You know, republicans get a lot of hate for being the party of bullshit. Sure, they want to stick wands up our vagina’s and they don’t think we deserve the right to choose – but the left actually has a war against men going on that no one even seems to notice. They are constantly harping on this mythical thing called the “gender pay gap”, and even as recently as June of 2012 they tried to pass another law called the Equal Pay Act which the Republican’s thankfully blocked in the senate.
First, let me explain why I believe there really is no such thing as the gender pay gap:
From the wikipedia page on the issue: ”In the United States, the gender pay gap is measured as the ratio of female to male median yearly earnings among full-time, year-round (FTYR) workers. The female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.77 in 2009, meaning that, in 2009, female FTYR workers earned 77% as much as male FTYR workers. Women’s median yearly earnings relative to men’s rose rapidly from 1980 to 1990 (from 60.2% to 71.6%), and less rapidly from 1990 to 2000 (from 71.6% to 73.7%) and from 2000 to 2009 (from 73.7% to 77.0%).“
There’s two important parts of this that people fail to comment when throwing out these numbers as the reason for the gender pay gap. The first is that they using the MEDIAN income to decide these numbers. This is important, because if you remember from 3rd grade math, the median is the number squarley in the middle of the set of numbers. This sort of makes sense – whatever the person in the middle makes against the person on the middle on the other side is a good ratio, right?
But there’s a fatal flaw in this – and it’s the other part of the equation you’re missing from those numbers, and that’s what (FTYR) workers is. You see, the US Department of Labor does not actually have a definition for full time workers – so for the purpose of the study they considered anyone working 30+ hours as FTYR. It is proven that women – on average – work less hours than men – which means that the median numbers on both sides are not actually for the same amount of hours worked. If you take the numbers, and shift the focus to hourly wages alone – it eliminates almost one-third of the gap: In 1999, women’s median hourly earnings were 83.8 percent of men’s, leaving a 16.2 cent gap in hourly earnings. (Source – warning it’s a PDF.)
Okay, so there’s a 16.2 cent gap in hourly earnings once we’re looking at the correct number – but can that be attributed to other things? Like perhaps education, experience, industry, occupation and union status? Of course – and in fact – there is a study out there by Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn which actually addresses this issue. The Blau and Kahn study attributes 62 percent of the gap in hourly wages to such differences—one-third to differences in human capital variables, and 29 percent to differences in industry, occupation and union status. (Source – again, it’s a PDF.)
So if we apply those numbers to correct wage PER HOUR gap of 16.2 cents, 6.2 cents of the gender wage gap remains unexplained. Or in other words – women make approximately 94 cents to every dollar that men make. That is a far cry from the 77 cents on the dollar number that most people advocating equal pay tend to spit out.
The final question remains though – what is that 6.2 cents of gender wage gap representative of? Is it discrimination – or is it a combination of other things, such as the fact that women are more likely to have a break in their employment history to tend to family matters? Is it because women typically end up taking jobs where they work less than 40 hours a week? Is it because men often end up in jobs where they get overtime by the hour – such as roofing, working on roads, or other high risk jobs which pay accordingly? It’s easy to say that women are discriminated on based on sex – but are they really?
Recent study’s have shown this just isn’t in the case – in fact – women are on pace to out earn men when you control for education and experience in most fields. In fact, unmarried, childless women in their 20′s in metropolitan areas are now making significantly more than their male counterparts. And if you take into consideration the fact that employers place a high value on degrees – you also have to take into account that more women are graduating from college than men every year. (In fact, women have also started graduating at a higher rate from graduate programs – therefore you have more women with advanced degrees than you do men.)
But you know, the democrats keep insisting we need equal pay laws, and that women need special laws to protect them from discrimination at the work place.
If you ask me, the men should probably a little scared at this point.