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Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
  Henry Platt


This sounds good and is largely true. The problem is in how we measure the pay.

Thirty some years ago I took one week's payroll at McDonald's restaurant where I worked and closely examined it. I found that among the eight adult males and eight adult females on the payroll the women had total gross earnings of only 75% of the men. The only problem was that of the men, seven of the eight worked full time and four worked part time. (Three of the men had two jobs.) Three of the women worked full time, and six of them worked only part time. It's no wonder that the men earned more money than the women.

Recently the "equal pay" question was in the news again so I telephoned the office of my local congresswoman and learned that the earnings figures came from the Census Bureau, not the Labor Department. In a graduate college course one of the teachers stated that the women earned less than the men,so I asked how this could be in as much as the pay scales were determined by educational achievement and longevity. She honestly answered that the men took all of the extra work evenings, weekends, summers, and holidays.

Equal pay and equal earnings aren't in the same category, but a substantial investment portfolio or charitable remainder trust will inflate the gross earnings of one worker. But this should not be used as an excuse to give fellow workers an increased wage.

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© L. Henry Platt, Jr.