Do you agree with Susan B. Anthony that women should receive equal pay for equal work?

1 Answer
Apr 14, 2018


Sure, if it’s actually equal...


...But Ms. Anthony’s modern peers favor something different these days, “comparable worth.” “Equal pay for equal work” posits a scenario where a man and a woman on the same assembly line are performing the same task, making 100 widgets/hour of identical quality. For that, they deserve identical consideration.

In the modern workplace, men and women don’t typically perform the same tasks. “Comparable worth” theorizes that a secretary should pull down the same salary as a truck driver (Secretaries are usually female and truck drivers generally male). The sad reality is that secretaries are cheaper and easier to replace than truck drivers, and their relative pay scales reflect this.

I worked for five years at a newspaper printing shop. “Julie,” a co-worker, had been there for a long time before me. I had a college degree and she did not, but we both worked as paste-up artists back in the days when such a thing existed. During my time there, I learned to operate stat cameras, make color plates, and drive the delivery truck. She did not. If she had done things to make herself more valuable to the company, I would have been sympathetic to her efforts, but she didn’t and I wasn’t.