International Women’s Day Topic: A Case Against Equal Pay For Equal Work

With yesterday being International Women’s Day, we thought we would share with readers an interesting perspective, using an economic argument, against calls for equal pay for equal work laws.

The equality that the feminist movement seeks through the law, will result in more sexism.

Milton Friedman argues that economically, equality being sought through the law, could become the basis of gender apartheid. Additionally, he argues that employers who discriminate based on gender will no longer pay a premium price for their biases if such equal pay for equal work is enforced; and women lose the weapon (of working for less), to get jobs over men to enter the workforce.

The argument is solid. However, we are sure that there are those of us who will disagree on grounds of a need for equality. We need to look at outcomes of policies, not the names and intentions of policies. It is better to compete freely than be forced to compete equally.


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A view from "the Right", as a source of ideas to create a new vision of freedom and what it promises for Jamaicans, to counter the tyranny of the status quo of Jamaica's reality since 1962. Website: Email: Twitter : @rightfromyaad Facebook:
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2 Responses to International Women’s Day Topic: A Case Against Equal Pay For Equal Work

  1. That is a horrendous video that baffles the mind how anyone could like. By claiming that equal pay is the same as apartheid, Friedman acts like the worst kind of ignorant internet blogger making ridiculous analogies. By claiming trade unions were the cause of apartheid he shows that he is willing to blatantly lie in the most absurd fashion.

    He makes the ridiculous point that somehow paying women less than men is actually helping them and we should encourage this practice and do nothing to stop it. His implicit point is that because women get paid less, they must be inferior. He pretends sexism never existed and makes me wonder why anyone takes him seriously.

  2. Horrendous is a strong word. You have misunderstood the point made in the video. Friedman is NOT arguing from an angle of inferiority. He is arguing from the point of the penalty that employers impose on themselves, because they irrationally use illogical biases in their hiring, in the case of Chauvinist ‘sexist pigs’.

    Ergo, employees (whether male, female, black, white, muslim or christian, local or foreigner) who are freely seeking employment have a competitive edge over others if they want to offer their services (whether their skills are the same or superior) for less. If govt imposes a law, that no one can be paid less than another, then:
    1) The employee loses that competitive edge and;
    2) The employer can gets away scott free and can choose not hire them altogether, because the penalty imposed on him through his own sexism/racism is reduced to zero.

    If there were no law, another employer would hire said employees for less (if the employee so desired) and that would drive the sexist pig (his competitor) out of business.

    Friedman never said sexism does not exist and that we should forget about it. He is arguing that freedom in business will eliminate sexism and economic laws trying to bring about equality will only serve to encourage it. This is an economic argument.

    Of course studies have shown that males and females were earning equal salaries for the same jobs, with same qualifications, with the same work experiences at the same ages, thirty years ago. Today women earn more in said jobs, and have less unemployment with same characteristics as men.

    All of this has occurred without passage of laws! Where is the sexism now? Do we need these laws?…. Oh, I think the Federal Govt just passed a law (The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act) in 2009, trying to do what the market has already done.

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