Tuesday, November 24, 2015

on Bigfoot and the "gender pay gap"

A really nice piece by Mark Perry at AEI on the "pay gap" and why it makes no sense, from a variety of angles...

There is widespread acceptance by the general public...[of] the completely bogus claim that women are paid “77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.” 

Despite the widespread acceptance of the...claim, there is rarely ever any specific evidence presented showing that specific firms are in violation of federal law by paying women 23% less than men for doing the same job. What Obama, Clinton and gender activists are really implying is that firms across the country are illegally violating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by paying women 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men, and those deliberate and ongoing violations are somehow going undetected. 

Where are these companies? Where are these cases? And if it's true, why is the government such a profound regulatory failure in this regard? (And why do the biggest proponents of government in this realm have so much faith?) Why aren't greedy lawyers going wild in this arena? 

From there, Perry covers examples where blatant gender discrimination is not likely: 
1.) Women-owned businesses
2.) Female CEOs
3.) Union Members
4.) Workers Paid by Commission
5.) Government Employees
6.) Waiters and Waitresses (It's difficult to imagine differences in pay. There could be differences in tip income, based on *consumer* discrimination against women. But where is the evidence for this claim?)
7.) Public School Teachers and College Professors (Not as compelling as the above, but again, you never hear complaints here (except for the occasional note that women can be over-paid in fields where women are far less prevalent). And in the case of K-12, teachers usually insist on the status-quo, monopsony-power relationship to their employers, implying their satisfaction with the arrangement.) 
8.) Human Resource Professionals (Direct and indirect evidence here: Given that about 3/4ths of HR'ers-- including the top executive in many cases-- are female, what's the likelihood that they would stand for this?

Of course, the case is even worse when one considers that 77 is actually an average-- so that some are above the average and amazingly, some are supposedly (far) below the average.

Bottom line: Belief in the pay gap is popular, but embracing it is anti-science, anti-logic, and makes you look like a rube. 


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