Posted on | January 29, 2014 | 45 Comments
The myth that women are systematically underpaid — that they’re paid a fraction of what men are paid for the same work — is a basic apples-and-orange error based on comparing the wages of men (on average) with the wages of women (on average) without regard to their occupations, educational levels or years of workplace experience. But the “wage gap” myth is so deeply entrenched in feminist dogma that Democrats insist legislation is needed to correct it, as Obama proposed Tuesday in his State of the Union address:
You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.
Women deserve equal pay for equal work.
You know, she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode. This year let’s all come together, Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds.
So here we have a myth (women “still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns”), a slogan (“equal pay for equal work”), and a number of vague rhetorical gestures toward policy to overcome a mythical disparity in accordance with an egalitarian slogan. As a demagogic bonus, Obama then implies that his political opponents — those who refuse his invitation to “let’s all come together” in support of his policy proposals — are enemies of women’s success.
Question: If this was such an urgent policy priority for Obama and Democrats, why didn’t they solve this problem in 2009-2010, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress?