Sunday, February 2, 2014

There’s a gender wage gap stopping waitresses from making the same as commercial airline pilots

Matt Walsh writes:
During the State of the Union Address, President Obama courageously railed against some of the greatest threats facing our nation. For instance, he loudly proclaimed that “climate change” is “a fact.” In other words, the Leader of the Free World used part of a prime-time speech to point out that climates do, in fact, change. No word on whether grass still grows and cows still go “mooo,” but perhaps he’ll illuminate those issues some other time.
And, although climates change, and climates have always changed because change is an essential characteristic of “climate,” he didn’t actually respond to the slightly more contentious question about whether or not human beings are significant drivers of climate, as opposed to other relevant forces, like, say, the Sun (a million times bigger than the Earth, contains 99.8 percent of the mass of the Solar System, reaches temperatures of 15 million degrees Celsius — maybe that ol’ girl really calls the shots on this planet). Yup, the sun is bigger and hotter than anything on the earth, therefore it has the biggest influence on our climate. Solid science.
But Obama didn’t spend the duration pontificating about the odd phenomenon of changing weather conditions; he also lashed out against something far more sinister. They call it the “gender wage gap.”
Said Obama:
“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns… A woman deserves equal pay for equal work!”
Bold. Unique. Mr. Obama continues to break new ground with his rhetoric.
We are told that this “wage gap” can only be the result of universal misogynistic discrimination. Women, in general, make less than men, in general, and there can be just one explanation for this: sexism.
Well, if that’s the case, then I know where Mr. Obama ought to start in his quest to close the wage gap that has stamped out any hope of women succeeding in the marketplace. Exaggggeration! Making less on average does NOT mean that women cannot ever succeed. I can see your logic is as sophisticated as your science. I know of a business where the chauvinism and woman-hating runs so deep and is so ingrained in their culture, that women at this establishment make 13 percent less than their male counterparts. I know of a particular bastion of male domination where the women on staff would have to work an extra 8 weeks a year just to earn the same as their male coworkers. This place is called “the White House.” Ok, good. Very concrete proof of gender discrimination. Certainly, after referencing this fact, you would never try to argue that said discrimination does not exist.  ...right?
Women make 13 percent less than men at the White House. Obama, as usual, wishes to remove the perceived dust from the eyes of each private citizen, even while he has a gigantic shard of driftwood lodged directly into his own. Ooo Matt, you got all biblical! Indeed, by his own logic, women make less than men at the White House because, and only because, of “inequality” and “discrimination.” Good grief, was it really necessary to use air quotes? What you just described is exactly the definition of inequality and discrimination.
Or could it be — might we at least consider the possibility — that Obama’s female employees make less than his male employees because they’re doing different jobs? I don't know, do you have evidence to bring up here? Or are you just raising the question, without any material support whatsoever, to fool naive fans into believing it is true. Could it be true - might we at least consider the possibility - that you, Matt Walsh, have been a member of the KK for 10 years? (See how that trick works?) Could it be that the men in the White House tend to take on jobs that are more demanding and more stressful, and therefore earn paychecks which reflect the added pressure and difficulty of the positions they hold? Once again, evidence? It is either that, or Obama is a sexist. You must choose between these two explanations. Or, the White House is not free from the sexism inherent in the American workplace.
As much as I delight in the opportunity to call Obama names, I don’t think “sexist” fits the bill. Yet, somehow, you end this post by declaring that Obama is a sexist. Instead, at the risk of repeating myself, I’m forced to stick with calling him a liar. 
The “gender wage gap” is a myth. Are you fucking kidding me?
It is propaganda. Man, people will believe literally anything. Or, refuse to believe literally anything.
It is propaganda so fallacious, so obvious, so easily debunked that I’m embarrassed every time I hear it mentioned.  How, Matt, would any statistic related to gender and wages be obvious? Do our minds all contain databases of American employment information that we can accurately parse in seconds?  Do women make “77 cents for every dollar men earn”? Sure. According to some figures. But that statistic is about as meaningful as saying women “give birth to one hundred percent of the babies” you do not think it is meaningful to recognize that only women give birth? or that they “spend a billion dollars more each year at the gynecologist.” Um, I have news for you Matt. Both men and women have jobs. These are not apt analogies. All of these things are true, but if you cite them in an effort to prove discrimination, you are bring ridiculous. No one has cited them in an effort to prove discrimination; once again, it is a matter of male and female anatomy. Wages are not - or, rather, do not have to be - a matter of male and female anatomy. Penises and vaginas have nothing to do with earning a living.
