- - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

America has been the land of opportunity since the first settlers set foot on the continent. But now social engineers with no appreciation for that inheritance are determined to trade equal opportunity for equal outcome. Armed with the belief that modern man is little more than a caveman in a coat and tie who lives to put down women, these agents of change are determined to put females on the offensive. Equal pay for women is high on their list of things to do. But the social engineers, bereft of a knowledge of economics and human nature, cannot understand that equal pay should be contingent on equal work.

Hillary Rodham Clinton promises that if she becomes the first female president, she’ll use her authority to do overdue things for the sisterhood. Her website promises she will work for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, touted as the solution to male-female wage disparity. A Census Bureau study in 2008 concluded that full-time working women earn an average of 77.5 cents for every dollar men make. Hillary’s views on the gender pay gap, like her enthusiasm for same-sex marriage, have “evolved,” but only up to a point. As a U.S. senator, she paid women on her staff an average of 28 percent less than the men, according to a study by the Washington Free Beacon. Her practices, if not her views, are still evolving.

One of the Clinton television commercials has this message for working women: “On average, women need to work an extra two hours each day to earn the same paycheck as their male co-workers.” The women must labor far into the evening, long after the men have struck out for happy hour, to make the same pay.

The facts, however, tell a different story. A Pew Research survey in 2014 found that a major cause of the gender pay gap is the preference of women to interrupt their careers to take care of family matters. Forty-two percent of women reduced their work hours to care for a child or other family member, 39 percent took “significant” time off from work, 27 percent quit their jobs entirely, and 13 percent turned down a promotion to devote more time to family considerations. Women led men in each category. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study in 2014 found that women who are engaged in full-time employment work a shorter day than men: 7.8 hours compared to 8.4 hours.

Women still prefer a different path, and there’s no criticism of women for marching to a different drummer. A woman’s role is essential to the well-being of the family. No one can do what she does as well as she can. Responsibility to hearth and home is why men and women work to achieve as they do. If current trends hold, women’s pay will soon match and perhaps surpass that of the men. Women aged 25 to 34 are better educated, with 38 percent holding a degree from a four-year college, compared to 31 percent of men. By 2012, wages of young women had reached 93 percent of that of young men, according to a study by Pew Research.

Donald Trump, asked by a New Hampshire voter whether he would pay women equally for equal work, replied: “You’re going to make the same [pay] if you do as good a job.” It’s common sense that compensation ought to be commensurate with perspiration. Men and women are partners in the family, not competitors and adversaries, as some radicals want to make them. A partnership in the workplace naturally means equal pay for equal work.

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