Kristan Harris really REALLY does not like equal pay laws

I’m sure you’re probably wondering, “Who the heck is Kristan Harris?”

While you may not have heard of Kristan Harris until now, no doubt if you live in the 20th Assembly district (comprised of Cudahy, St. Francis, and part of Milwaukee) you’ll be hearing a lot about Harris, as he’s the Republican challenger to incumbent Democratic State Rep. Chris Sinicki.

According to the “St Francis and Cudahy Vote 4 Liberty & Kristan T Harris 4 Wi State Assembly” Facebook page, Harris is no fan of equal pay laws here in Wisconsin, arguing the young, minorities, the untrained are “weak economic actors” and should be allowed to work for $2.50 an hour, while arguing that it’s better for businesses if they’re allowed to pay women lower wages than men doing the same jobs, because that discrimination will allow the employers to turn a little extra profit.

My Stance on the “Equal Pay Law”
In economics there are people who are relatively weak. The disabled, the young, minorities, the untrained—all are weak economic actors. But like the weak animals in biology, they have a compensating advantage: the ability to work for lower wages. When the government takes this ability away from them by forcing up pay scales, it is as if the porcupine were shorn of its quills. The result is unemployment, which creates desperate loneliness, isolation, and dependency.Consider a young, uneducated, unskilled person, whose productivity is $2.50 an hour in the marketplace. What if the legislature passes a law requiring that he be paid $5 per hour? The employer hiring him would lose $2.50 an hour.
Consider a man and a woman each with a productivity of $10 per hour, and suppose, because of discrimination or whatever, that the man is paid $ 10 per hour and the woman is paid $8 per hour. It is as if the woman had a little sign on her forehead saying, “Hire me and earn an extra $2 an hour.”This makes her a desirable employee even for a sexist boss. But when an equal-pay law stipulates that she must be paid the same as the man, the employer can indulge his discriminatory tendencies and not hire her at all, at no cost to himself. Now this is an EXTREME case.Unfortunately it happens.. Now if we look at each other as our creator intended as “equals” we would not have this issue. Unfortunately this bill in my OPNION would INCREASE unemployment in a VIRAL manor. It would STRIP MINORITIES AND MANY OTHERS of jobs.This creates unemployment for women. So in my opnion THIS would be a VERY ANTI WOMAN/Law. I am suprised that Democratic Party would endorse such a Law.

Words can’t even begin to describe how incredulous I am after reading (and then re-reading) what Kristan Harris wrote, because he seems to be making an argument in favor employers/businesses taking advantage of the disabled, the young, and minorities by paying them whatever wages the employers/businesses see fit, simply because those individuals are “weak economic actors” in Harris’ opinion.

For the benefit of posterity, I’ve saved Kristan Harris’ screed in a screenshot below.


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10 thoughts on “Kristan Harris really REALLY does not like equal pay laws

  1. I encourage everyone to read the FACEBOOK (non altered version) messege its pretty interesting none the less. It makes sense that it would encourage a sexist boss to not higher a woman because of his prejudice tendencies if they forced equal pay. He addresses “there is an issue” but regulation would promote prejudice. Which after reading this, he is right. It would allow prejudice bosses to discriminate and not higher minoritys. He says “to even a prejudice boss he would prefer the savings and it makes minoritys more desirable to not have equal pay”.He believes in equal rights ” business and personal” but does not believe the government should dictate and regulate pay. It says though he is against corporate bailouts. If I ever voted republican he makes more
    sense than the rest of the elephants. I might even vote for him over some rabid environmentalist liberals. Both sides have there nut jobs 🙂 He sounds like a Ron Pauler. Which means he also is very likable to minoritys and the GLAD community based on his individual liberty stance.

    1. Both the screen capture I’ve included here and the quote of Harris’ text contain the entire text of his comments, so I’m not sure how reading it on Facebook will change anything.

  2. Steve is quite right in identifying Harris’s argument as libertarian in nature. It follows the same logic libertarians employed during the debate over the contraception mandate: The mandate would encourage discriminatory hiring practices because a woman’s health care coverage would be more costly (i.e. cutting into an employer’s profit margin) than a man’s. It is the same logic used to justify abolishing minimum wage laws, and it is the Newt logic of firing school janitors in order to replace them with cheaper student labor. Labor is entirely devalued in this sort of transaction scheme. The only valued interest is narrowed to the concern for the employer’s bottom line.

    Next Harris will argue that equal pay laws are a regulatory burden that infringe upon the liberty of the business owner because such laws prevent job creators from hiring who they choose and on what terms they choose. It is the classic redefinition of liberty by predatory capitalism – any regulatory measures imposed upon the private sector are punitive and amount to infringement of personal liberty. Harris is expressing the classic libertarian notion of liberty and justice for all providing all liberty and justice will be conveyed to me and me alone. There’s really no notion of equity in a business relationship under such conditions.

    Now, personally, I think we should return to the incorporation regulations set by the founding fathers: In exchange for the privilege of operating a business, businesses were to not only follow all laws, but to also serve the common good. If they did not their charters were revoked (i.e. no longer allowed to operate a business).

    Businesses employ discriminatory hiring and firing practices every day in this country; they are quite adept at circumventing labor laws and regulations. Equal pay discourse needs to be expanded beyond the confines imposed by regressive conservative-libertarian ideals.

  3. So much for a century of labor laws.

    While we’re at it let’s repeal child labor laws. Their little hands are best at cleaning the insides of artillery shells. They’re skilled workers, you know.

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