Times Beats the “Pay Equity” Drum
By Don Feder
Wednesday June 24, 2009

The New York Times is on one of its favorite kicks — “pay equity.” There’s nothing fair about the effort to get government even more involved in setting pay scales.

An editorial in today’s paper laments Congress’ failure to pass The Paycheck Fairness Act, aimed at requiring employers to pay the same wage — not for the same work, but for “comparable work.”

The Times breathlessly informs us that “Women still make, on average, 78 cents for every dollar earned by men for performing substantially the same work.” Emphasis added.

Note the phrase “substantially the same work.” The Times isn’t saying that employers are paying women substantially less for the same job, but for work that feminists consider comparable.

For instance, a truck driver may earn more than a nurse. Is that fair? It is if the salaries are determined by market forces.

But The Times wants to take that decision out of the hands of employers and give it to Washington bureaucrats, who would then devote themselves to comparing salaries and weighing whether secretarial work is harder than accounting or if interns should earn less than registered nurses.

Could the gender wage disparity have anything to do with the fact that many women take time out from careers to raise children? Might it be related to the fact that women are more likely than men to be employed part-time, to supplement family income, or that they often choose different work (that which doesn’t require hard, physical labor)?

The Times doesn’t know and doesn’t care. But it wants to get government even more involved in setting salaries to achieve its spurious idea of gender equality.

Do trash collectors work harder than New York Times editors? They certainly make more of a contribution.

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