24.10.04

HE JUST TALKED ME OUT OF IT. Senator Kerry gave the Democratic Party's weekly radio policy statement Saturday morning (when I find a transcript I will run an extra post providing the link to it.) His focus was on pay, and he repeated the canard from the third debate about women earning 76 cents for each dollar earned by men. He also raised an argumentum ad misericordiam involving single moms earning minimum wage as part of a promise to raise the minimum wage, and made reference to "pay equity."

Great. No point in doing any work on the returns to education or to labor force participation; that work will simply be dismissed (the Senator was scornful of one of President Bush's advisors who raised that point. That's why I want the transcript.) At the beginning of the Clinton administration, P.J. O'Rourke complained that we were being governed "by a dorm-room bull session." Correct, a bull session from the late 1960s or early 1970s, and those cliches had worn thin by 1992; they have not improved with further aging. We can look forward to a panel of Social Handicappers to work out the "comparable worth" of differing jobs ... or a lot of time lost in Congress debating such foolishness. And we might see some minimum-wage moms get a pay hike, and others let go (perhaps low marginal productivity includes having some slack cut for emergencies with the kids?)

What we'll also likely see is mau-mauing of anyone crass enough to ask what any young lady is doing making babies before she's acquired any skills. That tiresome "blaming the victim" argument is annoying enough as a common room conversation topic. I have no interest in seeing that sort of thinking become public policy.

Sorry, Senator Kerry, no vote for you.

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