The “Fair Pay” Hoax

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Oprah Winfrey is paid $386 million a year, much more than the nation’s top paid corporate executive, Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison. The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of CEO pay this year says Ellison takes home only $184 million. But aren’t women always paid less than men? That’s the long-held political verity.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Nov. 18 groused: “Senate Republicans today disrespected America’s working women by voting to prevent any debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act,”

An avid protector of women, Trumka probably hadn’t kicked any non-union woman in the kneecap all week.

Of all the least important and solely kowtowing pieces of legislation for the lame-duck Congress to be acting on, the Paycheck Fairness Act probably headed the list. The House-passed measure failed by two votes to reach the 60-vote supermajority needed to break a Republican filibuster. Congress decided to go home for Thanksgiving instead of acting on the most crucial issue at hand—what to do about the Bush tax cuts.

Boss Trumka charged that the cruel Republican male Senators “encourage discrimination against women in the workplace.”(GOP Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, all females, also voted against the “fairness” legislation).

The old cliché was dragged out about women earning 77 cents for every dollar earned by a male worker. Trumka on a high rhetorical pedestal whined, “Efforts like this legislation to close the income gap in our country are an essential component to long-term economic recovery (Actually unemployment is higher among men than women). He added indignantly that “Republicans in the cold pursuit of their political goals and interests of their Wall Street allies…have one message to the elderly, the unemployed, the uninsured, and now even women: ‘NO.’”

President Obama reacted to the Senate vote as if in high dudgeon. He vowed to “continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work,” as if the rationale of the bill—supposedly perverse sexual discrimination in the workplace—was as self-evident as universal suffrage, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out in an editorial Nov. 19.

The legislation was intended as a gift to the Democrat-supporting trial lawyers. Under the legislation, businesses would have had to prove that their pay policies were not the result of workplace bias. It also automatically drafted women as plaintiffs in class action suits when lawyers sue employers.

What campaigners for equal pay call the gender wage gap, to the extent that it still exists, is mostly a factor of occupational choices and the composition of the workforce—heavily influenced by the wide-open fact that it’s women who have babies. And most females of all races, creeds, or other distinctions stop working to care for their children, at least while the kids are young. So many inevitably lose experience, seniority—and compensation.

The wage gap that still exists is partly explained by the fact that many older women work in jobs still marked by attitudes of the past. In contrast, young women reflect women’s social and legal advances and are paid close to men’s pay for the same work.

True, decades after women entered the work force en masse, pay disparity between men and women has fallen but not disappeared,

according to the Labor Department. The Government Accountability Office said the pay gap has declined mainly because men’s and women’s experience as well as educational attainment has become more similar.

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  • Patrick Henry

    Identity politics, exploitation, unfairness, etc. These are the code-words used to pit class against class, race against race, young against old, in order to justify fascism and socialism. Freedom is unfair in an entitlement society, so a well-managed society (i.e., tyranny) is the new freedom.
    We are halfway down the road to serfdom and have reached a fork in the road. This decade might finally answer Ben Franklin's reply to whether we can keep our republic.

  • Lee Poteet

    During my twenty-five you career in public service, the major thing which I noticed is that women were never expected to do anything like the same work as men. If there was a physical component to the job men were expected to do it without comment, but the same was never expected of women. Women could without criticism take longer breaks, longer lunches and time off for the most trivial of excuses. And this in a place where women were already paid the same as men for the same job, if not for the same work.

  • 080

    What is this stuff about "fair wage". To me a fair wage is a wage that you are willing to accept. We do have a minimum wage but that wage is not fair but merely enforced by law. It should be apparent that employers are not willing to pay the minimum wage so they don't hire the kids that would be willing to accept less. Instead politicians have invented the "living wage". Since that is bound to be higher than the minimum wage you can be sure that fewer people will be hired than at the minimum wage. So we have people who would be glad to work for lessl but by law they are consigned to street corners and we get the result.

  • cjoh

    I am a woman who works in the legal field (no – I'm not a lawyer). I can definitely say that as a single woman I get paid less than a man would. It's not, however, because there is a cabal of men in a backroom smoking cigars sitting around trying to oppress me, the market actually discriminates against me because I am single. Married women want flexibility with their schedule to raise their kids (and I'm not against that and I even applaud it). So this fact, I believe, drives down the pay for women – I am single and don't have the luxury of a man pulling in 60-70% of the income. I wish the tax laws gave singles a break – it would help with the pay gap immensley in my opinion.

  • http://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/a-sci-fi-novella/ relevantmatters

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN August 2008 report at http://tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” at http://tinyurl.com/qqkaka. This may or may not reflect an increase in the percentage of women staying at home. But if the percentage has increased, perhaps it's because feminists and the media have told them relentlessly for years that women are paid less than men in the same jobs, and so why bother working if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman.)

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Because they're supported by their husband.

    If millions of wives can accept no wages and live as well as their husbands, millions of other wives can accept low wages, refuse to work overtime, refuse promotions, take more unpaid days off, avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (http://preview.tinyurl.com/23qycq)— all of which lowers women's average pay. They can do this because they are supported by husbands who must earn more than if they'd remained single — which is how MEN help create the wage gap. (If the roles were reversed so that men raised the children and women raised the income, men would average lower pay than women.)

    By the way, the next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020. The year 2020 is how far into the future women will have to work to experience the same number of work-related deaths that men experienced in 2009 alone. See http://tinyurl.com/yab2blv

  • coyote3

    Gee, I am disapppointed. Why do they have to have blue eyes? I am one of those evil devils, and I don't have blue eyed person in my family.

  • Quarkonntn

    Statistics Canada defines anyone who is paid for 32 hours of work per week as a full time worker. The average full time female worker in Canada puts in 35 hours per week compared to the average male worker at 44 hours per week. Female workers also have five times the attrition rate of males. Less hours worked combined with less experience and seniority would account for the 35% difference in pay in Canada and the same is probably true in the U.S.