Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Paycheck UNfairness Act

Women didn't vote for Democratic candidates in last November's election in the expected numbers, so President Obama tried to woo them back by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Lame Duck Session. Fortunately, this plan failed because Congress realized this bill is a job killer, not a job creator.
The radical feminist movement has been agitating for this legislation for nearly three decades. Sometimes they call it "pay equity" and sometimes "comparable worth," but those terms are euphemisms for government wage control. The feminists want to replace "equal pay for equal work" with "equal pay for equal worth." And they want "worth" to be decided by feminist bureaucrats and judges. We know that "equal work" can be judged by objective factors such as experience, time in the labor force, hours worked per week, working conditions, and the work actually done. But "worth" is a very subjective concept. Most people probably think they are worth more than they are being paid and deserve a raise.

The Obama feminists recite the tiresome mantra that women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. That's completely false because it doesn't take into account that men take many high-risk and unpleasant jobs, suffering 90% of occupational fatalities, so they should be paid more. Each of us is paid a compromise between what we think we're worth and what someone is willing to pay. Those millions of decisions add up to what we call the private enterprise system and the free market economy.

If it were really true that businesses can pay women less than men for the same work, then cost-conscious bosses would hire only or mostly women. Since that doesn't happen, there must be other factors. The proper role of government is to provide equal opportunity, not preferential treatment based on warped social theory, especially when the feminist arguments are so demonstrably false.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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