Is There a Dry Cleaning Gender Gap?

President Obama laughingly promised to look into discriminatory dry cleaning pricing, but it's no joke for some.

Kris Kesiak Photography/FlickrKris Kesiak Photography/FlickrYesterday at an Equal Pay Day press event, President Barack Obama delivered this successful laugh line to an XX-heavy crowd: 

We'll talk about dry cleaners next, right—(laughter)—because I know that—I don't know why it costs more for Michelle's blouse than my shirt. (Laughter.)

Fair enough. Any gal who has ever walked into a dry cleaner that boasts $1.99 shirts and walked out with a receipt that says she's paying $5.95 per blouse has probably wondered the same thing.

What divides the meddlesome from the market-minded is how they think about where that differential comes from and what they think should be done about it.

Obama played the dry cleaning gender gap for laughs, of course. He's not actually launching a ladies' laundry crusade. But as this Washington Post explainer helpfully points out, there are others who take the issue quite seriously indeed. In fact, the same folks who brought you lawsuits against Ladies' Nights in bars started a mission to bring gender parity to crisp collars long ago:

In 1989, a group of George Washington University Law School [students] formed the "Coalition Against Discriminatory Dry Cleaning" [led by lefty superlawyer John F. Banzhaf] and filed complaints with the D.C. Office of Human Rights about unequal pricing at dozens of District dry cleaners. The city soon initiated a formal investigation of all dry cleaners. Two dry cleaning associations and the city brokered a settlement that called for equal prices.

While there are no federal regulations, there is a 1998 law on the books in New York City that imposes fines for "the public display of discriminatory pricing based on gender." But even that law makes an exception for services where different amounts of labor are required, such as hair cutting and (you guessed it) some kinds of dry cleaning.

Here's the thing: Dry cleaners can offer cheap laundering and pressing of men's dress shirts because men's clothing is boring and uniform. They use a standard-sized machine to quickly and efficiently remove wrinkles from damp shirts.

But women's blouses have much more variety in terms of fabric, cut, and construction. Battiston's, a small Connecticut chain, explains the dry cleaner's conundrum nicely after offering a strongly worded commitment to gender neutrality when it comes to suits and other garments:

The one very large asterisk in the realm of gender-neutral pricing, however, is in shirts. Women's shirts/blouses are often comprised of more elaborate fabrics that ... should not or simply cannot be laundered and pressed...

Oddly-shaped cuts are not going to fit on a shirt press, and thus they will need to be finished by hand. That's a lot more labor-intensive for a cleaner, and thus the cleaner is going to understandably have a hard time charging the same price. (Remember, the margins on shirt cleaning are very low to begin with, so if you must put significantly more labor into a shirt, then you're in a losing proposition.) Also, size matters. If a woman's shirt is too small and you try to put it on a press geared for men's body types, you run the risk of tearing. (It's one of the very few places in society where a lady is not rewarded for being thin.)

In other words, the fact that women pay more for clean shirts can be explained, at least in part, as a natural consequence of the fact that women make different personal choices than men. (Sound familiar?)

Battiston's quotes the official position of its industry association, the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, on the matter, noting that if particular women's shirts can be cleaned like men's shirts, they should be:

"[W]omen should not be charged a higher price simply because they are a woman. If a woman's shirt can fit on the unit, then it should be finished that way unless she indicates otherwise."

Women aren't alone in taking a hit for more diverse style preferences. A male friend reports that he recently received a call from his cleaner explaining that the super-fitted Swedish dress shirts he favors can't be laundered and pressed for the standard low price. He popped into the shop to check things out and reports that the standard shirt press was indeed "shaped like the fat American everyone dreads getting stuck sitting next to on the plane" and would have been unsuited for his needs.

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  • seguin||

    I heartily endorse the alt-text.

  • Paul.||

    And the picture that came with it.

  • UnCivilServant||

    The fix is simple, make the women wear boring clothes and they'll be cheap to press.

    But then they'd be up in arms about clothing discrimination...