You’re also lying. Is it not possible that Obama honestly believed in the reliability of that statistic? Like, at ALL possible?
The “77 cents” figure lies by omission. Purposefully left out of the equation are relevant factors like: tenure, job title, hours worked, region, experience, skill level, industry, occupation, safety risks, and difficulty. The figure simply compares all women and all men who work over 35 hours in any job, in any part of the country. A receptionist working 38 hours a week at your local dentist’s office is evenly compared to a coal miner logging 70 hours deep under the ground in Kentucky. A male neurosurgeon is stacked up against a female manicurist. A male electrician is contrasted against a Denny’s waitress. Hello, my name is Matt Walsh and I believe that women should have womanly jobs like manicurist and receptionist. In all cases, the disparity is shoved under the “wage gap” blanket, and used to paint a picture of “discrimination.” Actually, Matt, very unsurprisingly, you are wrong. Even when you control for all of the above, women STILL make less than men, and even seemingly small differences really add up over a lifetime. Or, should I follow your logic, Matt, and say that you are lying? You are willfully misleading your readers?
Hey, what happened to “pro-choice”? Not following you here.
After all, women make less because they choose to work in fields that pay less. Do you honestly believe, Matt, that choice is the primary determining factor of most Americans' employment? Maybe you were lucky enough to be able to choose the blogger's life of riley, but that's not how the real world works for most people. In this economy especially, it is really, really, really hard to get a job. People are taking jobs that they are overqualified for because it is better than being unemployed. Employers have much, much, much more say over who gets to fill a particular job than the job-seekers. Thus, any difference in the type of jobs that men and women tend to have is STILL a result of discrimination and sexism. Men are more likely to work dangerous, physically demanding, high stress jobs. You characterize waiting and housecleaning as "women jobs," so I am guessing you have never done either. Actually, there are many female-dominated minimum wage jobs that are extremely demanding. Plus, you know, women are no stranger to danger and stress anyway. They’re more likely to work weekends and holidays. Do you even have any evidence for this, or are you just making stuff up again? They’re more likely to be willing to relocate. How do you know? They’re more likely to pursue jobs in higher paying fields. Once again, evidence?  These aren’t matters of opinions, they are statistical realities. Ok, then show me some statistics. If these are not matters of opinion, you should have some evidence to support them. This is not a slight against women. Yes, it is. It very much is. If you have shown me one thing, Matt, it is that you have absolutely no respect for women. Women often have different priorities. Oh come one. They likewise are limited by physical constraints that are not their fault seriously? I am still open to challenging you to some feats of strength, or the fault of a patriarchal society.
Loggers and steel workers are paid well, but the job requires the sort of brute force that most women don’t possess. A) Untrue, and we have discussed this already. B) There is no philosophical/theoretical basis for factoring brute force into the value of labor (otherwise a construction worker should be making wayyyyy more than a CEO). A job on an offshore oil rig will pay handsomely because of the risks, the physical nature of the work, and the demands it places on your time. You will find more men taking these positions than women, but are we ready to chalk that up to “discrimination”? As stereotypes are challenged and proven to have no biological basis, women are pursuing these types of jobs more and more. Of course, when ANY profession suddenly becomes open to women or minorities, integration always takes place gradually. It doesn't happen overnight. For one thing, women often face very harsh treatment by colleagues who don't want them there. Oh yeah, EVIDENCE.
It is worth nothing that the race wage gap is even larger. And yes, racial distributions vary by job type. (Where I live, bus drivers are majority African American, food service workers are predominantly Latino, and every boss I've had has been White.) Are you prepared to say, Matt Walsh, that minorities simply choose jobs that are lower paying? Would you say that they are not equipped, by nature, with the same skills that white people have? Is that how you would explain the race wage gap? Would you deny the existence of racial discrimination in the workplace?  Maybe you would, but I sure hope not. If, however, you are not prepared to make those assertions regarding race, then why use that logic for gender?

