Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap

Perform a Google image search on "Wage Gap," and you'll find many pictures and cartoons conveying this message: woman do the same work as men, for less than men's pay.  Having watched the hiring in business and law schools over the past two decades, from a professor's perch, Noman knows that this is a lot of hooey, at least within the professions.  If anything, the opposite is true, which is confirmed by Carrie Lukas in an op-ed today:
Perhaps feminists feel awkward protesting a liberal-dominated government—or perhaps they know that the recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy.
The unemployment rate is consistently higher among men than among women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 9.3% of men over the age of 16 are currently out of work. The figure for women is 8.3%. Unemployment fell for both sexes over the past year, but labor force participation (the percentage of working age people employed) also dropped. The participation rate fell more among men (to 70.4% today from 71.4% in March 2010) than women (to 58.3% from 58.8%). That means much of the improvement in unemployment numbers comes from discouraged workers—particularly male ones—giving up their job searches entirely.
Men and women tend to make different job choices, and full-time working men work an average of 9% longer each day than women.  In contrast to women, men tend to take riskier and more physically demanding work, during worse hours, which tends to pay more for the trouble.  Consequently, averages "reveal" a much highlighted wage gap between the sexes.  A more nuanced look at the data reveals another reality.

Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women's earnings are going up compared to men's.
Should we celebrate the closing of the wage gap? Certainly it's good news that women are increasingly productive workers, but women whose husbands and sons are out of work or under-employed are likely to have a different perspective. After all, many American women wish they could work less, and that they weren't the primary earners for their families.
Propaganda gimmicks like "Equal Pay Day" make Noman sick because they bear all the earmarkings of leftist agitprop over fabricated problems.  This is how the left advances, and creates a captive, culpable constituency; it becomes complicit, and beholden, merely by being opportunistic, by taking advantage of leftist demagoguery.  The end result of this particular scam, and all lefty scams, is that more men are out of work; more women have work; women who want and seek men to be husbands, fathers, providers, protectors, are out of luck; and--here's the main point--the family suffers.  The pattern is invariable.  No-wife notes that the feminist caricature of home-making mothers--barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen--has been replaced by a new ideal: well-shod and sterile in the boardroom.

As far as Noman can tell, in recent years the best men in his classes don't stand a chance in job competition with less than the best women in his classes, and not because women are generally better.  Women are simply better organized at shaking down corporations via a myriad of social-psychology, guilt-trip tactics buttressed by relentless media indoctrination regarding "wage-gaps" and such.

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