Thomas Sowell on the (So-Called) “Fair Pay Act”

by Don Boudreaux on June 10, 2012

in Entertainment, Hubris and humility, Prices, Reality Is Not Optional

I sincerely wish that the word “fair” could be deleted from all political conversations.  No one this side of sociopathy openly campaigns for unfairness.  The question for all fair-minded (!) people is “what is fair?”  Just because, in your view, reality situation Y is unfair does not prove that Y is indeed unfair.  An equally magnanimous, well-meaning, and fair-minded (!) person might well assess Y to be fair.

But given that my desire that the word “fair” be stricken from political discourse will not be satisfied (How unfair is that!), using the word “fair” is fair-game.  So I accuse proponents of the “Fair Pay Act” of unfairly biasing perceptions in ways that make this proposed piece of unfair legislation appear to be an embodiment of fairness.

The great Thomas Sowell has more.

BTW, porn producers and CEOs must have an unfair and irrational bias against men – the unfair and unjust consequences of which, I presume, the “Fair Pay Act” would correct.  After all, if there isn’t equal monetary pay for what strikes the know-it-all observer as equal work, what could possibly generate any observed differences in monetary pay other than arbitrary prejudice on the part of employers?  I mean, how else to explain the following fact about porn-industry pay (reported by Louis Theroux)?  (HT Alex Tabarrok)

Fees for scenes, not surprisingly, have taken a hit. “Some girls get $600 [£390] for a scene now,” the retired performer JJ Michaels tells me. “It might be $900-$1,000 for a big-name girl. It used to get up to $3,000.” For guys, rates can be $150 or lower.

If popular, man-in-the-street (or editorialist-in-the-New York Times editorial offices) is sound, it must be true that unjustified gender discrimination is on the loose among pornographers.

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