In March 2017, the Icelandic government promised to eliminate the gender pay gap by 2022. To achieve this lofty goal, the island introduced a new measure to help policymakers meet that objective.
Starting January 1, Iceland will make it illegal to pay men more than women. Private businesses and government offices with a minimum of 25 full-time employees will be mandated to obtain a special government certification on equal pay policies. Firms with more than 250 employees will have until the end of 2018 to receive certification, while smaller companies will be given a few additional years.
Should these entities fail to abide by the state’s gender pay requirement, they could face fines of approximately $500 per day. The unintended consequence of this initiative is the private sector hiring fewer women to avoid the headache, potential lawsuits, and additional bureaucratic costs.
As expected, the move is already being celebrated around the world.
Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera:
“It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally. We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) demanded the U.S. “follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland,” while actress Patricia Arquette rejoiced, “Yoo Hoo! In Iceland it is now illegal to pay women less.”
For years, the gender pay gap myth has circulated throughout Washington, the media, academia, and women’s demonstrations. Politicians, activists, and celebrities repeatedly assert that women receive 23% less than men. But is this even accurate? Like any other legend, there is a shred of truth to it. However, for the most part, it is a work of fiction designed to prove the innumerable paranoid feminist conspiracies of the malevolent patriarchy.
If the gender pay gap is untrue, then why is it continually being parroted by the left? Remember, in the modern world; you are remunerated if you’re a victim. And in the hierarchy of victimhood, women are at the top – that is, unless you’re conservative or Christian.
Inconvenient Facts Behind Gender Pay
In May 2016, the Korn Ferry Hay Group published a white paper that analyzed gender pay among eight million employees in 33 developed countries. The conclusion: the gender wage gap is pretty much non-existent – with a discrepancy of just 1.6% in favor of men.
Authors noted the obvious when explaining the gap: there are fewer women in the overall labor force, men work more hours, women temporarily exit the job market to have children, and women select different occupations from men.
These findings are supported by a myriad of other data sets.
Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University Henry Lee Professor of Economics, released the “A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter,” which found that women will work fewer hours than her male counterpart in a lifetime. Whether it is taking maternity leave or leaving the labor force for several years, her skills will inevitably diminish, and she will fall behind in the industry.
This isn’t the only source to show men tend to work more than women. A 2015 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that women are 2.5 times more likely than men to work just 35-39 hours per week. Meanwhile, men are twice as likely to work 40 hours or more, and two times more likely to work 60-plus hours each week.
The 2003 Census Bureau Current Population Survey noted that when men and women work fewer than 40 hours a week, the women actually earn more than men.
Marital status also plays a crucial role in gender incomes. Legendary economist Thomas Sowell has repeatedly written over the years that when genders have the same education, career, hours, and marital status, there is no pay gap. This was supported by a different study comprised of individuals between 27 and 33, who were never married and had no children, which found a pay difference of +/- two cents.
In 2012, the American Association of University Women, an organization that has endorsed the gender wage gap tale, concluded that there is a 5% gap in earnings between the two genders once all of the variables are taken into account.
Let’s say there are two accountants, a man and a woman. They have the same education, experience, skillset, and talents. There may still be a gap that upsets feminists. Why? The male accountant may decide to take on weekend workloads or be willing to meet with clients in the evenings outside of the city.
Simply put: there are just so many variables to consider.
The New York Post, citing the U.S. Census, wrote something interesting this past spring:
Today’s young, childless female city-dwellers with college degrees are out-earning their male counterparts by eight cents on the dollar. Their higher incomes may be why they are less likely (29%) to be living with their parents than single men (35%).
Speaking of education…
Women Dominate Education, Take Different Jobs
Feminists often argue that women are being held back from studying any of the STEM fields at college or university. But females aren’t being blocked from taking any subject they’re interested in today. And this is showcased in the education data.
Women are earning most of the degrees – bachelor’s, masters, and doctorates – but their fields of study are vastly different from their male counterparts. Total graduate school enrollment from 2015 looked like this: women accounted for 56.7% in arts and humanities, 74.6% in education, 77.4% in health science, and 76.4% in public administration. Women represented just a third in mathematics, computer sciences, and engineering.
An April 2017 study, authored by Kim A. Weeden of Cornell University and Sarah Thébaud and Dafna Gelbgisera of the University of California, examined male and female students in Ph.D. programs across the U.S. The results? Females dominated art history, psychology, comparative literature, sociology, and French. Men dominated aerospace engineering, physics, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.
The trend can be illustrated in this cartoon:
— Sure, Jan (@LilMissRightie) August 7, 2017
Once women leave college, many women apply for jobs that proffer a work-life balance – flexible schedules, better hours, and workplace benefits – which can usually be located in industries like psychology, the healthcare field, or social work. Men are different (shock!) since they seek out employment opportunities that include heavy labor, long hours, and even danger – incurring what is known as the danger wage premium. In other words, they’ll find jobs in logging, fishing, roofing, and construction, which is evident by the number of men: 97% of those fields.
Indeed, there is a lot of demand in engineering, construction, and computer sciences. Not so much for 15th-century Medieval poetry or lesbian dance theory.
Individual choices matter. We are not monolithic beings. As Christina Hoff Sommers, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), explains, “This isn’t sexism, it’s just common sense.”
Why Not Fire All the Men?
Each time some report comes out that favors the politically correct thinking, policymakers and activists demand a government investigation. But do they call for similar probes in real estate (55% women), restaurants (70% women), and post-secondary education (see above)? Of course not.
Are these women complicit in the grand patriarchal conspiracy? It is highly unlikely that these female professionals would purposely discriminate and risk violating federal and state wage laws by instantly paying them 23% less on their paychecks.
Leftists regularly accuse businesses of thinking of nothing but profits. If so, then wouldn’t these companies choose to fire all the men and immediately save 23% in labor costs? Now feminists are asserting that private firms will dismiss any profit-making opportunity because they are sexist pigs who detest women.
Which is it?
Patricia Arquette may garner a standing ovation and screams from the crowd at the Academy Awards for shrieking about a gender pay gap. Former President Barack Obama was routinely lauded for alluding to the wage gap. This year’s women’s march will inevitably accuse President Donald Trump of enabling businesses to discriminate against women.
Like everything else feminists and leftists shout to the heavens about, their gender pay gap argument collapses under the slightest scrutiny. As long as you employ your little gray cells, a la Hercule Poirot, you can dismiss Meryl Streep’s pontification on labor policy – or anything else for that matter.
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