Policy: Labor

No, women do not make 77 cents for every dollar men make

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Labor,Ashe Schow,War on Women,Gender Issues

Today is Equal Pay Day, an invented milestone created by those who want to push the myth that women make 77 cents for every dollar men make. The day symbolizes the point in the year that women will have earned the same amount of money that men earned in 2013.

But, of course, this marker is unnecessary. Equal Pay Day actually took place in January because women don’t make 77 cents to the dollar that men make.

How many times do we have to keep debunking this myth?

The 77-cent figure comes from Census Bureau statistics showing that if you just look at what women earn versus what men earn, there's a wage gap. The Left likes to say that this is due to gender discrimination.

But the 77-cent figure is comparing apples to oranges. It compares female nurses to male lawyers, female secretaries to male economists. When you control for occupation, college degree, experience and life choices (like women working jobs with flexible hours to care for their families), that wage gap virtually disappears.

Further, any remaining gap that may exist can't be conclusively linked to discrimination, as American Association of University Women Vice President for Public Relations Lisa Maatz admitted.

And 77 cents isn't even accurate for blanket comparisons anymore. Based on 2012 statistics, the blanket wage gap is 81 cents, a little higher than the oft-repeated 77-cent figure. But don't expect the Left to change its talking point -- the larger the wage gap, the bigger the outrage.

Now, the Left is already trying to claim that those pointing out the myth are wrong. They fall back on the claim that, well, even if the wage gap is due to choices women make, they only make those choices because of sexism.

Right, okay. So a woman decides to major in sociology not because she likes the field, but because a man told her to do so.

Let me ask this: Are women responsible for any decisions they make? The Left doesn’t appear to think so, which I find sexist. Women are perfectly capable of making their own decisions free from what men and society say. But that’s just my opinion, apparently.

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