Economics

Does Capitalism Help or Hurt Women?

The economics of women and work.

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Does capitalism help or hurt women? I recently participated in a debate on the topic at the Cato Institute. While preparing for the event, I learned many fascinating facts that may interest feminists who claim the best way to help American women is for the U.S. government to do what other governments have done: spend a lot of money on so-called "pro-family" programs.

Consider Nordic governments, often praised by modern feminists and socialists alike, as models America should emulate.

It's certainly true that, for years, these countries have been hailed for being at the forefront of gender equality with programs such as paid family leave for both men and women and generous child care handouts to help women balance home life with work life. The policies are also supposed to help slay that favorite leftist unicorn—the "pay gap"—and elevate women to positions of power traditionally occupied by men. These entitlements certainly look fantastic on global gender equality indexes.

While it's true that Nordic women participate in the labor force at higher rates than women in other countries, academic studies show that higher taxes on labor income—which are used to fund these generous policies—encourage women to work not full time, but part time. More generally, higher tax rates reduce the amount of time women work and increase the amount of time they spend doing unpaid household work. A Cato Institute study on "The Nordic Glass Ceiling," by Nima Sanandaji, explains that "Nordic professors and other workers are more inclined than their lower-taxed American counterparts to devote unpaid time to domestic work rather than work longer hours in their paid work."

Studies by the European Commission and others find that broad-based welfare policies also create incentives for women to work part time rather than full time. Ironically, paid maternity leave policies make working fewer hours more attractive relative to working full time, which in turn hinders women's abilities to reach the top executive positions.

This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in Scandinavian countries where the benefits are more generous. For instance, while the share of female managers is 43 percent in the United States, it's 28 percent in Denmark, 30 percent in Finland, 32 percent in Norway, and 36 percent in Sweden. These countries also have, relative to other developed nations, very low rates of women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Now let's look at the impact that generous pro-family benefits have on the gender pay gap:

When measured properly, the pay gap in the United States is small. It certainly isn't the 19 cents per dollar often advertised by the left, including some Democratic presidential candidates.

The work of Harvard economist Claudia Goldin demonstrates that this gap has almost nothing to do with discrimination. Instead, it has to do with what Goldin calls the need for "temporal flexibility." That is, women choose to work in positions that allow them the flexibility to take care of their children. What little there is in the way of a pay gap reflects women's choices and not employers' discrimination.

This "earning" rather than "wage" pay gap is driven by women choosing to be moms, and it exists in every country, including Scandinavian ones. In fact, economic studies show that this gap is as big or larger in European countries with huge amounts of social spending. For instance, a well-cited paper by Henrik Kleven, Jakob Sogaard, and Camille Landais explains that although the United States and Sweden or Denmark "feature different public policies and labor markets, they are no longer very different in terms of overall gender inequality." Other studies show that to the extent the gap is slightly smaller in Nordic countries than other big welfare states, it has more to do with these countries' wage structures than with pro-family benefits.

The economic literature refers to these findings as the "Nordic paradox." The lesson here is that we should not justify social policies like mandated paid leave and generous child care benefits with the idea that they will close this gap, because they won't. American feminists should also be careful what they wish for: More generous policies might bring more women into the workforce, but they could also hinder women's rise in the workplace by incentivizing them to work part time and, as a result, never make it to the top.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

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  1. Would this be the right time for a hilarious sandwich-related joke?

    1. Could I get the Rabbi to make me a kosher ham sandwich? And a Mormon coffee to go with it? And Nancy Reagan to roll me a joint?

      1. I think he was referring to one of the funny ones.

        1. Your breath smells pretty funny to me! You should try eating some good shit… It would actually make it smell BETTER!

          But not shit from the Trumptatorship… You’ve been eating WAY too much of THAT shit already!

