Females Lead US to Last Place

John Anonymous MacDonald (nobody@cypherpunks.ca)
1 Nov 1996 08:32:22 -0500

Females Lead US to Last Place

About twenty years ago, I was a member of a white-collar,
professional team at a very well known (and supposedly
prestigious) corporation. Each week, the group manager would
assemble the team around a conference table, and each team
member would give a personal status report regarding his progress
during the previous week. I remember the first meeting which I
attended. Virtually no work progress was reported by anyone. All
that was heard were extremely lame excuses, such as "I called
so-and-so, but his line was busy, so I couldn't get my work done;"
"My pencil broke, and the supply cabinet was locked so I couldn't get
my work done;" or "I sneezed, and I went home sick, so I couldn't get
my work done." I expected the group manager to go into a fit of
rage, but his reaction was one of pure complacency.

I was on that project for two years, and the first-week sample was
quite an accurate predictor of what things would be like in the
larger time frame. Somewhere along the line I went to a coworker,
and I asked him: "Who do you think is the stellar performer of this
group?" He replied, "What we have here is a twenty-way tie for
last place." At the time, I thought his response was very humorous.
Little did I know that that response would form the insight for an
analysis which would emerge twenty years later.

I eventually left that job and moved on to the next one. Pretty much
the same things were observed: extremely low levels of morale,
productivity, and quality of output. I kept saying to myself: "It can
only be these two employers. Things have to be better elsewhere.
The profit motive of a business enterprise has to force high
performance standards, otherwise the entity will go defunct." So I
moved on to the third employer with high expectations, and what
did I find? More of the same! All along I had a nagging suspicion
that equal employment opportunity had something to do with all of
this, but I could not put my finger on it. What made things
especially difficult to understand was the conspicuous absence of
people of color in my profession. How in the world could I correlate
the promotion of equality for the downtrodden with the problems of
my profession when the downtrodden were nowhere to be found?
This really hampered the formulation of my analysis.

What made matters much worse for the formulation of my analysis
was that I, like so many others, was a product of the sophistries
which had made the rounds at the time during which the first civil
rights bills were being debated. The promoters of those new laws
made assurances that equal employment opportunities would be
reserved only for the most qualified of job candidates among the
protected segments of the population, so there would be absolutely
no negative impact on the world of employment. To the contrary,
they further assured that the new entrants into the employment
arena would enhance the competitive environment thereby raising
prevailing performance standards and compensation levels (this lie
being in stark contrast to the later abomination which evolved:
affirmative action.) To compound matters even further, I really had
myself fooled. I was so self-confident that I firmly believed that
nothing, but nothing - equal employment opportunity included -
could ever impair my own worth in the marketplace.

While the workplace steadily deteriorated before my very eyes, it
similarly could not escape my attention that as the years were
going by, neighborhood after neighborhood and whole cities were
deteriorating with increasing decay of the infrastructure and ever
escalating crime statistics. Again, a suspicion nagged at me that
the promotion of equality had to be responsible for all of this, but
still there was no germ of logic for the formulation of an analysis.

As luck would have it, a number of unlikely occurrences converged
upon me, especially in the last two years or so, and as a result of
these occurrences (which need not be detailed here), it seemed like
the floodgates of inspiration opened for me, and all of my
suspicions regarding government enforced equality congealed into
an analysis.

Let's go back to my coworker's humorous comment: "What we have
here is a twenty way tie for last place," and let's consider a TV
game show with three contestants. What would happen if the
producer of the show revised the rules such that the second place
contestant and not the first place contestant would be declared the
day's champion winning the grand prize? Would any contestant ever
depress his response button? Of course not! You would have a three
way tie for last place! Declaring the second place contestant the
winner in a three way contest is pretty extreme, so let's consider a
baseball league of 1,000 teams which institutes a rule that the
second place team takes home the trophy. What will you see? A
1,000 way tie for last place!

Of course, the real world arena of employment will not work as
swiftly and precisely as the game show or baseball examples above,
but don't let this fool you. Workplace perceptions are such that
jobs are not being awarded on the basis of competitive merit, but
on the basis of legal/political considerations, and so everyone in
the "corrupted" competitive arena of employment is finding himself
moving towards a multi-way tie for last place, AND you will see
this sort of thing happening even if the least preferred job
candidate is never awarded a job by anyone! All that it takes is the
awarding of a job to the second place job candidate under the
dictates of a competition corrupting law! As a general rule, who is
perceived to be the second place job candidate? The white female!
And there were plenty of these in my profession!

