Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Obama Signs on to the Fair Pay Act: Ugh

I want to support Barack Obama. I like him. I think he is very intelligent. He has a lot of charisma. But I worry about his economics. Now I have more reason for concern. Apparently, he has signed on to the Fair Pay Act, which aims to require equal salaries for people in "equivalent" jobs. The theory is that jobs that are disproportionately held by women pay less than jobs that are disproportionately held by men. I have no doubt this is true. Engineering jobs pay more than librarian positions, for example. But so what? From what I can tell, engineering jobs pay more because they require more skill. Maybe this is not a good example for the Fair Pay advocates' cause, but I'm not sure which positions they have in mind. Oh, OK, I'll do a little research. According to Tom Harkin, who introduced the bill, here's an example:
For example, social workers (a female-dominated field) are paid less than probation officers (a male-dominated field) even though both jobs require similar levels of skill, effort, and responsibility.
Wow, that's the example they came up with to make their case? With no further explanation of how these jobs are equivalent? At first glance, I would have to say that probation officers have things tougher, dealing with violent criminals and all.

Anyway, the point is, Obama's support for this kind of thing is making it hard for me to vote for him. I wish he'd talk to his economics advisors about this one.

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