          1. Trump tator chip? When did Trump buy Frito Lay?

          2. You really need to change your meds. You’re starting to come across as seriously deranged.

        2. I joke about telling people new to NYC to go to Second Avenue Deli and ask for the Ham and Swiss on rye.

          Two kosher no-no in one order.

          1. Does that mean there’s no such thing as a kosher bacon cheeseburger?

  2. Please tell me this was posted far and wide, you’re preaching to the choir here.

    Also, kudos for trying to bring facts and logic to the emotionally driven, ridiculously entitled group known as the American feminist

    1. Given a choice, women statistically do not choose to adhere to the roles feminist ideology insists they must want to fulfill.

      1. The reality is that most women in the USA view themselves as Princesses over Robber Barons.

        Princesses don’t work.

        1. The reality is that most women in the USA view themselves as Princesses over Robber Barons.

          Some women, culture, and societies proportionally less than others but I’m pretty sure it’s broadly true across the species.

      2. And the feminists get angry at them for daring to exercise the very choices that feminism fought so hard to provide as options.

        1. there was a pro housewife group on facebook. they never said anything against feminist they just showed how proud they were to be house wifes. Facebook considered this an afront to feminism and blocked their group

          1. Cite?

    2. Any time these last thirty years and more, if you assumed that a policy pushed by Feminists will be detrimental to women in the long run, you wouldn’t have been wrong often enough to matter.

      The vast majority of Big Name Feminists are basically Celebrities. They live for Speaking fees, television interviews, and being written up in the New York Times. Since they are largely unattractive (I’m looking at YOU,Andrea Dworkin, and it ain’t easy!) and devoid of actual talent, what’s left for them is making outrageous demands.

      Honestly, I’d have more respect for them if they would take up some honest profession, such as drug dealing.

      1. Honestly, I’d have more respect for them if they would take up some honest profession, such as drug dealing.

        You would think more of them would be Madams.

  3. Good article, bad headline.

  4. People do not relies how much life is easier and better now My mother used a wringer washer and hung clothes to dry when I was young. Not a lot of choices for veggies at local A@P. A.C, no , not even a fan on hot nights. Three channels on T.V. Both my mother and father worked, I took care of the 2 younger kids when I was 12 on. Got my first job at 14 at the Gulf station across the street.

  5. Everything hurts women whenever when it causes them to actually have to work or when it supposedly keeps them from working.

  6. Deep down, every woman wants to be barefoot and pregnant and financially taken care of. And who can blame them.

    1. Working is hard work and causes one to make hard choices about how much time to spend keeping that job and other pursuits (like family and children).

      It would appear that many women who thought working and putting off family life would be fulfilling were wrong and they regret that decision.

      All men must suffer for those women being wrong.

      1. I don’t see how men are affected by it. Women are the ones with the more limited biological clock that doesn’t match up with current societal expectations.

        1. Women get pissed because of their life choices and take it out on men.

          1. OK…someone sounds bitter

            1. In reality, the consequence of women putting off having kids too long is…they don’t get to have kids or it’s an expensive complicated process to have kids. They don’t proceed to go out and wreak havoc on men, they just get disappointed and say “why didn’t anyone tell me?”.

              1. Are you kidding? How many men are now affected because the feminists pushed for laws to ensure at least 50% representation on corporate boards, upper management, etc? How many men have been harmed by Google making gender diversity a priority, despite a serious lack of qualified women for technical jobs? Men have to increasingly suffer onerous rules to cater to women’s desires and fantasies as a consequence of choices around having children (or not).

                1. Feminism is an ideological arm of the progressive movement, not a rite of passage for barren old women. You sound ridiculous.

                  Ftr, I am a woman who hates feminism and I know plenty of women who are not feminists. I also know plenty of YOUNG women who are feminists, probably most of them are because they learn it from teachers and pop culture. They’re not skipping along, innocent and borderline libertarian until brutal life experiences cause them to join the secret feminist cabal. Women are human beings who tend to learn from life experience, they’re not all out to get you.

