that work for 20% less than men?

    I've been looking for them for years.

    I'd fire all my male workers in a heartbeat to save that kind of scratch.

  • Paul.||

    Those studies are almost entirely heavily nuanced.

    NPR actually did a decent report on the Gender Pay Gap last night.

    Studies range from about 38 cents on the dollar to 95 or so cents on the dollar.

    Essentially, the lower the figure, the more games were played by the study authors.

    For instance, some studies actually increase the pay gap based on choices women make. The 38 cent study actually calculated in the years women take off of work to have children while big daddy continues to bring home the bacon. It also took into account women who choose to work part-time because they had a higher earning husband or partner.

    I can only imagine how legalized gay marriage in the context of The lesbian Experience is going to throw that shit off the rails. Two women in a household, one says, "If you love me, you'll have this baby with me" and then she takes six months off for maternity leave.

    The 95 cent study simply went out, looked at comparable jobs and found the women make about as much as men for the same work... as long as they, you know... work the same hours as the man.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Some of those studies make no attempt at all to adjust for family leave or for the difference in career paths taken (in general) by men and women. Yes, surprisingly, engineering pays more than elementary school teaching.

    My wife has two graduate degrees in a reasonable discipline but has chosen not to work to raise a family. It's entirely voluntary on her part, but I'm sure someone somewhere counts her against the glass ceiling somehow.

    It's about as complete a myth as there is. I've never seen that kind of discrepancy in pay.

  • ||

    These studies simply don't take into account that seemingly identical jobs are different.

    For example, the average male in the U.S. Senate earns more salary than the average female. Why? Because Harry Reid earns more salary as the Senate President than other senators. If you fail to account for significant differences in jobs with similar sounding titles, you can allegedly find discrimination that isn't actually there.

  • Pi Guy||

    How would something like this be enforced?

    It won't be because, much like settling out of court is cheaper than litigation, the prudent employer will simply overpay women to avoid implications of impropriety.

  • sarcasmic||

    Overpay women, or underpay men?

    (rhetorical question I know... the answer is "yes")

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pi Guy,

    It won't be because, much like settling out of court is cheaper than litigation, the prudent employer will simply overpay women to avoid implications of impropriety.


    Just like employers routinely "over"pay black youths?

    The most likely scenario is LESS women being hired and an increase in under/unemployment for women, not more pay for women. NOBODY is in the business of losing money, with the exception of government.

  • R C Dean||

    Just another incentive to hire the man, as the employee with the fewest opportunities to sue you.

    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

  • GW||

    This. We've seen that the ADA has had exactly this effect on the disabled. Since they're such a huge lawsuit risk, it's much easier not to hire them.

  • ||

    Ah, you have heard of The Implicit Association Test, no?

  • Pi Guy||

    re: black youths

    Good point. I was being a bit facetious and, as sarcasmic notes, the simplest plan would be to simply underpay everyone.

    Yeah, this is stupid messy. Just leave compensation to whatever employer and employee agree upon.

  • albo||

    1. If a business could get away with paying women less to do the same job as men, they'd hire only women.

    2. Just was a business economy supposedly emerging from a recession needs--more lawsuits to defend.

    3. True inner ugliness apparently migrates up onto the skin. *shudder*

  • ||

    1. If a business could get away with paying women less to do the same job as men, they'd hire only women.

    Sort of. Every single employee at my credit union is female. I doubt that is due to discrimination, but rather that comparative advantage results in that being the best available job in the financial services industry for women, but not the best available job for men.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "There will be Democrats in favor of ending this discrimination, and virtually all Republicans - and I hope that I'm wrong on this - are going to vote against it."


    Nothing says better "We Care About You!" than arbitrary price controls.

  • T o n y||

    Nothing says "fuck off and starve" like laissez-faire capitalism.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    JK Rowling, and a host of singers might disagree.

  • Nyarlathotep||

    CDN$

  • juris imprudent||

    If we do, we can learn a lot about the left's view of human nature, capitalism and choices.

    Look, if I'm going to destroy braincells, I at least ought to enjoy being drunk/high. Learning about the left's view is like having the hangover without the buzz.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "Here's your lung cancer.

    Huh, what?

    Nope! No pot high for you! Just the lung cancer! HAH! PWNED!"

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    The descent into the maelstrom quickens - Ancient Rome, I can see you now! We'll meet soon!

    Fucking idiot lawyers and politicos. I mean - stupid fucking voters who put the fucking politicos into office in the first place....aw, fuck it.

    FUCK EVERYONE! YOU ALL SUCK!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Mika Brzezinski thinks you're all idiots.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I'd hit that.

    AND WE WONDER WHY, etc. etc. etc.

  • TheOldMan||

    If women do the identical work as men for 23% less compensation, then why would any profit-maximizing company ever hire a man for anything?

  • Rasilio||

    Not that I actually think this happens to any measurable degree (it does happen, but it is probably fairly rare) however the question is easily answered by the hidden collectivist assumption buries in the question itself.

    Simply, corporations do not make decisions, individuals do and while those individuals may be "consciously" devoted to maximizing the corporations profit they are also motivated by a plethora of other personal motivations some of which can (and will) blind them to actions which run against their conscious goal.

    Further in many cases the person making the decision is not trying to maximize the profit for the corporation but rather to maximize his own personal "profit" (and here I mean the term in it's broadest terms, not merely dollars and cents) regardless of what that means to the companies bottom line.

    In either of these cases it could lead to a hiring manager consciusly over or underpaying women or over or under hiring them.

  • T o n y||

    People are willing to pay a premium for a better product--the prejudicial assumption behind the pay disparity.

  • Jake W||

    "Disparity" Ha!

    Fuck you, Tony.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Do Democrats really believe there is a war on women in the workplace -- in their own offices, no less -- or do they simply want to lord over every aspect of the employer-employee relationship?

    Neither. They want to use this as a platform to get people, women in particular, to ignore their loss in Wisconsin.

  • lunettes de soleil pas cher||

    After all, crushing injustice has enveloped the nation. New Yorkers make more money than Iowans. Female lawyers earn more than male fishermen. People who are 6 feet tall -- and I saw this in a semi-scientific study -- earn, on average, about $5,000 more annually than people who are 5 feet 6 inches tall. Beautiful women populate cable TV news shows, while doughy, middle-aged, pale-skinned columnists are relegated to the Internet and newspapers.

  • maillot de bain magasin||

    As Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute points out, "an analysis of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, commissioned by the Labor Department, found that the so-called wage gap is mostly, and perhaps entirely, an artifact of the different choices men and women make -- different fields of study, different professions, different balances between home and work."

    Do Democrats really believe

  • Jake W||

    Perfect. I'll become a male stripper and win all sorts of lawsuits when I don't make as much in tips as the chlamydia magnets around me!

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