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Men & Women Salary Disparities

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Willy Truth Posted: Mon, Nov 12 2012 11:23 AM

Was talking to my roommate about why women are not discriminated against due to their proportional salaries to men, even sent him this video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow&feature=related

Still, he insists that there is rampant discrimination between men and women doing the exact same jobs. He says that women receiving a lesser salary because of pregnancy is still discrimination. I told him that there would be no reason that an employer would pay a woman less than a man doing the same exact job; that's not how the free market works. 

Do you guys think the pay disparity exists between the sexes, and why? 

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Willy Truth:

Was talking to my roommate about why women are not discriminated against due to their proportional salaries to men, even sent him this video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow&feature=related

Still, he insists that there is rampant discrimination between men and women doing the exact same jobs. He says that women receiving a lesser salary because of pregnancy is still discrimination. I told him that there would be no reason that an employer would pay a woman less than a man doing the same exact job; that's not how the free market works. 

Do you guys think the pay disparity exists between the sexes, and why? 

 

What's wrong with discrimination? Nothing. Employment should be solely between the employee and the employer. It's nobody else's business if there is a "pay disparity between the sexes." Only the liberal-progressive social engineering statists care. Whenever they don't approve of something, they try to use government to change it.

In a free market, you may very well see differences in pay for the same position. Peter Schiff talked about this. What if the job market cools down? A company will not hire a woman for that lower amount for fear of being accused this nonsense. So, it prevents more women from being hired!

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 11:35 AM

According to the studies I list here (http://candlemind.com/projects/progclub/file/michael/getEducated.php?listID=14), the pay gap is insignificant.

Overall, it is true that there will likely be absolute disparities between men and women. It cannot be denied that there are certain biological differences, such as giving birth, only rest with women.

However, I do not think that it is cause for political action. If you so desperately want women to make the same amout as men, urge them to pursue similar positions.

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Blargg replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 12:07 PM

...and demand similar pay. The cause for "unfair" price differences as I see it are either employer bias (which will make them do less well than their competitors) or employees not asserting how much they really want to be paid.

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Anenome replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 12:18 PM

The way I usually explain it is that, if there really were a paygap, if you could pay women 9% less for the exact same work, or whatever, then corporations would be beating down the doors to hire nothing but women.

Think about it, 9% less pay for the same work would be a 9% profit boost! It would make any corporation that did it insanely profitable compared to its competitors with the result that all of its competitors would be forced to hire nothing but women as well, just to compete.

The fact that we don't see this, even when corporations are being owned and managed by women, means it's very unlikely that companies are getting the exact same work from women, and that pay is reflective of their true work value to the company via supply and demand.

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And what would be some unintended byproducts of the Lilly-Ledbetter Act? 

Dissuading companies from hiring women in the first place, affecting pay for males and females in comparable positions, etc?

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I'd like to be shown an example of woman being paid less than a man doing the exact same job.  The claims of disparities come from aggregating all male vs. female pay and comparing the averages.  It's ridiculous.  Lower pay due to pregnancy and child-rearing doesn't come from discrimination, it comes from women not working during those periods, which also means that they have less experience and development of skills due to a period of not working.  If you compare the aggregate earnings of childless, never married women with that of men, there is very little difference between them - in fact women seem to earn slightly more.  For more on this, see the relevant chapter in Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies.

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Sphairon replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 5:04 PM

Willy Truth:
He says that women receiving a lesser salary because of pregnancy is still discrimination.

It is. It may be discrimination based on performance, but given that only women can get pregnant and the performance loss of a couple interested in procreating can only fall on the woman, at least for the first nine to ten months, there still is kind of a gender bias to it.


As for the video you linked, the description reads as follows:

However, when Prof. Steve Horwitz analyzes the data more closely, he finds that women make certain choices, such as career selection and raising children, which tend to result in lower wages than men.

