Cry us a river
You gotta love the Oscars. It’s one of the best nights to watch Hollywood revel in its self-importance. As customary, at least one award recipient had to wax poetic about something political.
Winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood, Patricia Arquette took the opportunity to make a pitch for wage equality.
“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States.”
Arquette’s pitch for equal rights may have been relevant in 1869, but hardly seems to resonate in 2015 — the age of the stay at home father. Not to mention that when celebrities complain about wage equality, they’re squabbling over a discrepancy of millions when most Americans won’t see that much cash in a lifetime. At least Arquette got a rise out of Meryl Streep (who looked fabulous, by the way).
Wage equality is a long debated issue. Economists consistently prove it doesn’t exist, liberals refuse to accept the science (it’s an irony to be enjoyed). Beneath the rhetoric and over politicizing of the wage equality myth, there are a few facts that are worth considering.
“It’s time to have wage equality!” I agree, and so did Congress. In 1963. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “prohibits discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.” See also, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Numerous studies indicate there’s actually no gender wage gap. Most studies that have concocted some type of gap do so by omitting salient variables from the equation; chosen major (engineering, a male-heavy field tends to pay better than education, etc.), married vs. unmarried, prior work experience, etc. Factor those variables in and poof! according to the Foundation for Economic Education, the mythical gender wage gap virtually vanishes.
So that’s the private sector at large. But what if you work for Hillary Clinton? If you’re a woman working for Mrs. Clinton, you can expect to be paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to your male counterparts.
Jessica Chasmar of The Washington Times weighs in:
From 2002 to 2008, the median annual salary for Mrs. Clinton’s female staffers was $15,708.38 less than what was paid to men, the report said. Women earned a slightly higher median salary than men in 2005, coming in at $1.04. But in 2006, they earned 65 cents for each dollar men earned, and in 2008, they earned only 63 cents on the dollar, The Free Beacon reported.
The paper’s analysis excluded the salaries of employees who were not part of Mrs. Clinton’s office for a full fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, and Mrs. Clinton’s first year as senator, which began Jan. 3, 2001, was also not included for that reason.
And the White House doesn’t fare much better. There, women staffers are paid on average, 18% less than men. More troubling is that the White Houses gender pay gap actually increased between 2009 and 2011, from 13% to 18%. The Washington Free Beacon explains:
The pay gap was even higher in 2011. The Washington Free Beacon previously reported that female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000 that year, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).
Women were also paid less on Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Democrats who often champion equal pay legislation have been known to be the worst offenders of gender pay discrimination.
Hollywood too, seems to have trouble with gender wage disparities. Forbes lists Sandra Bullock as the highest paid female actress in Hollywood, earning $51 million. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. is the highest paid male actor, earning $75 million last year. As I’ve mentioned before, this is likely due to numerous variables as well. Such as Downey hooking up with the Marvel franchise, etc.
But the rest of us? I think this adequately sums up our thoughts on the matter:
Live footage of Patricia Arquette asking gays & people of color to help her get better pay. pic.twitter.com/oDcIyqbknM
— BlackBroDude (@CraigSJ) February 23, 2015
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