Earlier this year, the press was shocked to learn that President Barack Obama’s rhetorical opposition to divisive gender-based discrimination in the workplace was not matched by his administration’s actions. After months of pushing the misleading and inaccurate statistic that women are paid just 70 cents for every dollar a man makes in similar occupations, the political media learned that the same calculation implicates the White House in that very same discrimination.
As recently as July, reporters noted that the administration has been slow to correct their own pay discrimination problem.
“The average male White House employee currently earns about $88,600, while the average female White House employee earns about $78,400, according to White House data released Tuesday. That is a gap of 13 percent,” The Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb reported. “In 2009, male employees made an average of about $82,000, compared to an average of $72,700 earned by female employees — also a 13 percent wage gap.”
The scales continue to fall from reporters’ eyes.
On Monday, the press discovered that Democrats do not exactly practice what they preach when it comes to income disparities supposedly based on racial discrimination. A thorough study conducted by the New Organizing Institute revealed that minority campaign staffers on Democratic payrolls routinely make less than their white counterparts.
“For example, African-American staffers on Democratic campaigns were paid 70 cents for each dollar their white counterparts made,” The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak reported. “For Hispanic staffers in Democratic campaigns, the figure was 68 cents on the dollar.”
And a recent study by PowerPAC+, funded by a major Democratic donor, revealed that less than 2 percent of spending by Democratic campaign committees during the past two election cycles went to firms owned by minorities.
Mak spoke with a number of minority political professionals, many of whom said that their path to success was to avoid being labeled early in their careers a minority outreach specialist.
Mak notes that the NOI study suffers from the same flaws as do the statistics regarding gender-based income disparities – namely, that the data-driven conclusions do not take into account individual circumstances which impact rates of compensation.
“One of the explanations for lower minority wages could be that they tend to be represented in lower-paying campaign roles,” Mak reported. Moreover, limiting minority campaign staffers to a minority outreach role often limits a staffer’s utility and, thus, reduces their rates of compensation.
Democratic political professionals are, however, much more prolific employers of minority campaign professionals. “Republican campaigns have more pronounced disparities both in gender and racial/ethnic representation among campaign staff,” NOI revealed. “54.2% of all staff on Republican federal-level campaigns are white men, compared to 32.4% on Democratic races.”
“Interestingly, although the proportions of staff are more skewed towards white men on Republican campaigns, the income disparities are more pronounced on Democratic campaigns,” NOI’s release revealed.
Interesting, indeed. If by “interesting,” they really mean “hopelessly hypocritical.”