  • RBS||

    Pretty much, a standard men's dress shirt probably doesn't require much thought or effort to press.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Watch the video it looks to be a press operator training vid. It shows all the effort required.

  • ||

    I think it's even far more nuanced than just the superficial "women's garments are harder". Not just that women submit more difficult garments, they submit more of them as well, and when they do submit them they are more discerning about the outcome.

    Hand ironing 20 blouses only to have a crease in one cost you all the business whereas 20 shirts (which will have fewer creases because automation) with the same or more creases would easily be overlooked.

    It's not cost disparity against women, it's quality disparity against men!

  • Zeb||

    Which will look funny along side the argument that is likely to be made now that the pricing is discriminatory because of all of the social pressure on women to wear more complicated and difficult to launder clothes than men typically do.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    They only wear flashy blouses because of the patriarchy that wants to fuck them.

    How was that for feminism?

  • ||

    Women don't dress to impress men, who never notice what they're wearing anyway. Women dress to show up other women.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I most certainly notice what women are wearing. Or at least what it is and isn't covering.

  • ||

    Right, you notice her skin, but if you close your eyes you'll have no idea what she's wearing. Women notice both.

  • LynchPin1477||

    When I close my eyes she isn't wearing anything.

  • Raven Nation||

    OK, predictable but still funny.

  • R C Dean||

    Women dress to show up other women.

    Indeed they do. When two women meet, they generally exchange the coldest, most pitiless up-and-down judgmental inspections.

  • c5c5||

    This. I am a woman and while I sometimes imagine men like what I dress in, it is actually other women who care what I wear.

  • JW||

    Paula Poundstone approves of this comment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've run into higher prices when I've had formal wear dry-cleaned (as opposed to regular dress shirts and pants).

  • gimmeasammich||

    Ah yes, the "cocktail party" surcharge. You probably deserved that one. Did they polish your top hat and monocle as well?

  • Pro Libertate||

    They had serfs dethread my ascot to remove a small stain, then sew it back to precisely its original state. I was shocked to find out that wasn't in the standard service.

  • SugarFree||

    I think there is a fortune to be made in disposable ascots. Wear it once and throw it away.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They have those already. They're called Kleenex.

  • RBS||

    You know, I can’t believe you put your money in that Sendrax. And you could’ve invested in my roll-out tie dispenser.
  • gimmeasammich||

    Maybe you can just drug a bunch of those feral cats that you get tax breaks for, wear them out to a party once, then let them go. Just keep feeding them once in a while and you'll have an unlimited supply. Not quite an ascot, but at least your lady friend would be good to go. Two birds with one stone.

  • ||

    You don't throw yours away after one use? Only virgin fibers touch my skin.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm a traditionalist. My ascot dates from Roman times. It was made from Julius Caesar's bloody toga.

  • Boogens||

    Dude, that was funny. My late uncle loved ascots.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Was your late uncle Freddie Jones from Scooby Doo?

  • ||

    Clearly the answer is to just charge everyone the higher price. It's only "fair".

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, the answer is to make men suffer the most. In this case, that means men being forced to wear and clean women's clothes. I thought you had more insight into the mind of the enemy than that.

  • ||

    As much as I wish I had insight into the minds of lawyers like you, ProL, I don't really. Or were you talking about a different enemy? Maybe your mom?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I meant Mom.

  • RBS||

    I think a nice light skirt would be preferable to wool suit pants.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, skirts are fantastically comfortable. I don't know why so many women want to wear pants when there isn't a practical reason.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Because patriarchy.

  • BuSab Agent||

    Because skirts are highly problematic when walking up stairs and/or climbing ladders.

  • antisocial-ist||

    That's a matter of perspective.

  • ||

    Say, nice beaver!

  • LynchPin1477||

    But then you'd have to tax the dry cleaners more heavily to ensure that they don't make too much profit.

  • ||

    Any gal who has ever walked into a dry cleaner that boasts $1.99 shirts and walked out with a receipt that says she's paying $5.95 per blouse has probably wondered the same thing.

    Starched cotton shirts are not Silk blouses.

    You are a sexist for assuming women are too stupid to recognize the difference.

