Today the President of the United States told us that men are paid 30 percent more for doing the same work as women. See this New York Times story:
“America deserves equal pay for equal work,” he said. Noting that it was “Equal Pay Day,” he said a woman who worked in 2013 had to work this far into 2014 to catch up to what a man earned by the end of last year.
“That’s not fair,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s like adding another six miles to a marathon.” He added: “America should be a level playing field, a fair race for everybody.”
The president, as he has in the past, reiterated that it was “an embarrassment” that women on average earn 77 cents for every dollar men make.
Presumably the President would not mislead us with false data. Thus it is an established fact that companies who hire men are paying a 30 percent premium, presumably to golfing, fishing, and flying buddies of the (male) executives. Perhaps this is an acceptable practice for a private company, but why should managers at a public company be allowed to steal from shareholders in this manner?
President Obama could use his executive powers to have the Securities and Exchange Commission make it illegal for public corporations to hire men. Typical companies spend between 20 and 50 percent of their revenue on wages. Some companies have a male-dominated workforce. Thus a 25 percent cut to these costs, achieved via the stroke of a government pen, would improve profitability by as much as 12 percent of revenue, an enormous boost for the typical public company (S&P 500 operating profit margin is about 10 percent of revenue).
[Note that this would also yield a big boost to state and federal treasuries, since roughly 40 percent of these extra profits would be collected in tax in the typical state.]