For most of humankind’s existence, food has been a source of fuel, of calories. Humans as hunter-gatherers had to live on whatever meat they could catch, what berries they could collect, what grains and grasses they could find, and what fish or shellfish they could extract from the water’s edge. Food was simply a source of calories; it was about survival. The average diet of a poor person consisted for thousands of years of gruel. This is a grain which might be rice, barley or millet, boiled with water and perhaps a little milk.…See More
Kevin Williamson used to be at the National Review where he did some excellent pieces. His work on the small towns of Appalachia – the solution being that they should empty out and rot away – was very good reporting however one might dislike the conclusion. I liked that conclusion myself but it takes all kinds, right? He moved on to the Atlantic and he’d not had time to wear the letters off his new keyboard before he was fired.…See More
Or perhaps we should say that he imposition of quotas in Norway concerning the number of women on company boards seems not to have been able to overcome the disincentive effects of a deep and generous welfare state.
It’s not exactly a new finding that incentives matter. And if you’ve a more generous welfare state concerning motherhood and the raising of children then would we really be surprised that this leads to fewer people trying to climb the greasy pole at work?…See More
Quite the most annoying thing concerning the current furore over the gender pay gap is that the explanations of why it exists are now, finally, zeroing in why it actually exists. As horrible little neoliberals like myself have been pointing out for a couple of decades now. It’s not really anything about the world of work itself, it’s not discrimination by employers, it all stems from the manner in which people organise their own lives. Specifically, it’s about the arrival of children, who cares for them, who thinks they will care for them when they arrive and so on.…See More
This is actually quite marvellous, The Guardian’s report on the gender pay gap figures. For we’ve one just gorgeous little note:
In sport Millwall Holdings, the parent of the Millwall Football Club reported a pay gap of 80% in the hours before the deadline.
Hmm, would it be possible for us to explain this? Quite possibly, yes. The highly paid people in a football club are the football players. Maybe the manager and coach as well, but it’ll be the playing squad.…See More
I think the answer is probably yes, we can conclude that Danny Dorling is an idiot. Which is a pity, given that he’s Professor of Human Geography at Oxford these days. Pity to have a fool in a position so eminent.
For he ask us something about the gender pay gap in a letter to The Guardian:
… See More
Anne Davey and Kathy Winrow of the Oxford Diocesan School Trust (ODST) claim that their trusts “have a gender pay gap because we offer employment that is part-time and term-time only” (Letters, 29 March).
The BBC has announced that it will have gender equality in expert voices that appear on its shows. This is something of a problem for it’s not immediately obvious that there is in fact gender equality out there in each and every sector of expertise. So, should actual expertise be sacrificed at the altar of equality? Or does that desire to show that women can and do indeed do everything men do trump the BBC’s ability to get actual experts on the air?…See More
A fixation with equality leads us to examine possible ‘gaps’ in outcomes. Is there, for example, a gender pay gap, in which women are paid less than men for doing the same or equivalent work? If there is, then it is something we might fix. If, however, it is only an earnings gap in which women, although paid the same, prefer to work fewer hours, then it might be merely a lifestyle choice that does not need to be fixed.…See More
As the UK slides unto another long weekend of days off in the rain and traffic jams headed for the coasts, attention turns once again to the question of whether we do this right.
The aim was laudable enough. When John Lubbock, himself a banker, introduced the Bank Holiday Bill in 1871, the aim was to add statutory holidays. If banks were closed and no financial transactions could take place, other workers would also gain a day off.…See More
It really would be helpful if people who used certain economic phrases grasped what those phrases meant. So it is with opportunity cost. It’s a vital economic concept, number two on our very short list of the two important things about economics. There are always opportunity costs, reality does not allow us to escape them. Assuming, and assuming only, that we have a choice, then there will be an opportunity cost. The only time there is not such a cost is when we have no choice.…See More