  • Brett L||

    Now, if 80% of a dry cleaner's business became laundering women's blouses, you bet they'd find a way to cut the margin, but if 80% of my business is wool pants and men's cotton dress shirts, guess where I've shaved all the expense from.

  • Drake||

    Yes - They aren't actually dry-cleaning men's shirts. They are washing and pressing them.

  • ||

    The fact that he jokes about having his goons fuck up dry cleaners for their prices says it all, doesn't it? Scum.

  • ||

    It's always...uh...entertaining when his mask slips. Yet his sycophants completely miss it every time. They're incredibly stupid.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    I think that at this point the mask has slipped so far that it became an athletic cup.

  • mr simple||

    No, violence is just the only thing they understand and the law is the only thing that stops them from using it against every annoyance. They just totally relate to his witty observations.

  • JW||

    What is this violence you're talking about? The gubmint passes a law and that's that.

    It all happens by magic.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I took it as a sign he and Michelle swap outfits often.

  • Drake||

    Using arbitrary government power to fuck up businesses is funny to them. I bet they sit around the White House laughing all day at Obamacare and all the other endless regulations being spun out.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Obviously the solution is to have the Post Office handle all dry cleaning duties. That way we can be sure that the evil patriarchy doesn't get its grubby hands on a poor womyn's money.

  • UnCivilServant||

    But then I'd end up woth someone else's clothes!

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    yes, but you need to check your privilege. You're not entitled to having your clothes laundered while there's some feminist studies major walking around with a wrinkled shirt! You're taking away women's rights!

  • UnCivilServant||

    The requirement to wear spiffy clothes is a sign of the oppressive patriarchy, she'd choose to wear the wrinkles.

  • SugarFree||

    But then I'd end up with someone else's clothes!

    The solution is for everyone to wear the same thing.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Sackcloth has been trendy for the last 5000 years.

  • SugarFree||

    One-size-fits-all coveralls in one exciting shade of dull grey.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    No, the coveralls would be colored according to the level of trust the government has toward us. Most people would get black, followed by red, orange, yellow, green, and so on up to white, which is only allowed to be worn by the TOP MEN.

  • SugarFree||

    True. There's no better way to organize society than easy to spot statuses.

    I assume libertarians would be in the untouchable class.

  • ||

    I assume we'll find ourselves in mass graves.

  • Restoras||

    Mass grave, maybe. Does a grave containing, like, 12 bodies count as a mass grave?

  • ||

    Depends on how you define mass. Will Epi's mom be in the grave with us?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Not at all. Libertarians think people should be able to do what they want, and obviously what they want is to help Friend Computer make everyone happy. Only Communists would be against Friend Computer making everyone happy.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I only wear one size - 'Fat Bastard', anything smaller and the suicide rate goes up around me. Bigger and I catch the wind and fly away.

  • SusanM||

    Count your blessings - in addition to all that the "Fat Bitch" line makes you look like an explosion in a curtain factory.

  • ||

    Or we could go the Puppet Masters route and everyone wears next to nothing. You could horrify people even more than you do now! What a win!

  • SugarFree||

    I would get sick of people coming up to me to get Luis Guzmán's autograph.

  • ||

    "Mr NutraSweet, Luis, and can I just say, I loved you in...in...IMDb."

  • LynchPin1477||

    I endorse this plan.

  • gimmeasammich||

    The solution is for everyone to wear the same thing make the same amount of money.

    Doesn't sound so crazy now, does it?

  • JW||

    Or, you know, women could by no-wrinkle dress shirts, like men do. I just pop them in the washer and dryer at home.

    I go to my dry cleaner about once per year now, mostly for getting suits cleaned. It's too bad, since they're very nice people and I don't mind giving them business.

  • lap83||

    They don't really make those for women, afaik. Which sucks because not every woman is high maintenance, but clothes manufacturers and retailers treat us like we are.

  • JW||

    Yeah, I've been shopping with the wife-unit. If women's shoes and clothing are any kind of indicator of the gender overall, you bitches are cray-cray.

