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Equal pay canard: The 77-cents falsehood


Continuing her thoughtless imitation of President Obama, Gov. Maggie Hassan last week backed a so-called “equal pay” bill in the Legislature by repeating the President’s State of the Union claim that, as she put it, “women in New Hampshire, who are working full-time jobs, earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men.” What complete hooey.

This is the lie that won’t die. No serious scholar believes it. In fact, vast troves of data have proven that it is untrue.

A 2009 Labor Department study of the issue reached “the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action.”

That “multitude of factors” consists largely of life choices — work hours, number of children, etc. For instance, Bureau of Labor Statistics data on full-time employees show that never-married women earn 95.8 percent of what men earn, but married women with children under 18 earn 76.3 percent.

PolitiFact rated the 77 cents claim “mostly false” when President Obama made it during the 2012 campaign. How can Hassan not know it has been thoroughly debunked? It is irresponsible of her to repeat such a discredited falsehood.

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