To the Editor:
Citing no specific evidence Dan Alexander tells us that discrimination in the work place against women is no big problem. The big problem he says are government laws prohibiting unequal pay for equal work. These regulations, he says, are a drag on business enterprise, on self-sufficiency, on the development of our children's character and on much else. Hence the elegant title of his editorial: "America: Land of Mediocrity". Hence also his equally thoughtful suggestion that if you think you are underpaid find yourself another job. Assuming, I suppose he means but doesn't say, if these days you can find it.
This wisdom is supported by what Mr. Alexander summarizes as his vast experience in the business world. Actually, to add a little reality to his experience, women's wages still lag behind those of men by about 20 percent. The figures differ from one to another industry or profession and from one to another region and state. Since these are median figures you know there are pockets of enterprise where women fare even worse. So the U.S. Bureau of Statistics tells us and so does the U.S. Census --no feminist mouthpieces these. But since Mr. Alexander probably distrusts government statistics, let me cite from a recent issue of the very conservative Forbes Magazine, voice of large business corporations: according to a 2012 study, Forbes reports: "Full-time, year-round women workers earn and average of $36,931 compared to men's $47,715 --or 76 cents to every dollar earned."
You do have to wonder what put this particular bee in Mr. Alexander's bonnet. He complains that the government requires you to fill out forms, proving your business doesn't discriminate. Well how much time can that take? Some smart secretary can't do it in a couple of hours? Or one of the guys that do all the journalism? Or is that the rub?
Dan Alexander believes profoundly in free enterprise unburdened by government regulations. That's his privilege. So is acquiring a small rural newspaper and using it to broadcast his personal views across the countryside. It’s not exactly what our forefathers meant by a free press. Nor is "find yourself another job" what the 14th Amendment means by "equal protection of the laws." But never mind. What some of us would like from the Valley News is fewer mediocre editorials and a little more varied opinion.
Carl Resek, Westport