If you complain about the “77 cents” statistic, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Because there is more EVIDENCE that it IS discrimination.
Women business owners earn 50 percent less than men business owners. Does this mean women business owners are discriminating against themselves? So, Matt, there are these things called Boards and investors.  Does it mean that customers often refuse to patronize a certain establishment if they find out it’s owned by a woman? Sigh... Or could it mean that women choose to open businesses that don’t rake in as much dough? The fact that they have lower salaries does not necessarily mean that the business is less successful. Generally there are multiple people involved in making the decisions about how much everyone takes home.
I don’t have the numbers although you could easily get them if you cared at all about truth and accuracy - here is the first result from Google, but I’m guessing most commercial construction businesses are owned by men, and I’m guessing they make a greater profit than hair salons owned by women. Seriously, Matt, you have a gender stereotype fetish. Women DO own businesses that have nothing to do with beauty supplies. Where does one locate the sexism in this dichotomy? Um, you making the dichotomy. That is the sexism. If I wish to have an office building constructed, I’ll pay the man with the construction business several million dollars to do the job. If I wish to have my hair cut, I’ll pay the woman with the hair salon 25 bucks to complete the task. For the sake of equality, should I pay the woman 6 million for my hair and the man 25 dollars for the building? And it takes just as long to build an office building as it does to cut someone's hair, so the construction business completes as many jobs per day as the hair salon, and also, the cost of concrete and bulldozers is the same as the cost of scissors and shampoo, so clearly, this is a great example, Matt Walsh, master of economics.
How does this work? How can I do my part to assuage the anguish caused by the discriminatory wage gap? How can you help? By shutting your trap, Matt.
And then, despite all of this, unmarried childless women still make more than unmarried men in most cities. That could possibly be because of discriminatory drug sentencing that puts an alarmingly large fraction of urban men in jail. Further, of people who work between 30 and 35 hours, women are compensated at a higher rate. Where did this stat come from? You call Obama a liar for using stats like this, that don't disentangle factors like the type of job, education, and experience. What does this mean? It means that your lifestyle, your goals, your values, your job title, your vocation and your industry will all factor into your salary, and they will carry a much greater weight than your gender.
The Department of Labor — hardly a conservative think tank — published its own report on the wage gap. They admit that “economic research has identified numerous factors that contribute to the observed difference between wages paid to women and wages paid to men, commonly called the gender wage gap. Many relate to differences in the choices and behavior of women and men in balancing their work, personal, and family lives. These factors include, most notably, the occupations and industries in which they work, and their human capital development, work experience, career interruptions, and motherhood.” Read the full report here. Ok, congratulations. You have shown that the Department of Labor is just another part of patriarchal society. This report was prepared by a private corporation, and its analysis was flawed.
It’s no secret that men were hit hardest by the recession. They suffered more in the downturn for the same reason they are otherwise paid more — because of the industries they gravitate towards. Trust me, women were hit by the recession too.
The president insists that women and men should be paid equally for “equal work.” Once again, he argues against a point that nobody is actually making. The wage gap all but disappears when you control for things like occupation and experience-level. Once again, that is incorrect. And even a remaining 7 cents on the dollar differential adds up in a year, and especially over a lifetime. It’s impossible for a government — particularly a government mostly run by bureaucrats with little business experience — to stand off at a distance and decide what qualifies as “equal work,” but the more specific you get in your comparisons, the more the wage gap shrinks. But it is still a substantial wage gap.
If Obama would like to have a reasonable conversation about the lifestyle choices, market forces, biological differences, physical disparities, and other nuances that contribute to creating a “gap” between the overall wages of both genders, I’m on board. But he isn’t interested in that. He simply wants to insinuate that the financial chasm between commercial airline pilots and day care workers can be attributed to sexism that is definitely a distortion, Matt, and he certainly doesn’t wish to have that assertion scrutinized. He wants to make reckless accusations and dishonest claims that will advance his political agenda and endear him to his ideological base. That’s all.
He’s a liar and a fraud.
And a sexist who pays women less than men. Oh yeah, here's the part where you call him a sexist after stating above that you would never call him a sexist.

Anatomy of a Matt Walsh Argument
1. Make a bunch of unsubstantiated statements about gender differences
2. Come up with a ridiculous made-up example of a single situation, and then use that to prove a general point.
3. Be very sexist and disparage women and their capabilities frequently.
4. Be very emotional about the fact that the president used this statistic, and just don't control the fact that you hate the president soooooo much.
I just have this to say. This is very personal for me. This is not about statistics for me. I have actually (recently) been in a situation where I was passed up for a new opportunity in favor of a man who had less education and experience than me, and despite my stellar performance reviews. It goes without saying that this new opportunity would have increased my salary. I find it interesting when I looked at the blog's comments that a number of Matt's loyal female followers had similar experiences and did not appreciate this post. There is clearly something going on here, and Matt devalues women too much to acknowledge it.

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