Equal Pay Day? Start with your own staff, Obama

President Obama dubbed April 8 so-called “Equal Pay Day,” the day that — according to feminist economists — is the day women catch up to the amount men earned in the previous year.

It’s catchy, right? It’s a brilliant appeal to fairness and equality. After all, no one would support the idea of anyone being forced to work the same number of hours in the same job and being paid less money for it simply because of their race, sex, religion and so on.

In the presidential proclamation, President Obama said that women are the primary breadwinners in four out of 10 families yet continue to only make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Yet when Betsey Stevenson, member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, was questioned about that figure, she immediately backtracked.

“They’re stuck at 77 cents on the dollar, and that gender wage gap is seen very persistently across the income distribution, within occupations, across occupations, and we see it when men and women are working side by side doing identical work,” Stevenson first claimed.

But when she was questioned by reporter Lindsey Wise, she changed her tune.

“If I said 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke. So, let me just apologize and say that I certainly wouldn’t have meant to say that,” she said.

“Seventy-seven cents captures the annual earnings of full-time, full-year women divided by the annual earnings of full-time, full-year men,” Stevenson told the McClatchy reporter.

“There are a lot of things that go into that 77-cents figure, there are a lot of things that contribute and no one’s trying to say that it’s all about discrimination, but I don’t think there’s a better figure.”

Interesting. It couldn’t possibly be because the gender wage gap is a complete myth, right? That Stevenson didn’t expect to be challenged on her phony statistics?

Conservatives have long been saying that the gender wage gap is a myth and, slowly, the media is coming around to announce that we were right all along.

The American Association of University Women, a feminist organization, found that when you control for differences such as occupation and education, the gap all but disappears.

The wage-gap statistic is also comparing the salaries of all women to those of all men. This is an issue, because women are more likely to enter into lower-paying fields and have shorter work hours. Men go into higher-paying fields and work longer hours than women do on average.

The Department of Labor did a time-use survey in 2012 and found that the average man who works full-time spends 8.14 hours on the job, while the average woman spends 7.75 hours working. More hours equals more money. Factor all of these things in and the wage gap is gone.

Of course, if Barack Obama really does want to pretend that the illusive gender wage gap does exist, perhaps he should begin by looking at his own staff.

His female staffers make 88 cents for every dollar his male staffers earn.

If he’s so concerned about fairness and equality, perhaps it’s time for some hefty pay raises. After all, it’s not like he’s furthering a false statistic on purpose for political reasons, right?


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