Is There Really a Gender Wage Gap?

In last week’s presidential town hall debate, one woman asked President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney what they would do about the wage gap between men and women.  A number of Democrats continue to accuse Republicans of waging a war on women and the alleged gender wage gap is one of the targets of that war.

I’m sixty years old and have been working most of my life since age 12.  Whether mowing lawns, selling scorpions, waiting on tables, to being part of management in retail and ministry, I’ve only witnessed one count where men made more than women and that was because of one individual department manager who was a male chauvinist.  Every place I have worked, female employees were paid the same wage as males were for the same job.  There was also a fair amount of female management in many of these jobs and they made the same wages as their male counterparts.

But that’s just my experience.  What do others say?

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Independent Women’s Forum believes it is more of a myth than a reality. According to the IWF website, they are an independent non-partisan organization that strives to educate women in American about the real facts and issues:

“The Independent Women’s Forum is on a mission to expand the conservative coalition, both by increasing the number of women who understand and value the benefits of limited government, personal liberty, and free markets, and by countering those who seek to ever-expand government in the name of protecting women. IWF is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution.  By aggressively seeking earned media, providing easy-to-read, timely publications and commentary, and reaching out to the public, we seek to cultivate support for these important principles and encourage women to join us in working to return the country to limited, Constitutional government.”

Charlotte Hayes, Director of Cultural Programs at IWF commented about the debate saying:

“The wage gap is a big talking point of feminists and Democrats in the Obama campaign.  We have a great piece on the Independent Women’s Forum website by Carrie Lukas. Carrie quotes Diana Furchtgott-Roth, who is a terrific scholar. She says that if you factor in the choices that women make, the wage gap vanishes. For example, women often work fewer hours in the week. Women also tend to get out of the job market for a while and raise kids. That is going to affect what you earn.”

In her article From the Debate: The Wage Gap and the Daughters v. Sons Myth, Carrie L. Lukas, Managing Director of IWF  writes:

“The basic fact is that the wage gap is largely a product of women and men having different preferences for how to live their lives and the role of paid work.  Women tend to make choices that lead to lower-pay.  Women should understand the financial impact of the decisions they make—whether that’s to pursue a lower-paying career that they find personally rewarding, or to take years out of the workforce to stay home with children—but differences in individuals’ preferences are not “problems” in need of a government fix.”

“Yet the wage gap stat wasn’t the element that bothered me the most in that exchange during last night’s debate. It was this statement by the President:”

I’ve got two daughters and I want to make sure that they have the same opportunities that anybody’s sons have. That’s part of what I’m fighting for as president of the United States.”

“As Sabrina and I write in our recent book, on many measures, women—particularly young women—are doing far better than men.   They are more educated, more optimistic and motivated about the future, and have longer life expectancies and better health than men.”

“I can honestly say that never in my life have I thought that being female in any way handicapped me or limited me in terms of pursuing any dream.  President Obama’s daughters are a generation behind me.  Surely they cannot seriously think that somehow their prospects are limited by their sex.”

“Moreover, I believe that most parents who have both boys and girls would agree with my sense that it is actually boys who seem to have a less certain path in American society today.  I have much more concern about how my son will be viewed by teachers, and what he will be told about men’s place in society, than I do for my daughters.  At a minimum, the idea that our daughters are somehow systematically short-changed is a long-passed relic.  But apparently it’s a relic that Democrats see as useful as they push their ‘War on Women’ campaign.”

Just like so many other issues that the Democrats use in their campaign rhetoric, the supposed gender wage gap is more myth than reality.  But then again, since when did Democrats, including Obama and Biden, care about the facts and telling the truth?

If any of you recall the 1997 movie, Liar, Liar starring Jim Carrey, I wish the same scenario would apply to both Obama and Biden.  In the movie, Carrey plays a lawyer on the fast track who repeatedly turns down his son’s request for attention with one excuse after another.  So for his birthday wish, the son wishes that his dad would have to tell the truth for 24 hours.

Can you imagine if Obama and Biden had to tell the truth for just one day while on the campaign trail?  It would be even better if it happened to Obama in tonight’s final debate with Mitt Romney.  It would virtually guarantee Romney a win next month and probably land Obama in federal prison, or better yet, Gitmo for life.  It makes me want to click my heels three times and wish, wish and wish some more.

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