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Why math on unequal pay for women doesn’t add up

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., snaps a photo on her cell phone Tuesday during an event marking Equal Pay Day at the White House. President Barack Obama announced new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women. The president and his Democratic allies in Congress are making a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

From the Wednesday edition of the David Boze Show.

The president has been making much of the idea that there’s a disparity in pay among men and women. We saw this throughout yesterday; it was supposed to be equal pay day. Lord knows, [David Boze Show producer Nicole Thompson] knows that’s not true.

There are all kinds of efforts on the part of the left to point to this and say, ‘Hey, you know what, men and women are inherently paid – men are paid more for the same jobs, the same work.’ There are countless examples to show that it is not nearly as simple as that and just the basic smell test tells you that this is not so.

If you just take a look at this and say to yourself, ‘Now hold on for a second, how could this possibly be true?’ If it’s true that you have this vast number – remember – of women out there in the workforce that are getting paid 77 cents on the dollar and you have these incredibly skilled people who are just waiting to be paid not even equal to men, but let’s say you were the employer who says, ‘You know what, I’m going to poach all the female employees from my competitors and I’m going to pick the best of the best and pay them 85 cents on the dollar, or I’m going to pay them 88 cents on the dollar.’ It would be a big raise, and there would be little reason for women to say no that, right? More money?

And so why isn’t that happening. Why isn’t some company coming along and saying, look, I wouldn’t even hire men at all, I’d just hire women and I’d say, ‘Look, I’ll pay you 92 cents on the dollar, 95 cents on the dollar,’ and you’d be able to undercut via labor costs whoever your competitor was and offer lower prices. And you’d destroy them all! Everybody out there who had this discriminatory attitude, they would all be destroyed.

So why doesn’t it happen? Well, it doesn’t happen because the problem as it’s described by President Obama and people on the left who have a vested interest in continuing to perpetuate this myth of the chronically sinister American society that’s out to hold everybody back based on which particular group that you happen to belong to, it’s not so. And it’s more complicated.

Research shows that women tend to, or men I should say, tend to take jobs that are riskier. Men tend to take jobs where risk is much higher. Both risk in terms of variety of pay – in other words you might get well paid for a year and much less paid the next year. But men also choose jobs that are far riskier in terms of whether or not you will die in that job. And so people end up getting paid for risk. So that’s just one area. Also, women tend to take time off from the workplace and therefore lose years of experience to care for children. Now, this is one of those situations where people make choices, families make choices, men and women make choices. I have a friend who’s decided his wife’s career is doing better than his, and he was the one who stayed home. And he got a dramatic hit when he reentered the workforce.

But anyway, you account for those things, not to mention the different choices that people make in terms of asking for more money or not asking for more money, and this discrepancy in pay goes away. Almost entirely. And so you’ll have studies that say, if there was any discrimination it would be within 5 percent. It would be 95 cents on the dollar, not 77 cents on the dollar. Even the 5 percent is highly suspect. Because there are all these other variables that they can’t quite account for, and it’s more complicated than they want you to know.

So why do they keep doing it? Well, to scare people into voting for them.

From the Wednesday edition of the David Boze Show.

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