By Tom Quiner
A foundational premise of the “A Day Without a Woman” march is that women are oppressed, especially when it comes to wages.
The mantra from the Left is that women earn something like 77 cents on the dollar compared to men; that white, conservative men want to keep women in their place; and that the solution is more legislation, more regulation, and more control of the workplace by federal and state governments.
The meme below is typical of the skewed thinking this debate generates.
My ultra-liberal state legislator, Marti Anderson, posted the meme above on her Facebook page a few years ago.
Here is a smattering of comments:
“No surprise, they HATE women in general, esp. low income ones.”
Talk about nuance.
For the record, I did not put ‘hate’ in caps, the responder did herself to emphasize her ignorance of conservatism.
Here are more:
“WTF? Aren’t there ANY sane Republicans??”
“Shame shame shame….shame on them!!!”
“Yes, sadly typical. Ladies we have to vote in every single election for a better country for all!”
“And no one was surprised. They always do. They claim it’s bad for business. So is paying wages but businesses manage to survive that horror. Guess they’ll keep on voting against it until Republican women wake up to outrage.”
“Every single one should be voted out of office. Wake up Republlican (sic) women they are controlling you all.”
Here is my somewhat expansive response:
“Marti, I expected better of you. It is true that the Obama White House pays his female employees 13% less than their male counterparts.
But when we distance ourselves from the phony rhetoric of the relentlessly insincere and ill-informed, we discover the argument is bunk.
A wage gap doesn’t exist, at least, not according to Obama’s Department of Labor. They studied it in real detail in 2009 and concluded:
“This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”
So what are some of these individual choices? Men choose different career paths. For example, men are more likely to pursue riskier jobs that pay more because of the danger inherit in the work, jobs such as construction work and iron and steel work.
Even more, men are more likely to go into high paying fields (by choice), such as computer and engineering fields, while women tend to go in more modest paying fields (by choice) such as health care.
Men are more likely to pursue jobs that pay more because the jobs demand evening and weekend work.
Men tend to stay in jobs longer, increasing their income over women who are more likely to interrupt their career to raise children.
Men work longer hours, on average 15 percent more than women. How could they NOT get paid more?
But here’s what is really interesting: the Census Bureau tells us that unmarried women who have never had a child actually earn more than unmarried men.
Is that a reflection of anti-male discrimination? Not really, because more women are going to college than men these days.
So, the implication that there is some sort of anti-women discrimination at work in society is simply false. So there is good news for America: the wage gap is a myth!
Even more, pay equity legislation has been on the books for half a century. The Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963 after the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill, 362-9. For the record, all 9 dissenters were Democrats.”
No one commented on my response.