                  1. Someone once said (can’t remember) that feminism is basically socialism. It helps to remember that, especially if you’re a man, so you can keep it in perspective. It’s not a conspiracy of women against men. It is socialism marketed to women and many of them will grow out of it. Just like many young men grow out of socialism.

  7. When measured properly, the pay gap in the United States is small. It certainly isn’t the 19 cents per dollar often advertised by the left, including some Democratic presidential candidates.

    Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth to some. Ever try disabusing a prog of this falsehood? Sexist, misogynist, bigot, you are.

    1. Most say 23c, or even 29c.

  8. “American feminists should also be careful what they wish for: More generous policies might bring more women into the workforce, but they could also hinder women’s rise in the workplace by incentivizing them to work part time and, as a result, never make it to the top.”

    Or, to the consternation of feminists, most women are not really all that interested in making it to the top and do not prioritize work over other aspects of their lives in the same way most men do. That is, women and men are different and perhaps complementary.

  9. It takes a village.
    -Some woman

    Epitome of Socialism.

  10. Does capitalism help or hurt women?

    Compared to what? Flying unicorns that shit gold nuggets? Capitalism gives you choices and opportunities, but you still have to buy your own lunch, nobody’s handing out lunches for free.

    1. in truely socialist nations everyone must work, men, women and children. But feminist think the USSR was woke when it forced women to work

      1. +10

  11. Use government programs to encourage women to go in the workforce and get more pay…so the government can then take it away. Such a good deal.

    1. Oh no, the BEST part was basically doubling the workforce (by convincing women that work was SO fulfilling), which devalued the price of labor.

      So now all of the families who WANT to have a parent at home to watch the children basically can’t afford to because one person has a hard time earning enough to support the family.

      Of course, you then compare THAT to how much people pay for childcare and the extra partner working is doing it just to pay a stranger to do what he/she could do for free.

      All of this goes on UNTIL they can give the kids to the state (who has ALREADY taken 25% of their income) so they can be indoctrinated in the “free” public school…and be told that working outside the home is “more fulfilling” to women who don’t have “internalized misogyny.”

      The whole thing was a giant trap designed to get the parents out of the house and kids into schools so they could be turned into good little statists…hence the resistance of the SAME feminists to charter schools and school vouchers…

      1. +10

      2. “THAT to how much people pay for childcare and the extra partner working is doing it just to pay a stranger to do what he/she could do for free.”

        + cost of a second car so both parents can work

    2. For every dollar in minimum wage increases, the federal government will immediately be getting 15.3 cents. Plus more on the backend if it increases anyone’s household tax bracket.

  12. So… generous social programs lead to women spending more time with their kids?

    Isn’t that a good thing?

    1. It is not getting to the statistical outcomes that feminists wanted that justified the program in the first place.

  13. Everything women have over and above a hunter-gatherer standard of living is due to capitalism; Even under socialism, because socialism is parasitic on capitalism to pay for it, socialism can’t give you anything without capitalists to take it from.

    So, help. And hugely.

  14. Capitalism=rape culture

  15. Defending capitalism will only make sense to those that believe a job represents a financial exchange, and that pay somehow relates to work done.

    In the modern woke mind, a “job” has only one dimension: benefits for the “worker”. Thus any job (all jobs?) should provide the same pay.

  16. Well, Veronique, I did not find capitalism in the article headlined “Does capitalism help or hurt women?”. All I found was remarks about socialism’s failures.
    So let me say this for you; Capitalism neither helps nor hurts women. Nor does it help or hurt any identifiable sub-group of humans. It is brutally impartial.

  17. I dunno. Why don’t you ask some women in communist countries whether they’d like to live where they are or in the US?

  18. “Does capitalism help or hurt x?”

    The answer is always “it helps.” Freedom is not a negative no matter how much some people may try to spin it that way.

    Also needs to be stated: capitalism helps the environment.

