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National distrust is only furthered by suggestion

August 18, 2012
The Inter-Mountain


A recent editorial in The Inter-Mountain was based on the contention that women make 77 cents for every $1 a man makes, an idea brought up by the president this year and included in the current campaign by the Democratic Party.

While the data upon which this statistic is based has not been provided and is questionable, the issue itself only serves to increase dissension between men and women in our society. The idea does not even relate to the majority of the labor force with millions of people unemployed and a large percentage of those who are employed making the minimum wage regardless of gender. Most salaries for jobs in government and large corporations are determined by education and years of service, and not gender.

Any disparity in wages in these areas would be due to overtime and negotiated salaries affecting a small percentage of the total labor force and may reflect other factors than gender discrimination.

Disparities that occur in such things as professional sports, entertainment, self-employment and capital investments would be due to market demand and not discrimination.

If the statistic suggests that men make more money than women because they work longer hours than women, it is more than likely a remnant of the traditional family unit in which the wife was a stay-at-home mom while the husband was the "bread-winner" for the family, an economic unit that when objectively studied is probably superior to the more popular economies of today.

The statistic apparently does not account for the fact that many men with high incomes have a stay-at-home wife who share equally in the utility of his income which should be treated as income made by them as a team and not solely by him.

For several reasons the buying power of the wages of men in this county has been declining for decades. To suggest that somehow men are part of some broad conspiracy to exploit women in the labor force serves no positive purpose and only increases distrust among the citizens of our nation.

Bill Rice




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