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McCain lampoons the gender wage gap myth

By Carey Roberts
web posted May 19, 2008

Ready for a morning chuckle to jump-start your day? Pay a visit to Hillary Clinton's website that claims with a straight face, "Women still earn significantly less money than men for doing the same jobs."

The first part of Hillary's sentence is true – women indeed earn less than men. But the last four words – "for doing the same jobs" – is as laughable as Hillary's dodging-sniper-bullets-in-Bosnia tale.

Let's say you have a job opening and two persons apply who have identical skills and qualifications. Joe wants to be paid the prevailing wage, while Jackie says she is willing to work for only 77 cents on the dollar.

Who would you hire? Jackie, of course.

So if women are doing exactly the same work as men and getting paid 23% less, every profit-maximizing entrepreneur would hire only women. But last I heard, men are still getting jobs. Obviously there's something wrong with the gender wage gap theory.

Last month Senator McCain was campaigning in the hard-scrabble coal fields of Kentucky. He commented that if women want to overcome the gender wage gap, they would need more "education and training." And knowing that Women's Studies grads might not realize that coal mining is the economic mainstay of the region, McCain then deadpanned, "traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work."

But the Funny-Fems reflexively insist the culprit is sex discrimination, not women exercising the right to choose their preferred work. So when they heard Senator McCain's comments, they flew into a purple-passion rage. Within days MoveOn rolled out its propaganda machine, making the claim that "Study after study has shown that women are paid less than men for the same work."

That's good for another belly laugh, of course, because in eastern Kentucky, the best paying jobs go to the sooty-faced men who are willing to descend 900 feet into the ground and hope a boulder doesn't break loose from the mine roof. That's what happened to Cornelius Yates, who was crushed to death in a Kentucky coal mine in January 2006.

Yates' death came just a week after 12 miners were killed in a West Virginia mine explosion. And that followed a year in which nine miners died throughout Kentucky.

Not surprisingly, women are not very interested in doing hazardous jobs that may send them to the grave. Indeed study after study has shown that when differences in the type of work, hours on the job, and education are accounted for, women are treated fairly.

Actually, women may be doing better than men. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, in many fields female college grads are being offered higher starting salaries than their male counterparts.

Female physicists are getting $6,500 more. Co-eds who majored in petroleum engineering are being offered $4,400 more. And women computer programmers are being enticed with $7,200 extra pay. In fact for dozens of majors and occupations, women coming out of college are getting better offers than men, reveals Warren Farrell in his book, Why Men Earn More.

Why these disparities? Because in traditionally male-dominated professions, employers are willing to ante up more greenbacks to attract females in order to forestall a costly discrimination lawsuit.

So once again the radical left is caught red-handed, trying to push a socialist scheme that centralizes bureaucratic control and weakens free markets. That's the approach that brought the Soviet economy to its knees 20 years ago.

The Sisters of Silliness are out of touch with the needs of women. By scorning the notion of education and disempowering women, they prove they are trying to force women into a dependency relationship at the porcine foot-stool of the government trough. ESR

Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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