Paul Mutter is an electronic publishing intern at Truthout.
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The truth was (and still is) that in the United States, as in almost every country, categories of work are less likely to be paid by the expertise they require — or even by importance to the community or to the often mythical free market — than by the sex, race and class of most of their workers.
Whether in the United States or in the international economy, it's a rule with few exceptions: Work is valued by the social value of the worker. A category of work is paid least when women do it, some what more when almost any variety of men do it, and much more when men of the "right" race or class do it.