The 77-Cent Gender Wage Gap Lie
During President Obama’s State of the Union, he decided to roll out another of those bold-faced distortions in an attempt to convince the public that the government must be called in to correct some “injustice” that simply does not exist. This time it was wage inequality.
This wage inequality myth, perpetrated by the collectivist crowd for decades, claims there exists a pay differential between men and women. This is a categorical lie that has been played out for years to justify government meddling in the labor market when no such evidence exists.
The President and his cohorts like to hang their hat on the statistic that women “make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.” In and of itself, this is accurate. In actuality, it is a lie by omission. Obama would have you believe that women working the same hours, in the same career, and with the same educational background are somehow being short-changed and discriminated against. They are not, and I can prove it. When adjusting for quantifiable variables, there is almost no significant difference in pay.
Assume for a moment that an employer could get the same work from a woman at a 23% discount to a comparable man. Then ask yourself, why wouldn’t every employer only hire women to save money and increase profits? Where are all the female-only companies? Logic dictates that the majority of companies would be staffed primarily by females, but that is not the case. Both women and men are paid based on their skill set and what they produce, not based on their sex. It is capitalism at work, and the free market corrects any imbalance that may arise. The data supports this.
Explaining this false argument in detail would compromise an entire industry that is set up to fool women into believing they are victims (and we all know how the collectivists love playing the victim card). Moving into the new century, we have seen women enter careers and positions once filled only by men—and they are getting paid exactly the same pay.
Remember, for every industry in which a woman is paid exactly the same as their male counterpart, like say, a Major in the Army, another woman would have to be severely underpaid to balance out the equation in order to arrive at the 77 cent figure. Where are all of these half-priced workers, I ask you? I’d love to hire some! The answer, my friends, is there are none. They simply don’t exist.
What is left out of this discussion is how these numbers were computed. Once understood, the public will come to realize that the U.S. labor market is set up to pay people for what they are worth, not what social engineers and do-gooders feel is “fair.”
The 77 cent figure is determined by adding essentially all of the men’s salaries and all of the women’s salaries, coming up with an average wage, and comparing the difference. That difference is the 77 cent figure, but it leaves out all of the important variables that explain for the gap. You could just as easily factually state that women weigh just 77% of what men do, or that women are just 77% the height of men and still be accurate while actually lying by omission.
What really is going on here is occupational segregation. Men and women choose different careers for different reasons, and these choices in profession are the reason for most of the wage variation. Add in that men typically work more hours, and you end up with a much different picture than what Obama had painted for you with his colorful broad brush.
Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.
Politifact defends the President’s claim, while simultaneously admitting that it is really a slight of hand that, although factually true, creates this false notion that the unobservant could easily fall prey to.
You see, women are indeed receiving equal pay for equal work. When we look at unmarried women without children and adjust for career and education level, they make more than men. Today, more women than men are graduating from college. In and of itself, this should move the needle in a large way without government intervention, but where are the calls for college equality in order to “level the playing field” to protect the disadvantaged young men?
Interestingly, when working as a self-employed entrepreneur, rather than a salaried position for someone else, women make less by choice. Now you can’t actually discriminate against yourself so why the lower pay? Women who chose to be self-employed tend to want to lead a more balanced life, rather than working solely for a large paycheck (the way men do). This occupational choice is left out of discussions because it again exposes the lie (by omission, of course!).
So what about the multitude of jobs that are cited where men significantly make more? Let’s see what these careers all have in common: Financial Adviser (SALES), Real Estate Broker (SALES), Retail Sales (SALES), Insurance Agent (SALES), Car Sales Person (SALES)… are you noticing the pattern?
It is clear that sales is the common denominator, but sex has no factor in the success rates in any of these fields. Instead, it is attaining and maintaining clients that drives the salaries in these fields. Sales is consistently listed as a hard industry because it deals with consistent rejection and long hours. Additionally, most of these jobs work on some type of commission structure, where paychecks are not stable and, at times, can even be negative. Given a choice, most women will choose the steady paycheck over the volatile earnings found in a higher earnings potential sales position. Does this mean women are being actively discriminated against, or are they just self-segregating?
Not choosing to go into fields that pay more is not some sort of war on women but instead the result of choices each individual makes. It should be noted that women in these volatile fields tend to excel when compared to their male counterparts, in part because they capture members of their own sex who (sometimes discriminately) choose them over a man. If you doubt this double standard, ask your female friends which sex they prefer their gynecologist to be.
Fields perceived of as having a higher risk are typically compensated with higher earnings. The “wage police” conveniently never highlight this factor in their wage gap arguments, either. It typically takes someone with a thick skin to build a career in certain fields, and the idea of doing this by working on a 9-to-5 schedule is not possible for most people. This example of long hours demanded by certain careers only adds to the self-imposed segregation when making that all-so-important career path decision.
Let’s not be mistaken on another key factor of success in sales, tenacity. In many cases, a driving factor is the testosterone component. And just as a career like nursing demands a more caring or estrogen component, testosterone-centered jobs pay more because of the higher-risk, higher-return tradeoff. There has never been a single case where a group of a hundred lone women set out across an ocean to tame a continent or recapture a city. Risky jobs (dominated by men) pay more, but the cost of being wrong often includes death and financial ruin. Men gravitate to risk because, in addition to the riches that may be acquired, women are more receptive to men of means. This is the most likely explanation to any differences that cannot be quantified through conventional mass data analysis methods.
When presented with one-sided perspectives, it is important to remind ourselves that sexism is a one-way street in American society. Pay inequality is just another ruse by the collectivists, like Obama, to manipulate misinformed women into providing political support for a nonexistent problem. Differences only seem to matter when it’s a woman. Persons really concerned about wage inequality can do three things that will greatly affect these numbers going forward: don’t have children, work more hours, and get a career in a STEM field. It is doubtful that many women will choose these simple solutions, that don’t involve more government meddling, to do their part in helping make the world more “fair.”