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Liberals shocked! – John Roberts is not a Marxist

Yahoo News reports “Roberts scoffed at equal-pay theory“:

As an assistant White House counsel in 1984, John Roberts scoffed at the notion that men and women should earn equal pay in jobs of comparable importance, and he belittled three female Republican members of Congress who promoted that idea to the Reagan administration.

But this is not an honest portrayal of the opposition to a proposed “comparable worth” policy. The real issue is who decides what an individual should be paid by their employer — their employer, or some federal bureaucrat in Washington. In a free society, the federal government doesn’t tell private employers what to pay their employees.

Of course the comparison of the national average earnings for women and men is essentially meaningless. If an apples-to-apples comparison is done, comparing men and women in the same field, with the same education background, the same number of uninterrupted years on the job, etc., then the average earnings for men and women are substantially the same. Women choose lower paying fields (social worker rather than engineer, for example) more often than men do. That affects the average. Women choose to take time off to raise children more often than men do. That affects the average too. The fact some fields earn more than others is not evidence of gender-based discrimination.

The lefties are in a tizzy about the bombshell that Roberts doesn’t support outright socialism in America:

Kevin Drum at The Washington Monthly writes: “Occam’s razor suggests that the White House must consider the stuff they’re holding back to be more embarrassing than a memo criticizing comparable worth as “radical.” That’s a scary thought.”

It’s scary that Roberts supports the free market in America? Really? Come on. It is a radical idea that federal bureaucrats should set wage rates. This isn’t France or the Soviet Union.

Kos at The Daily Kos headlines one post “Roberts’ support of gender bias” and in a subsequent post opines, “It is simply unacceptable for a Supreme Court possibility to ridicule the notion of gender equity in the workplace as a “radical redistributive concept”. There’s clearly nothing radical with equal pay for equal work…”

But of course this is blatant dishonesty (par for the course, we know). Roberts didn’t object to “gender equity in the workplace.” The objection, again, is to federal bureaucrats setting wage rates for private employers. This isn’t Cuba or communist China.

Judd at the Think Progress blog says, “…in a 1984 memo, Roberts argued wasn’t anything wrong with the fact that women earned 60 percent of what men did for the same work.”

Again, this is spreading the same disingenuous line. This is America, not Sweden. We believe in freedom here. (Well, some of us still do.) It is not the job of the government to compare different jobs and decide which ones are of “comparable worth” and then dictate that those jobs should pay the same.

Opposition to federal intervention in the labor market does not equate to support for purposeful wage discrimination based on gender. If these liberals want to espouse Marxist economic policies for America, they ought to at least do so honestly. Trying to smear Robersts as some kind of misogynist is simply not honest.

More from Professor Bainbridge and Confirm Them.

posted by: The Editors @ 1:03 pm August 16, 2005

1 Comment

  1. […] The Washington Post mirrors a left-wing activist group talking point by portraying John Roberts’ opposition to quasi-Marxist “comparable worth” policies as opposition to “women’s rights.” (We previously discussed the “comparable worth” issue here.) […]

    Pingback by The Unalienable Right » WaPo editorial non-editorial: “comparable worth” = “women’s rights” — August 19, 2005 @ 8:48 am August 19, 2005

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