Saturday, December 11, 2010

What was that about a pay gap?

In the UK women in their 20s are now earning on average 2.1% more than young men. The small gap swings the other way for women in their 30s: they earn on average just 2.9% less than men.

So will the authorities now give up pushing the issue of the pay gap? It seems not:

A spokesman for the Government Equalities Office said: ‘The narrowing of the gender pay gap is very welcome but it still remains too large, which is why the Government is committed to promoting equal pay and taking measures to end discrimination in the workplace.’

So despite the fact that young women are earning more than their male counterparts, the state is still going to intervene on the assumption that women are the victims of discrimination. But not everyone agrees:

The insistence that the Government must act to close a pay gap that, for many women, no longer exists brought a scathing response from some critics.

Economist Ruth Lea, of the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said: ‘There is no pay gap for women who do not have children, and for women under the age of 40 the gap is now trivial.

‘We always knew that single women were paid just as well as men. The idea that women are discriminated against was always a fantasy. I think the equality lobby will be running out of things to say.’
Given that women are increasingly dominating the higher education system, the young female pay advantage is likely to grow. And this has some potentially negative consequences. Women are generally hypergamous: they prefer to form families with men they consider as high up, or higher up, in the social scale as they are. But if women in their 20s do increasingly better than men, then where is the supply of male partners for women going to come from?

Perhaps what will happen is that numbers of highly educated, professional women will date "non-seriously" in their 20s, before having to settle for a non-professional man in their 30s.

In any event, family formation is likely to be disrupted.

For men, it's important not to be demoralised by what's happening. When the women around you are high flying careerists, it can be difficult to see the point of making the sacrifices needed to take on a traditional provider role. But a lot of these women will lose their gung ho commitment to careers either when they become mothers or after they've spent years in the work force. And those men who have stayed the course and moved ahead at work will then have put themselves in a strong position.

24 comments:

  1. Also if both parties are high flying professionals who will fulfill the role of the "wife"? Gillard when asked what her partner would do in the lodge said simply, and as if it was an obvious, "he'll support me". Who supports who when both are high flyers? Is this where the maids and nannies etc come in?

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  2. Lets assume another thing. Say working full tilt and making a relationship work isn't easy in this day and age, because of slightly uncertain or contradictory expectations. So we then have a situation where relationships are hard. This goes hand in hand with people being arguably less well suited for relationships. Despite the much touted increased sensitivity people today generally lack discipline, impulse control and often empathy for others. This is a result of individualism, self indulgence, and the rights agenda.

    How then can people seriously not expect to be divorced? Its almost natural now for people to say, "Oh this is my second wife" or whatever without raising an eyebrow. I had a mate who quite casually said in a half joking manner, I expect to be married by this age, divorced by this age, and then marry again and live as a dink (dual income no kids) by this age.

    This seems an astounding cultural acceptance.

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  3. In engineering, women are often paid more than their male counterparts for doing less/easier work.

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  4. Lets raise another thing, "house husbands". Assuming that this is what women want, how much pressure should there be on men to do this? No doubt there will be some men who want to do it. A feminist argument might run that, we aren't really equal because men aren't culturally expected to stay at home with the kids like women. There shouldn't be maternity leave, there should be paternity leave etc.

    Men will presumably have to have some "retraining" to accept this newly defined role of equal child raiser. What if they don't want to do it? Will this make it hard for career women to find spouses? Or will this be another strain on the family?

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  5. Umm... Women don't want that. Even the women who say that want that, don't want that.

    On that note, I wonder if a part of the decline in men's wages is the result of more men earning zero wages. Is that taken into account in the statistics? How are they compiled?

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  6. Also if both parties are high flying professionals who will fulfill the role of the "wife"?

    Good question. I think that's one reason why some women end up working a "double shift" even if they have the resources to outsource domestic work. They don't want to collapse their life into a traditionally masculine role. They still want to preserve part of the female role of wife and mother as an aspect of their own identity as women.

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  7. I wonder if a part of the decline in men's wages is the result of more men earning zero wages.

    As I understand it, they compared men and women earning a full-time wage. So the men who have dropped out or postponed paid work don't skewer the statistics.

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  8. But the double shift comes with a grudge against men, I work harder than him etc. Women don't want to give up all of their domestic roles but that doesn't stop them complaining

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  9. What would ever stop us from complaining? We like to complain. I guess we would stop complaining if we were having sex with someone else.

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  10. Haha. When I work I generally like to do so at a high standard. The attitude of my mother or my sister might be "just get it done" or near enough is close enough. This is a fine attitude if you have a lot of tasks and you need to do them all to a reasonable level, ie the double shift mentality. However, that's not an attitude suited to real excellence.