  • Zeb||

    Here is what puzzles me most about women's clothing in particular. Why are sizes for most clothes just a single number? How does that tell you if something is the right size? Men's pants and shirts come in sizes that correspond to actual measurements and that allow for different body proportions.

    Maybe that's why women spend so much time trying on clothes. You can't tell from the size whether it will actually fit.

  • The Original Jason||

    Exactly. And sizes vary from brand-to-brand, style-to-style, and color to color.

    Even in men's clothes, I've found that pants sizes can vary color-to-color.

  • Dixon_Sider||

    Easier for their smaller brains to comprehend?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Size's on women's clothes are just integers because this allows them to adjust those sizes over time *without anyone knowing it.

    For instance - I think a size zero now was like a size two 2 or so 15 years ago (I could be well off on the numbers - but the sizes have been adjusted upwards for many decades. Meaning a size zero keeps the same names, but the general dimensions for a size zero has gone up over time.

    *When I say "without anyone knowing" that's not entirely true - most women are well aware of this, they just prefer to not talk about it.

    So the next time you hear a woman claim she wears the same size she did 20 years ago....

    This is why there are no libertarian women... or at least none that talk to me :)

  • Sylvie1||

    From a libertarian woman -

    You are right - a size "0" now is pretty close to a size "2" a decade or two ago. And close to what a size "8" was 60 years ago.

    Oddly, I don't think shoe sizes have changed - I wear the same size range in vintage and modern.

    I do not wear the same size I did 20 years ago - I wear a smaller one.

    I can wear some of the same CLOTHING I wore 40 years ago, as a teenager (vintage collection). Not all, but a lot.

    There could be a number of reasons libertarian (or other) women don't talk to you, but I might, I'll talk to almost anyone . . .

  • perlhaqr||

    Here is what puzzles me most about women's clothing in particular. Why are sizes for most clothes just a single number?

    That's because women's clothing "sizes" are basically completely irrelevant. The only thing that can be determined from the number on the tag is whether one particular item wil be larger or smaller than the exact same item from the same manufacturer.

    /end tailor rant

  • guru||

    Brooks Brother non-iron supima cotton blouses.

    I love my men's shirts made of the same.

  • ||

    Making use of the wasted heat that my dryer spews out the side of my house, I should find a way to claim some sort of green subsidy too.

  • ||

    Or, you know, women could by no-wrinkle dress shirts, like men do. I just pop them in the washer and dryer at home.

    Even more drastic, you could just manage to show up at the dryer when the clothes are done and fold/hang stuff while it's still warm and not even own an iron.

    I'd assume it's some sort of regulated fire hazard but I'm lazy and, I ran my metal dryer hose through a small hanging closet right behind the dryer. Denim can wait to be folded and the linens hang in the hanging closet while I dry the towels.

  • LynchPin1477||

    and fit gay men

    Hey, I like form fitting clothing, too. Stop othering me for being a fit heterosexual!!

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    i'm still trying to figure out where trans folks fit into this. If i'm a pre-op man - woman, and i need to get a silk blouse laundered, is that a women's rights issue, a LGBTQRSTUV issue, a class warfare issue (obviously i can't afford the surgery to be who i want to be yet), or all of the above?

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    man -transitioning to- woman

  • UnCivilServant||

    None of the above - this is a non-issue.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    But somebody somewhere may be mildly inconvenienced by this! That makes it Barack Obama's (the Supreme Lord and Savior, Healer of the Oceans) mission to correct. After all, we don't want to cower to the bigots, do we?

  • UnCivilServant||

    I will not cower before grievence industry bigots and regard this as an issue.

  • ||

    I'm offended by your lack of concern for the laundry needs of homeless, black, female, prostitutes.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    How could I forget? We are going to start a multi-tier regulation and licensing scheme that involves mandatory haz-mat training for all personnel, equal prices for all customers no matter what they need cleaned, semen mitigation training, mandatory STD testing for any bodily fluids, a "pimp suit" registry, and required contributions of 15% of revenue into a preschool sex ed fund.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I will never register my pimp suit.

