comparability is a right!

Jennifer Rubin takes issue with the feminist/socialist "comparable worth" doctrine, which she sees as another bad idea that will not die:

There are some public policy ideas that won't die -- no matter how bad they are. One of these is "comparable worth." It is built on the misguided policy notion that there is a gap in pay between men and women that cannot be accounted for except by subtle gender discrimination. And it survives by confusing the public that the only goal is to assure men and women performing the same work are paid "equally."

The basic idea behind comparable worth is that the government will determine which jobs are "comparable" -- a truck driver and a school teacher, a welder and a nurse -- and mandate that they should be paid equally. The theory is that those sneaky schools and hospitals evade the free marketplace in determining wages, taking advantage and "undervaluing" those jobs with higher percentages of female employees. Government will sort all that out and restore "gender fairness." The CEO of the Center for Equal Opportunity, Roger Clegg, writing in 2008 reminds us:

President Ronald Reagan correctly called comparable worth "a cockamamie idea." A great lesson of economic theory, not to mention historical experience, is that government-set wages and prices not only curtail freedom, but lead to shortages, surpluses and market disruptions.
Read it all.

I'm thinking that it is unreasonable to expect socialists who want to ruin the economy to stop doing what they do, and of course appeals to common sense are lost on people who lack it.

So rather than quibble, let me just accept the "comparable worth" idea on its face as a starting point, and offer a couple of modest suggestions based on fairness. And comparability.

Statistics show that women outlive men by a substantial margin. There is nothing fair about this. Seriously, what could be more unfair than death? So, I propose some sort of "comparable death" rule. I'm no policy wonk (so the details will have to worked out by the usual committees), but the bottom line is that it is high time we spared men from having to continue their struggle against this most deadly form of discrimination. Seriously, we often hear talk of the "glass ceiling" that women face. Bad as this is, it pales by comparison with the plight dead men face each day.

Yes, many women do remain on the wrong side of the "glass." But can that misfortune really be compared to being on the wrong side of the "grass"?

The comparable death issue is by no means the only sex-discrimination inequity faced by men. Statistics also show that there is a huge inheritance gap between men and women. Quite simply, women inherit far more wealth than do men. As long as this gap remains unclosed, there can be no equality between the sexes. A "comparable inheritance" law is long overdue to redress this cruel power imbalance.

There is no reason in this day and age why men should not be able to inherit a comparable amount of money as women do, just as they should have the right to live just as long.

So, if comparability is a right, then why have the comparable rights busybodies been asleep at the wheel?

posted by Eric on 04.12.09 at 04:47 PM


Excellent! And what about the appalling gender gap in our prison population? It's about time women started getting an equal share of hard time.

SteveBrooklineMA   ·  April 12, 2009 11:17 PM

Exclude me out guys! Whatever benefits men have, women have equal benefits.

I'd much rather stay at home and raise the children than be climbing a corporate scaffold or numerous other physical activities that men excel at.

You see, the gender difference between boys and girls is because mothers were doing the raising and raised the boys to take care of the girls. Subseqent generations followed this pattern.

Why should I be the woman who screws it all up??? Would not that be anti-Darwinist?

Donna B.   ·  April 13, 2009 4:38 AM

How about "comparable wealth production?" Few of the government produced jobs that so many women occupy actually produce wealth; rather, they consume the wealth taken from the productive occupations. They allow the workers to pretend they are productive, while consuming the hours they could be raising their families.

Most wealth production is still done by males, and many "independent" women still live off of male productivity, insofar as their jobs wouldn't exist without that production to tax. Under present circumstances, they continue to do so without feeling in gratitude or obligation to the producers in return. It's a tyranny of a high order, laced with unmerited vanity.

Brett   ·  April 13, 2009 8:22 AM

Determining worth as in the case of jobs is difficult, it should be based on the ability to produce wealth (real hard goods), but today so many jobs are service jobs, producing nothing.
The best paid jobs appear to be in entertainment/sports which again produce no wealth.
Look in your internet, most of the jobs paying over
$100 000.00, are government, again produce no wealth.
Our whole economy seems to be based on redistribution of the wealth that nobody seems to be producing. Is it any surprise our economy is in trouble.

Hugh   ·  April 13, 2009 9:20 AM

Not one more cent for "Women's Health" issues until the scourge of male premature expiration is conquered!

Royce   ·  April 13, 2009 11:16 AM

I'm an engineer with one of those service jobs, producing nothing.

But if you want your aircraft designed by assembly line workers in their spare time - go for it.

Or how about the cleaners who work for a cleaning service? Or a venture capitalist who finances new businesses? What about the inventory specialist who figures out how to reduce the capital requirements for a business? Or the car salesman? Or the myriad of other services? Intangible goods does not mean worthless.

M. Simon   ·  April 13, 2009 5:04 PM

The creation of wealth is the venue for very, very few people regardless of gender.

Donna B.   ·  April 13, 2009 9:19 PM

I disagree, Donna. Those working in the private sector, including services, who do not depend on government contracts all create wealth. That's hardly very few.

Brett   ·  April 14, 2009 7:31 AM

Why do low wage jobs exist? It is because women will take these jobs.

Put simply, the vast majority of women assume that during some period of their life they will either be partially or entirely supported by a man. Thus, women as a whole will choose lines of work that will enable them to do things such as have flexible hours, or enable them to exit the career for years or decades and still be able to get back into the profession. Thus, although a school bus driver and a long-haul truck driver might have similar skill sets, women will prefer the bus driver job simply because they can remain with their children during the week. Thus, less competition for the truck driver's position results in higher pay.

There will be a huge unintended consequence in artifically raising the wages of "typically women's" jobs in that men will now compete to take them. This will result in a shortage of long-haul truckers if they are paid the same wage as bus drivers, and higher unemployment amoung women who are willing to take these lower wage jobs.

Pablo Panadero   ·  April 14, 2009 11:36 AM

I get chills thinking about the government setting wages. Large private sector companies have spent small fortunes over the years coming up with complex mathematical formulas weighing all sorts of criteria for comparing dissimilar positions. That had little meaning to the vast majority of workers who could never understand how anyone could possibly know EXACTLY what they do. It is entirely possible to make these judgments in a fairly objective manner, however my bottom line to any employee was to check out their value on the OPEN MARKET. If auto industry workers had been told that, they might be in better shape today.

Penny   ·  April 14, 2009 8:49 PM

The reported fact that more men than women lost their jobs with this recession appears to substantiate that women tend to look at job security as a higher value than do men. Also since a relatively larger percentage of jobs were lost in construction than in the economy as a whole, one may also fairly surmise that women attach a value to job safety. It seems only right that these values be factored in when weighing the reimbursements to different kinds of workers. A free employment market seems like a fair way to accomplish this.

Paula R. Robinson, M.D.   ·  April 15, 2009 7:55 AM

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