    Its important that "male" attitudes to work, which have historically included high standards, continue to operate.

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  11. Hmm on the point about complaining that is a serious issue, because when women complain men frequently listen, and it can send a chill through them, especially say if its your mother. If you're brought up primarily by a mother, which is usual, and as a son you're subjected to complaints about "men generally", this can explain in part a lot of the touchiness of men around women.

    Assange is a good example, he appears to have been brought up by a dominate mother, therefore I'd have no problem believing that he would act like a tool with women he was hitting on.

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  12. Just to clarify, he'd come across as a goody goody or softie, then he'd arc up and have a bit more of a resentful streak. Arm chair psychoanalysis is fun.

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  13. I've just been reading a report on student loan repayments in New Zealand, which shows women in their 20s rare epaying their loans as easily as men. This further suggests that women in their 20s don't have a pay disadvantage.

    Ethnic differences however are huge, with 45 percent of Pacific Islanders unable to make any headway in paying back student loans 10 years after graduating.

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  14. I think the whole pay inequality argument has been well and truly debunked. If men go for more highly skilled jobs, or more highly in demand jobs, so what, that's not pay inequality. If women leave the workforce to raise children, that's also not pay inequality. Its a ridiculous statistic if you ask me.

    Should women be paid full wages whilst they raise children? Is this where the argument is leads to? Too much social tampering with pay ultimately raises the question of where does the money come from.

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  15. Plus there was a study out of the UK a couple years back showing that while men were not usually that bothered with a woman earning more than them, it was a MASSIVE problem for a small majority of the women polled.

    So regardless of other factors, the males that make it to the top of the tree early are going to have a large advantage in the meat market.

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  16. "And those men who have stayed the course and moved ahead at work will then have put themselves in a strong position"

    Question is though, why would they even care about the women who have been throught the ringer?

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  17. This argument again. They have to marry someone so that means either younger girls or foreigners.

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  18. The 38 year old successful professional man is unlikely to have much interest marrying his 38 year old female counterpart, when he can easily marry a more attractive, more fertile, and less competitive 23 year old woman.

    Some men of this age do marry women of similar age, but it's not something women should count on. I know a 40 year old high-flying professional woman who recently got married for the first time (and good luck to her) but she had to get serious and move from San Francisco to Atlanta to find a man. Hanging around Manhattan or Soho won't do it.

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  19. That's fine but the 23 year old has to want to marry the 38 year old.

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  20. "That's fine but the 23 year old has to want to marry the 38 year old."

    Easier than you think....

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  21. Easy, but not really ideal for either party.

    I dated a guy 12 years older, but that was a pretty big maturity gap. And really, most men do seem to prefer women in a similar (but still younger) age range. So a 30 year-old guy would be mostly looking at 20-30 year-old women, not 17 year-olds. For one night maybe, but for the rest of your life?

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  22. And those men who have stayed the course and moved ahead at work will then have put themselves in a strong position.

    Position to what, get ignored? Watch her get knocked up by a thug and marry the government? I know that seems excessively cynical, but in populations (like US Blacks, for example) that have the highest paid women, the disrespect the women have for most of the men is palpable. The women don't bother hiding it, either. The usual pathologies one sees are

    a) she gets pregnant and goes on the dole (marries the government not a man)
    b) she's in an informally polygamous relationship with an alpha thug
    c) gets a government job (which, being minority and female, she has first dibs at) which pays far more than she'd get doing something productive in the private sector
    d) no matter what, she whines about how there are no men good enough for her

    The alpha (obviously) won't commit, so does she choose the solid, reliable middle class guy? Not really her thing. You'd think these men, rare as they are in such populations and thus theoretically desirable, would have the pick of women, but they do not. Hypergamy makes them undesirable, while white leftists endlessly worry about how the family has been destroyed.

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  23. You can live on welfare but wouldn't you rather have a job and have a higher earning potential? This applies with mates too I'm sure most people would want a happy marriage rather than have anonymous affairs and single motherhood. The black welfare situation is a bit of an exception because as I understand it the women can be quite aggressive and the men likely to be deadbeats. So I don't think that applies across the board to all classes.

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  24. randian
    The alpha (obviously) won't commit, so does she choose the solid, reliable middle class guy? Not really her thing. You'd think these men, rare as they are in such populations and thus theoretically desirable, would have the pick of women, but they do not. Hypergamy makes them undesirable, while white leftists endlessly worry about how the family has been destroyed.

    I think you accidentally spelled the word "celebrate" as "worry". Nowhere do I see white leftists worrying about the family; rather, I keep running across either indifference, or active celebration at the destruction of "patriarchy" and the creation of "new, fluid, flexible" arrangements.

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