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The Value of Equal Pay to the US Economy


The Value of Equal Pay to the US Economy

Kate Bahn

This year, Equal Pay Day falls on April 4. This means that the average woman had to work from the start of 2016 through April 4, 2017 to earn as much as an average man did in 2016 alone. Put another way, women currently earn 80 cents for each dollar that men earn.


Bahn should be a bit more honest in this report. It's quite silly to immediately start the list of proposed reasons for the pay gap based on discriminatory practices. Clearly the vast majority of the cause of the disparity is due to non-discriminatory reasons, like type of occupation, whether the individual took time out of the workforce to care for children, etc.

For example, more physically daunting jobs are understandably higher paid than others, and men dominate these jobs. This isn't discrimination. It's purely personal preferences. Men and women on average choose different kinds of occupations, and there is nothing wrong with that. It just tends to be that men, on average, choose higher paying jobs than women, and on average, work longer hours than women. None of this is taken into account whatsoever in the incredibly oversimplified 80 cents-on-the-dollar statistic.

This is not to say that sexism doesn't still occur in the workforce. But citing the 80 cents stat should immediately disqualify you from the discussion, as it has no meaning whatsoever. It's purely a populist ploy.

If women were actually paid 20 cents less than men for the exact same work, companies would hire only women. No company is turning down a free 20% improvement in labor costs just because they hate women that much.

Plus, just a side note, but I love how these kinds of articles also point out how "minorities" have an even larger disparity, and then only focus on blacks and latinos. What about Asians? Well, they are deliberately excluded because they ruin the narrative. Asian males make more than white males. And I don't know the differential to Asian women, but I wouldn't be surprised if they make more than white males too, or at least comparable pay. Do we live in an Asian-supremacist system?

I think not.


Actually, the 80% statistic, while valid, does not begin to take into account most of the unpaid labor performed by women away from the workplace. Women are the most undervalued resource in our
society, or any other. Unless and until the full potential of women is allowed, and fully appreciated, no society can ever realize its full potential.


I don't understand your point. Are you talking about bearing and raising children? That has no context in this discussion. And how do you want the parent who is doing the majority of the child rearing to be compensated? They aren't employed! It is purely that individual's choice to have a child and remain out of the workforce.