Home Economics They're Mad, Entirely, Quite, Quite, Mad

They’re Mad, Entirely, Quite, Quite, Mad

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If you decide to go off and reorganise the world well, good luck to you. But it might be useful to acknowledge reality before doing so. Thus a reorganisation of the cider industry based upon the idea that apples fall up out of trees isn’t going to work well. A reorganisation of the entire economy on the basis that we should abolish profit, shoot the bourgeoisie and all will work for the funz of it has been tried a number of times and hasn’t worked anywhere.

We can even try looking at who gets paid what for their work but if we’re barking mad over what is the definition of value then we’re not going to do well. Which is why these people are quite, quite, mad:

Instead of “equal pay for equal work,” supporters of pay equity call for “equal pay for work of equal value,” or “comparable worth.” They ask us to consider whether a female-dominated occupation such as nursing home aide, for instance, is really so different from a male-dominated one, such as corrections officer, when both are physically exhausting, emotionally demanding, and stressful — and if not, why is the nursing home aide paid so much less? In the words of New Zealand’s law, the pay scale for women should be “determined by reference to what men would be paid to do the same work abstracting from skills, responsibility, conditions and degrees of effort.”

Value is defined by the recipient of the goods and or services. This is fundamental and isn’t something that can be changed or ignored. The aim of having an economy is to increase the utility of us folks out here. Utility is, again fundamentally, defined by what we out here think it is.

There is no objective manner of determining the worth of Simon Cowell. It is possible to note that large numbers of people find that his activities produce utility. That’s just the way our species works.

So, what is it that these people are trying to do? Find some manner of determining worth other than what people themselves think it is worth. Which isn’t going to work because it’s ignoring that base point, what it is that determines worth – what people think it is worth.

This is before we even get to the comparators they’re using. Which is to try and look at the effort that has to be made to do the job and so align pay with that. Effort here in the larger sense, of qualifications, time, difficulty and so on. Jobs which require more such effort should be paid more. Jobs which require the same effort should be paid the same. That’s the claim.

OK. So, hand planting rice seedlings, only getting a break when nipping behind a hedge to give birth, that’s pretty tough work. All jobs that are easier than that should be paid less then, right? Which does show us the problem with this method of evaluating the “worth” of a job.

It isn’t, ever, the effort that goes into the production that matters. It’s the value of the output that does. Because that’s what value is, something determined in consumption, not production.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Why shouldn’t corrections officers & nursing home aides be paid the same? Hmm, well, only one of these jobs involves the risk of being assaulted or killed by your charges. Just for starters.

    • A friend who worked in the prison service simply as catering manager recalls being speared by a broomstick embedded with razor blades, and nearly dying of poisoning when gifted an inmate-baked birthday cake in which the main ingredient appears to have been cannabis. He then did move into the care home sector, and spent his last 20 years NOT being assaulted. These people are mot just mad mad mad. They are bad too.

  2. I’ll pay a female corrections officer exactly the same as a male corrections officer doing the same work; and I’ll pay a female nursing aide exactly the same as a male nursing aide doing the same work. And surely that’s exactly what the new law is demanding ‘ the pay scale for women should be “determined by reference to what men would be paid to do the same work” ‘

    I don’t care what you keep inside your pants, you get paid for the work you do.

    • I agree with you.

      Of course, in the good old days, male pay was supposed to allow them to support a wife and family. These days we feel that two can live as cheaply as one. Or perhaps that the lazy bint should work as well, instead of loafing at home doing housework.

      Somehow I feel that my insight into olden times is totally unacceptable to the female populace.

  3. I visited New Zealand for the first time last year and enjoyed it enormously. It will be interesting to return when they open the border in 2030 and see how the nannying autocracy has worked out for them.

  4. How easy is it to recruit suitable correction officers or suitable nursing home aids? You’ll probably have to pay a ‘premium’ for jobs few people want to do, whatever the skills, responsibility, conditions and degrees of effort.

    Plus we know from our own experience (or history) that formal ‘pay restraint’ soon collapses as each union tries to maintain or increase its members ‘differentials’.

  5. This is sound common sense. Politicians, journalists, lobby-ists, left wing academics (Oh! That’s all of them) and their ilk can all be paid zero, willy-nilly of gender, colour, orientation or preference. Just let the rest of us get on with it

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