    Molon labe, muthafucka!

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    You probably have one of those dangerous assault pimp suits with more than 7 stitches. Nobody needs more than 7 stitches.

  • Paul.||

    Give Obama credit. At least he got the press talking about something other than the economy.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Prices are an economic issue.

  • Paul.||

    In the Obama context, economics is ignored and turned into an equality issue.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wow, there's a challenge.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yeah, with the press an obvious and willing accomplice in anything the naked Emperor wants to sell/discuss/object to he can change the conversation from the economy to a non-racist interaction with a professor or anything else his mind comes to.

    They'll follow him to hell-n-back they will!

    Of course for those who care - what is this now? The third week in a row of deflection? Run from one thing to the next...never stopping to allow anyone to say "that wasn't quite right" nor allow anyone to really keep Ocare or the economy front and center.

    & according to PB & Tony - they have no reason not to tout Ocare - yet here they are, Russia, Russia, wealth gap, some minor lies about Ocare, but quickly move back to Russia, gender gap (except for the WH), rinse repeat.

  • ||

    We'll talk about dry cleaners next, right—(laughter)—because I know that—I don't know why it costs more for Michelle's blouse than my shirt. (Laughter.)

    Why don't they make airplanes out of the stuff they make black boxes out of?

    Why are there scientists working on seedless watermelons when there's no cure for cancer?

    Why does an empty suit politician who's never held a real job in his life not understand why it's more difficult to press a simple men's dress shirt than a frilly woman's blouse?

    I'm a comic genius!

  • SugarFree||

    Exactly. Like this asshole has picked anything up from a dry cleaners in a decade.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, maybe this guy really is a Maoist.

  • JW||

    Say what you will about Mao, but he was a sharp dresser.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He was the Fifth Beatle, you know.

  • Paul.||

    He did open with "Take my wife's blouse!"

  • ||

    "Or else!"

  • Eric Bana||

    I can't take the insanity.

  • TWylite||

    Don't forget the blatantly sexist and age-ist golf tee positions. Shorter distances to the flag for womyn, seniors, and chyldryn. We need a legal remedy for that. And vowyls are sexyst, too.

  • Restoras||

    The game would move along faster if those tee positions were based on ability.

  • antisocial-ist||

    Or concrete walls surrounding the fairway.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    The game would move along faster if those tee positions were based on ability.

    So I would start like... 10 yards from the green?

  • lap83||

    I avoid "dry clean only" tags like the plague.

  • guru||

    So wait, I don't get to reap the benefits of dressing in my standard sized corporate goon wear?

    Women can start dressing like a cookie-cutter corporate goon as well, and they can reap the benefits of standardization. But they will have to stop thinking of themselves as the most special-est of special snow-flakes and join the hive mind of the drones.

  • ||

    I have an honest question. How do people afford dry-cleaning?

    Do you wear your clothes multiple times before cleaning?

    Because if you wear a different outfit everyday (which I think is the norm), that would be 7 shirts and 7 pants per week. Which would easily be a few hundred bucks a month.

    The few times I have een to a dry cleaner, I've generally been appalled at the prices. $80 to clean a dress with beaded straps. $40 for a jacket and a couple of silk shirts.

    I'd really like to get out of having to iron my work clothes but I'm not going to spend upwards of $100 a month on it.

    And yet, there are some things that I just can't put in the wash.

    I'm like a laundry illiterate. I need a gay man to do it all for me.

  • John||

    It sucks, but it is part of doing business if you work in an office.

    Yes, you can wear clothes multiple times between dry cleaning. You have to . If you drycleaned your suits after every wearing you would wear them out very quickly.

    You can't wash men's suits. And unless you have great skill with an iron, which I do but I still hate doing it, you have to get your shirts dry cleaned if you want them properly pressed.

    I would say my dry cleaning bill is around $70 a month or so. Men's clothes are less expensive than women's clothes. But, women can wear business attire that doesn't require dry cleaning. Men generally can't.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah but what % of offices are that formal anymore? Not mine, thank god. Even before "business casual" I never dry cleaned a thing.

