Just in case you missed it, Thomas Sowell wrote an excellent article last week (Statistical Frauds) about the so-called disparity between what men earn and what women earn. Women earn 77 percent less than men for the same work – right? Well, not quite. The fact is that the folks who are spouting this malarkey are not exactly comparing apples to apples. Sowell writes:
How surprising is it that women with children do not earn as much as women who do not have children? If you don’t think children take up a mother’s time, you just haven’t raised any children.
How surprising is it that men with children earn more than men without children, just the opposite of the situation with women? Is it surprising that a man who has more mouths to feed is more likely to work longer hours? Or take on harder or more dangerous jobs, in order to earn more money?
Women who have children spend more time away from work than women without children – they even choose jobs that allow them the flexibility to do that! And, more important to this discussion, they willingly choose positions that pay less in exchange for that flexibility. And men with children, they often choose to work longer hours and choose jobs that help their families live better, perhaps even to allow the wife to work part-time or be a stay-at-home mom.
And young male doctors make more than young female doctors, not because of their difference in gender, but because of the hours they tend to work:
During my research on male-female differences for my book “Economic Facts and Fallacies,” I was amazed to learn that young male doctors earned much higher incomes than young female doctors. But it wasn’t so amazing after I discovered that young male doctors worked over 500 hours more per year than young female doctors.
And, according to Sowell, as long as we just look at job titles and don’t take into consideration what people actually do in their jobs, we are not likely to come to the truth about what men and women actually earn for the same, exact work. When we do compare apples to apples, or actually, hours to hours, duties to duties, education to education, and experience to experience, “the sex differential in pay shrinks drastically and gets close to the vanishing point.”
But, as Sowell points out, that leaves us without “political talking points to excite the gullible.” And, I might add, without a reason to enact even more unnecessary legislation allowing the government to interfere even more in our economy.
Read Mr. Sowell’s article here: http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2014/04/15/statistical-frauds-n1824357