Rep. Fallon: “This is about the free market and this is about liberty”

As a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, I participated today at a full committee hearing on “Examining the Long-Term Economic Impacts of Gender Inequality”. Read my full statement below:

ON FEDERAL OVERREACH

Generally speaking, the more that the central government, and in our case, the federal government meddles with the private sector and nibbles away at their liberty, the worse off the private sector is. We need to tread lightly when discussing more regulation, rules, compulsory actions, and behavior. The market should drive wages – the free market. Not the government market, the free market.

ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Until I took this most recent job three months ago, I had been an entrepreneur for twenty-five years. My goal, like the millions of other business owners across the country, was to hire the best people possible. I never gave a hoot about their ethnicity, race, gender, or sexual preference. I didn’t care about it on an application and I didn’t care about it when they became my employee, because that was immaterial and irrelevant.

ON EXISTING PROTECTIONS

Now let’s just put aside even the morality and legal considerations because pay discrimination has been illegal in this country since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and reinforced by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But even putting that aside, it’s simply really bad business to discriminate in these callous ways.

 

TRANSCRIPT OF MY FULL STATEMENT:

Madame Chair, Thank you very much.

We live in a market-based free enterprise economy. Generally speaking, the more that the central government, and in our case, the federal government meddles with the private sector and nibbles away at their liberty, the worse off the private sector is.

With owners and employees alike, men and women, as well as the country as a whole, we see this play out time and again. So we should, and we need to tread lightly when discussing more regulation, rules, compulsory actions, and behavior. The market should drive wages – the free market. Not the government market, the free market.

We’ve heard for years the claims by some that American women on average, and we’ve heard varying figures, 70 cents on the dollar, 82 cents on the dollar, for what male counterparts make, but what many folks don’t realize is that this is not a fair comparison, apples to apples. It is simply comparing median earnings of all men and women classified as full-time employees. That’s a misleading figure that and it is unfair not to take into account other factors.

For instance: the job itself, the skill level of the employee, the experience of the employee, the hours worked by that employee. And this is very interesting to note here: according to the Department of Labor in 2019, the average male worker put in 8.23 hours per day compared to the average female worker who logged in 7.73 hours per day. That alone accounts for the 7% difference.

As a whole, female workers consider and choose flexibility, which can account for lower wages, while men on average gravitate on a higher degree towards less desirable work hours, location, and occupation so long as it pays a higher wage. Until I took this most recent job three months ago, I had been an entrepreneur for twenty-five years. My goal, like the millions of other business owners across the country was to hire the best people possible. I never gave a hoot about their ethnicity, race, gender, or sexual preference. I didn’t care about it on an application, and I didn’t care about it when they became my employee, because that was immaterial, and irrelevant.

Now let’s just put aside even the morality and legal considerations because pay discrimination has been illegal in this country since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and reinforced by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But even putting that aside, it’s simply really bad business to discriminate in these callous ways. It’s so incredibly difficult to find good employees, and to find great ones is even tougher. The point here, is that I’m no different than the millions of other business owners around the country. We all aim to find talented folks, hire the best, and pay for performance. The cream rises to the top. If these alarming disparities existed in actuality, let me ask you this question: why would businesses not just hire all women?

Because we know how talented female workers are in America. They are certainly equal and just as capable as their male counterparts. If a business owner can get an employee to do the same job but only have to pay 82 cents on the dollar, why wouldn’t they do that across the board? Hire your entire workforce in that manner? It would save a colossal amount on wages and profits would rise. But that doesn’t happen. Now why?

Because this alleged wage gap is grossly overstated and exaggerated for political benefit. And any type of quote ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ would almost certainly result in fixed pay scales for companies, and that’s just awful.

The result of which we would see the output and productivity crumble, as the best employees, both men and women, who work the hardest, would be unable to be compensated by their employers. Many businesses would be unable to have the option to pay bonuses and spot raises to their highest producers. This, we saw playout in Denmark.

This is about the free market, and this is about liberty. This is about what the market will bear, in all things, whether sports or business.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts today, Madame Chair, and I yield back.

 

I represent Texas’ Fourth Congressional District, covering 18 counties across Northeastern Texas, including Bowie, Camp, Cass, Collin, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Titus, and Upshur.

 

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