Obama's 'Pay Gap' Lies
Never letting the facts get in the way of the victim narrative.
President Obama used the seventh anniversary of a law based on lies to push the Left’s long-running lie that American employers discriminate against female employees.
The Left perpetuates the cult of the victim because it needs clients. Independent, self-reliant, self-respecting women who succeed on their own don’t need leftist social programs (and they’re less likely to vote for Democrats). Sadly, the leftist lie that women earn less than men will probably never die because it is essential to the Left’s narrative that America is inherently unfair.
And it’s not that Obama is necessarily economically illiterate – as a Marxist ideologue he simply doesn’t care about the laws of economics, which he regards as obstacles to be overcome in the furtherance of social progress.
“Today, women account for almost half of the workforce,” Obama huffed. “But the typical woman who works full time still earns 79 cents for every dollar that the typical man does.”
The Radical-in-Chief continued:
It doesn’t just offend our values. At a time when women are increasingly the breadwinners in our households, paying them less makes it harder for families to cover the necessities like child care or health care, just to pay the bills. It makes it harder for a family to save, harder for families to retire. It means local businesses have customers with less money to spend. So it’s not good for our communities. It’s not good for our families. It’s not good for our businesses. What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?
Of course comparing men’s wages to women’s wages is like comparing apples to oranges.
As the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth wrote in 2013, the 77-cent figure Obama used that year “is bogus because it averages all full-time women, no matter what education and profession, with all full-time men.”
Even with such averaging, the latest Labor Department figures show that women working full-time make 81 percent of full-time men’s wages. For men and women who work 40 hours weekly, the ratio is 88 percent.
“Unmarried childless women’s salaries, however, often exceed men’s. In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more: 108 cents on a man’s dollar.
Women pull in less money because they tend to opt for more humanities and fewer science and math majors in college.
“Then, when they graduate, more enter the non-profit or government sector,” she observed. “Finally, many choose to work fewer hours to better combine work and family. In May, 2013, according to Labor Department data, 23 percent of women worked part-time, compared to 11 percent of men.”
Even the left-wing Washington Post has called out Obama for his pay-gap distortions, awarding “Two Pinocchios” to his 2014 claim that American women earn just 77 cents for every dollar men earn.
Unless women stop getting married and having children, and start abandoning careers in childhood education for naval architecture, this huge gap in wages will almost certainly persist. Democrats thus can keep bringing it up every two years.
_There appears to be some sort of wage gap and closing it is certainly a worthy goal. But it’s a bit rich for the president to repeatedly cite this statistic as an ‘embarrassment.’ … The president must begin to acknowledge that ‘77 cents’ does not begin to capture what is actually happening in the work force and society._
But Obama never lets facts get in the way of the narrative.
On January 29 Obama praised Lilly Ledbetter, who unsuccessfully sued Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for not paying her as much as male counterparts. Of course the president left out the fact that Ledbetter was a terrible employee who was lucky she wasn’t fired for poor job performance.
For years he has portrayed Ledbetter as a martyr, a victim of capitalism, the patriarchy, and the generalized rottenness that is America. Inspired by Ledbetter’s false story, the first law Obama signed as president made it easier for whiny malingerers to sue their employers for sex-based pay discrimination years after the fact.
To our radical left-wing president, Ledbetter is a heroic figure for soldiering on with her pointless lawsuit for years.
The same way that Lilly described her endeavors – when she lost that court case, she could have given up, but she didn’t. And that spirit is what all of us have to adopt. That’s the spirit that built America. That’s the spirit that opened up opportunity for so many more people than a generation ago. And that’s the spirit that I intend to keep pushing as long as I have the privilege to be in this office.
Oh please. Fighting for special legal privileges and undeserved extra pay based on the fact you carry the double-X sex chromosome is hardly the “spirit that built America.”
Actually, it’s closer to the spirit that built and ultimately destroyed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. America has never been about coercive redistribution of wealth based on sex or any other attribute.
The Founding Fathers were not idealists. They were realists.
Unlike leftists with their perverse social engineering fantasies, they had a healthy respect for human nature. They had no desire to perfect humankind. They recognized that people are different, endowed to varying degrees with various abilities and aptitudes.
It is government’s purpose, they believed, to protect what the Declaration of Independence calls “the pursuit of happiness.” Individuals need to be free to fail or thrive while government safeguards the rule of law.
A single paragraph in Federalist No. 10, an essay James Madison wrote to convince his fellow Americans to ratify the Constitution, was a micro-manifesto, a prophetic advance refutation of the redistributionist leveling that would be kickstarted in the Progressive Era:
The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.
In other words, it is not government’s duty to modify the differences that make us human. On the contrary, government is obliged to protect that critical human diversity.
This is a quintessentially American idea.
But Obama assaults Americans’ individuality in an effort to mold us all into what a Marxist thinks Americans should be. In his twisted vision, having government bureaucrats determine fair wages for women – and everyone else – is as American as apple pie.
As always, his solution is to expand the size and scope of government and unleash more taxpayer-supported paper-pushers to meddle in Americans’ lives.
Last week he proposed collecting and reporting pay data by race, ethnicity, and sex from businesses with 100 or more employees. The goal “is to help businesses that are trying to do the right thing … to get a clearer picture of how they can ensure their employees are being treated equally.”
Perhaps, but letting the government seize the data will also help in Obama’s fundamental transformation of America.