I guess "making a choice" is the be-all and end-all argument for libertarians, but the choices we make heavily depend on the input we receive from society at large. If said society induces women to pursue different career paths than men, then on the surface, women having less responsibility and earnings on aggregate may seem "fair", but only if you stubbornly refuse to go beyond the logic of "making a choice".


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gotlucky replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 5:09 PM

Sphairon:

 

I guess "making a choice" is the be-all and end-all argument for libertarians, but the choices we make heavily depend on the input we receive from society at large. If said society induces women to pursue different career paths than men, then on the surface, women having less responsibility and earnings on aggregate may seem "fair", but only if you stubbornly refuse to go beyond the logic of "making a choice".

You saw it here first, folks. Apparently women aren't capable of making their own decisions, so society has to do it for them.

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Sphairon replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 5:11 PM

gotlucky:
You saw it here first, folks. Apparently women aren't capable of making their own decisions, so society has to do it for them.

Maybe you came out of the womb with a copy of "Man, Economy and State" and based all your decisions on rationally deduced axioms. Good for you, then. That's not how human decision-making is generally understood to occur, though.


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Maybe you came out of the womb with a copy of "Man, Economy and State" and based all your decisions on rationally deduced axioms. Good for you, then. That's not how human decision-making is generally understood to occur, though.

Are you leaping from the notion that "society" influences a person's choices to the notion that it "makes them" for the individual?

Are you arguing that women are under some sort of "false consciousness"? Their biological differences alone mean they enjoy different strengths and weaknesses to men and consequently different forms of competitive advantage.

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Sphairon replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 6:18 PM

Jon Irenicus:
Are you leaping from the notion that "society" influences a person's choices to the notion that it "makes them" for the individual?

I'm a determinist, so I consider an individual's choice to be the result of predispositions and experiences, neither of which the individual has all that much control over. So while "society" may not actually make the choice, strong social signals and expectations definitely do force an individual's hand in making decisions.


Jon Irenicus:
Their biological differences alone mean they enjoy different strengths and weaknesses to men and consequently different forms of competitive advantage.

Assuming most of it is biology and our contemporary gender division of labor is a result of it, that means women have a competitve edge in nursing and nurturing while men have one in building and leading. Given that the latter clearly entails higher prestige, income and power, you may see why a feminist-leaning person could still object.


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I'm a determinist, so I consider an individual's choice to be the result of predispositions and experiences, neither of which the individual has all that much control over. So while "society" may not actually make the choice, strong social signals and expectations definitely do force an individual's hand in making decisions.

Consequently, any choice to make matters "fairer" is equally the result of predispositions and experiences, which the society cannot choose to make since its constituent members cannot mak them, thereby rendering feminism as an ideology futile. Brilliant.

Out of curiosity, if you are not capable of making your own choices, how did you come to be a determinist? I mean if you're forced by "strong social signals" and "expectations", why should I believe you actually came to determinism based on any rational considerations whatsoever as opposed to being forced to believe in it? Nor can I appraise its logicality since I myself apparently cannot choose but instead I am compelled to accept its premises (or deny them) due to social conditioning, predispositions and experiences.

Assuming most of it is biology and our contemporary gender division of labor is a result of it, that means women have a competitve edge in nursing and nurturing while men have one in building and leading. Given that the latter clearly entails higher prestige, income and power, you may see why a feminist-leaning person could still object.

Not really, no.

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Sphairon replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 6:56 PM

Jon Irenicus:
Consequently, any choice to make matters "fairer" is equally the result of predispositions and experiences, which the society cannot choose to make since its constituent members cannot mak them

At any given point in time, true. However, ideological movements (whose members may have arrived at their conclusions through whatever non-mainstream channels imaginable) can influence the constituent members to enact social change later on.
 

Jon Irenicus:
I mean if you're forced by "strong social signals" and "expectations", why should I believe you actually came to determinism based on any rational considerations whatsoever as opposed to being forced to believe in it?

Being determined by outside factors does not render your thinking capacity moot, though. Your rational processing may well work outside the social sphere, but the ideas at the end of the process are very much influenced by the input your receive from the outside world. A lack of exposure to proper evidence, for example, may have prevented me from arriving at that conclusion earlier.

