Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Feminists make the rich richer and the poor poorer!

Research published in The Economist reveals who are responsible for increasing income inequality: feminists. Without them, the difference between rich and poor families (measured by Gini coefficient) would be the same as it was in the sixties.

No, I'm not kidding. Back when women were housewives, marriage (and other forms of coupling) was a tool for equalizing wealth: women were marrying up, meaning their husband was much more wealthier than them, so the rich and the poor family formed an average income one. Nowadays young, poor and beautiful girls can't dream of a lawyer or doctor coming for them as he is with a female doctor and lawyer. The two-doctors household will be very rich, while the poor girl will have kids on welfare (either with a poor man, or as single-parent).

If only feminism could be undone, equality could be re-gained. Except there are still young, beautiful and poor girls, but rich and successful men prefer to date rich and successful women. Maybe not as rich and successful as themselves, but the executor will date the department head and not the waitress, because being able to talk to your partner is a big plus. Look at this graph from the original paper:
The x axis is household income percentiles (0.1 being the poorest 10% of households, 1 being the richest 10%). The y axis is the contribution of the female to the income. While the graphs have some up and downs, both the 1960 and the 2005 data shows a positive correlation, the 2005 is almost constantly growing. What does it mean? That successful men always preferred to marry successful women, there were simply barely any in the sixties.

I purposefully used as sexist language as possible, to show that freedom of women isn't a "for women, against men" thing. Freedom of women to reach their capabilities and not held in kitchen-slavery serves the interest of men too. Successful men now have much better chance to find a woman they always wanted. Same for the successful women. Who lost because of the feminism? Above all the unsuccessful women who lost their hope for "the prince". The unsuccessful men and women alike often can't find stable partnership: poverty is very high among single parents.

Equality can only exist by oppression. The women of the sixties couldn't become educated, accomplished and wealthy on their own right. They were forcibly equalized into household robots, so they had equal chance of "catching the prince". As soon as this oppression was removed, the talented and hard working women get into well-paid positions, which not only gave them income of their own, but placed them next door to the "princes", greatly increasing their chances of "catching one".

If you don't like being poor, start working and learning instead hoping for a "prince" to save you!


Anonymous said...

I have played Eve for over five years. I also work for one of the richest men in the world as part of an executive team that manages an investment fund. As you can imagine, I make a very nice income. I also started with nothing, my parents have nothing. I am the wealthiest person in my family. No one in my position really imagines being the "prince" for some poor girl anymore. That is a romantic notion that died decades ago. It isn't that we want a wealthy mate as much as an educated one. The primary reason for this has to do with divorce law here in the United States. Most people in my position are not interested in a lengthy legal battle where they may lose half of their assets if they get divorced. The other half has to have their own wealth and their own ability to provide support.

Unknown said...

First, can we discuss the title, as a writer I understand you want to rope people in, but fact check. Yes, two lawyers or doctors marrying does effectively make them richer, does two people of low socio-economic status marrying make them poorer? To your credit you do introduce the likelihood of single-parent families and etc. which is more likely in lower socio-economic families for a myriad of reasons.
Also, you're right, freedom of women isn't a "for women, against men" thing. Thank you for putting that out there because it needs to be said, equality is supposed to be a plus for all people. But, we don't need to use sexist language to get a point across about it, because that doesn't work. It gives your readers two conflicting viewpoints of your perspective and seriously for the love of whatever god or person you love can't we just get along.
Does feminism present a challenge in the structure of society?
Will it ultimately be a positive change for society?
Are there growing pains in the change from a male dominated society to one in which anyone can do anything if they have the ability and drive?
Certainly, Asia and the Middle East are struggling with it, and equality is making clear gains all across the world.
The main point I feel you are trying to get across, which as a writer I must now say you failed as it took nearly twenty minutes of intensive scrutiny and me writing a rebuttal to clearly see through the feminism stuff added on, is that the value of work, ability, drive and an understanding of the world are more now than ever needed to truly succeed. If I'm missing the bandwagon I'd really like to know.

Esteban said...

