The “Equal Pay Day” Canard

Thomas Sowell

I have read Thomas Sowell’s analysis concerning this topic since I stumbled upon his writings in 1995. I thought he had driven as stake through the heart of  “the gender pay gap” myth. I wasn’t going to post anything about this topic, but reading and listening to the news this week has changed my mind. Since I couldn’t possibly cover this topic as authoritatively or as eloquently as Thomas Sowell, I’m not even going to try. I’m going to let him do it in his own words.

QUOTE FROM THOMAS SOWELL’S ‘KNOWLEDGE AND DECISIONS’

Here is an excerpt from my favorite book, Knowledge and Decision, which Dr. Sowell wrote in 1980:

“With women the key variable is marriage. Even before “affirmative action” quotas, women in their thirties who worked continuously since high school earned slightly more than men in their thirties who worked continuously since high school. In the academic world, where many discrimination charges have been filed under affirmative action, female academics earned slightly more than male academics when neither were married  – again even before “affirmative action” – and unmarried female Ph.D.’s who received their degrees in the 1930’s and 1940’s became full professors in the 1950’s to a slightly greater extent than did unmarried male Ph.D’s of the same vintage. In short, the male-female differences in incomes and occupations are largely differences between married women and all other persons….the clear-cut income parity (or better) among women who never married suggests once again that systemic variables have more to do with the statistics than the intentional decisions at the work place at which the statistics were collected.”

He wrote this in 1980 so it’s safe to say that the gender pay gap canard was used as a political bludgeon for many years prior to 1980.

THOMAS SOWELL ON FIRING LINE

Dr Sowell is discussing the gender pay gap issue in this video from 1981.

Click, Firing Line – Thomas Sowell  w/ William Buckley Jr. 1981, to watch the whole show.

 THOMAS SOWELL ARTICLE “THE REAL WAR ON WOMEN”

Here is an article by Thomas Sowell titled, The Real ‘War On Women’. It was written in 2012, and covers the same gender pay gap fallacy. Here are some excerpts form the article.

“The old — and repeatedly discredited — game of citing women’s incomes as some percentage of men’s incomes is being played once again, as part of the “war on women” theme.”

“When you compare women and men in the same occupations with the same skills, education, hours of work, and many other factors that go into determining pay, the differences in incomes shrink to the vanishing point — and, in some cases, the women earn more than comparable men.”

“But why let mere facts spoil the emotional rhetoric or the political ploys to drum up hysteria and collect votes?”

THOMAS SOWELL ON ‘UNCOMMON KNOWLEDGE

Here is a video of Thomas Sowell in 2008 on,Uncommon Knowledge, with Peter Robinson, talking about Gender Bias and Income Equality.

QUOTE FROM THOMAS SOWELL’S ‘ECONOMIC FACTS AND FALLACIES’

In Economic Facts And Fallacies, Chapter 3 titled, Male-Female Facts And Fallacies, covers gender pay gap and much more. Here is an excerpt form the chapter.

“Even when women and men earn the same incomes in the same occupations, differences in the distribution of the sexes among different occupations lead to differences in their average incomes.

“In principle it does not matter whether the attorney is male or female but, in practice, with women more often than men carrying the burden of domestic responsibilities for children and the care of the home, careers that involve much unpredictable night and weekend work are less attractive to women. Having it all – a career and a family and an upscale lifestyle- is fine but doing it all is often harder for a woman, given the usual division of domestic responsibilities between the sexes and the inevitable differences in childbearing.”

“Moreover since men are never pregnant, women are disadvantaged in such work by the physical limitations of pregnancy, which can be work limitations as well in obs that require long, irregular and unpredictable hours,….”

Related ArticleThe New, Old, Buzz Words, “Income Inequality”, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleIncome Inequality II: Increase The Minimum Wage, at austrianaddict.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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