At Work

Sharing your pay info is yet another con of the American far left.

How much do you make, what are you paid, how much do you have in the bank, what is your net worth?

That’s nobody’s business but yours (and hopefully your spouse).

The movement to encourage workers to ask what colleagues earn is yet another attempt to divide us, to create anti-employer sentiment and worker distrust. To what end?

If everyone is treated exactly the same, if there is no reason to shine brighter than others, to take risks, to go that extra mile, we can be more equal … and more average and mediocre.

By all means we should not tolerate pay discrimination or intentional inequity.

But what is an employer to do when required to justify the pay of every person who claims they should earn what a colleague earns? Will an employer be less inclined to reward good performance for fear of retribution? Who wants to make every pay decision under a microscope? The easy route will simply be to throw out performance and use pay scales like unions. You make the same in job A based on longevity regardless of your performance?

Think of the animosity to be created among workers. Your friend complains you make more so the boss slows your raises or cuts your pay to gain equality. You then resent your friend. A person learns they make less than a colleague, but all along thought their performance better, but it wasn’t. You learn a new hire is paid more than that you are and you were hired just a year ago. Do you care about any extenuating circumstances, like prior experience?

There are many tools available and have been for decades that allow tracking outright discriminatory pay practices. There are scores of laws to comply with and for appropriate penalties to be applied.

Americans are being conned as part of a broader strategy to eliminate the unique differences that allowed the US to become the worlds greatest economy benefiting the entire society like no other in history.

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9 replies »

  1. I see nothing wrong with knowing what others make, if they are doing the same job. 20 years in the USAF, no problems knowing what everyone makes, all the way up to the 4 star.

    I have female friends that worked the same exact job and got paid less per hour. Not much less 25 cents, but less.

    Employers are going to pay the lowest wage possible to fill a position. The problem I see is too many workers are willing to take low pay just to get a job hoping more pay will come later and with many jobs the raises never come. That is why I am for a $15 minimum wage. Sure prices may go up a little, but at least if the TV cost more, I have the choice to buy it or not and the money to pay for it. One study I looked at a report that showed McDonalds could pay $15 per hour by raising the value meal price $1. When Montana voters passed minimum wage increase tied to the SS COLA, all the business owners were on TV crying it will cost jobs, prices will go up, businesses will close. That was 2007 and since then more businesses have opened in 11 years than the previous 15 years. Minimum wage creates a wage floor and workers just above minimum wage benefit when it goes up.

    Low wages create another problem, more people getting government benefits. In 2016 Wal-Mart employees received 6 billion in Housing, Medicaid and SNAP benefits. Now is the time to raise the minimum wage, after all business just received a 14% cut in their tax rate.

    In Japan CEOs make 11 times more than the average worker.
    In Great Britain CEOs make 20 times more than the average worker.
    In the USA CEOs make 323 times more than the average worker.

    When I started at Weiser Lock in Southern California in 1971 the CEO made 30 times more than the average worker.

    There is a big problem with CEO pay in our country, any way you look at it.

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    • First, we need to define CEO. The fact is the average CEO pay is under $400,000 a year. But all we hear about is the CEOs for the top 500 companies which employ a small segment of the US workforce. Even in that case their compensation is mostly in the form of stock awards. I don’t think you can compare the military or public employment to private sector jobs. In those cases individual performance has little or nothing to do with pay. An excellent sergeant or a poor sergeant both make the same.

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      • Well the the top 500 CEOs need a pay cut, that is for sure. What about the government having to pay benefits to Wal-Mart employees because they are being paid such low wages.
        I bet the Wal-Mart CEO is making way more than $400,000 per year. The money the average worker makes Wal-Mart Corporation each hour is way more than $15 and the taxpayers should not be subsidizing Wal-Mart or any other company its size.

        Also, the crap about better skills does not always work. In 2014 52 percent of college grads were working in jobs that did not require a degree. So they are going to have trouble paying off the college loan debt. Bailout coming, I am sure.

