One thing we’ve learned from the Gender Pay Gap nonsense is that progressives feel that someone doing the same job as someone else should get the same pay.
Putting aside whether we think this is a good idea in principle, let’s look at some of the practical difficulties of achieving it.
For one, what is “the same job”? David Beckham was “a footballer” and so is my cousin Nathan who plays for a team in the Second Division. Should they get paid the same?
Tom Hanks is “an actor” but so is Danny Dyer (arguably) – should they be paid the same?
Kendall Jenner is a model. So are hundreds of young women. All paid the same?
So there’s a problem – paying people based on “the job they do” is sometimes not easy.
Now the second problem – freedom to negotiate.
If I see a job advertised for £25,000, am I free to ask them for more because it’s a long commute with an expensive train ticket? Of course I am.
If it offers “£25,000 – £30,000”, am I free to ask for £32,000 because I think I’m worth it?
We should all be free to offer our services in exchange for pay as we see fit, and all employers should be free to offer remuneration as they see fit.
This freedom comes with a price of course.
Offer too little, and you’ll have no workers (or no good ones)
Demand too much, and you’ll have no job.
On the Left, they call this prejudice. The rest of us call it a labour market.
And once you’ve worked somewhere for a while and feel like you’ve proved your worth, can you ask for a pay rise? If a man asks for one and is granted one by his boss, must all his female co-workers now get one too? Otherwise, won’t discrepancies re-emerge as people demand raises, or fail to?
Doesn’t that mean that a company has to consider all other workers when granting someone a pay rise – can they pay Mary an extra £2000 and not tell the others, or does Mary have to wait until the company can afford to pay twenty people £2,000 each before she is given a raise?
This is insane.
Thirty years ago there were lots of low-skilled jobs in the West and young people did them. Then we realised that poor people in the developing world had the same skills and would do the work for a fraction of the pay. So we outsourced the jobs and in the process we allowed millions of people to transition from back-breaking work in the baking sunshine and double their wages doing much safer work in a call centre. They can now feed their families and the work still gets done – if anyone here in the West wants to do that work, must they do it for the same wage?
Why should a British woman get £7 an hour to work in a call centre when an Indian man will do the same work for £1 an hour?
So, British women in call centres should get the same pay as Indian men in call centres – £1 an hour?
Remember, these are some of the consequences of THEIR proposals – that people doing the same work should get the same pay.
Only someone working in the public sector could think this way.