Obama Continues Cynical Campaign of Division, Trots Out Unequal Gender Pay Myth
In a cynical, dishonest and divisive effort to boost his flailing campaign and distract from the latest jobs report reflecting his dismal economic record, President Obama is trumping the Paycheck Fairness Act (or as I like to call it, the Trial Lawyer Payout Enhancement Act), a new onerous regulatory regime which will benefit trial lawyers at the expense of businesses and the economy, and which is based on the discredited premise that women earn less than men for equal work.
The administration propaganda machine is now offering e-cards that you can send to annoy your friends and remind everyone you know that America is still an awful, sexist country. Here is an example:
Notice the fundamental dishonesty here. A “typical 25-year-old woman” is not the same as “a typical 25-year-old man.” Women are more risk-averse, make different career choices, work different hours and value different rewards. So why should they be expected to earn the same?
Individuals draw paychecks, not identity groups, and it is their individual choices which determine what that pay check is. Men, for instance, work in more dangerous jobs and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available) were 12 times more likely to die from work-related injuries than women. Should we also create a new government agency to randomly kill enough female workers each year until this grisly inequality is eliminated? The BLS American Time Use Survey also reveals that men work more hours, even when only looking at those with full-time jobs, averaging 8.2 hours per workday for men compared to 7.8 for women.
When actually looking at the facts, it is rather ridiculous to look just at average pay for full-time men and women and conclude that any difference is necessarily the result of discrimination, as the feminists do whenever they trot out the context-less “pay gap.” Even the White House has in the past acknowledged these facts by observing that men choose to work in higher paying fields than women (many of which are higher paying because they are deadly, as evidenced above).
In fact, when comparing apples to apples, women often come out ahead:
When you compare apples to apples, the so-called wage gap disappears. Young, childless, single urban women earn 8 percent more than their male counterparts. Women who have never had a child earn 113 percent of what men earn. Unmarried college-educated males between the ages of 40 and 64 earn nearly 15 percent less than their female counterparts.
The Paycheck Fairness Act, in other words, is based on a faulty premise. Men earn more on average because they choose, on average, to work in riskier jobs, work longer hours, and are also more likely to negotiate salaries and ask for raises. That’s not discrimination; It’s individuals making free choices in a free society. This is not jut my own conclusion, but also that of Obama’s own Deparment of Labor:
“This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”
Unfortunately, the faulty premise behind the Paycheck Fairness Act is not its only problem. Aside from being unnecessary, the law would have significant negative consequences if enacted. The Wall Street Journal explains:
The law automatically lists women as plaintiffs in class actions when lawyers sue employers, thereby requiring female employees to opt-out of litigation with which they don’t agree. Businesses would be treated as guilty until shown to be innocent, having to prove in court that their pay practices aren’t the result of workplace bias. The legislation contains no caps on damage awards, allowing plaintiffs to claim unlimited punitive damages even in cases of unintentional discrimination.
The bill is also a first step toward federal pay mandates. It requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect data from employers about how they compensate on the basis of sex, race and national origin. Government rarely collects data merely to put it in a vault. These numbers will form the basis of class-action suits and will invite regulators to issue federal compensation guidelines.
This is a bad law to treat a non-existent problem. Worse, it is being advanced solely for the purpose of further dividing Americans in order to elevate President Obama’s reelection campaign. Because he has no record worth running on, the President will continue dredging up every myth, fable and scare-story imaginable in order to hit on every perceived identity grievance in existence.