Bad Math and Worst Policy Ideas on Equal Pay Day – Reason.com

Today is “Equal Pay Day”, which means that extremely misleading information about discrimination in the workplace will circulate in the service of the political objectives of the Democratic Party.

Last week, Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to impose a new federal power over employee compensation. Review of national legislation has a good summary here. The “Equal Remuneration Act” covers Failure of Obama-era legislation known as the Paycheck Fairness Act.

State lawmakers are also on the case. “California has the toughest equal pay laws in the country – but there is still work to be done,” said Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. She is leading a campaign to “raise awareness of the gender pay gap as part of an effort to achieve equal pay for women”, like CNBC the dish.

But the most striking thing to “be aware” about the gender pay gap is that a vast array of data shows that it is driven by women’s choices. “The gender gap narrows to between 8% and 0% when the study incorporates measures such as work experience, career breaks and part-time work,” wrote the economist at Baruch. College, June O’Neill.

“Women’s choices” can be a bit of a shorthand for what is really at stake here – some displayed preference, as well as structural inequalities and differences (some quite biological and immutable, others more flexible) that lead to differences. differences in employment situations, working hours, etc.

But what is it for sure do not at stake is a simple issue of employer discrimination, or something that can be resolved through federal task forces, class actions, and mandates that companies must provide detailed justifications for employee pay scales to an employee. centralized approval committee.

Those who oppose this type of intervention are often accused of sexism or (at best) indifference to “wage discrimination”. But no one is helped by claiming that increasingly bureaucratic pay regimes are the solution. Instead, it’s up to us to point out alternative solutions – like removing government barriers.

“The surest way to eliminate wage discrimination is to prevent the government from hampering the competitive process with devices such as professional licenses, permits, minimum product standards, which is called ownership. intellectual property, zoning and other land use restrictions “. writes Sheldon Richman.

All government barriers to self-employment – and these can take implicit forms, such as patents and the rising cost of living due to inflation, or the burden of entrepreneurs with protectionist regulations – make them workers vulnerable to exploitation. Being able to tell a boss, “Take this job and push it,” because alternatives, including self-employment, are available, is an effective way to establish the true market value of one’s work in the market. With the price collapse of what Kevin Carson calls “technologies of abundance” (think information technology and digital machine tools), the sophisticated small business – and the independence it represents – is more achievable than ever.

In case you need more ammo to tackle bad ideas today, check out these pieces from the Reason Archives:


FREE SPIRITS

Jesse Singal riffs on “leftist identity”, a more virulent cousin of “identity politics” often very well.

Left-wing identityism “sees the link between certain identities and marginalization as absolutely crucial to understanding America, and seeks to emphasize it as much as possible,” Singal writes.

Its members are therefore uncomfortable when people from marginalized groups do not act as marginalized. … Left-wing identitarians, once again, have a strong tendency towards essentialization. It seems to make them uncomfortable when members of marginalized groups aren’t particularly interested in talking about their marginalization, or – I hope you sit down – don’t feel entirely marginalized.

What does all of this have to do with Mayor Pete Buttigieg? Find here.

FREE MARKETS

“I’m going to close the border” with Mexico, President Donald Trump told reporters last week. “With a deficit like the one we have with Mexico and have had for many years, closing the border will be a for-profit operation.”

“Even by his ‘Trade is bad’ standards, President Donald Trump’s threat to close the US border with Mexico is a doozy,” written Eric Boehm.

Even if the United States were one big company – a bad analogy for many reasons, but which Trump seems to want – closing the border would not be a “lucrative” measure, nor would a company make a profit. by deciding not to buy or sell anything. This is actually a great way to ensure that you aren’t making a profit. … And this whole analogy is wrong, because the United States is not one company and the president is not our CEO. Interruption of trade between the United States and Mexico would have huge negative consequences for businesses on both sides of the border, as cross-border trade is the result of countless individual decisions dictated by market signals. It is not the United States that trades with Mexico and vice versa; individuals and businesses on both sides of the border trade with each other, seeking mutually beneficial deals.

QUICK HITS

@ realdonaldtrump / twitter
  • Student protesters face criminal charges in Arizona:
  • Bitcoin prices are skyrocketing again.
  • Senator Kamala Harris has already raised $ 12 million for his presidential candidacy.
  • A Colorado bill about to be signed by Democratic Governor Jared Polis “would allow police and family members to ask courts to temporarily seize firearms from people deemed dangerous.” reports Meagan Flynn at The Washington Post. But “half of the state’s 64 county governments have now passed resolutions saying they don’t want to enforce the red flag law.” Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams has said it’s unconstitutional so he won’t enforce it.



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