The equal pay ruse: Deceptive stats
Amid much fanfare, President Obama on Tuesday signs two executive orders designed to begin to narrow the wage gap between men and women. Never mind that the criteria generally used to measure such things are faulty and that the Obama administration doesn't practice what it deceptively preaches.
One order prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against those who disclose their pay (a practice supposedly designed to keep the disparity hush-hush). The second requires federal contractors to hand over to the government pay data by sex and race.
But as we've editorialized before, the “wage gap” is a myth that looms large. Even a Labor Department-commissioned study found, as the American Enterprise Institute's Christina Hoff Sommers recounts, “that the so-called wage gap is mostly, and perhaps entirely, an artifact of the different choices men and women make — different fields of study, different professions, different balances between home and work.”
And as Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum notes, the wage gap statistics aren't statistically sound — they do not “compare two similarly situated co-workers of different sexes, working in the same industry, performing the same work, for the same number of hours a day.”
Of course, if Mr. Obama is so adamant about equal pay, he might want to start in his White House, where, last year, women were paid an estimated 11.8 percent less than men.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.