Thomas Sowell: Fraudulent stats behind 'equal pay' claims
It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn — and that this is because of discrimination.
First of all, you can seldom do that, because the statistics you would need are not always available for the whole range of occupations and the whole range of differences between women's patterns and men's patterns in the labor market.
For example, some women are mothers and some men are fathers. But does the fact that they are both parents make them comparable in the labor market? Actually the biggest disparity in incomes is between fathers and mothers. Nor is there anything mysterious about this, when you stop and think about it.
How surprising is it that men with children earn more than men without children, just the opposite of the situation with women? Is it surprising that a man who has more mouths to feed is more likely to work longer hours? Or take on harder or more dangerous jobs, in order to earn more money?
Women lawyers who are pregnant, or who have young children, may have good reasons to prefer a 9 to 5 job in a government agency to working 60 hours a week in a high-powered law firm. But there is no point comparing male lawyers as a group with female lawyers as a group if you don't look any deeper than job titles.
Even when you compare women and men with the "same" education, as measured by college or university degrees, the women usually specialize in a very different mix of subjects, with very different income-earning potential.
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