At Work

The gender pay gap

Listen carefully and you will hear this phrase frequently in the next ten months. It’s the politically correct cause of the day. You are again being manipulated for votes. 

“The challenge of changing the gender pay gap is that people don’t think they’ve experienced it firsthand,” said Susan Duffy, executive director for the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College. In the U.S., the average woman makes 79¢ for every dollar earned by a man. Source Bloomberg Insights 2-14-16

Is that a statistically factually statement, probably. Does it mean there is wide-spread pay discrimination in the U.S. job market today? No  Does the statement ignore all the facts and circumstances surrounding that percentage? Yes. 

For example, women still tend to be teachers more than men and teachers are not high paid (in cash compensation anyway) so that adds to the lower number. Pay teachers more you say‼️ Sure, just raise property and other taxes on the middle class.  If a women took a union job as a heavy equipment operator would she be paid less? No. But women don’t tend to do that kind of job so on average women are paid less. Now if society wants to pay a first grade teacher the same as a crane operater in the Operating Engineers Union; problem solved🤑

Using that average pay differential is like saying the average retired worker’s monthly Social Security benefit is $1,341 which it is as of January 2016, but as the SSA notes, that number changes monthly. The average includes people who retired decades ago, who retired early and who waited until age 70. It doesn’t tell us a more relevant number like the average benefit starting today at normal retirement age. 

Assuming the average gender pay gap is a result of discrimination today is like Bernie Sanders using the average Social Security benefit (and ignoring a spousal benefit) to call for increasing Social Security benefits before we make Social Security solvent. 


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