Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Trump Shuts Down An Obama-Era Rule On Pay Tracking By Gender, Race and Ethnicity. Fun!

Another little present from our Dear Leader.  This is a real doozy:

The White House will shut down an Obama-era rule that would have required businesses to track how much they pay workers of varying genders, races and ethnicities according to a new report.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Trump officials will stay the rule, which would have gone into effect in the spring, because it created a burden for employers.
“It’s enormously burdensome,” Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, told The Journal. “We don’t believe it would actually help us gather information about wage and employment discrimination.”

The rule would have applied to firms with at least 100 employees.

I adore that last paragraph which I bolded: 

It's enormously burdensome to collect the only kind of data which actually can reveal if a firm discriminates against, say, its female employees in pay!  It's so burdensome that to think about that burden makes me feel as if I'm wearing giant mill-stones as earrings and my earlobes are sweeping the floor below this one!  It's exhausting!

There's no way a worker at that firm could just go to the computer and create a few cross-tabulations of the firm's pay data.  No way.  It's tiring to just think about it.  I need to lie down now.

I hope you got the point.  Getting that data is not at all burdensome.

Then the next bit in that last paragraph:  The administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs doesn't believe that data on pay by sex and race and ethnicity would help in gathering information about labor market discrimination!  

It's probably better to use astrology as the basis of such studies, or we could always simply ask the CEOs of such firms if they discriminate against certain groups of employees.  Yes, that would work!  Those CEOs have no incentive to lie, after all, no reason why they would like to keep their total labor bill as low as possible by paying less to certain employee groups.  And of course real bigots would tell us the truth and smile broadly, revealing their vampire fangs.

Enough, goofy goddess.  More realistically, it's true that such data cannot prove or disprove discrimination, but its absence means that discrimination cannot be proved at all!

Have you noticed, by the way, how the fact that some chore might be a burden is always used in this manner by the Republican Party?  Environmental regulations are a real burden for firms so let's scrap them and trust that future generations evolve into some sort of amphibians which do not need air and so on.  Any kind of labor market fairness is awfully burdensome, too, and it's so much better to assume that certain demographic groups just love to make a little pin money at work.