The “gender pay gap” is a big deal for some folks, who worry about women earning less than men.
Democrats, for example, often talk as if the issue were about women doing the same jobs as men but getting paid less. But that’s not what the stats about wage differences by sex (that women earn, in America, 78 percent of what men earn) actually track.
Women en masse tend to earn less because it just so happens that women, in general, work in the paid labor market fewer days and hours (often taking more time off to birth and raise children) — as well as choose lower-paying careers — than men.
It’s about time and productivity. And the choices we make.
Melinda Gates is concerned about something similar to this “wage gap.” She is interested in task dissimilarities between men and women. She’s not a nut about the subject, though. In her contribution to the annual letter of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she notes that America is the most equal regarding a statistical paid/unpaid “gender gap.” Women work more time in unpaid labor elsewhere, globally (including Europe) than do men elsewhere, globally.
Funny, I’ve never heard any “We’re No. 1” chants, congratulating Americans on the tiniest gender gap on the planet.
Certainly, we don’t need a new program to help women catch up with men . . . but for all to be equally free to catch up with their own dreams. Around the world workers need more innovation and, well, free-market capitalism — to free women (and men) from drudgery.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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Photo credit: Riveting machine operator by Alfred T. Palmer