Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Debate on equal pay regardless of gender still sputters

President Barack Obama has signed two executive orders to guarantee equal pay for the same work regardless of gender, as widely reported.

But according to a CNN editorial, Democrats tend to press the belief that women are paid less, as in this op-ed by Katie Packer Gage, here.

Complicating the debate is, of course, the idea of paternal leave or family leave, and whether it should be compensated in the US the way it is more likely to be in Europe.  Paternity leave is gaining more traction, as we saw from the recent attention given to it in Major League Baseball. 

Also complicating the debate is that time taken for motherhood will, for some women, mean they don't remain as competitive in the workplace. But that's just some. Women get credit for a lot of advances in computer programming back in the middle of the past century, including (partly while in the military) the development of major languages, a fact that is often forgotten. 
In fact, some social conservatives have spoken with regret over the loss of the “family wage” of previous 
decades, where one breadwinner could make enough to support a non-working wife, and where the division of roles accompanied a committed sexual relationship.  It is harder for people with those values to compete in today’s world.  Sometimes it is harder from people with heavy family responsibilities to compete with hose who have fewer.  I recall all this from the 90s, when Henry Hyde talked about the family wage in an article in "Policy Review" called a "Mom and Pop Manifesto".  That’s not so different from saying that it is hard for kids from underprivileged backgrounds to compete academically with their better off peers.  

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