Thursday, September 15, 2005


Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. She testified on Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding John Roberts nomination as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Her testimony concerned Judge Roberts and the subject of "comparable worth" in regards to equal pay for women in the work force. Here is an excerpt of an article she wrote that first appeared in the New York Sun on August 23, 2005.

"Among the thousands of pages of Reagan-era documents released by the White House on Judge Roberts, one issue that has feminists up in arms is his 1980s opposition to a nonsense economic concept called comparable worth. Comparable worth does not mean equal pay for equal work, which is already law. Instead, comparable worth signifies equal pay for entirely different jobs based on categories determined by government bureaucrats. Comparable worth's supporters claim that it is unfair that some predominantly male occupations - such as construction workers - are paid more than some predominantly female ones - such as teachers.

As Judge Roberts correctly wrote, this amounts to 'nothing less than central planning of the economy.' For better or for worse, our economic system rewards American workers on the basis of how much the public is actually willing to pay for their service, not based on how much bureaucrats say it is worth.

For example, some may say that all classes of singers should be paid the same. But Madonna in our economy commands more in Madison Square Garden than does opera singer Cecilia Bartoli. A government decree that all types of singers should be paid the same not only would be centralized planning - it simply would not work.

Ideological, liberal feminists want comparable worth because, 40 years after the Equal Pay Act, average full-time female workers' wages are about 80% of men's. However, this so-called wage gap is not due to discrimination. Within each job category, men and women with the same skills and experience are paid the same for equal work, as required by law. Individuals who believe that they are being paid less than colleagues for the same work can and do sue."

Click here to read the whole article: Diana Furchtgott-Roth: Roberts Was Right


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