As President Obama ordered new changes for federal contractor compensation practices in a bid to boost transparency surrounding women’s pay, his top spokesman defended the pay disparities that still exist between men and women working at the White House.
The president, during an event Tuesday at the White House, signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay. He also directed the Labor Department to issue new rules requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data that includes a breakdown by race and gender.
“Pay secrecy fosters discrimination,” Obama said. [Source FoxNews.com 4/8/14]
Should employers be allowed to retaliate against employees merely for asking for a raise? Of course not, reply the faceless masses. What could be wrong with that? If something sounds right, then of course there should always be a law.
Yet what does “retaliate” mean? What does “retaliation” consist of, in practice? The law leaves it to implication. What this means, in practice, is that any disgruntled employee, after the fact, may claim, “My employer retaliated against me. Prosecute now!”
If the prosecution process is remotely rational, nobody will be able to get away with an arbitrary claim, in the end. But we all know that judges, courts, juries and other legal bodies are not always rational or fair. Regardless of that, the accused employer will have to sacrifice time (which in business means money) and pay legal expenses simply to prove his innocence, assuming that the legal process will prove fair and just.
Clearly, such laws can only have one intention. That intention is to put employers (translation: evil capitalists) on the defensive, and give employees rights and entitlements which are paid for by others.
The fact that the White House itself does not enforce these laws, and has no intention of doing so, should clue you in–right there–to the fact that the law has no rational or tenable basis. In short, politicians are happy to impose arbitrary or vague requirements on private contractors (or all of the private sector, if they can pass it); but they feel no responsibility to impose those same impossible, unjust requirements on themselves.
This is what happens when you put into positions of high power people like Obama, and others, who have absolutely no business or private sector experience whatsoever. While plenty of politicians who used to be in the private sector have signed similarly unfair or non-objective laws, placing people with no business experience in government guarantees a flood of them — done in the righteous and arrogant spirit of the Obama administration as well as most of our Congress, who repeatedly pass laws they have no intention of ever applying to themselves.
As for providing pay and data compensation with breakdown by race and gender, this assumes that no other reason — aside from irrational prejudice — could be the cause of having non equal numbers of various demographic groups represented in various jobs.
Try running your own business. Your concern is constantly with staying alive, making a profit and — if you’re really good at what you do — providing the best product or service possible. You don’t have the time to worry about people’s gender or ethnicity, whether it’s to indulge some irrational prejudice or to meet some arbitrary quota.
These ridiculous laws, quotas and requirements only get in the way of the rational thinking required to properly run and sustain any business.
Armchair ideological anti-capitalists can whine and complain all they want about the “inequity and unfairness of capitalism” and all the other baloney we hear about on a daily basis from our elected officials, media and academic elites. The fact remains: Running a business is hard, and the regulations we impose on it only makes it harder and less profitable for everyone — including the employees who ultimately pay the price for these stupid, politically motivated edicts.
Atlas will eventually shrug. In fact, it’s happening gradually, right before our very eyes, as the number of employed people keeps dropping along with our barely registering economic growth. [See, for example, the Wall Street Journal online 4/4/14, “The Decline of Work” about how unemployment figures mask the number of people giving up on work completely.] They say you can kill a frog slowly, without it ever realizing what’s happening as you snuff out its life. That’s what a majority of us are permitting our government (elected and non-elected officials) to do to our private economy.
If you want the benefits of capitalism, you’ve got to accept the conditions which capitalism requires. This includes the ability to make judgments about hiring and firing.
If labor is truly your goal, defined as the proliferation of jobs in an always expanding employees’ market, then you ought to oppose labor laws on principle. Our stagnant/declining economy isn’t good for anyone, other than (it seems) for the politicians who profit by stifling it at every turn.
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