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What is fair punishment for being single?

by Albert D. McCallum

The controversy over homosexual "marriage" isn't about to go away.   Why is "marriage" so important to homosexuals who are already engaging in whatever relationships they desire? The problem reaches far beyond any sexual orientation. In the work place all single people are the victims of blatant, and lawful, discrimination when it comes to compensation.

The slightest hint, or even false allegation, of pay discrimination based on race or gender will land an employer in big trouble. Endless litigation and huge judgments are likely on the flimsiest of evidence. How is it that the same government that is paranoid about such pay discrimination encourages and even mandates pay discrimination against single people?

Equal pay for equal work is fair and equitable to all.
Who can rationally argue against it?

A single person may perform the same job as a married one. Still, the married person may receive thousands of dollars per year more medical coverage than the unmarried. The same applies to pension benefits. Add to that government mandated family leave. Even if the leave is unpaid the disruption increases the employers cost for the employment. These increased costs diminish the compensation for all employees, regardless of marital status.

The government's own Social Security plan also heavily favors the married. The single person does not receive higher benefits to compensate for the spouse and survivor benefits that will never be paid. Statistics show that single people don't live as long. This further reduces their pensions below those paid to married people.

Homosexual "marriage" might put some individuals on the same economic plane with the married. It would do nothing to end discrimination against the rest of the single people. Instead of pursuing homosexual "marriage," Why not implement true pay equity? Why not pay everyone the same without regard to marital status?

The changes wouldn't be all that complicated or difficult. There would also be some very positive side effects.

The first step would be to get rid of employer paid medical
programs. Add the money currently being spent on medical benefits to the employees' wages. If this is too radical to fly, a reasonable alternative would be to put part of that money in "medical savings accounts" for the employees.

One of the big reasons for employer medical plans is the Internal Revenue Code. It taxes income an employee spends on medical insurance and expenses, while exempting money the employer spends for the same purposes. This inequity should be eliminated even if we make no other changes.

There would be many advantages to getting employers out of the medical insurance business. One of the benefits would be that job termination would no longer end medical insurance coverage.

Employer pension plans and Social Security should be phased out in favor of employee owned retirement funds such as individual retirement accounts presently available. At retirement the single and the married would stand equal.

We should keep in mind that one of the motivations for employer sponsored retirement was to hold employees captive. After a few years of employment the employee who changes jobs loses retirement benefits. Requiring the vesting of rights in pension plans did little to alter this result.

Under typical pension plans an employee working 30 years for the same company will receive a much larger pension than he would working 10 years each for three employers with identical plans. The greater the rate of inflation, the more the difference in the pensions.

Homosexuals who fight to create homosexual "marriage" are seeking to join the club that discriminates against single people. They are certainly not taking the high road. Might it be far better, if they fought for equal pay for all single people?

Equal pay for equal work is fair and equitable to all. Who can rationally argue against it? Isn't it time we put an end to laws that encourage and require compensation based on marital status, rather than on the work performed?

Considering that some racial groups apparently marry less than others, discrimination based on marital status takes on the appearance of racial discrimination. Yes, the last point is a cheap shot. Nearly everyone else is playing the race card. I couldn't resist finding out how it feels.

Copyright 1997

Permission to reprint granted by the author.  Albert D. McCallum, 18440 29 1/2 Mile Road, Springport, Michigan 49284 /

Albert D. McCallum is a member of Unmarried America.


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