  • RBS||

    Attorneys, banks, gov't offices are all still pretty formal.

  • ||

    The only government offices I ever enter are the post office, the DMV, and the parts department at the local GM dealer. I never see any employees wearing anything formal in those places.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Attorneys, banks, gov't offices are all still pretty formal.

    I interviewed at a law firm the other day, and their definition of "casual Friday" was more formal than my "dress-up Friday" at my software job. It made me a little sad inside.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed - the majority of offices are business casual and a great number these days are just casual, allowing jeans and what not (my current office is - even though I still wear business casual, but that's mostly because after years of working in those environments that's the majority of my clothing).

  • perlhaqr||

    I have to admit, there are definitely times when I really like my IT job on a college campus.

    I am required to wear clothing. And if I put up enough of a fight with the grievance industry hacks on campus, I could probably get away with not doing even that. (Of course, I'm a white guy of mostly Scottish extraction living in NM, so I'd have to be a complete fucking moron to walk around starkers, but that's beside the point.) But my standard workwear is t-shirts, BDUs, and hiking shoes.

  • R C Dean||

    I have an honest question. How do people afford dry-cleaning?

    Shirts go in after one wearing. But that's really laundry/ironing, not dry cleaning.

    Blazers go in a couple times a year, unless they get something on them.

    Pants are on a more seasonal schedule, In cooler weather, maybe once every 4 or 5 wearings. In warmer weather, maybe every 2 or 3, unless for some reason I was wearing office clothes outside and worked up a sweat.

  • ||

    Do you smell them to tell when they need washing?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Do you smell them to tell when they need washing?

    lol - not sure about others, but even when it's really hot outside, when working I go from AC at home to AC in the car to AC at work... so no - no need to smell. But after a couple-three days the pants will get "dirty" looking, more wrinkles than should be allowed, things like that.

  • ||

    I have an honest question. How do people afford dry-cleaning?

    Do you wear your clothes multiple times before cleaning?

    Because if you wear a different outfit everyday (which I think is the norm), that would be 7 shirts and 7 pants per week. Which would easily be a few hundred bucks a month.

    The few times I have een to a dry cleaner, I've generally been appalled at the prices. $80 to clean a dress with beaded straps. $40 for a jacket and a couple of silk shirts.

    I'd really like to get out of having to iron my work clothes but I'm not going to spend upwards of $100 a month on it.

    And yet, there are some things that I just can't put in the wash.

    I'm like a laundry illiterate. I need a gay man to do it all for me.

  • RBS||

    Several suits, a lot of ties, a bunch of shirts and a few pairs of shoes. Only my suits need to be dry-cleaned and I do that every 3-4 months.

  • Almanian!||

    Expensive? Try passing off a military-pleated kilt as a "skirt"....

    Our dry cleaner is, unfortunately, on yto our little trick

    Ex. Pens. Ive.

    "That's a kilt, not a 'skirt'."

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Does trying to cheat on your kilt cleaning bill count as self-hatred for Scotts?

  • Somhairle||

    Nah. It's practically a cultural imperative.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Obama needs to address the labor issues in America for all people.

    In free Market capitalism, the Employer and the employee negotiate salary. The employer wants to pay zero. The employee wants every penny the employer makes in profit. This is a good starting point and an assumption that people need to understand.

    For good or for bad, an employee is a necessary evil for the Business Man.
    Economics 101 will tell you that a Company is here for Profit and not for the good of the employee or the customers or the citizens within the Jurisdiction that the business operates.

    That said, policies should be established with that assumption.

    I say, all salaries should be disclosed. This is true for Government. I know the salary of all Government Employees from the President of the USA right down to the guy that operates the Street Cleaner. Do you know why? Me, the TAX PAYER DEMAND IT.

    This should be true for Public and Private Corporations as well. In a Public corporation, the Management are not the owners. They are custodians to the Stock Holders. In situations like this, you'll find the $50million year CEO. This is ridiculous and only exists because the Board (a bunch of stock holders themselves, but not all) allow it. They allow the $50mm year CEO to lay off 1000s of $50k year employees so the stock goes up.

