AUDIENCE MEMBER: You voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?It's been illegal to discriminate against women by paying them less since 1963. The Ledbetter Act didn't make that any more illegal; it just made it easier for women to sue if they find out they're being discriminated against. Because, see, where Akin says that "If somebody wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that's fine, however it wants to work," the reality is that employers don't generally say to women, "Hey, I'm going to pay you less than I'm paying men doing the same job as you. Is that okay by you?" They just pay less, keeping it a secret. Because they're breaking the law. Which means it would be bad for them if the women they were discriminating against found out about it.
AKIN: Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I'm making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don't think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don't pay. I think it's about freedom. If somebody wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that's fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.
So the only "freedom" Akin is talking about here is the freedom of businesses to break the law. Which he thinks is fine, because he doesn't think that equal pay should be the law, even in largely unenforceable theory. Just like he doesn't think there should be a minimum wage. Hey, then businesses could pay women, like, 50 cents an hour. That's freedom for you!