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      • I do not think that it is valid to compare workers on welfare at a company and low pay. It should only be their skill level or market forces being compared. Getting welfare is outside the company’s or the military’s control.

        SNAP (food stamps) particularly is based on family size for household income. In 2016 there were 23,000 soldiers whom families received food stamps so the argument doesn’t hold true or we must not be paying our soldiers enough money to keep them off of welfare. (Note, people still enlist). A single soldier gets the same pay as a soldier with dependents. Trade union workers get the same pay and it is not based on their family size. That is also not counting other child tax credits they get on their income taxes that I no longer get. Soldiers may also qualify for housing too if they have a family. My points is, if the pay is the same why are some people getting other government benefits.

        I agree that CEO pay to workers ratios are outrageous but I blame their boards for allowing it. I blame the shareholders for having those boards. In other words, I blame us. A few actually deserve the pay, but I feel there are too many that are overpaid for their lack of leadership.

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  2. Your statement that there is a “movement to encourage workers to ask what colleagues earn is yet another attempt to divide us, to create anti-employer sentiment and worker distrust” might be true. But as you often point out if you can’t live on the wages you are currently earning, then get better skills. So my question would be who around me is getting paid more and what additional skill do I need to get their job?

    I agree that there are problems with union pay being the same for everyone in the classification. But four times I looked around and I applied, got the training, and moved over to different jobs with more pay. I will tell you now, where I worked, at the end of the year some people in my classification made more and others made less than me. I was ok with that. It was mostly overtime or not being on shift for one reason or the other.

    Among our salaried associates, they had a very wide pay grade ranges. One position could have only one pay grade but the range could have been tens of thousand of dollasr between the high and low. I think workers should know what the pay scale of another job is to see where they want to advance. Sometimes the money doesn’t equal the responsibilities or work-balance quality of life issues and then you decide that you are happy where you are.

    I am in total agreement that as far a performance or bonus pay and exactly where in that payscale you are should be kept quite just to avoid hard feelings. There are too many things that factor into the bonus and where you start in the pay scales that can’t be made public by the company so it will be impossible to compare notes.

    However if you should find out that you are being held down in the pay scale or get little to no bonuses then you need to ask yourself why. What am I doing wrong. What am I missing. Ask during your appraisal if you met your goals and what you need to do. If all fails, do not get mad at your boss or fellow workers. It is a sign to move on. When high turnover rates affect a company’s bottom line only then will they do something.

    I fear that some people will trying running to court and claim that they are not being treated fair and that is wrong. For that, I agree that there are other methods for tracking outright discriminatory pay practices.

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    • Dwayne, A single soldier does not get the same pay as a married soldier. The military pays for housing if you live off base. A soldier with dependents gets higher Basic Allowance for housing, BAH. In Great Falls, MT a single E7 MSgt receives $900 per month, a MSgt with dependents gets $1200 per month. Higher ranking soldiers get a higher BAH and it is adjusted higher for high cost of living areas. We need to have pay scales that are much higher in high cost of living areas. Minimum wage in MT buys more than minimum wage in CA. That is why there is no reason minimum wage is not $15. Wait, I guess only some workers should benefit in the economic gains of the last 50 years, when minimum wage had its highest value.

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      • The real issue is getting out of a minimum wage job. Even if the MW went to $15 they would be no better off. Salary compression would cause those making $16, $17 etc to go up as well driving up prices. Eligibility points for government programs like ACA and SNAP would increase. Where did MW workers get?

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      • I disagree, If the CEO is worth $400,000 any worker that is making money for the company is worth $15 per hour. I had income equal to $9.62 per hour in 2015, just me and the wife no kids and we qualified for no government benefits here in MT. That is $20,000 per year. At $31,200 many single and married couples would not qualify for benefits, or if they did, in high cost of living areas, it would be lower cost to the taxpayers. Also, the worker would get higher SS benefits in retirement and may be able to save 10% in an IRA, not going to do it on $7.25 to $12 per hour. Prices are always going up, but I guess you think only the higher paid workers do not have to worry if they are going to have enough money before payday to buy gas to get to and from work.

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