In America, it's taboo to talk about your salary.
It's a pretty strange taboo because most of the other taboos have something to do with sex. The salary taboo seems even stronger than sex taboos. Today, you turn on HBO and see gay men kissing each other on Six Feet Under, yet the characters on the show never mention what they get paid, so someone watching the show who is thinking about entering the death care industry has no idea whether it's economically rewarding.
Because no one knows how much anyone else gets paid, this assymetry of information benefits employers. Employers know exactly what people working for them get paid, and have a pretty good idea of what people at other companies are getting paid. The salary taboo gives employers an unfair bargaining advantage over employees, and employers already have a huge bargaining advantage on account of it being a lot easier for the employer to lose an employee than vice versa.
There has been much talk about how the top 1% is getting all the benefits of the economic expansion. Maybe the salary taboo is a big part of the reason. Because no one talks about salaries, no one realizes that someone with the same job skills received a 10% raise, so they don't know to ask for one themselves.
If people really want to stick it to The Man, they'd freely and openly tell everyone how much they earn.
Bloggers can therefore do more for equality in America than any government policy. All we have to do is start a new trend in which we tell the world exactly how much money we make. Post it in your blogs, or leave a comment here.
I'll start. I do computer programming in ASP.NET. I get paid $62.50/hour as a temp. The company that sends me my paychecks gives me zero benefits: no paid vacation or holidays, no health plan, no 401K, nada, just $62.50/hour. (I am an employee so they do pay the employer half of FICA taxes.) It's a pretty crappy salary considering that the highest paid person at the company I do the work for makes something like $100 million/year.