The “gender pay gap” – again.

A woman that my wife and I know via the connection of us all having kids in grade school together is a pediatrician. Let’s call her Julie.

Julie is great. She’s whip smart and I have no doubt that she is a fine physician.

But to the National Pay Equity Committee – a feminist group organized in 1996 – Julie is a victim. That’s because even though Julie is a fine doctor, she makes less money than the male doctors in her same practice.

That difference between what Julie makes and what the male doctors make serves as the raison d’être for the organization’s annual Equal Pay Day, which happened Tuesday.

Equal Pay Day (April 4, 2017) is the 94 extra days, according to this group, that women had to work in 2017 to make as much as men had made by the end of 2016. Equal Pay Day exists, according to the group’s website, “…as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.”

The National Pay Equity Committee would have you believe that women earn less because the men running companies are stingy and mean and misogynist. Thus they would tell you that Congress should pass laws that would deeply involve the federal government in the hiring practices and pay policies of American companies.

If you’ve ever experienced federal regulation it’s easy to imagine the nightmare – the required annual reports to the government backed by the threat of intrusive audits and stiff penalties. Give Sam a raise because he’s good at his job (and because if you don’t he’s going to go work across the street), and you’ll have to give Betty a raise too or face the consequences.

Tell Jill to shape up or ship out and you’d better forthwith go tell Jack the same thing or be prepared to explain why you didn’t.

It would be a massive job killer born of a bogus premise. The “women make less than men” meme comes from the U.S. Census. It says that over their lifetimes, women will earn only 78 percent of what men earn. It’s a grossly simplistic analysis that falls well short of painting an accurate picture.

It fails to take into account many factors – just one of them being that women are far less likely to take the dirty, dangerous jobs that men take—jobs that pay more because they’re dirty and dangerous.

Mostly, however, it fails to take into account that most women will have had at least one child by age 45. Our Dr. Julie is Exhibit A. Julie chooses to work part time in order to be a mom to her kids – just like the millions of women who gravitate to part time work, or take time out of the workforce altogether, so as to accommodate their duties as mothers.

Julie will earn less over her career practicing medicine because that’s the way she wants it. She earns less because she chooses to earn less.

To any reasonable observer, that’s not inequality.

It’s freedom.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. C M Solomon says:

    The word “freedom” is a fuzzy personal concept, not a measurable “Social Justice” concept that is intended to provide “equality and fairness” in support of a “shared prosperity” for the collective of Society at large. The predominate meaning of “freedom” today is defined as FDR proposed it in his Second Bill of Rights, essentially, “Freedom from Want.”

    FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights”
    > Employment, Food, clothing, and leisure with enough income to support them
    > Farmers’ rights to a fair income
    > Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
    > Housing
    > Medical care
    > Social security
    > Education

    Individual rights must NOT dilute the rights and privileges of your fellow citizen if it can be shown by government statistics that an inequality exists. We must come to grips that it is the Federal government, not our personal opinion, which determines our needs. This is an area of personal control that government bureaucrats have final judgment and ability to fulfill by various laws and mandates on businesses and payments by government subsidies of all types.

    This is the world that 80 years of creeping Socialism has brought us. I was worried 40 years ago that the government insistence on “redistribution of wealth” by any subversive means necessary would bring about this addiction to the “safety net” that will turn out to be a “redistribution of poverty”. Elections don’t have much effect on the courts or the bureaucracy that enforces “collective freedom” over “personal freedom” which gets worse every day. I don’t see a political force strong enough to change this momentum, just a lot of philosophizing.

  2. Richard Anderson says:

    Excellent essay Mr. Gleiser. Freedom is very precious to real Americans who cherish and understand our founding documents– The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. Sadly, “statist bureaucrats” and leftist special interest groups haven’t a clue about what We The People in our great country value above all else as a proud nation established “under GOD”…. FREEDOM.

    A national broadcast television network series now in its second season which aired last night, is centered around a former cabinet member who is now President having been trust into power because of a cataclysmic event, has now episodically veered squarely into espousing left leaning views which are completely “out of touch” with today’s American citizenry. Subjects being touted as needed to be “pushed as an agenda” were: the need to address climate change, addressing the gender pay gap* [*i.e.”so-called”] and lastly, the call for gun control, as if these are held by the public as paramount. They aren’t. It’s just a show, but how predictable, that what comes from the east and west coast metropolitan bastions of liberalism is so progressively politically jaded.

    The American People in the vast heartland of the U.S.A. in stark contrast, want “government” “out of their affairs” in the same spirit as expressed by President Ronald Reagan, and now, by President Donald Trump, AND importantly to appoint Justices to The Supreme Court who vow to uphold & interpret The Constitution as written* [*i.e. originalism]. That is best way to safeguard FREEDOM as our Founders intended.

  3. Linda E Montrose says:

    When you get government involved in ANYTHING, it limits. it binds, it mishandles…exactly opposite of what you want to happen.

  4. The column and the three responses thus far correspond to my thinking. All well written. The other road, that of creeping socialism, will indeed lead to nothing but an equality of poverty.

  5. Now nearing Full Employment, we should have increased confidence that marketplace supply-N-demand will help. EVERY employer I speak with tells me “good help is hard to find.”

  6. R. Eagleman says:

    Yes Paul, Equal Pay Day is just another example of how to divide the nation into factions; Black vs White, old vs young, rich vs poor, etc, and yes, men vs women. Let the dynamics of the free market determine the value of each job and how it is being performed, and stop trying to transgender every detail of our lives. It takes a lot of courage to confront this issue head on……….sorry, I have to end this……she, who must be obeyed is coming.

  7. L Miles says:

    Paul,
    Are there laws now that are forcing “gender pay equality” or are you concerned that legislation is being proposed for such laws? I could not determine this from your discussion of the issue.

    Let us assume that the formidable Democrats and their huge propaganda machine in the media will persuade the country to adopt this idea as a justifiable “fairness issue” founded in equality and against discrimination. How can Republicans resist or defeat such issues when they don’t have the media or the strong persuasive track record to make the case for “freedom” as you call it? I have come to the conclusion that the historical record of the Republicans demonstrate their lack of force or persuasion to stop these Social engineering efforts of the Left that have taken over the country since the Reagan administration.

    I really don’t believe anything they say anymore – they lie to buy votes by pretending to be Conservative. Their actions expose their true sympathies with big government solutions and their weak belief in Conservative principles. They relish media praise for their working with the Democrats and “getting things done in order to move forward” and act ashamed of the strong middle-American Conservative principles of “leave us alone and let us be self-sufficient.” The anti-welfare beliefs of Conservatives are condemned by Republicans as backward and discriminatory. They really don’t fear Socialism. They continue to move the ball to the Left, but not as fast. Without a genuine revival of Constitutional Conservative convictions by Republicans with the courage to buck the gargantuan forces of the Left, we can not change the unrelenting loss of “freedom.” The Moderate Republicans will never reverse this momentum, maybe slow it from time to time – and this is our hope for the future to protect what freedom we have left?

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      There are not currently any laws on the books but there is constant agitation for such laws. The group I cite in the piece is one such agitator and their “Equal Pay Day” is one of their gimmicks for calling attention to their cause.

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