Monday, January 31, 2005

Blagojevich's cynicism on gender equity

Plastered all over the CTA are advertisements that say

In Illinois, women earn 71 cents for every $1 a man earns.

Equal pay is the law.

If you are not receiving equal pay for equal work, call the Illinois Department of Labor to file a complaint.


The ads are sponsored by Department of Labor, Chicago Sun-Times and the State of Illinois. Of course Blagojevich's name and title take six to eight times the space of the state seal.

What's the purpose of this ad campaign?

Is it to address a public policy problem? If so, is this an effective way to reduce the gender pay gap? Is it the most cost effective way to affect the problem?

Or is this advertising campaign primarily about telling female voters Blagojevich cares about them? If the advertising is not effective at changing behavior is it just nurturing a grudge? And isn't this like publicly financing Blagojevich's political campaign?

4 Comments:

Blogger Roy said...

Is it really true that women make .71 for every $1 a man makes for the "same" work? Consider two companies: one hires 4 women the other 3 men. Production ratio is 4:3 and cost ratio is 14:15. Is company 2 sustainable? no.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Phocion said...

I think the jury may be out on the gender gap in pay ONLY because of how the "mommy factor" affects women rising in the ranks to higher paying jobs. I do think women get shafted at the workplace more than men generally, and in pay specifically. What Rod is actually going to DO about it remains to be seen. As noted here, he does like to talk about a problem as if he's the champion of fixing it - but we've already seen this modus operandi before.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Fyi, this same poster is required at Illinois workplaces per the Equal Pay Act of 2003. The Il. Dept. of Labor has responsibility for enforcment of the Act.
Fwiw, while I can't stand DINOs (Democrats In Name Only) like Gov. Blowdry, this doesn't seem a bad use of taxpayer monies.
More here:
http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/laws/Law93006.htm

2:12 PM  
Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Greg, thanks for the link.

I'm still not persuaded this ad campaign addresses the problem in a meaningful way. If it did, wouldn't they have to update the poster every year?

Roy, I share your skepticism that the underlying claim is quite as true as its ideological adherents would like us to believe.

My theory, which I have yet to hear refuted, is that much of the pay diff between men and women is accounted for the pay diff between married men and single men. This is the reason this issue doesn't get much traction with married women.

5:34 PM  

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