Illinois passes gender price control legislation
So apparently there was a comprehensive, purely scientific, purely objective study conducted by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs back in 2015. The study claims to have compared about 800 products to see the differences between the pricing for products aimed at women and girls and products aimed at men and boys. Well, the study showed there was a devastating 7 percent difference between the prices.
This study maybe shoulda coulda woulda died the death of obscurity given the nature of its claims of “similar” products with little regard to whether those products were exactly the same, or taking into consideration such things as demand for the women and girls’ products versus demand for the men’s and boys’ products. But…..
A feminist leftist State Senator from the fine state of Illinois, the same state that gave us Abe Lincoln, the “well if I have to free the slaves to keep the South from breaking up with me, ok” President of Civil War fame, introduced legislation that would amend an existing law. Well, here, here is the actual bill that (spoiler alert) became law after Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed the legislation:
“Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Provides that it is not unlawful to differentiate prices for services based upon factors including, but not limited to, time, difficulty, cost of providing the services, and expertise. Requires tailors, barbershops, hair solons, dry cleaners, and laundries to post a service price list. Provides for an opportunity to cure a violation and provides that a subsequent violation is subject to the penalty provisions of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.”
The name of the feminist senator is Melinda Bush, who also introduced legislation last year called the “pink tax,” which eliminated taxes on women’s hygiene products. Hey, eliminating taxes is always good, so, good on ya, but pink? Really? Did you just assume a color’s gender? Did you just assume that only women, whatever that means, buy feminine hygiene products? Do your feminist friends know how genderphobic you are?
Now, how about that language? No holes here, except for the ones wide enough for the Titanic to have cruised through and escaped the iceberg dead ahead and not even been aware there was an iceberg near them at all (too soon, I know).
They’ll give exceptions to the price differences if you can prove the price differences are due to “time, difficulty, cost of providing the services, and expertise.” Of course, you realize that the providers of these services will not be able to magically produce a justification for why their prices are different. Nope, it’s gonna cost them. It’s gonna cost them the time of administering. You see, they’ll have to go ahead and figure out what, if any, differences there are between “similar” products and services, but only after they figure out exactly what similar services really are. And of course, any time they have any changes in product lines, they’ll have to go through that process again.
Facing the scrutiny of the state, such as these businesses will (thanks to an anti-free-market law signed by a republican Governor), will tend to motivate owners to make sure they know what’s what, which most likely will mean hiring lawyers to help them determine what’s similar and what can be justified as being different in price.
Did you notice one factor to pricing that’s missing, the actual ONLY FACTOR that really matters in a free market? It’s a little thing called demand. The factors that this legislation lists as allowing for differences in pricing between similar male and female products (whoa, binary genderism, I think I just seriously triggered myself) reveal a bit of a Marxist view on pricing that has never, ever considered the absolute subjective nature of…brace yourselves, especially if you’re a lefty economist-wanna-be, VALUE. Yep, value is subjective.
The minute you try to artificially control the subjective nature of value, you will create unintended consequences, like running salons out of business because they can no longer charge premium prices for women who are willing to pay top price to get a “similar” hair cutting service that men are not so willing to pay top price for.
And remember folks, this price control (which is essentially what this is) was signed into “law” by a republican governor. So don’t let’s pretend the republicans are any more free market advocates than the democrats are.
The price control legislation goes into effect New Year’s Day. What follows will be a whole new wing of bureaucrats that will specialize in understanding “similar” products and services, and when differences are “justified” for reasons that have nothing to do with the final price (which is this, parties agree that they’ll exchange this for this, subjectively, because value is SUBJECTIVE).
What will follow will be the closure of, ironically, businesses run by women to offer women products and services unique to their needs. What will follow will be special allowances that will be written in by regulators over the coming months and years to carve out special protections for political allies, even, most likely, politician-run businesses, or the businesses run by their family members and friends.
What will follow will be political targeting of businesses owned by people that crossed a politician, maybe even the whole political system, one too many times.
So, while it might sound good the way most of the mainstream media is covering this story, especially Illinois media, guaranteeing that women will no longer pay 7 percent more for “similar” products and services is not as simple as it sounds. Even if you could objectively, scientifically, determine what exactly ARE similar products and services, even if you could objectively, scientifically determine when price differences are ‘justified’ by the criterion offered in this legislation, NONE OF IT accounts for the basic economic principle this law and others like it violates, the SUBJECTIVE NATURE OF VALUE.
As an extra bonus, not just Illinois, but many other fiefdoms from within the empire of the American coercive enterprise will have an opportunity to study how tolerant the folks are of price controls. Yay communo-fascisco-mericanism!
At the end of the day, Melinda Bush simply wrote legislation that offers the political class more power to wield against its enemies and more carrots to offer its potential allies. She did nothing whatsoever to advance the cause of “gender” equality. She most likely did far more to hurt any notion of gender equality by potentially harming, inordinately, women-owned and run businesses. Good job, Melinda. Way to be a team player, team political class, that is.