It’s Equal Pay Day today, which means the social justice movement and its enabling liberal media are doing their best to bring awareness to something that doesn’t exist: the wage gap.
The notion behind the wage gap is that women make less money than men for doing the same work, but that is downright false. In fact, it’s illegal, via the Equal Pay Act of 1963, for a business to pay less money to a woman than a man for equivalent labor, and any company doing that would be breaking federal law and subject to criminal investigation.
Those who believe in the wage gap (which apparently includes First Daughter Ivanka Trump) don’t understand that there’s a difference between “wages,” which is, according to Dictionary.com, “money that is paid or received for work or services, as by the hour, day, or week,” and “earnings.”
Earnings is a sum of money collected as payment for something. Wages make up earnings, but they are not the same thing. Making eight dollars an hour is a wage. Making $64 for eight hours of work would be defined as one’s earnings.
Now that we’ve got that straightened out, we can now discuss why it seems a wage gap between men and women exists, thus seemingly warranting an Equal Pay Day.
Women earn less than men for the same work; they’re not paid less. The reason for this is that on an all-inclusive scale, the female sex doesn’t work the same amount of time in a given period as the male sex. This is, of course, generally speaking, but it checks out.
A 2015 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that on days that men and women are scheduled to work, men put in an average of 42 minutes more work time than women. This is partly attributed to the fact that women are more apt to take on part-time work, though even among those who work full-time, males still put in more labor than females, 8.2 hours to 7.8 hours, respectively.
This BLS data is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why the wage gap is nothing more than a myth. Another aspect of equal pay between the sexes lies in the fact that not all occupations are created equal. If a company surveys the earnings of a group of doctors, for instance, not all the salaries are going to be equal because not all doctors are experts in the same specialty. As detailed by Medscape, not all doctors make the same amount of money. Anesthesiologists are one of the highest paid doctors, hence compared to pediatricians, which are among the lowest paid, the former is going to get paid more than the latter for the same amount of time worked, regardless of the sex of each.
By the way, men are more likely to be anesthesiologists than women, and the women that do specialize in anesthesiology earn less than men; not because they’re paid less, but because they work less, according to a 2015 study by the RAND Corporation.
Other factors to consider in regard to equal pay are life circumstances such as pregnancy and childbirth. Men don’t get pregnant, men don’t give birth, and like it or not, stay-at-home dads are less common than stay-at-home moms, according to Pew Research Center.
While pregnant, women must use some of their time to attend medical appointments. After giving birth, they must take time to let their body recover, and after having a child, mothers are often granted unpaid time off, but fathers don’t always have the opportunity for paternal leave, and in many cases, even when they do, they don’t take it, according to What To Expect.
Want to spin a narrative badly enough and there’s probably a way to do it, as evidenced by Equal Pay Day and the wage gap myth. The National Committee on Pay Equity is the organization that chooses which day of a given year Equal Pay Day will fall on. Their criteria for this is based on men’s and women’s earnings, not wages, of the previous year. The reason April 4 was chosen for 2017 is because American women would have had to work all of 2016 plus January, February, March, and the first four days of April 2017 to earn what men earned in 2016 alone.
What NCPE and the rest of the wage gap believers don’t address, whether because they don’t know any better or because it goes against their political narrative, is that it’s not by the fault of a male dominated society that women aren’t making the same amount of money as men, but rather the fault of a female workforce that, for many and varied reasons, doesn’t measure up to their male counterparts.
[Featured Image by Elnur/Shutterstock]