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April 11, 2017

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K.N. McBride

Fascinating. Do you see the inherent contradiction in this You wrote:

"Nobody is suggesting a central pay system where you get paid x for y work, because work and pay cannot be categorized like that with a market for labor as well as a market for capital. Nobody is going to use the gov't for force employers to pay their employees a particular wage. What will be done will be giving labor a similar competitive edge that capital already has in negotiating for wages, moving capital to markets with cheaper labor, and giving labor an equal basis before the law in labor disputes."

So if you go before "the law" then that would mean the *government* would in fact determine what is fair and what is not.

As more cases are brought, case law would then determine the appropriate wage scale.

So yes, the *government* would become very involved in setting wages and determining how much variation is permitted, what types of jobs are counted as similar and what appropriate scales are. We know this because it has *already happened* in the civil service.

I'm also amazed that you think that the grumpy, obnoxious employee is going to be treated with the exact same care as the one that is cheerful and pleasant to work with.

Again, you made a big deal about choosing a job that suited your needs and that you were willing to take a reduction in pay because other factors are in play. Why wouldn't other people do the same? Managers and supervisors also value a pleasant environment and they are likely to reward people who make their 40+ hours a week a little more enjoyable.

Those employees may not provide as much tangible benefits, but they add value all the same.

I'm also highly amused by people who think they know better than both the market and employers. "You're all so stupid for not implementing absolute equity! It will be great!"

Or maybe there is no such thing. Maybe it all comes down to how you count it and the people bringing it up the most are the ones who need a permanent axe to grind to stay gainfully employed.

Nurglitch

I have indeed had a job. In fact I have one right now where I'm paid by the hour to stamp out documentation. Which is, in the face of it, a ridiculous proposition, but that's the industry. It beats working in finance, or in any of the sales positions I've held.

Maybe you've never owned a business, nor held any management position, but paying people because they're pleasant to work with is one of the silliest things I've ever heard. You pay people either because they fulfil a requirement, or because they bring in money.

The point is not that people are different, and I say that as a cog in a machine that sells itself as being less expensive than the competition (not a great selling point where selling value beats cost-savings six days of the week), and hence earn less than equivalent workers in larger cities. Of course people are different. That's a given.

The point is that we have the freedom to choose our work, and to negotiate for our compensation. I took a hit in compensation so I could live and work somewhere cheap and pleasant. I value my health and well-being, and I worked to qualify for a safe office job where the greatest threat to my health and well-being is the probably the HVAC. Because I also worked in warehouses and factories and kitchens, and very shortly for an arborist.

Nobody cares that some morons are willing to accept ridiculous risk and minimal pay. It's their choice. This is actually about white-collar jobs, or the same safe, effeminate, and thoroughly remunerative jobs that people who become crab fishermen probably never had access to in the first place. The issue is where two people have the same job, and one is paid less for reasons that are not salient to their position. Compare apples to apples, and if someone is getting a bigger chunk of the pie for no good reason, then the people getting less deserve a position from which to negotiate.

Nobody is suggesting a central pay system where you get paid x for y work, because work and pay cannot be categorized like that with a market for labor as well as a market for capital. Nobody is going to use the gov't for force employers to pay their employees a particular wage. What will be done will be giving labor a similar competitive edge that capital already has in negotiating for wages, moving capital to markets with cheaper labor, and giving labor an equal basis before the law in labor disputes.

K.N. McBride

I have to ask: Have you ever had a job?

People aren't simply drones stamping out widgets - they have different personalities, strengths and weakness. In fact, I worked stamping out widgets and some people were a lot more pleasant to be around. If I was in charge, I'd give them a little extra for making my work day more pleasant.

Referring all pay issues to the Federal Bureau of Equalization won't make anything more efficient, it will Sovietize the economy.

That's why pay equity is a such a wonderful and stupid topic: It's never going to go away because it can't. There will always be unequal treatment because people are so different. Even in the same job field, same education, same experience, people are different.

The reason differences show up in pay between men and women is because they are different. As I pointed out, men are willing to break their bodies hauling crab out of icy waters. Women aren't excited to do that.

The most dangerous jobs are all held by men. This could indicate that men - as a group - tend to take work more seriously and commit to it more than women. Did you see Liz Warren's explanation for why she didn't run for president? She said she and her husband agreed it was TOO MUCH WORK.

QED

Nurglitch

Yes, which is incidentally why the same-work/same-pay issue should matter to men. Often two men doing the same job earn more or less than the other. This also distorts our economy.

K. N. McBride

Do you think the very real threat of sexual harassment lawsuits might also cause men to be reluctant to socialize and network with women?

Nurglitch

Right, sorry to spam, but also this: http://business.financialpost.com/executive/executive-women/same-job-same-performance-same-experience-same-degree-women-still-make-less-in-finance

Nurglitch

Additionally: http://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap

Nurglitch

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/03/31/women-are-still-paid-less-than-men-even-in-the-same-job/#a63e13747099

K.N. McBride

When do women receive less compensation for the same work as men?

Examples, please.

Nurglitch

"Consigned?" Check your privilege. Those guys volunteered to do that work. They didn't have to waste their opportunities to become qualified to work in banks, labs, or house-husbands. The great thing about America is that we have freedom to enjoy the fruits of our labor rather than being assigned lives of drudgery and toil by masters that own us, or the class/caste we're born into.

Likewise, what sort of work do you think pro-athletes do? They work to gain an audience. Their performance isn't measured by their sporting priwess, but by their gate performance. That's why Hulk Hogan was a huge star despite being a mediocre wrestler. He had it, and better performers did not.

Work isn't valuable because it's hard or risky. That's the labor theory of value, and that's bullshit. Work is valuable when it is profitable, the more profitable the more valuable. It's why salesmen make so much, because it doesn't matter how much labor the factory worker put in if the product isn't sold.

When a woman's labor is worth as much as a man's labor to their employer, and the man receives greater compensation then that's a problem for feminists and everyone else, because such under-valuation of labour distorts our economy. The small frictions build up, especially where women compose such a vast proportion of the workforce. Some people might see this problem and shrug, but more business-minded people should see an opportunity to buy better labor.

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