If there is no clear-cut, discernible reward associated with being
number one, then there is no point to being number one, so no one
will strive to be number one. Prevailing performance standards
will decline all the way down to the bare minimum which will still
allow a worker to keep his job and paycheck with that bare
minimum itself declining day by day.

To view things from another perspective, under equal employment
opportunity you have job candidates who assume the following
attitude: "I don't have to elevate myself to the expectations of
anyone. Employers have to take me as I come." Equal housing
opportunity has dwelling seekers assuming the very same kind of
attitude, and so you see a downward bidding spiral of performance
standards in housing as well as in employment.

But there is more - much more! The subject of declining wage
levels has become quite an issue in the media. Depending on whom
you listen to, real wages have dropped by as much as 50% over the
last 25 years. I have personally witnessed real wage erosion of
more than 50% in the last thirteen years or so in my own
profession, yet newscasters have said that economists are at a
loss to explain this wage erosion.

The smallest of memories holds the explanation for this wage
erosion. An Economics teacher of mine stated that markets will not
tolerate transactions whose prices are greater than what the
market will bear. When asked what would happen if such
transactions did, in fact, take place, he answered that the markets
will go into "self-correction" mode whereby price would be brought
into line with value. This subject was never touched upon again in
the remainder of my Economics education apparently because such
transactions were considered to be so rare as not to warrant
further attention.

If a seller makes a decent effort to peddle his offering in the
marketplace, he will eventually get a handle on what the market
will bear for his offering, this being what the highest bidder will
be willing to pay for that offering. The same holds true for a job
seeker (labor seller).

It may be a brutal fact, but prior to equal employment opportunity,
the coloreds, no matter how hard they tried, could not command the
same compensation levels as whites. The simple conclusion here is
that white pay is more than what the market will bear for coloreds.
Coloreds were led to believe that the passage of a civil law
mandating equal pay could circumvent the natural laws of
Economics for them - a false bill of goods, indeed!.

The passage of the equal employment opportunity laws created an
obligation (or should I say liability) on the part of employers to pay
coloreds wages equal to those of whites, this being, at least
initially, a price which was greater than what the market would
bear for the coloreds. So what has happened in the last thirty years
or so? The employment market unleashed self-correcting forces to
bring the price of coloreds into line with their value per the natural
law of Economics.

The self-correcting forces of the marketplace to which I allude are
inflation, wage concessions, downsizings, mergers and
acquisitions, exporting of jobs to foreign countries ("Globalism"),
the rush to automation, the outsourcing of work to non-union shops,
unpaid overtime, the utilization of immigrant, temporary, and
part-time workers, conversion of workers to independent
contractors, the elimination of benefits, the relocation of
operations to low-wage states, and more.

So you see, while the [real] wages of the unpreferred job candidates
are being brought down into line with their value, the wages of the
preferred job candidates are likewise being brought down because,
by civil law, wages must be equal!

Now for the shocker. Some of you may be thinking that this wage
erosion does not apply to you because your employer does not hire
any unpreferred workers. The irony here is that the least preferred
job candidate does not even have to be awarded a job to affect the
wage structure where you work; all that he has to do is be in the
employment market with certain laws attached to his back thereby
offering a threat of a claim for equal wages. A discriminatory
employer holds the lowest concept of value for the least preferred
job candidate, so this employer will be least likely to set forth
incentives for the least preferred job candidate to sue for a job
with equal (that is, premium) wages. In other words, your boss will
not pay you white wages just because he likes to maintain a lily
white shop. No! He's more concerned about being sued by someone
who isn't worth the money being sought.

Conclusions: We see that the concept of equality as it pertains to
society and Economics is an extremely faulty notion - a notion
which will only work in the downward direction for performance
standards and compensation levels. The insistence that further
efforts be made to effectuate "equality" will only accelerate our
society's movement towards collapse. (And who is most savagely
aggressive when it comes to enforcing their so-called "rights"
under the law? Why, our very own females!)