Harvard Study: Gender Pay Gap Explained Entirely by the Genders' Work Choices

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    I was, at some point, forced to choose between my Spanish passport and all my other ones and I chose the others (because you don’t need the Spanish passport if you have another EU one). Spain doesn’t allow citizens of other countries to obtain a Spanish passport without renouncing the other ones (unless you are from a former Spanish colony). Luckily for you, America doesn’t care if you renounce your passport (they’ll say, okay, whatever, you’re still a citizen and you can keep the passport). But you’ll still have to “formally renounce it”. An EU passport is a golden ticket to the entire rest of the EU (as well as even non-EU countries like Switzerland, Norway and Iceland) and you’re free to live and work there as you like. You do have access to social services as Reg said, though for most countries you cannot just show up and ask for welfare before having worked (exceptions are made depending on the country including if you are retired or not). But yeah I have lived and studied in four EU countries. However before moving consider having a very very large chunk of money saved as depending on the country you’ll have to put down more than one month deposit on an apartment and with COVID at the moment the job market is pretty terrible so you’d even be fighting for a low paid job in a café. Rent is astronomical in cities and shockingly low in rural towns. I’d say a two bedroom flat will cost you a bare minimum of €1000 euros in the cheapest cities skyrocketing if you live in Paris, Zurich or Amsterdam. Spain has a pretty shitty job market at the moment so perhaps Ireland is your better bet if you don’t speak another EU language (considering the UK is leaving England, Scotland and Wales are not options anymore). In almost every country you’ll have full healthcare and a myriad of services (possibly free day care, free student meals at schools, assistance for single mothers etc) and if you or your child have any disabilities or special issues the state may also subsidise your salary. My friend in a wheelchair in Belgium gets a monthly stipend, a cheap house, no interest mortgage, a free electric wheelchair every 5 years, subsidised utilities and free or highly subsidised renovations to her apartment to make it accessible. I was really sick for 14 months in Spain and the government gave me sick-assistance cheque for 14 months (with of course the entirely free healthcare bill which was estimated at 250,000€) and my medicine was paid at 90% cost (it was 10€ out of my pocket a month for eight different expensive medicines). I think Luxembourg just introduced entirely free public transportation in the entire country and Scandanavia is slowly introducing a guaranteed minimum income (think…the government will top you up if you make less than a certain amount of money for whatever reason). Universities can be dirt cheap (in Belgium I paid €400 a year at the most prestigious university). In the Netherlands, it can be entirely free.

    Anyhoo…don’t let all that wonderful sounding news go to your head. People still have a hard time making ends meet even with that assistance and not all countries are as generous as others (especially in Eastern Europe). With the job market as terrible as it is with COVID I really think now is not the time to move.




    Your Spanish Citizenship entitles you to a European passport. You could fly to (say) Ireland or France directly as a Spanish citizen, get social assistance in either country, without ever having set foot on Spanish soil.





    Anyway, I don’t see any way past the social inertia problem. While statistics tell us that a lot of women want a career outside the home, it’s undeniable that a lot of women don’t. This may be because they were happily raised in a so-called “traditional” home or in one of the single-parent homes that actually worked well for them. But people in general resist the new.

    honestly… If I wasn’t a single mom, if I had some man taking care of me, I would start my own business. That business would be on the side. I wouldn’t have the pressure of having to make a set amount of money every month. And other than that business my soul focus would be my child. There’s nothing more important. There is no responsibility above him. That’s the way I see it. I have a precious few years left to make an impact on him, and then… He’s going to be a young man preparing to start his own life. Children grow up. Time to have a 60 hour a week career will come in my late 40s. I’ll be 46 when he is 18. But they say 40 is the new 20 right? 🙂 For me that’s when it’s going to be GO time, and work my ass off to make up for all of the years lost in child rearing. Lost my entire life savings, my retirement… Everything I’ve lost everything with hardly a penny to my name. Divorce is expensive. And trust me when I tell you, there are days where I think it wasn’t worth leaving. It’s kind of a situation of pick your poison. Stay in a bad marriage? Or live in poverty… Decisions decisions… I honestly could not tell you what is the lesser of two evils.

    The moral of the story is, choose wisely who you marry, and make sure you have your shit together yourself before you choose a life partner.


    The process takes up to a year now. Covid19 is part of the problem but Brexit has seen big surge in passport applications. I met Irish people where ever I go in the world. It doesn’t cost most of us a second thought to move to a new country. I once decided to move to the UK. My friend thought it was a good idea. 36 hours later we started new jobs in London.

    Ireland will soon be the only country in the EU which has English as the main language….even though it is officially our second language.

    PS: that is all good advice from Davis above.



