DELRAY BEACH – Since the 1950’s and ’60’s, and the rise of “feminism”, we’ve been told that businesses discriminate against women by paying them only 77¢ (Kamala Harris says 80¢) of what men earn in the marketplace. Is that charge true? Let’s look at the facts.
At one time, most women were not employed in the workforce, to any great degree, as most were mainly housewives (homemakers), with some gaining employment as teachers, nurses, and store clerks. Since the 1950’s, women have made their mark in the business world, and even today, now make up approximately 55% of the matriculating college students. So, what about that figure of 77¢, is it still valid today? The answer is a resounding “NO”, and here are some reasons why that figure of 77¢ is grossly misused by feminist groups and presidential wannabe’s (like Kamala Harris), and by those with a decidedly liberal bent who profess that there is a “war on women” as practiced by the Republicans (this charge always seems to pop up around election time, looking to influence the woman’s vote).
Economists have come up with an answer as to why you can’t equate the pay of women and men without some insight as to why some women might earn less than men. One stubborn fact of the labor market argues against the idea, that women doing comparable work, make less than men. They (the economists) claim that there is a gender-hours gap, a close cousin of the gender-wage gap. The numbers showing that women make less than men don’t take into account the actual number of hours worked. And it turns out that women generally work fewer hours, on average, than men.
The Labor Department defines full-time work as 35 hours or more, and the “or more” is far more likely to refer to male workers than to female workers. More than 55% of workers logging more than 35 hours a week, are men. In other words, the famous gender-wage gap to a considerable degree is a gender-hours gap. The main reason that women are unlikely to be the richer sex (in terms of wage income) is obvious – children. Today, childless 20’s and 30’s something women do earn as much or even more than their male peers. But, they are most likely to cut back their work hours after they have kids, giving men the hours and income advantage.
Another fact as to why some women don’t make as much as men, is the fact that women make up 2/3 of America’s part-time workforce, a fact concurred to by the Federal Reserve, which found that college educated women who were wives were opting out by mid-career, especially those with wealthy husbands.
This is not just a phenomenon by working American women, but women worldwide who make up the large majority of the part-time workforce, and surveys suggest that women, on the whole, want it that way.
Another aspect as to some wage difference between what men and women make in total income is the fact that today over 40% of American children are now being born to unmarried women (it’s even over 70% for black women).
So when you hear some of the feminist groups complain that women make less than men, you must look at the whole picture and not just be misguided by emotional facts that a man’s paycheck is bigger than a woman’s paycheck, as there might be reasons other than wage discrimination at work here, and that women are getting the short end of the stick. In most cases, it is not true and just a ploy by militant woman’s advocates to gain acceptance by “low information” women, and to stir up the political pot.
If women were just as qualified as a man to do a job and a company could be able to pay less to woman, why would they hire a man for more money? That’s why the claim that women are paid less just doesn’t make sense. So the answer to the headline question is “NO”, women, in general, do not earn less than men.