Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Misconceptions Leading Up To National Equal Pay Day

With a standing "O" at the Oscars, award winner Patricia Arquette struck a chord with the overwhelmingly liberal Hollywood crowd when she said:
"To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America."
Then, too, as noted in a commentary written for Reuters news by two of its journalists, Amanda Becker and Jonathan Allen, Hillary Clinton has been pushing this issue whenever she has spoken to women's groups.   But, these two journalists didn't just stop at talking about Hillary, they went on to reference the results of an online Reuters/Ipsos poll that supports Hillary's claims and then some:
"Fifty-one percent of respondents said the U.S. government should be doing more to encourage equal pay, the online poll of 2,348 adults from Feb. 27 to March 3 showed...Broken down by political party, 67 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans said the federal government should be playing a more active role, according to the poll."
Of course, they needed to point out that only 36% of Republicans supported government intervention to do more to equalize pay among the genders.  This, then, is a subtle reminder of the Democrat's theme that Republicans are conducting a war on women.  Obviously, implying that they would prefer women to be paid less.

The two writers went on to note that women only make 77 cents on the dollar when compared to men by saying: "The 77-cent figure comes from recent U.S. Census Bureau reports..."  Well, that is a complete lie.  The latest report (see link below) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, resulting from Census Bureau surveys, says this:
"On average in 2013, women made 82 percent of the median weekly earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($860). In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of what men earned."
So, here you have two journalists for a mainstreams news outlet, Reuters, lying.  The current pay disparity is 82 cents; not 77.  Also, the writers and their fellow Democrats fail to note that great strides have been made since 1979 when women only made "62% of what men earned." That's a 32% improvement in pay inequality in 34 years; or, about a 1% improvement per year.

But, there's another comment from that report that explains why women tend to get paid less:
"Among the four age groupings of those 35 years and older, women’s earnings ranged from 74 percent to 80 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts. In the younger age groups [below age 35], the earnings differences between women and men were smaller, with women earning 89 to 90 percent of what men earned."
Basically, before women decide to raise a family, they have little wage disparity.  But, understand this.  Women who leave the workforce to start a family and, then decide to return, lose all their former seniority and any raises they might have accumulated in the years they were gone.  Essentially, they are starting over at the bottom rung of the income ladder.

Lastly, all the above statistics are just generalized.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics simply averages all women's salaries and compares that to what the average man makes.  It does not even attempt to address whether or not women are paid less by specific job title, experience, or education.  It is also flawed in that  men tend to gravitate towards the higher paying jobs like engineering, computer sciences, and scientific research while, too many women tend to work as lower-paid waitresses, child care, and secretarial workers.  The only true way to determine if a woman isn't getting equal pay for equal work is to determine it through a company by company evaluation of wages, education, experience, and seniority among the genders.  This report just doesn't do that.  However, the Federal government does have a watchdog in that regard called the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission.  Everyday they work to insure that companies are fairly paying employees regardless of a "person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information."  So, it's a false argument that we need more government intervention to insure women get equal pay.

April 14th will be this year's National Equal Pay Day.  On that day, expect Obama and the Democrats to paint women as victims of widespread unfair pay practices. Thus proving that their party, alone, is working hard to equal the playing field.  But, all this will be lies.  Last year, the President made a big thing out of National Equal Pay Day.  But, following it, did he or anyone else submit legislation that was intended to close the gender gap on pay?  Did he use his pen to issue one of his patented executive orders?  The answer is no.  Simply, National Equal Pay Day is political theater or, better yet, a Democrat voter registration drive.  Also, we might question why Obama is so concerned about equal pay when he, himself, underpays the women in his administration $11,000 less than the men.


Clinton, Dems embrace Arquette's equal pay pitch - CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/24/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-patricia-arquette-equal-pay/

Hillary Clinton's focus on women's pay may resonate broadly: poll: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/05/us-usa-politics-women-idUSKBN0M10F520150305

BLS Reports: December 2014: Highlights of women’s earnings in 2013: http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/cps/highlights-of-womens-earnings-in-2013.pdf

Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission:  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/

Women paid significantly less in Obama White House than their male counterpart: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2128513/Women-paid-significantly-Obama-White-House-male-counterparts.html

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