The Definition of Equality

Brian Sweeney Jr.

The average female model makes 80% more than the average male model. There are many more jobs available in the industry for women. Women also have a much higher chance of turning a modelling career into a career in other industries. 

If you are a basketball player it is much better to be a man. NBA salaries are multiples higher than WNBA salaries. There is a much higher demand for the NBA product. Hence, the NBA makes more money and pays higher salaries. The popularity of the NBA also means the male athletes can get more money in endorsements and careers as analysts after they retire.

There is a gender gap in physician salary. Female doctors make less than male doctors. That difference persists when corrected for specialty. In a fee for service environment reimbursement from insurance companies is gender blind.

So why the difference?

Physicians often make different amounts of money depending on the lifestyles they choose. More hours of work means more billing and higher salaries. The longer a physician is in practice the busier the physician becomes and the higher the salary goes to a point. Later in a career a physician may decide to intentionally slow down and accept a drop in salary.

Women tend to strike a different balance in practicing medicine. Women tend to spend more time with their patients. They are more likely to take extended periods of time off or work part time. It is like many other jobs where a woman often consciously decides to spend more time on family then work.

Various professions could be put under the microscope. And along the way you will find reasons for why given individuals make different amounts of money. There are differences based on gender, race, ethnicity, education, experience and many other factors. It takes a lot of statistical analysis to try and know whether a difference is due to chance or conspiracy. And the categories are not completely independent. 

One thing that is hard to account for is the bias in salaries based on past gender associations. Why do teachers make so much less than police officers? There is truth in the argument that professions traditionally dominated by men are better paid. There can also be other arguments made about why that is the case. Police are a lot more likely to take a bullet than a teacher for example.

In the true spirit of calling opposition to healthcare mandates being called a "War on Women" by Democrats we now get the so called Paycheck Fairness Act. It is an amendment to the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

The law is unlikely to pass any time soon. It has been filibustered in the US Senate. harry Reid voted "Nay" so that it can be brought forward again. 

The main beneficiary if this atrocity were to pass would be the trial lawyers. It eliminates caps that have been placed on gender discrimination judgments.

The bill also uses the vague term of "business necessity" that would have to be proven by the employer if a claim is made. Under this latter provision a woman could sue an employer if they feel there is an alternate model for determining wage. In other words, the government can basically exert power over an employer to determine how education, performance, and experience are calculated into wages. All of it can be trumped by gender. The bar is set low and with vague terms allowing endless angles lawyers could take.

The tough part of the entire debate is the $0.77 a woman makes in this country compared to the $1 paid to a man. It seems grossly unfair. It turns out all the fact checker organizations liberals love so much have called the claim bogus. It needs to be viewed through all of the other factors that determine a wage.

Barack Obama claims, "...when it comes to the bottom line that women who do the same work as men have to be paid the same, there is no question that that is happening here at the White House at every level." If you take the president at his word then how is it we now know women in the White House only make $0.88 for every $1 made by a man at his White House. Could it be those other pesky factors Mr. President?

How about Obama's favorite Alaska lackey Senator Mark Begich? Obama got the reliable "Yea" from Begich that he has come to expect. It turns out Begich only pays women in his $0.82 to female staffers for every $1 he pays to males. Will somebody please stop Marky Mark and his war on women.

How long will it be before we start hearing about pay fairness with sexual orientation? That subject has actually been studied. There is a common misconception that gay men make more money but they do not and it is mainly due to career choice despite having higher levels of education.

Lesbians have higher levels of education and make more money than straight women. It turns out lesbians are more likely to choose careers in male dominated fields and work longer hours. The theory is that is due to them being less likely to have children.

Salaries are a complicated issue. Individuals make many decisions that affect their paycheck. It should not be difficult to understand that gender could have an effect on those decisions. Some decisions are also out of the individual's control. Most of us cannot be models or play professional basketball.

People can make choices that increase their income potential. In general, education increases wages. Experience increases wages so staying in a field pays off. Pay can also change based on location. Many men and some women have flocked to North Dakota to take advantage of employment opportunities.

It works into the minimum wage debate as well. Less than 2% of the population makes minimum wage. If you do not want to make minimum wage then go get training or education and get a different job. Yes, it really is that simple.

Barack Obama has made a presidency out telling everybody how unfair the environment is in the United States. Along with his Democratic allies in Congress the latest card in the argument is inequality in gender pay. When in doubt make up an argument about oppression, tell people they are victims, and stir up their support.

Wages should not be used as an inflammatory political football. It is time for the president to quit causing divisiveness in America. Instead he has determined that a strategy of telling people they are being cheated plays better than encouraging them to take action and become more successful. 

The result. Many of us have recently seen our taxes and now what the effect has been on our "fair share." Buckle up. Obama has a pen and has signaled his intent to make it worse.






The truth about lesbian & gay economics
Senate Dems Fall Short of Their Own ‘Paycheck Fairness’ Rhetoric
Barack Obama ad says women are paid "77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men"
Obama’s 77-Cent Exaggeration
Male vs. Female Modeling: Who Makes More
Brian F, Sweeney, Jr.
Anchorage Daily News Bloggers