"Without [feminists], the difference between rich and poor families (measured by Gini coefficient) would be the same as it was in the sixties."

That's not what the authors claim. The authors claim that choosing spouses perfectly at random in the 1960s and the 2000s would produce equivalent Gini coefficients. Which is tautologically true. It's also a complete red herring and the kind of bollocks that gives a bad name to statistical analysis.

In general, this whole argument exchanges cause with effect. These days, those households below the very rich (represented by the final dip) are able to place further along the x-axis precisely because the female is able to contribute more equally to the household income. And the impact of upward or downward marriage on the household income would not be nearly so significant if inequality weren't ridiculously high in the first place for many other reasons.

So, yes. It's a brilliant argument... for the 18th century, advocating against the unwise m├ęsalliance.

It is interesting, though, to see you make the same error here that sometimes blinds you to people's true motivations in EVE: using currency for every metric and assuming that wealth equals merit.

To wit: why on earth would you assume that poor people are necessarily poor life mates or conversational partners? All things being equal, I would be much more keen on the girl with the intelligence to be yet another lawyer who opted instead to starve on a barrista's wages while pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. Or the cop. Or the artist. Or the veterinary technician with a heart of gold.

Anything but a bloody hedge fund manager. Even if she increased my household income by a factor of 100 to 1000.

Gevlon said...

@J. H. Cakerice: I used the sexist language to show that even if we look at the interests of the successful men and care nothing what the women want, the answer is still "give them equality". It's the dumb and unsuccessful people who are interested in keeping the status quo, because more freedom will increase the difference between them and the successful ones.

@Esteban: because income strongly correlates with work ethic and education. A poor person is usually (= not always) lazy and dumb while the high income person is usually (=not always) is educated and hard working.

Anonymous said...

feminism has also a large impact on youth unemployment.

all the employers of part time unskilled non-physical labour would much rather have a reliable 40 year old housewife than an unreliable 18 year old lad.

without the entry level positions the 18 year old doesn't break into the workforce because his mother took-our-jobs. this eventually leads to more long term unemployment.

Gevlon said...

You mean the 18 years old who isn't reliable doesn't get a job? Let me cry a bit over this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

because income strongly correlates with work ethic and education. A poor person is usually (= not always) lazy and dumb while the high income person is usually (=not always) is educated and hard working.

I think even though you qualify these statements with "not always" you are still over generalizing. There are plenty of professional careers which require a large amount of hard work and education which do NOT pay particularly well. And there are also plenty of jobs which do not require a huge amount of education that do pay incredibly well.

How much a job pays is a function of it's demand. Take a concert pianist. Not the worlds best concert pianist, but a reasonably good one. She will work very hard, studying sometimes for many many years, but by and large she will make her income by teaching small children to play Mozart and wont earn a huge income.

Take for example a teacher. Teachers in my country study for 4 years at a minimum and then are required to maintain their training and education for the duration of their professional life. They work incredibly hard (9-3 hours for teaching are not indicative of their work day which usually starts very early and runs very late with marking papers and doing lesson prep). In my country though a teacher's wage is quite low.

Yes, doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers, stock brokers and the like do earn lots and lots of money but it isn't an indication of how educated they are or how hard they work - it is more an indication of how specialized their education is and that their particular specialization is in high demand.

So no, wealth is not a useful measure of work ethic or education.

nightgerbil said...

Gevlon the anon of 04 June, 2014 06:42 means the 18yr old is SEEN to be less reliable. Think about it. thats the age they go out and party, go watch man U on a friday night drinking with friends then dont show up next day.

The number 40 on the female Im sure is deliberate too. I know many small business owners that refuse to employ(will never admit except in private) females between 25-35 because if they get pregnent the costs to the business are crippling. Also mothers are seriously unreliable, school phones/kid is sick? yeah you just lost yr worker. Far better to employ a woman in her 40s or a mature guy.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: let me cry over the tragedy that someone picks a job with hard work, study despite knowing well that the pay is bad.

