A Hill Talk editorial:  The wage-gap myth

A significant plank of the Democratic Party of late is an issue which the Left hopes to perpetuate and propel them into occupying the White House for another four years.  Despite an inequality lawsuit which was rejected by the Supreme Court and legislation inspired by the Court’s rebuff which gave modest relief to a perceived injustice in the workplace, the wage-gap subject appears to be one of the Left’s stirring issues of the 2016 election cycle.

The notion of a wage-gap rests on twenty-three cents.

According to the Left’s reasoning, the wage-gap discourages fraternity in the workplace, injures family finances, prevents women from necessary means to pay for child care, health care, education and retirement.  Organizations such as Center for American Progress and National Women’s Law Center trumpet legislation such as the Fair Pay Act as immediate and necessary panacea of all which ills females in the workplace.

The gender wage-gap is utter fiction; the Left is aware of this fact; and when carefully analyzed with relevant facts to illustrate the existence of a gap in pay, the 23-cent statistic is narrowed to an inconsequential five cents or less, a nearly indistinguishable difference in pay between genders.

Presented to the public as a moral obscenity, the Left panders to a voting bloc they find firmly in their corner.  Armed with tissue-thin evidence and a statistical light-show filled with putative “facts”assembled to illustrate the alleged sin of wage discrimination in the workplace, the wage-gap is untrue but accepted as truth and has earned blind faith among a sample of voters.

According to Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, champions of the wage-gap matter carefully, conveniently and deliberately ignore crucial realities of career choice, beginning with college majors.  Sommers begins:

“Women, far more than men, appear to be drawn to jobs in the caring professions; and men are more likely to turn up in people-free zones. In the pursuit of happiness, men and women appear to take different paths.” 

Drawing conclusions from exhaustive research and a study conducted by the CONSAD Research Group, Sommers deduces women select lower-paying careers because they wish for a career and not a paycheck.  In doing so, females demonstrate a willingness to forswear all the vanities and pleasures of life for careers which pay less but find bliss in pursuing.

By taking into account careers which pay less, but are a conscience choice of women to enter, is where the wage-gap myth is utterly demolished.  Further, the fiction of the 23-cent gap exists because of the deliberate removal of pivotal variables in the argument.

“Economics majors (66 percent male) have a median income of $70,000; for sociology majors (68 percent female) it is $40,000. Economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute has pointed to similar incongruities. The AAUW study classifies jobs as diverse as librarian, lawyer, professional athlete, and “‘media occupations'” under a single rubric–“‘other white collar.'” Says Furchtgott-Roth: “‘So, the AAUW report compares the pay of male lawyers with that of female librarians; of male athletes with that of female communications assistants. That’s not a comparison between people who do the same work.'” With more realistic categories and definitions, the remaining 6.6 gap would certainly narrow to just a few cents at most,” writes Sommers in the Huffington Post.

Precis:  Sommers asserts that most of the data assembled on the issue beyond degree selection is misleading and rife with inexact comparisons of career choices and job responsibilities.

Organizations such as American Association of University Women (AAUW), which conducted their own investigation into the alleged gender pay-gap, concluded similarly to Sommers.  In its 2007 report titled Behind the Pay Gap, the AAUW admitted to the falsity of such claims; however, using an evasion technique to prevent betraying their public stance, AAUW filled their conclusions with a caveat:  The organization conceded choice of degree accounts for much of the pay gap, but explicitly stated powerful stereotypes drive the choices women make in the pursuit of a college degree and career.

Similar research has also concluded women arrive late to work, take longer lunch breaks, depart work earlier, take more sick days, take longer vacations and quit jobs earlier than their male counterparts, all of which can account for the remaining five-cent pay difference.

Why the unflinching portrayal of a gender wage-gap?

Democrats frequently depart from their favorite issue, abortion, to venture into the workplace and portray females as at an immeasurable disadvantage needing their help to close a gap which is virtually nonexistent.

The 2016 election cycle has forced the Left to return to its favorite hobbyhorse of seeking victims to burnish its reputation as a political institution seeking to redress injustice and offer fairness.  This is inspired, if not wholly motivated, by the Democrats’ desire to perpetuate a fraudulent narrative of inequality, which they blame on “discriminatory workplaces” in order to win national office.

According to the leading Democratic nominees, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, their road to enlightenment is the genius of government converging on the workplace where women are victims of both the predatory ambition of males in the workplace and male hubris in the boardroom. Their solution is government lifting women from a workplace which is a hopelessly and intractably sexist environment. They believe the last form of sexism in America exists in professional-grade compensation.  On the stump or in aggrieved commentary, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders have made promiscuous use of a vital lie to secure their political futures.

Although nearly universally popular belief in their ken, when carefully weighing relevant facts and avoiding inaccurate comparisons, the gender wage-gap is an invention and can be contested on factual grounds.  Worse, both Sanders and Clinton will ultimately honored for their disgraceful advancement of the wage-gap fabrication.

Many recognize hyperbole; few can analyze in the absence of facts.  Gender wage-pay is not a problem, nor is it worth spending much time on.


[Pew Research Foundation] [NWLC.org] [Dailycaller.com] [consag.com] [aauw.org] [HuffingtonPost.com] [Photo courtesy Thenewdaily.com.au]