Monday, May 19, 2014

Extending the Gap

My wife and I would like to offer an apology to all of the women in America for exacerbating the gender pay gap.  The pay gap has become a hot topic again (Democrats are using it as another "don't pay attention to the economy" issue in the upcoming election) and a quick check of our finances shows that we are contributing to the 23% difference in what husbands make compared to their wives.

On the face of it, there should be no gap in our household.  Both my wife and I have college degrees, an extensive work history with no firings for cause and we don't have kids to make us miss work for various reasons without advance notice.  And yet, my annual income exceeds hers by about 35%.  Those on the Left would tell you that my wife is the victim of some sort of built-in discrimination in the employment system and that various laws are needed to ensure that she make something much closer to what I do.

But when you go "inside the numbers", you find out that "the system" really has nothing to do with it.  Out of college my wife gave a career track a chance that likely would have paid her more than she is making now--but she found out that she got no satisfaction out of it--and she did not enjoy the hassle.  So she has settled into another field that may not pay as much--but suits her much better.  She would in no way want the job that I have for the higher salary.  She doesn't want to get up at 2:30 AM.  She doesn't want to work 55-hours a week.  She doesn't want to go to work when severe weather, chemical spills and national disasters happen.  She doesn't want to work on weekends, sit through five hour School Board meetings or listen to graphic murder testimony in court either. 

Surely there are other fields that she could explore to make more money, right?  Yes, but she doesn't want to fix sewer lines, fight fires, chase down criminals, build rocket engines, manage hedge funds or run a Fortune 500 company.  So how exactly is a redundant state Gender Pay Equality law or an "updated" Federal law going to change that situation.

The irony in this gender gap discussion is that Liberals can start to "rectify" the situation by cleaning up their own houses.  The Obama Administration pays men 12% more than women and the recent firing of New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abrahamson revealed that she was paid less than men in similar positions--men who likely green-lighted numerous articles taking Republicans to task for opposing duplicative gender pay laws proposed every few years by Democrats.

Recent efforts to get more girls interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) may help to close the pay gap in the future--but as long as Beyonce is named the Most Influential Person in the World (as opposed to a woman that actually adds something of value to our society) that is unlikely to change.


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