  19. American feminists should also be careful what they wish for: More generous policies might bring more women into the workforce, but they could also hinder women’s rise in the workplace by incentivizing them to work part time and, as a result, never make it to the top.

    Doctor De Rugy (as she reminds us with the PhD in her signature) doesn’t address the bigger social question. Namely, how has ‘feminism’ worked out for the typical American woman? I would venture to say – not particularly well.

    What has feminism brought to American women? Let’s see, the typical American woman I know has ‘won’ the privilege of working full-time, while still maintaining the majority of the child-rearing load, household management, and a host of other ‘traditional’ activities. Oh yeah, with the advent of feminism, women have lost their mystique, the essential qualities that make them so unique, so special, so alluring. They have become objectified by American society. Now it’s, “Yo, you wanted equal rights, now you got them. Tough shit”. Feminism hasn’t done American women many favors.

    The question the good doctor poses, does capitalism help or hurt women, is completely irrelevant. A total non-sequitur. Frankly, I expect better intellectual framing of an issue. This article missed the mark – badly.

    1. The thing is, the goal of feminism (at least for the last 40-50 years) WASN’T to help women…it was to hurt feminists’ enemies and set up a more powerful state that would continually self-justify…

      “See! THESE social programs didn’t have our [stated] desired effects! We need MORE social programs [which is the sole, unstated desired effect] to meet our [stated] desired outcome!”

    2. Plus as women earn more, they start competing with their male counterparts on salary level, and considering the national studies we’ve been treated to recently, women don’t like to date down. So their marriage and dating prospects dry up.

  20. I just like many people believe that Capitalism is a way to develop rape culture
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  21. so giving people free stuff means they will work less. Who Knew? and does this apply to teh Homeless problem in America? Yes, if you placate people by giving them food, phones, healthcare and allow them places to do drugs then they will work less. Why work when you can be high all the time

  22. New York Post: Broke men are hurting American women’s marriage prospects

    Must be nice to be able to be undecided about whether your spouse should make more money than you or not.

    1. Yeah, this article made the rounds a couple of weeks ago. It’s so hilarious I’m not totally convinced it’s real. Ie, it feels like it’s an article written by a troll.

      1. The article links to another article about “dating down”.

        A woman lawyer is married to a male electrician.

        Nothing like these feel good articles to boost women’s choices that they regret and try to justify.

    2. I mean:

      They found that a woman’s made-up hubby makes 58 percent more money than the current lineup of eligible bachelors.

      Essentially, either women really are the stereotype we make them out to be… or we’re getting trolled. I’m on the fence.

    3. Some ladies are even starting to date down in order to score a forever partner.

      UNACCEPTABLE!11!!

  23. The fact that this is even a debate tells you how far we’re falling. Have fun without all those sanitary napkins and other paper products that capitalism (and men) brought you.

  24. Given a choice, women statistically do not choose to adhere to the roles feminist ideology insists they must want to fulfill.
    https://www.escortsadservice.com/

  25. Capitalism has brought more people, men and women, out of poverty than any other economic system.
    Unless of course you’re a useful idiot who believes all the bullshit that comes from some over-educated idiot and die hard socialist college professor.

  26. Capitalism & Matriarchy

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” -George Orwell (1903-1950)

    “The West!” What comprises the West? People. Men and women. Throughout human history everywhere, with few exceptions men have been dominant. In the West, where capitalism has been devolving into mercantilism, no longer.

    These United States of America, for example, also have been devolving from patriarchy to matriarchy. Science tells us that behavior has its consequences.

    Consider the consequences of the current trend towards matriarchy. This issue is probably the most important factor in determining the future of this now-fragmenting, declining nation on fire. Thus far, the trend has been ominous consistent with the fact that there never has been a matriarchy of importance. Must it remain so? There is a science to guide us.

    For a discussion from the perspective of the Science of Human Behavior, visit “Matriarchy in America” at …
    https://www.nationonfire.com/matriarchy-in-america/ .

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