WaPo fact checker: When are Democrats going to finally acknowledge their “misleading” gender wage-gap rhetoric?
posted at 10:41 am on April 14, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
I’m going to guess … never, or at least until President Hillary Clinton has to start answering for it. Suddenly, the gender wage gap will become a wonderfully nuanced issue when research reveals that she’s paying women in the White House 62 cents on the male dollar. You know – just like they do at the Clinton Foundation:
Male executives at the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation earn 38 percent more than women executives, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of the foundation’s latest IRS tax filings.
The foundation’s 2013 IRS form 990 reveals that nearly three times as many men as women occupy the executive suites at the Little Rock, Arkansas-based foundation.
On average, top male executives at the foundation earn $109,000 more than the top female executives with positions in the C-suite.
Oopsie! That might step all over the demand for equal pay coming from Hillary et al, if the national media bothered to pick up the story from the Daily Caller. Odds on that are roughly 38:1. Call it the Media Bias Gap, if you will.
Democrats from Hillary and Barack Obama on down agitated this week for businesses to do what they say on the wage gap for women, not what they do. However, the so-called 79-cent gender wage gap is a myth — one that has been repeatedly debunked by conservatives and liberals, and even feminists, to little avail. Few have attempted to set the record straight for as long and as often as Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, who gamely tries yet again to force Democrats to tell the truth:
Women also tend to leave the workforce for periods to raise children, seek jobs that may have more flexible hours but lower pay, and choose careers that tend to have lower pay. (BLS data show that women who have never married have virtually no wage gap; they earn nearly 94 cents for every dollar a man makes.)
At the same time, however, women now make up a majority of college graduates and have begun to narrow the gap in managerial expertise – which help explain why the pay gap has declined over time.
In 2011, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis surveyed economic literature and concluded that “research suggests that the actual gender wage gap (when female workers are compared with male workers who have similar characteristics) is much lower than the raw wage gap.” They noted that women may prefer to accept jobs with lower wages but greater benefits (more flexible parental leave) so excluding such fringe benefits from the calculations will exaggerate the wage disparity.
The gap exists, but it’s far smaller than 21 cents on the dollar, and most of that gap is due to personal choices of careers and time dedicated to the job. Kessler gives Democrats two Pinocchios for repeatedly offering debunked and nonsensical statistical data, and poses this lament:
From a political perspective, the Census Bureau’s 79-cent figure is golden. Unless women stop getting married and having children, and start abandoning careers in childhood education for aerospace engineering, the gap in wages will almost certainly persist. Democrats thus can keep bringing it up every year.
But Democrats must begin to acknowledge that “79 cents” does not begin to capture what is actually happening in the workforce and society.
Must they? So far, the answer seems to be no, mainly because the rest of the media plays along with their demagoguery. Kudos to Kessler for his tenacity on this point, but that question should really be directed at his colleagues in the media perpetuating the falsehood that enables the Democrats to demagogue.