    In fact I totally forgot about Malta which is technically bilingual (Maltese and English) where virtually everyone speaks English fluently. When COVID is over it is a good place to quickly pick up work. Reg is right about London. When I lived there I could get a decent paying office job within a day or two. After a little bit of experience you could bounce from better to better job. Though around in the year 2000 I was paying the equivalent of 800 USD to share a bedroom with three other guys in a tiny room in the centre, so there is also that (we partied so much we didn’t care about the cramped space). Obviously this is all quite different if you have children so very sensible planning would be important moving anywhere.



    Fellow Unbelievers (And everybody unbelieves in something,)

    IIRC, back in the mid-Eighties, when Feminists were advocating “comparable worth” legislation in the U.S., the figure they bandied about was that women made $.59 for every $1 Dollar that men made.  They even made buttons that simply said “$.59” to promote the contention.

    Here, the figure is that women make  $.89 on the $1 Dollar men make now.  While there are, no doubt, still some male knuckle-draggers in business, I think the $.30 difference between then and now does count for something in the way of women’s progress.  A government that taxes less, spends less, and doesn’t monetize debt by printing worthless paper money would also go a long way to bettering women’s lot and everyone else’s too, regardless of sex, gender identity, or age.


    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spacing and addendum


    Fellow Unbelievers,

    Last figure I heard is that it takes $250,000 in the United States to raise a child from birth to age 18, (not including college expenses, which are their own monster.)

    Unless a body had that much cash in hand, it might not be a good idea to have a kid right when you turn 18 or younger.  Some, perhaps extraordinary, amount of work and investment before childbearing might be in order.

    For example, one could work some years of extra hours, 2 or 3 jobs, do some career go-getting and wise investing, followed by childbirth.  Or start and expand a business, sell the business, invest the proceeds, then live and raise the kid off of the resulting profit.

    Having It All like Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan Magazine is very easy when you have the backing of The Hearst Corporation.  For the rest of us, it takes some juggling, perhaps with fewer and lighter objects in the air.

    As Economist/Sociologist Thomas Sowell rightly observed, life is trade-offs.  And might I add, if you swing it right, it’s a trade-up.



    Pope Beanie,

    You wrote:

    Perhaps a minimum basic income program should start there, with moms and kids? Later, if civilization “progresses” (as it were) to “end of work” for all humans as robots take over, we’d have to expand the program to include everyone out of work. Already, that’s kinda what we’re dealing with during this covid unemployment crisis. Seems to me that Germany already supports businesses so that businesses can support employees, making unemployment less of an issue for the population. Not to mention general health care benefits not made to be a burden on businesses.

    Just dreaming here in “anti-socialism” USA I guess.

    What you’re proposing is also called Universal Basic Income (UBI) or as Milton and Rose Friedman proposed a Negative Income Tax ( where people making less than a certain amount get the equivalent of a tax credit.)  While the Friedmans had many great ideas, this was not one of them and neither is UBI.

    UBI is sold as a replacement of existing Welfare State Programs e.g. Food Stamps/EBT, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food subsidies, Section 8 Housing subsidies, utility subsidies, Medicare/Medicaid, S.S.I./Disability, etc.  UBI is also sold as an alternative to the existing Welfare State bureaucratic administration created by means testing for the existing programs.

    The problem is unless UBI pays equal or greater than existing programs, it isn’t an actual substitute.  Nor would bureaucratic administrators of existing programs willingly give up their cushy positions as gatekeepers unless UBI paid them more than their existing pay.

    More likely, UBI would end up as one more Welfare State program piggybacked on top of existing programs.

    And what if UBI were to replace all existing Welfare State programs?  UBI would be the State paying people to do nothing but take up spatio-temporal coordinates i.e. to just exist.  But if you pay people to do nothing but exist via UBI, then that is all they would do.

    This means you would have to pay people more than UBI to do something.  But to pay people more than UBI to do something would increase the cost of business and increase the costs of the goods and services that business provides.  This would mean that the money paid as UBI would have less purchasing power because it would buy less than before.

    In addition to destroying the purchasing power of the money provided, UBI would have to be paid for in one of three ways: taxation (which reduces the capital necessary to produce goods and services, again making people worse off,,) printing more money (which, again, decreases purchasing power by making money worthless, making people worse off,) and borrowing (which is just can-kicking and delaying the inevitable, making people worse off.)

    In the name of helping women, children, and the unemployed, UBI actually makes people worse off than they were without it.  No thanks.

    I only wish we really were Anti-Socialist in the U.S.A.  According to the Friedman’s famous 1980 work Free to Choose: A Personal Statement, the United States is well over half-Socialist.  The Appendix of the book had the 1928 Socialist Party Platform and many planks had already been implemented in whole or in part in the U.S. by both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

    And it has become more Socialist since with each Administration, with more to come, all while other parts of the world increasingly reject Socialism.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling

    I forgot about Malta  – which is funny because I almost moved there about 15 years ago. I really like the island. However the job was not as advertised so I declined. I remember going there on holidays once. At one point the humidity and heat got so uncomfortable that we hailed a taxi and asked him to give us a tour of the old city just so we could enjoy the air-con. It was warmer in Malta than going into the edge of the Sahara in Tunisia,which had a pleasant cooling breeze. I sometimes regret the job did not work out.


