Sunday, February 16, 2003

Crummy discrimination story 

A few months ago a student group (I believe it was the Women's Equality Group, but my archives don't have the exact post) ran a sale where goods (I think they were cookies) were sold for $1 to men and $.76 for women, as an attempt to illustrate the pay difference between men and women. I attempted to post on the campus list what the economics research says about this gap; I got the usual shout-down that the Anointed know damn full well there's discrimination and don't you bring none of those new-fangled statistics in here. As reported on Highered Intelligence and Joanne Jacobs, the College Republicans at UCLA have gone much, much further.
The sale, held on Bruin Walk on Feb. 3, offered cookies at different prices depending on the customer's race and gender. Black, Latina and American Indian females were charged 25 cents for cookies that cost males of minority descent 50 cents. White females were charged $1, and white males and all Asian Americans were charged $2.

Students selling the cookies were assigned name tags portraying them as "Uncle Tom," "The White Oppressor" and "Self-Hating Hispanic Race Traitor."
Wouldn't you know the kid in the Daily Bruin picture of the bake sale would be a business economics major. :)

Of course the Democrats are making hay of this, as Jacobs notes. One said that the display stopped discourse by trying to simplify things. As Stephen notes on Cold Spring Shops, "I'm going to have to remember that one the next time there's a "pay equity" cookie sale nearby ... it demeans the research of numerous economists into labor force participation."