Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good news on supposed "paycheck fairness"

The Republicans plus Ben Nelson were able to kill off the "paycheck fairness" bill that I blogged about a couple of days ago. The WSj reminds us what an awful bill this was.
The reality is that the bill would have rewritten labor law to equalize putative wage disparities between men and women, imposing big new costs on hiring as employers would have to comply with a raft of new regulations about their compensation decisions. What "equal pay" advocates call the male-female wage gap, to the extent it continues to exist, is mostly an artifact of occupational choices and the composition of the workforce.

The bill was also a bouquet to the trial bar. Businesses would have to prove their pay practices weren't the result of workplace bias. It also automatically drafted women as plaintiffs in class actions when lawyers sue employers.
Even the Maine ladies didn't vote for this awful bill. But a couple of Democrats facing tough reelection fights in 2012 such as Jon Tester of Montana and Jim Webb of Virginia did. They might be hoping that voters won't know what a needless jobkiller the bill was and just buy into the nice name, "Paycheck Fairness." Expect more liberal demagoguery that ignores the facts of the supposed gender gap in pay. Those Republicans who run for office in 2012 should be able to explain to voters that the supposed gap is an artifact of voluntary choices that many women make about choosing jobs and careers that give them time to raise children.