    When I worked in London I lived in “squats” – taking over unused council apartments – so I was rent free for 3 years!

    I once started a job on the same day as a woman and we both had identical roles. At the end of the first month it turned out we were both on identical pay – including overtime. That was circa 1985.



    The moral of the story is, choose wisely who you marry, and make sure you have your shit together yourself before you choose a life partner.

    Show me a fast-talking  manipulative sociopath and pathological liar, and I’ll show you a guy who has a date or bed partner on the weekend, especially if he’s a sharp dresser and can dance.

    Somehow, we fail to teach our daughters what to look for to maximize their chance of landing a standup marriage partner and father for their children as well as how and where to meet them, which probably shouldn’t be in a nightclub or bar. How about an outdoor activity club or a sport. I have a nephew who met his wife on a competitive frisbee team and a friend who met his while taking group scuba lessons.



    I think UBI would be good for the economy. It would create jobs, short-circuiting a lot of the expenses related to dealing with widespread poverty and crime, make our public living spaces safer and more livable, and grow the economy at the same time, so a lot of that money will return to the government in taxes.



    America is a fraction as generous with social support and progressive laws and EXTREMELY stingy on social programs (many non-existant in many states) as Europe/Canada/NZ/Japan, all under the petty excuse that it is too expensive, “personal responsibility” and [fill in the blank] and it pretty much shows across the country. The US has a level of poverty and homelessness that utterly dismays Western Europeans. A quick tour through Baltimore, Detroit or Newark (to name only three places) is an utter horror fest and a display of American style fiscal selfishness. In a country as filthy rich as America many states just leave people to rot in the streets, leave people to die of problems that can EASILY be treated with universal healthcare (literally every other democratic country does it), easily support single parents, the disabled, veterans, drug addicts and various people who fall through the cracks of society. Some states take care of them to a better degree than others, many don’t. And the result is a broken society, high levels of crime, an extremely heavy burden on the police dealing with poverty and mental health problems, children going hungry and plain ole misery. I am literally horrified when I travel through parts of the US and I ask myself what happened that turned a significant portion of the population into such sociopathic people that they somehow thing it is moral to let people rot in the gutter, die of easily treated medical problems and do little to aleviate hunger and poverty when you can SO easily afford it and SO easily deal with the problem.

    So when someone claims that America is already like a European socialist state I have to scratch my head and ask them just what they mean. Do they mean barely adequate Obama care? Short term and skint unemployment? Insufficient COVID assistance? All programs already labelled as “marxist” by a substantial portion of the population who would be happy if even those programs were gone?

    Europe shows that social programs need not interrupt a healthy economy and the benefits of taking care of people are significant for everybody. This is all totally uncontroversial for most people in Europe/Canada/NZ/Japan and supported by even die hard capitalists. The question is do you want a sick, poor, unfed and crime ridden society while saving a small amount of tax dollars under a cruel ideology?

    A form of a guaranteed income already exists in many Northern European countries (that is a top-up assistance for those living below a poverty-threshold). No it hasn’t bankrupted the economy. No it hasn’t created unemployment. And yes it has reduced a significant amount of misery and problems and considering all the other social programs that already exist doesn’t even cost that much. Allowing people to “just get by” is not immoral and shouldn’t be controversial.



    I think UBI would be good for the economy. It would create jobs, short-circuiting a lot of the expenses related to dealing with widespread poverty and crime, make our public living spaces safer and more livable, and grow the economy at the same time, so a lot of that money will return to the government in taxes.

    Forgot to add that there should be an effective Buy American program as well. Not so effective as to basically make it mandatory but just enough to create an incentive.




    Affordable Care Act aint so affordable. It is over 600 per month for a single person with zero health issues in 50s.

    In terms of cost of medical care? Recently went to an ER and was pretty sure i had-lyme disease and only needed a script for antibiotics. Only had bp, respiration and pulse taken…no tests…doc saw me for 2 minutes and immediately upon inspection of rashes said lyme disease so he did not want any testing. Over 700 bucks for that. Only in Murica.

    I would ask Trump to define socialism. I doubt he can. But so many Americans hear the word and freak. We so desperately need universal health care. But fuck it we got a country where too many have their brains in their ass.



    hey Unseen I’ve read about Oregon in several newpapers (in Spain, Belgium and the UK). Your ballot measure this election for the decriminalisation of small amounts of drugs with the option for drug treatment is extremely newsworthy. Portugal has already done it (and it is de facto the case in some European countries) but Oregon would be the first Anglo-Saxon place to do it. Very interesting. I hope it passes. Being jailed for small amounts of drugs is insanity (imagine how easily all the money that goes towards the courts and jailing small time drug offenders could go towards social programs that the US “apparently” cannot afford according to some). My fingers are crossed cause I know once one jurisdiction does it, it is almost inevitable that others will follow.

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