Sally C. Pipes - Contributor
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C. Pipes is President and CEO, Pacific
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Bogus after all these Years
A statistical agenda...
[Sally C. Pipes] 5/25/04
A woman earns
76 cents for every dollar earned by a man, and Latina women
earn 52.5 cents for every dollar earned by a white
man. Women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds earned 67.5
cents for every dollar earned by white men. Asian American
women, though the best paid, earn 25 percent less than men.
This all means that women are still victims of gender and race
discrimination and they will not achieve pay parity for more
than 50 years. And so on.
Those are some of the results of Women's Economic Status in
the States: Wide Disparities by Race, Ethnicity and Region, a
study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research in Washington.
The report, released with representatives Nancy Pelosi, Carolyn
Maloney, and Senator Lisa Murkowski in attendance, did not get
much press. Nor should it.
It's a re-run of the same fallacies women have been hearing
for decades. Indeed, one can hear the sound of a barrel being
The 76-cent figure is meaningless because women's earnings reflect
lifestyle choices that are different than those of men. High-salaried,
intelligent women are choosing to spend time at home with their
families. And that time at home is, of course, reflected in earnings.
A study on salary differences between men and women should focus
not on census data, as with this report. It should examine pay
levels for the same job and with the same number of continuous
years in the workforce. When that information is analyzed, as
this column has often pointed out, there is very little difference
between men and women. But facts count for little with proponents
of this study.
"Fairness demands that we stop punishing Americans for
being born female or being born into minority groups," said
Representative Maloney. In this case, the "we" clearly
means somebody else.
Women's Economic Status assumes that there is some Central Command
of male job assigners dishing out the good jobs only to white
males and assigning others to the lower ranks based on gender
and race. This view discounts personal differences, effort, and
choice. Those are seldom equal between any two individuals.
That is why, in a free society, statistical disparities are
the rule, not the exception. The ideology behind this study assumes
that in every area of life, especially the workplace, women and
minorities must be represented according to their percentage
in the population. Such proportionality is not found in the Constitution
but such realities count for little with those who see discrimination
By their reckoning, there should be no disparities. If there
are any, it can only be because of discrimination. Inevitably,
the remedy is government action.
True to form, the recommendations of this study lean heavily
on Big Brother and call for affirmative action, a euphemism for
quotas. The study also calls for tacking cost-of-living increases
to the minimum wage. That will not help poor women. Neither will
encouraging women to think of themselves as victims.
"Being born Hispanic or African American, and being born
female, make you less likely to earn a high salary than if you
are born white and male," said Amy Caiazza, author of the
report. This implies that women are prisoners of their gender
and race. As this column has often pointed out, that is not the
Successful women, however, still must endure the endless repetition
of feminist fallacies, dished up as fact.
The Gannett News Service story on Women's Economic Status, for
example, was little more than a glorified press release. But
it is encouraging that some editors ran the story at the back
of the business section, below the fold.
The study confirms that for some, the endless search for victimhood
and the call for more government will always trump facts and
2004 Pacific Research Institute