Wednesday, 5 March 2008


I am counting and it makes me angry. The earning disparity which exists between men and women is exactly the same as that which existed centuries ago - ancient parish records show that men earned a third more than women. The rationale behind this (and I did not make this up) was that women needed less food and didn't support families. A social constant which I am positive is the reason for the differential - earnings. "Feminised" jobs are valued at less than "masculine" jobs. Think of our nurses, teachers and social workers.

I noticed that the Council of Trade Unions secretary, Carol Beaumont said that women had higher rates of downward wage mobility while men were more upwardly mobile - pay rates. There are, she said, twice as many women as men holding multiple jobs. Probably as women are juggling families with work.


As usual I can't resist making the contrarian point. I recently heard from a noted N.Z. unionist on Nat Rad that women's remuneration was in the order of $0.60 in the "male" $1.00.

If you believe that one way or another all people end up with similar levels of wealth, regardless of how it is earned you have to conclude that there is a huge money transfer going on here.... I stress money transfer not wealth.

So somebody with a very red neck could argue that the rate of male subsidy of women is about 40%.

Nonsense of course for two reasons:

- there are myriad agreements, trades, trade offs, recipricol deals and the like done between the genders (just as there are within the genders) every day which result in mutual benefit.

- second, and this is the proof, while the genders war to get a little more of what they like and a little less of what they don't at the margin, they remain in this relationship of mutual collaboration as they have done for centuries when, if they wished, they could lead much more separate, gender based hatred ridden lives.

Evidently - something works.

Oh and the subsidy rate has diminished in recent years.... apparently, according to the same unionist woman's percent in the dollar has risen to around $0.80.