Sunday, February 3, 2013

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Joe Martin Dept.One of the perks of being elected President of the United States a second time is the privilege of delivering your second inaugural address. Your LakeCountyEye did not attend or even listen to President Obama's final inaugural address -- and will confess being more preoccupied with other business. Three words suffice:
  1. Gun
  2. Swap
  3. Meets
... and ...
  1. No
  2. Background
  3. Checks
Happily, other people did listen to the President's address and they sent letters to their on-line newspaper editors about it. Just so your LakeCountyEye doesn't have to.

One letter writer is Keith Gray. (Gray appears to be a prolific letter writer -- just Google Keith Gray along with the News-Sun or the Daily Herald. Gray also ran for State Senate in District 30 and was defeated. Whether or not correlation implies causation here remains an open question.)

Apparently President Obama mentioned equal pay for equal work in his address, because Gray objected to the concept in the News-Sun:
two people apply for a positions I have open to make widgets. Ninety-five percent of what they'll do is perfunctory, requiring very little training. According to the president, their pay should be equal. However, there may be very important differences in the value of these people within the context of our staff. One is currently employed with glowing references, while the other has unexplained gaps in their resume. One is an excellent listener and communicator, while the other is adequate for the position. One lives close to our office, with the second having to commute from far away. There are countless variables aside from productivity that go into deciding who to hire, and how much to pay, even if it is for equal work. Don't confuse this with equal value.
Equal pay, work
Erm, perhaps your LakeCountyEye is just being a poor reader and communicator -- because your LakeCountyEye would swear that every "difference in value" that Gray cites as an example is a difference that will likely impact present or future productivity. If one hires Goofus & Gallant, isn't Goofus going to be less productive than Gallant? Duh.

The concept of equal pay for equal work is intended to apply to "variables" that do not impact upon productivity -- like differences in things like gender, race, ethnicity, religion.

An example may help to clarify the concept of equal pay for equal work. The Internet, like everything else, is ordered hierarchically like a totem pole. Bloggers sit somewhere near the bottom of that totem pole. In fact your LakeCountyEye can't think of anyone lower on the totem pole than bloggers -- except people who write letters to the editor. But while letter writers sit lower on the totem pole than Internet bloggers, they still can count on equal pay for equal work. Which for both bloggers and letter writers is always zero pay for equal work.

Of course, if you're the boss and you make the widgets, then you have a right to your opinion, regardless of whether or not the opinion holds water. Your LakeCountyEye remains just a simple country blogger.

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