    Anyone can hire a friend, a relative, or anyone they desire. However, salaries and promotions should be disclosed.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    This should be true for Public and Private Corporations as well. In a Public corporation, the Management are not the owners. They are custodians to the Stock Holders. In situations like this, you'll find the $50million year CEO. This is ridiculous and only exists because the Board (a bunch of stock holders themselves, but not all) allow it. They allow the $50mm year CEO to lay off 1000s of $50k year employees so the stock goes up.

    Anyone can hire a friend, a relative, or anyone they desire. However, salaries and promotions should be disclosed.

    Unless you're willing to literally hold a gun to my head and threaten my life for that information, I'm gonna tell you to shove it up your ass. I have 1st Amendment freedoms of association and expression that tell you to fuck off!

    You are a petty tyrant, and one too scared to do your own bidding. In the past, the petty tyrants at least had the balls to do their own dirty work; whack a few folks to instill fear in the peasants.

  • Alice Bowie||

    No one would put a gun to your head nor ask you any questions. The Total compensation for each employee would be available in the company directory next to your name, phone number, photo graph, dick size, etc.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    That's the point Alice as I agree with the other comment - you have no right to disclose what I make to others simply because you think things would be fairer if you did.

    & just so you know - I love the fact that my company does provide internal distribution numbers for job categories so one can easily see if they are making low end, mid, or high in their category, and what next categories of jobs might offer. I think that's a wonderful thing for them to do, but only wonderful because they do so voluntarily.

    Note though that no where in that data is exactly what I or my colleagues or my boss makes and it's absolutely ridiculous of you to assume I or others would be ok if it were available.

    Government salaries however - are 100% the business of the owners - just as my salary is well within the company's business, salaries of government employees should be well within the citizens' business.

    But again - what I personally make in a private contract is between me and my employer and always and forever, absolutely, 100%, none of your business.

    Today, tomorrow, or in the future, whether we work for the same company or not - it's none of your business.

    In case you plan to reply to provide some other rational for your idea - note that even at that time, it will still be none of your business.

  • Mark22||

    You can't really force businesses to disclose this, but the IRS could make tax returns public; that's the way it works in some other countries.

  • Jahn Ghalt||

    Next, KM-W, lets see an article on pricing for women's and men's clothing. While you're at it - you may as well talk about golf and tennis apparel (which is almost as big a scam as designer duds).

    No need wait for the President to make a lame joke.

  • JeffreyinSandySprings||

    women always want all of the choices but non of the results or responsibilities of those choices. This is true about not only clothes but about contraceptives (sandra fluke anyone) work (equal pay but not equal qualifications or even hours worked).

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Collectivist much? How are you any different from a feminist who makes negative generalizations about men?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    women humans always want all of the choices but non of the results or responsibilities of those choices

    FTFY

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Damn html and preview....

    women humans always want all of the choices but non of the results or responsibilities of those choices

    FTFY

  • REMant||

    I've noticed the garment industry has been trying to sell men on a Beatles redux-look, reminiscent also of the abrupt change of fashion in 1980. Michelle O may find that hopeful, but I think it's mainly a matter of inflationary downsizing. Actually tho women's shirts are exactly the same as men's, if blouses aren't, and from the looks of most of the women I see, not a lot different in size. And if we get any poorer fewer of them will see the inside of a sweatshop. They've been touting no iron materials for some time now. And before that no iron looks. Nearly no one wears a suit to work anymore.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I'm a money-loving free-marketer who thinks this kind of regulation is insane, but what's with all of the cultural Rick Santorums? I grew up around ultra gender-centric rednecks who punch each other for fun and still don't know why people make such a big deal about gender. It's so damn trivial yet most people care so much about it. I do know you can't spell culture without cult. Associating with people who have similar interests doesn't require silly rituals and symbolism.

  • WilliamsMaragret||

    my roomate's mom makes $79 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of work for five months but last month her paycheck was $19158 just working on the laptop for a few hours. have a peek at this website.........
    http://www.workbarr.com

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