A couple of days ago it was National Equal Pay Day. It’s one of those days the government uses to pit one group against another. This day is to show how women make less money than men. So along with this so-called discriminatory day comes some highly misguided Facebook posts and mass emails from the folks that fall for such propaganda. This post is to debunk such erroneous statistic used to show the pay gap between women and men as discriminatory.
From the White House’s own website it states this National Equal Pay Day…
Working women power America’s economy and sustain our middle class. For millions of families across our country, women’s wages mean food on the table, decent medical care, and timely mortgage payments. Yet, in 2010 — 47 years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 — women who worked full-time earned only 77 percent of what their male counterparts did. The pay gap was even greater for African American and Latina women, with African American women earning 64 cents and Latina women earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. National Equal Pay Day represents the date in the current year through which women must work to match what men earned in the previous year, reminding us that we must keep striving for an America where everyone gets an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work.
Now looking at this statistic on the surface without using any critical thinking, you’d think this was unfair and discriminatory. But the problem with this is that they don’t explain why men make 77% more than women. Deliberately of course. They just throw some imprudent stat up on its website and expect the sheep to regurgitate it up for their talking points. It works every time. The state loves to exploit unequal statistics.
There are a lot of sociological and psychological factors that contribute to the large pay gap between women and men. The government and media tend to leave these factors out when promoting such injustice.
What they don’t tell you is that women tend to pick careers for self-fulfillment rather than money. Men usually pick hazardous and more strenuous jobs while women usually settle for cushy and safer jobs. They don’t tell you that women are 9 times more than likely to drop out of work due to family reasons. Or that men have half the absenteeism rate of women. Men are also most likely to take jobs that require travel and paid commission while their counterparts take the 9 to 5 kind of jobs. Women look for job security while men tend to take higher risks (=higher rewards). The great Murray Rothbard explains it like this…
The lower average income for women can be explained on several grounds, none of which involve irrational “sexist” discrimination. One is the fact that the overwhelming majority of women work a few years, and then take a large chunk of their productive years to raise children, after which they may or may not decide to return to the labor force. As a result, they tend to enter, or to find, jobs largely in those industries and in that type of work that does not require a long-term commitment to a career. Furthermore, they tend to find jobs in those occupations where the cost of training new people, or of losing old ones, is relatively low. These tend to be lower-paying occupations than those that require a long-term commitment or where costs of training or turnover are high. This general tendency to take out years for child-raising also accounts for a good deal of the failure to promote women to higher-ranking, and therefore higher-paying jobs, and hence for the low female “quotas” in these areas. It is easy to hire secretaries who do not intend to make the job their continuing life work; it is not so easy to promote people up the academic or the corporate ladder who do not do so. How does a dropout for motherhood get to be a corporate president or a full professor?
Government statistics are very manipulative and are used to justify its expansion and intrusion in society. And usually with its unwarranted mandates come greater injustice than if they did nothing. The state and media created an illusion that businesses are sexist toward women. This is highly inaccurate and deliberately misleading.
A great book to pick up is Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap And What Women Can Do About It by Warren Farrell. He analyzes the social implications that cause women to get paid less than men and offers some solutions to tighten the gap. Though I don’t agree with everything in the book, it’s a great reference to intellectually expose the superficial talking points from some mindless MSNBC pundit.
By using the power of the state to increase wages for women is actually doing more harm to them. By raising the cost of women’s labor artificially through laws, regulations and mandates is actually lowering the demand for such work. Economics 101. The higher the price the lower the demand. Equal pay legislation will actually make women poorer and men richer in the long run. Legislators don’t consider any of these social or biological factors when forming laws. This is why they do more harm than good and leave society even more lopsided than before they intervened. Freedom and markets is what pulls people out of poverty, not the state.