@Nightgerbil: the thing is that they are seen less reliable, because they - on average - are. I honestly feel for the reliable young workers but they are exceptions and the majority indeed goes to party and shows up drunk next day and young womens ability to work is indeed harmed by them becoming mothers.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: let me cry over the tragedy that someone picks a job with hard work, study despite knowing well that the pay is bad.

Nobody is asking you to cry. However you need to accept that people choose careers for motivations OTHER than money. Hard jobs. Jobs that require enormous amounts of study. Jobs which are rewarding in ways other than huge amounts of money. Therefore your position that "in general" more money = more educated is false.

Anonymous said...

Having read the article, it is an example of bad statistics if ever one existed.
The article also acts as if assortative mating is a new phenomenon. (it is not, it has existed since humans existed, we marry those similar to ourselves, or those who have similar wealth/land)
"But in reality the highly educated increasingly married each other. In 1960 25% of men with university degrees married women with degrees; in 2005, 48% did"

This implies that highly educated, wealthy men, were marrying down from, say, middle class, to working class, because of course, we all know that in the 1960s, everyone married outside their social set, correct?

I am now picturing this period in history where debutantes were not a thing, and where people routinely married down on the socio-economic scale, instead of marrying people from their social group.

I am fairly sure that it would not take you long to think of reasons why educational level of a woman in the 1960s had as much to say about their income or wealth as it does today, or was this a golden era where class lines did not exist, and a woman washing dishes was likely to marry a banker? Further to the above, Paris Hilton is neither highly educated, nor has a high income from her job (to take an example), so anyone marrying her would clearly be marrying downwards socio-economically (according to this study).

folgsam said...

Your reception of the paper and your analysis is correct. It is hilarious how your enemies wilfully misunderstand you (e.g.: Gevlon writes another sexist, feminism bashing piece).

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: I explicitly wrote that people always preferred to marry their equals. But in the sixties they simply couldn't because there were very few women who could break out form the status the society forced them into and become more than housewives. You can't marry female doctors if there is barely any.

Anonymous said...

Your strawman definition of equality (gap between rich and poor) is inaccurate and your method of reducing the gap is efficient.

Increasing the workforce and providing a better educated workforce are two of the most effective ways to boost an economy. That lifts the standard of living for everyone. Instead of having a working class that straddles the poverty line, an expanded and educated populous lifts the average worker into a better off position.

In short, allow women to fully contribute to society as per their skills and abilities promotes a wealthier society, more flexible and adaptable workforce and a reduction in the number of people living in poverty. Any increase in the middle-class professional bracket is irrelevant (or to be welcomed considering how the taxation burden normally falls)

Unknown said...

The notion that wealth distribution became more unequal as more women become more wealthy is a true notion. It is simply a mechanical truth and is actually a good observation.

However, the notion that increase of the rift between rich and poor is a good thing in itself is ridiculous. Basically, it didn't stand the test of time.

While initially the rift between the rich and the poor may be indicative of individual prowess of the rich, very soon wealth takes on a life of its own in the form of rich but stupid / talentless kids protecting the fortunes that their parents earned by using the money to entrench their inherited social superiority instead of actually making useful products.

When the rift between rich and the poor becomes large enough, the vertical mobility that allowed rich to get rich in the first place gets shut down and the whole system begins deteriorating. We saw it happen in many many places over the course of our history.

A "we reward ability with riches" kind of society is way too close to "rich are superior to everyone else regardless of ability" kind of society. Only thing it takes to get from one to another is for a bunch of rich kids to decide that they don't need to work hard to honor the wealth-gaining efforts of their ancestors and get comfortable with just living off it.

While i am greatly pleased that there are more smart women around than ever before, i fear for long-term stability as i watch the kids of these successful people lord over other kids, just because their parents could afford the latest phone. Or worse - kids of those successful people existing in their small privileged environment and seriously thinking that anyone outside of their small privileged environment is little more than a thing to be exploited.

In fact, this makes me think that this system could very much benefit from introduction of some manner of oppressive equality.

mugg said...

You're getting worse, Gevlon. Teachers are most certainly a very important part of society today, and in many cases they are severely underpaid.

Gevlon said...

@Mugg: and why are they underpaid? Because they are ready to work for pitiful salary. If they couldn't find anyone taking the job, the governments would pay better.

Unknown said...

I read your post twice (not the study or article linked) and I can't seem to detect any sexist language, despite your claim of attempting to make it as sexist as possible. You may have inadvertently drank some of that social justice warrior cool-aid floating around the internet these days. You seem to imply that any criticism, no matter how vague, directed at feminism is sexist in and of itself.

Provi Miner said...

income and education don't really correlate as most people think. to give you an idea: 80% of bartenders have degrees, of course most of those "intelligent" degrees are in fields in which good pay is almost non existant. I know of a speciality "DNA research, which requires an insane amount of intelligence, where as the kids enter their final school are told "only 5% will get research jobs, another 10% will jobs in the field someplace, the other 85% won't come near dna". A kid out of highschool who becomes a welder is likely to make far more money then most business grads, fare more than other art skills (philosophy, and the like). Intelligence only matters in the job, not in the education. Money only equals the job not what you did to get there. I till kids all the time want to make money? Have fun? be as debt free as possible? get a good trade skill.

Anonymous said...

In my country, teachers that work for the government get paid shit and are always crying about it and they go on strike at least thrice every year (federal teachers, state teachers and city teachers). Its really easy to become a teacher that work for the government.

Teachers that work for good private institutions, get paid a boatload of money. Even more on private universities. Obviously, its really hard to get to work for a good private institution.

So...shit teacher get shit pay, good teacher get good pay.
The way I see it, working as intended.

About the case in point (feminism and what not), it may be the case for the 2 extremes (richer and poorer). If you look at middle class, you can see that not much have changed on the income with womem working. The same typical couple are still formed, they have almost the same income%, only now both parents work and their single children become a useless/broken adult later, since it had nobody taking care of him except maybe a ignorant housemaid or maybe a daycare centre or a grand parent that cant control the children.

Anonymous said...

and why are they underpaid? Because they are ready to work for pitiful salary. If they couldn't find anyone taking the job, the governments would pay better.

Because they become teachers for reasons other than to earn lots of money. And you owe your education to that fact and should thank them every time you go to work and earn millions of dollars.

They do it because they "love the work". Because it is rewarding. Because money isn't everything. And if they didn't we would have a very sorry society (hint: few could afford to pay for education if teachers charged like doctors and lawyers)

Provi Miner said...

I had to laugh at the teacher comment, complete and total BS. when teachers in chicago are the highest paid in the nation with some of the worst results you know they are not doing it for love. But keep trotting out the tired and untrue union line. I liked the union school in NY where some teachers had spent over 4 years with pay doing nothing while there "discipline" case was appealed and appealed. thats love right there showing up for work every day doing nothing for years on end.

Anonymous said...

Teaching is one of the worst angles to take because of how fucked up the (american especially) teaching institution is.

Bad teachers aren't subject to enough scrutiny and good teachers aren't rewarded, at least in part because of teachers' unions. Private educators are paid a lot more because they don't have to deal with that baggage.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at the teacher comment, complete and total BS. when teachers in chicago are the highest paid in the nation with some of the worst results you know they are not doing it for love.

because everyone is from america. Hint, I'm not from america. Where I am from it is entirely true that teachers (in both public and private education) are paid lower than most other profesions

Anonymous said...

"Nowadays young, poor and beautiful girls can't dream of a lawyer or doctor coming for them as he is with a female doctor and lawyer."

But the young poor and clever girl can become a doctor or lawyer and marry someone similar if she wants.

It's the young poor and stupid who possibly lose out. I thought you would be ok with that.

Campitor said...

A person must learn to live within his means if he decides to take a low paying job that he/she loves. There are always choices and ways to improve your income status regardless the job. It's only the unimaginative/unmotivated who think they are without recourse.

Unknown said...

Interesting point of view. I have always thought that the political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the superrich.