And yes, inherent biases may prevent me (or you) from rationally weighing the evidence. That's human nature.


Jon Irenicus:
Not really, no.

If the "competitive advantage" of one sex's biology effectively renders it to be the handmaiden class of the other sex, that may be cause for discontent.


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At any given point in time, true. However, ideological movements (whose members may have arrived at their conclusions through whatever non-mainstream channels imaginable) can influence the constituent members to enact social change later on.
 

But this isn't really the outcome of a reasoned process anymore, much less one associated with fairness. It's merely the outcome of whatever random wishes fire off in the heads of the persons advocating the changes. So on what grounds should these movements garner support? This is just historical determnism in another shape.  There's basically no reason to support feminism in this context. Not that one could do so, anyway. It just happens. Stripped of its moral character, feminism is basically just a snowballing of human preferences and predilections over time.

Being determined by outside factors does not render your thinking capacity moot, though. Your rational processing may well work outside the social sphere, but the ideas at the end of the process are very much influenced by the input your receive from the outside world. A lack of exposure to proper evidence, for example, may have prevented me from arriving at that conclusion earlier.

I must admit that makes very little sense. You receive inputs, then there is a black box of processing and out come the outputs. This only works with computers because we pretty much define the processes and how the inputs are to be hanled so it doesn't really map over to humans or other animals. I know that a typical explanation of this is that if we were not appropriately cognitively adapted to the world, that we'd go extinct, but this is circular in that it basically assumes that our understanding of evolutionary biology is itself correct when the very thing in question is how we acquire knowledge to begin with.

My point being that determinism is on rather shaky foundations itself, because even if you assume that the brain is still capable of filtering facts from falsehoods, there's the question of on what grounds do you believe that, so it is pretty much on the same basis as saying that you chose to believe it because it's true. It's a rather basic epistemological problem but it's compounded several times over for determinism because the concept of knowledge implies justification, and without choice, how does one justify their their belief? On the grounds that if the belief were false they wouldn't believe it because on net a system of false beliefs would render them evolutionarily unfit? I'll freely grant that you may not be able to even justify your beliefs even if you had free will, but how are you meant to do so when you cannot even in principle arrive at justification? Now I know some formulations of knowledge exclude the justification aspect but I think that's just sweeping the problem under the rug.

In essence no ground has been moved. If arguments based on instrumentality are evoked (and they have to of necessity), to the effect that we simply have to accept the fact that some given class of things holds true (e.g. our senses accurately capture information from the world, the principle of induction holds etc.) one could say it is far easier to make headway in social interactions by assuming that one is dealing with volitional entities capable of choice because this is the subjective sensation the individual themselves experiences, and also makes sense of how humans deal with each other morally and in other respects. Which would be Mises's approach.

And yes, inherent biases may prevent me (or you) from rationally weighing the evidence. That's human nature.

It's more a matter of whether you are even in principle capable of assessing the veracity of anything. Can a computer do so? Not really. It can process inputs based on pre-defined parametres. What would it mean for a human being to do so? A much harder question. When you say "rationally weighing up the evidence", you are referring to an automated process whereby the brain basically builds up conceptual associations and tries to see how a sensory input would cohere with accepted sensory inputs ("Facts", whatever.) The question then is what guarantees that this process is itself functional? Of course, nothing. It is an assumption made for instrumental purposes.

If the "competitive advantage" of one sex's biology effectively renders it to be the handmaiden class of the other sex, that may be cause for discontent.

I don't see them as being a "handmaiden class" simply by virtue of their biological competitive advantages. Women can try and compete with men, and some do. But to expect them as an entire gender to be on equal footing, rather than individual cases, is ridiculous. They may feel disgruntled about it if they define success in the terms of what males tend to be better at, but what is that discontent meant to result in, precisely? Righteous indignation? Advocacy for a "fairer" world? Resignation to the fact that they're simply better at different things to men on average? It's "understandable", but so what? This isn't about understanding.

