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Audi deserves to be keyed

by | Feb 7, 2017

Join me in keying Audi.

Figuratively speaking, that is.

It would be wrong to vandalize a car by running a key along the side, even a car manufactured by a German company that fouled the airwaves during the Super Bowl with agitprop about equal pay for women.  But it’s not wrong to verbally key the ignorant fools who run the Audi car company.

Chances are, you saw the commercial or have heard about it.  It was masterfully designed to appeal to car buyers who want to make a political statement by what they drive, or maybe to appeal to unattractive guys who can only can get female companionship by showing solidarity with misinformed, gullible women—women who believe that they and their sisters are still facing institutional discrimination in the workplace, especially with respect to pay.

The insipid, maudlin commercial began with a scene from a soap-box derby, with a somber male voice-over blabbering clichés about girls deserving equal opportunities in life.  It ended with Audi stating its commitment to equal pay.

Soap-box derby?  Audi apparently thinks that the United States is stuck in the 1950s.

Or maybe Volkswagen AG, which owns Audi (and Porsche), still harbors a resentment about the post-war years of the 1950s, when Germany was still recovering from the devastation of allied bombing.  Or maybe it wants to divert attention from the fact that “Volkswagen” means “Peoples’ Car,” a name given by Hitler to the original Beetle. Or maybe it wants to change the subject from the embarrassment of being caught cheating on pollution emissions.

By the way, 407,300 American soldiers died in the Second World War, while Rosie the Riveter was laboring at home to keep the arsenal of democracy running.  Men accounted for 99.99% of the combat deaths. They were part of the two million American men who have died in wars since the nation’s founding.  In a very real sense, these men were victims of the ultimate gender discrimination.

Just as with old attitudes about women in the workplace, men were sent to die in wars due to thousands of years of evolutionary and cultural forces and traditions.  In fact, American men continue to die in wars in far greater proportions than women, who can beat the war drums as loudly as men, as evidenced in old newsreels of German women cheering, saluting, and swooning as Hitler and Wehrmacht generals paraded by in big Mercedes convertibles instead of Volkswagens.

Not only do men die in far greater numbers in wars, but they also die in the workplace at nearly thirteen times the rate of women, due to holding the most dangerous jobs, such as fishermen, lumberjacks, truck drivers, ironworkers, and roofers.

Where’s the outcry about this?  Where’s the Audi commercial advocating equal deaths for men and women?

As with the equal pay movement in general, the Audi commercial was built on a number of canards and deceptive statistics.

First, the equal pay movement isn’t about equal pay.  It’s about comparable worth, a concept that is impossible to quantify and impossible to achieve without government force and legions of unelected government apparatchiks.  Ironically, the Huns have a lot of experience with government force.   Due to government force, they were able to pay the same for both male and female slave labor during WWII; that is, they paid nothing.

Note to the German executives of Audi:  Equal pay in the USA is governed by the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which says that the pay for men and women should be the same for the same job, with some variations allowed for different levels of experience and performance.

Comparable worth, on the other hand, is a theory that says that the pay for men and women should be the same for different jobs that are comparable in required skills and education.  This means that the pay for jobs dominated historically by women should have the same pay as jobs dominated historically by men, if the respective jobs require a similar level of skills and education, as judged by some apparatchik removed from the real world.

Take the female-dominated occupation of school teachers versus the male-dominated occupation of mining engineers.  Under the theory of comparable worth, both occupations should be paid the same, because both require a four-year college degree—and because, the theory goes on to claim, teachers have been historically underpaid, precisely because teaching was one of the few professions open to women in yesteryears.  If teaching had been dominated by men instead of women, then the pay for teachers would be much higher than it is today—or so comparable worth theorists want you to believe.

Tellingly, supply and demand are irrelevant to the theorists.  It doesn’t matter to them if teachers are in higher supply than engineers due mainly to an engineering degree being more difficult to earn than an education degree.

As an aside, you might be wondering what makes me an expert on this subject.  Well, I am an expert on the subject.  Not only do I have 40 years of experience in setting pay, but I also was at the vanguard of securing equal rights, equal pay, and equal advancement in the workplace for women.  My wife has another 40 years of experience in this regard.

This is not to suggest that all remnants of gender stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace have been removed.  There are still louts, sexists, misogynists, and creeps in positions of power.  (Bill Clinton comes to mind.)  You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has fired more of them than I have, but this doesn’t mean that I or anyone else should ignore other factors that account for the alleged inequality in pay.

One factor is the definition of “pay.”   Pay can be defined as cash earnings alone or as cash earnings plus non-cash benefits.   Comparing only cash earnings between men and women can be misleading, because some female-dominated occupations such as public-sector teachers are richly paid in non-cash medical and retirement benefits, in time off, and in job security.

Speaking of job security, males in male-dominated occupations appear to have less job security than females in female-dominated occupations.  For example, males hold 90% of the jobs in the construction industry, which, in 2009, after the housing crash, saw an unemployment rate of 19.2%.  In the same year, females accounted for 75% of the total employment in health services and education, which saw an unemployment rate of only 4.9%.

Another complicating factor is the difference in career interruptions between men and women.  Women still tend to interrupt their careers more than men for child-rearing, although there are exceptions of fathers who stay home while their wives work.  I was one of them.

Then there are sobering social trends that don’t bode well for American males.  To wit:

  • Males are less likely than females to finish high school (65% v. 72%).
  • Males who go on to college are less likely to graduate than females who go on to college (56% v. 61%).
  • Men commit suicide three to five times more often than women, a statistic that is driven in part by the fact that men lose custody of their children in 84% of custody cases.
  • For 12 of the top 15 causes of death, men die in greater numbers than women.
  • Men make up 93.3% of the prison population.
  • Of the estimated 300,000 men who are raped every year (especially in prison), less than 10% get justice through the justice system.

Many of the above pathologies are the result of males growing up in fatherless families without a positive male role model, which seems to negatively affect boys more than girls.  This is the top social problem facing the country according to many sociologists, but you wouldn’t know it from Audi commercials.

Apparently, Audi doesn’t give a damn about the serious social problems affecting men.  As such, men should keep this in mind when choosing their next car.

Craig Cantoni

Craig Cantoni

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