This week President Obama took up theme that women are the victims of pay discrimination. According to Obama, they are victims of discrimination because they earn 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. Obama, of course, is the champion of these victims. The White House has posted an account of Obama’s theatrics on the subject here.
To make out discrimination, however, one has to control for the relevant variables. This is basic statistical science. The 77 cents figure “does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week,” as Christina Hoff Sommers put it on the occasion of Obama’s SOTU speech.
The proposition that the statistical disparity in pay touted by Obama results from employment discrimination has been examined and disproved many times over. The great Thomas Sowell addressed it in chapter 3 of Economic Facts and Fallacies (summarized in the video we posted here). Obama’s line on women’s pay falls into the category of “fallacy.”
Obama knows his line is a fallacy, yet he can’t resist. It is useful to him. It helps him take advantage of women who don’t know better for his own narrow partisan political purposes.
The women fooled by Obama’s line are gullible and lacking in knowledge of basic facts. Taking advantage of them in this manner is contemptible.
Equal pay for equal work is the law of the land. It turns out, of course, that the White House is itself guilty of pay discrimination in Obama’s scheme of things. AEI’s Mark Perry sets out the “analysis” proving pay discrimination at the White House here in a form even the folks at CNN can understand. If Obama can’t fool those who want to believe at CNN with this line, who ya gonna fool?
Video via Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard.