STUPIDITY SQUARED!

I’ll explain STUPIDITY SQUARED at the end of this piece. For now, let’s just stick with some critical logic relative to the seemingly perpetual pay equality hissy fit.

Some people are paid more than others, even in identical job classifications. It requires enforcing a strict confidentiality of salary rule. It’s nothing new; it’s been going on for decades in this country. And gender has nothing to do with it.

On the other hand—and it’s a demonstrable fact—women, generally, are paid less at entry level—between 12 and 18% less—than males are paid for the same entry level jobs.

But these are two DIFFERENT issues. The former involves earned pay raises based on job performance, while the latter is pay discrimination based purely on gender.

The latter involves legitimate discrimination-based civil suits wherein anyone—male or female—has a legal right to initiate a formal challenge to salary and wage differences based on gender.

The latter issue, confidentiality of salary, applies ONLY to the PRIVATE sector, and generally involves non-exempt employees—but can be expanded to include ALL employees.

The basis for this is purely fundamental; it’s virtually impossible to manage a pay/promotional system based on specific job performance when everyone knows what everyone else is earning. And the courts have upheld this point for DECADES.

In contrast, this kind of system is impossible to administer in the public sector for a very simple reason: whenever people are paid from the PUBLIC till, the PUBLIC has a right to know how much.

In fact, newspapers in many states—Delaware included, through The News Journal—publish public sector salaries annually.

In the public sector, legislative bodies (state, county, and local levels), decide whether or not to grant pay raises to ALL employees (discounting legal unions and their specific rules).

And if granted, all non-unionized employees receive the same percent pay increase.

But once employees reach 100% of pay grade, the only increase they’ll receive is an across-the-board cost of living increase . . . IF the applicable legislative assembly grants one.

The bottom line is, that as long as the public has the right to know what it’s paying public employees, it’s going to remain impossible to grant pay raises based on performance. END! OF! CONVERSATION!

However, pay differences based on gender bias—whether in the public OR private sector—should have been declared illegal decades ago. If women are as qualified to hold a job—in ALL respects—as their male counterparts, they should be paid the same at entry level.

Nowadays, gender bias in pay generally does NOT happen within the public sector. But more often than not, it DOES happen in the private sector. And in spite of the once touted “greatness” of a federally introduced bill called the “Paycheck Fairness Act, nothing is actually going to change.

It was approved in the U. S. House in January 2009. It failed in the Senate in November 2010, in June 2012, and in April 2014. It’s still nothing but a BILL, and as of this date, it will probably die.

But it doesn’t matter. Even if it were to pass in the next 5-minutes, by time it had reached a final vote, the resultant LAW would not have come close to the spirit in which it was first introduced as a BILL.

And just as with EVERY bill the U. S. Congress enacts into law, this one would have been loaded down with myriad generalized and highly interpretive EXEMPTIONS.

And it will have accomplished only two things: the usual conning of the American people, and a horde of windbag politicians, as always, getting to PRETEND that they had accomplished something meaningful! Business as USUAL!

So why the STUPIDITY SQUARED title to this piece? And yes, I realize that it’s easier said than accomplished. Nevertheless, it needs to be accomplished as soon as possible.

Currently, women make up about 18% of the United States Congress (both Houses combined). Yet they make up 50.5% of the general population. We need a much more balanced female representation in Congress.

Empirical evidence states that a major tenet of group dynamics—defined as any group charged with working towards a common goal or goals—is that group accomplishments do not correlate to the average INTELLECTUAL IQ of the group; they correlate to the average EMOTIONAL IQ of the group.

So a group with an average intellectual IQ, combined with an above average group emotional IQ, will accomplish more in a shorter period than a group with an average genius-level intellectual IQ, combined with a below average group emotional IQ, will accomplish over a much more protracted period.

More women members would force a lot of positive changes in Congress. There would be far less male posturing, for one thing. And the nation’s default political response (“ready! FIRE! aim!”) to virtually every foreign and domestic crisis would quickly change, for another thing.

And with a much more even gender representation in Congress, how much endless debate involving women’s rights to contraception do you think would come to a screeching halt?

I’m just sayin’ . . .

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