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Aiser replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 8:33 PM

Some people, especially statist progressive feminist are not swayed by free-market arguments in cases such as these. Sure the pay disparity exist, but only to a negligible amount. Some reasons for this is because of childbirth of course. Because these people see everything throught the prism of collective equality, such a difference would send them into a rage. It's as if in their warped world view tha because a female can give birth, then so should a male in the name and sake for "equality". Also childbirth and child rearing (of which they are much better emotionally suited for bioloical reasons) hurts their productivity for a period of time but does ot always have to be the case.

In fact many of these people believe that women were somehow "liberated" during WWII when women entered the work force in mass numbers.  Which of course is a myth. What actually happened was that afterwards men could no longer support a stay at home mother and 2-4 kids, so the mother also had to pick up a job. Reasons for this were because of inflation, regulations, and taxation.

Now your roommate has to understand that their is discrimination in the market place that favors women over men. Such as head-hunter positions, secretary ect.

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I personally find that a lot of the differences have to do with which types of jobs each gender is prone to pursuing/training/being recruited for.  In the industries that my husband and I work, there are clear cut divisions between the jobs that men take and the jobs that women take.  In my office, women get hired to work the desks and men get hired to drive the trucks.  No exceptions.  Men don't apply for the office jobs, and women don't apply for the truck jobs, and the bosses have no opportunity to change the trend.  The driving jobs obviously pay more, because they involve heavy lifting and patient contact.

In the car business where my husband works, women every so often apply as service technicians or service advisors.  The ones who are tough enough to ignore some initial discrimination by their coworkers get along equally well with the men and eventually are treated just the same by everybody.  Their pay is, as far as I can tell, exactly equal with their male coworkers'.  They may actually have a bit of an edge in competing for management jobs, because they're seen as better with customer service situations.  They do engage in more absenteeism because at least around here, it's usually the woman who responds to the school phone calls and babysitting woes.  The women who aren't as tough go away because they can't do the job.  Usually it has to do with assertiveness and being able to recruit the cooperation of the men they have to work with.  This, again, is usually not something the managers have any control over.  It's more about the individual personalities involved. 

I make a lot less than my husband because the potential problems of breaking into a traditionally male career kept me from attempting it.  That's my choice.  I also never had the opportunity to learn a trade other than waiting tables as a teenager: family and societal habits as well as my own irrational preferences never would have suggested it to me.

In other words, I don't see my lower pay as related to issues with employers.  If anything, I think a lot of employers are dying to hire women for nontraditional jobs because of the public image factor.

On the flip side, my bosses aren't at all interested in hiring a man to work in the office.  They'd be concerned about personality clashes with the established female office staff, which is an issue they are encouraged not to worry about when hiring women for mens' jobs, but there's nothing to stop them from considering it when hiring men for womens' jobs.  So in that one respect, I can see employers adding to the disparity: in not hiring men for the lower-paying jobs.  Which is not a part of that equation that gets a lot of attention, normally.

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Quite surprising how different this example is from life over here in the UK, where virtually everyone is an office worker!

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Lady Saiga replied on Tue, Nov 13 2012 12:50 PM

Snort.  So you guys don't produce anything over there?  I'm joking, BTW. 

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Not really, no. Finance is the UK's major industry by and large, coupled with other service industries. It isn't really too different to the US in that regard but I guess there are different cultural views on who does what over there.

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I can see that.  The jobs I'm referring to are ALL service jobs, after all; neither the car dealership nor the medical supply company produce anything either.  Rationally there's not much difference between any of the jobs; nevertheless, I can't think of a single office I've worked in where men are doing the basic clerical work.  The truth is, it would be hard to support a family on this income and I do live in the South, where a good proportion of men anticipate being the main bread winner and a good proportion of women anticipate never working at all.  Clerical jobs (in spite of my Bachelor's) don't require much education or experience, so when a woman finds she has to work after all, these are the jobs she goes in for.  Or in my case, when she buys herself an education that fits her for no jobs at all!

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