It was interesting last week to see the blowup and outrage over the pay of the U.S. women’s soccer team relative to the men. The gist was that women were only making a fraction of what the men do, even though they bring in “more” money. People were furious … equal work for equal pay they raged. Some of the players even filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Of course, that comparison was based only on the 2015 year, when the women’s world cup happened and there was no comparable major men’s tournament for the U.S. team. Over the last 4-year cycle, the men’s team actually brought in more revenue. Men’s pro soccer (MLS) in the United States also generates more revenue than the women’s pro league (WPSL), same as the NBA making more money than the WNBA, and thus paying its players more. John Smallwood from the Philly Enquirer actually wrote a great piece on this yesterday. It’s all about market economics. Even the readers of the original USA Today article seemed to understand the discrepancy.
But there is a deeper underlying issue here: that Progressives and SJWs are determined to undermine the Free Market principles that are the basis of a Liberal society, because they misunderstand the difference between work and value.
As a startup founder, I can tell you one thing: People are not paid for the work they do … they are paid for the value they create. And women’s sports generate less revenue, less value. The whole equal pay for equal work argument is misleading, when really the question is about equal pay for equal value. But the reality is that women are arguing for equal pay for unequal value. That is not equality … it’s just another form of inequality.
What was even more disturbing was seeing members of the U.S. men’s team, like Tim Howard, supporting the cause. Rather than standing up for the Liberal principles that America was founded on – the country that he gets paid to represent while playing a children’s game – they caved to the first Progressive rabble-rousers that came around. Is that really a show of respect for women … or merely a show of disrespect for the privilege of representing so many hardworking men and women who are paid for their value doing everyday jobs, value based on a free market economy. Players like Tim Howard apparently support equal pay for unequal value.
The white-knighting is strong with this one …
The real issue is that Mr. Howard doesn’t seem to realize the unintended consequences of what he is supporting. In trying to be “good”, he is promoting new forms of inequality. Screwing over one group to benefit another. In the meantime, Mr. Howard likely doesn’t care personally, as he is at the end of his national team career. Other men will pay the price, and Howard looks like the “good” guy.
Except that he isn’t … he is simply a coward too afraid of the gynocentric female masses to stick up for his fellow man. Or perhaps he is too naïve to understand. Either way, he bites the hand that feeds him.
There is something called the Tocqueville Effect, posited by the great Classical Liberal Alexis de Tocqueville, which states that as social conditions and opportunities improve, social frustration grows faster. People become disconnected from the value of the work they do, or the safety they have. Outrage Culture takes over. In short, greater social “equality” often precipitates greater social unrest.
When we see people misunderstanding that pay is based on value (in the U.S. women team’s case), and that there are unintended consequences for supporting equal pay for unequal value (in Mr. Howard’s case) … we are in fact seeing two sides of the same coin.
And they both lie at the crux, the disconnect, between what is Liberalism and what is Progressivism. Both of them support a form of inequality – even though members of either group would vehemently argue that they don’t – the difference is simply that classical Liberals support a form of inequality based on value or merit (i.e. meritocracy) whereas Progressives support a form of inequality based on group identity.
And if you say, wait, don’t extreme right-wingers, Nazis and fascists and the like, support inequality based on group identity? I would simply direct you to Horseshoe Theory. The only difference between the extreme right-wing and the extreme left-wing (i.e. Progressives) is which groups should be made to suffer.