Equal pay for jobs of comparable worth is a backward approach that treats women as helpless victims, according to Ellen Frankel Paul. In this book she argues that equality of opportunity is a better means of promoting women’s rights and economic advancement.
Paul examines the legal, economic, and moral implications of comparable worth. She agrees with advocates of comparable worth that justice must outweigh economic efficiency in considerations of the issue, but she argues that the market process is more just than any attempt to establish salary equity by government writ. “Comparable worth.…harps on perceived injustices of the past — some real, some exaggerated, and some simply misdirected — and pleads for redress,” Paul writes. “The time has passed for women to plead with men for a fair chance in the marketplace; they have the chance, and they should be encouraged to continue taking advantage of it. The choice seems obvious: retrogress with comparable worth, or progress with the market.”