The pay gap between women and men shrank by 1% in 2011 – that’s the good news. The bad news: it’s not because women’s pay increased – it dropped. But men’s pay dropped more. Lowering everyone’s earning power to close the gender gap echoes the story of Midas, who wished for wealth and wound up turning everything he touched (like, say, food, or his daughter) into gold. The price for his wish was too high. Women’s wish is pay equality, but not at the price of lower incomes for everyone.
Actually, everyone should wish for pay equality. TIME Magazine’s latest cover story, “The Richer Sex,” announces that “by the next generation, more families will be supported by women than by men.” Put that together with the pay gap and you find more families getting by on less income than before. It behooves men and children, as well as women, for employers to pay women what they pay men.