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Published August 10, 2011 in Persuasion by Michael Cloud
"Equal pay for equal work" was the rallying cry of 1970s feminists. Most Americans agreed. Because most of us try to treat people fairly.
If two sales people each sell five of the same widgets for the same price, they should both get the same sales commission. Common sense. Simple fairness.
But if one sells eight widgets and the other sells four, then the first sales person should be paid twice as much as the second person.
Why? UNequal pay for UNequal work. Simple fairness.
In the marketplace, a business rarely needs to be told that it should match pay to performance. Because if they fail to do so, their competitors will quickly hire away their best salespeople -- and pay them according to their performance.
So why do certain people claiming to be egalitarians oppose this marketplace fairness? Why do certain Ivory Tower Academics froth and foam against UNequal pay for UNequal work?
If someone truly believes in "equal pay for equal work," shouldn't he embrace all the corollaries?
* Different pay for different work.
* Outstanding pay for outstanding work.
* Good pay for good work.
* Mediocre pay for mediocre work.
* Substandard pay for substandard work.
* NO pay for NO work.
Each of the statements above is mathematically, logically equal to: "Equal Pay for Equal Work."
Most Americans and almost all private enterprise businesses believe and practice all of them. That is why free enterprise works.
So why do many egalitarians, academics, and self-described elite college students reject the logic and the fairness of: "UNequal pay for Unequal work"?
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion, available exclusively from the Advocates.