Today is “Equal Pay Day,” which mitigates the fact that April is also Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month. (Seriously—it is.) And so we might as well remind everyone—again—that the “Pay Gap” is another of those myths that liberals cling to like a drowning man to a life preserver.
One of the better refutations to this perennial nonsense appeared in, of all places, the Huffington Post in 2014:
If you believe women suffer systemic wage discrimination, read the new American Association of University Women (AAUW) study Graduating to a Pay Gap. Bypass the verbal sleights of hand and take a hard look at the numbers. Women are close to achieving the goal of equal pay for equal work. They may be there already.
How many times have you heard that, for the same work, women receive 77 cents for every dollar a man earns? This alleged unfairness is the basis for the annual Equal Pay Day observed each year about mid-April to symbolize how far into the current year women have to work to catch up with men’s earnings from the previous year. If the AAUW is right, Equal Pay Day will now have to be moved to early January.
The AAUW has now joined ranks with serious economists who find that when you control for relevant differences between men and women (occupations, college majors, length of time in workplace) the wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing. The 23-cent gap is simply the average difference between the earnings of men and women employed “full time.” What is important is the “adjusted” wage gap-the figure that controls for all the relevant variables. That is what the new AAUW study explores.
Yes, this piece was snuck in at the PuffHo by the redoubtable Christina Hoff Sommers, and I’ll bet some PuffHo editor got an earful for greenlighting this piece.
Mark Perry ups the ante with “Equal Occupational Fatality Day,” noting that men dominate—by a lot—the categories of employment that have the highest injury and fatality rates. Indeed, the government’s own cost-benefit analysis is based chiefly on the wage differential between average occupations and higher-risk occupations. Here’s Mark’s table:
I’ll take the feminists more seriously when they start observing “Equal Risk Day.”
Bonus: Here’s Christina again, ‘splainin’ it to us: