Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Waking Sleeping Dogs

Susan Estrich is trying to wake up the women of America to the "fact" that women are still grossly underpaid in comparison to men. Larry Elder made this wonderful point yesterday on his show: If this is true, then why don’t the same greedy corporate big-wigs who hate the minimum wage so much, simply fire all the men and hire women? Wouldn’t there be more money in the pot for themselves in the end? And now that women comprise more than half of all college graduates, shouldn’t this be a fairly easy task for corporate execs?

And isn’t it interesting that her "solutions" to this problem always seem to involve clever ways of forcing people to do things that nature and circumstance does not otherwise incline them to do: convince more female doctors to go into high paying specialties (rather than work as OBGYNs or pediatricians); or demand higher salaries for those specialties that do not pay as well. That ought to do wonders for lowering skyrocketing medical costs! Sorry, Susan. I’m not losing any sleep over this "travesty." I’m too worried about the damage of your proposed fixes!

Discussions - 11 Comments

Well, on the points in that first paragraph... ruthless and greedy as a corporation may be, it’s still run by people with prejudices and hatreds. A guy has an argument with his wife and BANG! Jane doesn’t get her raise.

Plus, you fire all the men and hire women; women are therefore in increased demand, can charge more, and you’re right back where you started. This is already happening in India with outsourcing.

Are you suggesting then, that Jane should pick a bone with the wife of her boss? Sisters unite?! Tell the wives to be nice to their boss husbands?

Most of this "wage gap" can be explained by concentration of college major, job interruptions, age structure, and other variables having nothing to do with gender discrimination. This is just more special pleading to use the machinery of government to take from some people and give to others (along with the power shift this entails). And the more the Democrats do it, the faster they will be out in the cold darkness...again.

My retort to this "wage gap" claim is simply this: Show me a case where a woman is getting paid less than a male co-worker doing the same job. Show me. And then when you show me, explain why you’re not filing a lawsuit."

Seriously ... if this is such a problem, and there are verifiable cases, why aren’t the courts clogged with suits?

Julie, I’m not suggesting that Jane go after the bosses wife; just that Larry Elder was being glib.

As to why women aren’t suing more - women are taught to not make trouble and to cooperate, or they get shouted down like, say, Susan Estritch.

Daniel K wrote: "As to why women aren’t suing more - women are taught to not make trouble and to cooperate, or they get shouted down like, say, Susan Estritch."

Yep. So are trial lawyers, who are, as a class, shrinking violets. If the world was full of such outrageous violations of law, the lawyers -- being quiet church-mouse folks -- will shirk away. That’s what they do, you know.

". . . just that Larry Elder was being glib." Memo to Danny K: So was I. Oh, sorry, now I have to shrink away as I’ve been taught.

That’s a good girl, Julie.

OMG Don, you’re right! There have never been any lawsuits of this kind! If only I’d reviewed the legal journals before I posted!

Dan ... nope, not a one. :-)

My point, of course, is that if indeed women all across America were being paid some fraction of their male counterparts for the same work and the same level of experience and skill, then either the women themselves would be filing suits by the boatload or, if they were shrinking away, the trial lawyers would be doing it on their behalf in the form of class action suits.

I’ll go further ... even if no "wage gap" truly existed but the trial lawyers thought it possible to gin up a class action based on whatever "evidence" existed ... they’d do it. The fact the trial lawyers haven’t swarmed all over this is, to me, the most compelling evidence that the "problem" doesn’t really exist. They’ll exploit anything they think can make them money.

They must not think they can make money on this. It should be a target-rich environment. Poor, helpless women being exploited by deep-pocket corporate America. A few "Oprah Moments" on the stand and the jury would crumble.

But the trial lawyers haven’t rattled their sabres over this. Lots of huffing and puffing by feminists but not one exploitive, slimey trial lawyer has crawled out from under the rock to sniff at it.

It ain’t a problem.

Don, you have a point about the rapaciousness of trial lawyers. The truth probably lies somewhere between your position and Ms. Estrich’s.

"The truth probably lies somewhere between your position and Ms. Estrich’s.

I’ll freely admit that I’m being somewhat cavalier about the lack of trial lawyer spittle being proof positive that no issue exists. However, I refuse to concede even a fraction of Ms. Estrich’s point ... because I don’t believe she has a point. Did you read her article? What exactly is she saying? Here’s what:

  • I assert there is a problem
  • I dismiss arguments to the contrary
  • I call for action; mostly unspecified but I offer a few vague points about "recruiting more women" and "looking at wage scales"

And that’s it. It’s one of the most senseless and banal articles I’ve read in some time. And that’s a shame, because I’ve seen Estrich in action and she is capable of some rather astute observations and arguments.

But not this time.

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