Time to Crush the Myth about Gender Pay Inequality

The other day as part of a “Professionals” panel on NBC’s Today show, the program’s chief medical editor Nancy Snyderdman said, “We [women] still make 77 cents to the dollar [compared to] men.  It’s ridiculous.”  It sure is ridiculous, mainly because it’s not true.

Another panelist, attorney Star Jones said, “My bread does not cost 30 cents less than a man’s bread when he goes into the grocery store. Equal pay for equal work.”

I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of pundits and activists – almost always on the left — who don’t know what they’re talking about, spouting off in the media about how women don’t make as much as men for doing the same work.

The reason men, on average, earn more than women is because men, in many cases, do different kinds of work than women.  More men work in dangerous jobs that pay higher wages – like jobs in coalmines and on oilrigs.  They’re also more likely than women to work the overnight shift, and that also pays more.  Women also take more time off to take care of their children, which over time means less pay.

It doesn’t take a scholar to figure that out.  It’s obvious.  Nonetheless, a scholar – James Sherk at the Heritage Foundation — did figure it out and earlier this month he issued a report that said: “This gender gap is not the result of rampant discrimination. Rather, it exists because men and women often work in different jobs, work different hours, and have different qualifications. When work experience, education, occupation, and hours of work are taken into account, the average woman makes 98 cents for every dollar earned by a man.”

Anti-business liberals are always telling us that cold-hearted, money-hungry corporate types care only about the bottom line.  So then why — if it’s true that women are getting paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes; if women are not getting equal pay for doing the same job — why would any company hire any man at all?

Why wouldn’t companies only hire women to do all the work and save 23 percent on their labor costs?  This is not a rhetorical question.  If greedy businessmen are fixated on “maximizing profits” how do we account for so many “overpaid” men in the workforce?

I expect very little from what passes for the mainstream media.  And they rarely disappoint.  But it would be nice if the next time the Today show, or any other news program, put someone on the air who carelessly threw out misleading statistics about supposed pay inequality, a real journalist would step in to set the record straight.

I know … hoping for something like that is what’s really “ridiculous.”