Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, and Presidential Statistics

President Obama marked International Women's Day with the typical tired boilerplate worthy of such compulsory occasions. It was a veritable smorgasbord of standard liberal platitudes. Here are the two most spectacular...

The Glass Ceiling
Most egregiously, he morphed his grandmother's great achievements into a counterfeit story of discriminatory shame:
"I saw my grandmother work her way up to become vice president at a bank in Hawaii, starting as a secretary, never had more than a high school education. But I also saw how she hit a glass ceiling, and had to watch as men, no more qualified than she was, rise up the corporate ladder."
God bless this woman's soul, she made it to bank vice president without a college degree! Not many men have achieved that. She also had to overcome Hawaiian bigotry against white people, but he failed to mention that.

This is a story of a woman who triumphed over all odds, not some poor victim who cracked her head on the glass ceiling. He should be ashamed of himself for disrespecting her memory in order to pander to another interest group.

Why Women Make Less Than Men

Here's another stale crust from his speech:
"The statistics of inequality are all too familiar to us -- how women just earn 77 cents for every dollar men make..."
Work History
Women get pregnant, men don't, causing gaps in the average woman's work history. They are also more likely than men to interrupt their careers to care for a young child or an infirm relative or friend. That may not be fair, but you can't blame the employer who hands out pay raises based upon work performance and career continuity instead of motherhood and care of relatives.

A Difference of Degrees

Obama's statement is true in the aggregate. But as Thomas Sowell shows, the argument for discrimination breaks down upon disaggregation of the data.

Simply put, men disproportionally get degrees in disciplines that pay more, like the hard sciences and engineering. Women overwhelmingly pursue degrees that earn less money, like the social sciences and liberal arts degrees. Sowell also shows that more men than women hold masters degrees and PhDs. (Thomas Sowell, Vision of the Annointed, pg 38)

Bottom Line: There is no pay disparity when you control for education level, degree discipline, and work history.


Fredd said...

Yeah, but pointing out continuity of work history, nature of education, etc. doesn't get the emotions pumping like the simple 77cents on the dollar bite.

Obama also doesn't understand business because he's never been involved in it. Once anyone (male or female) steps out of line, there's not cutting back into the line where you were down the road: you go to the back of the line, that's just the way it is.

More women step out of the line than men for raising children, and the math is simple. There's no cabal or conspiracy at work here, it's simple business practice.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and many National Guard and Reserves people will tell you the same thing.

No matter how good you are, it is sometimes impossible to hold that supervisor's slot for you for a year. Unfortunate, but true...

Leticia said...

Quite frankly, you nailed it. Women can earn just as much money or even more than men. It is all about carrier choices and dedication. A lot of women tend to drop out and or go for a lower degree due to marriage, having children or both.

However, a great example is unfortunately Oprah, she is probably the wealthiest woman in this nation and has a lot of power. She decided to forego on marriage and children and chose a carrier, so it is possible.

I just felt sorry for Obama's grandmother.

Silverfiddle said...

Thanks Leticia, and who says a woman who forgoes a career to raise children is worse off? Money isn't everything. We made the financial sacrifice so my wife could stay home and be a full time mom, because that's what she wanted.

I also agree with you about Obama's Grandma, first she's a typical white racist, and now this...

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Many years ago, I worked as printer and a book binder. We had women working at those places also. When it was real cold out or snowing like hell, the women were allowed to go home early. In the summer if it got too hot, the women were allowed to go home early.

The women's bathrooms were set up like lounges, with sofa's, they doors on their crappers. The men's bathrooms looked like shiters and no doors on their crappers.

When a male employee finished up a job, he had to set up his own machines for the next job, and when his pallet were full he had to remove it and put and empty pallet in. The women would finish their job their job, and then call a man over, who had to stop what he was doing to set up the woman's machine for her next job and when her pallets were full, she would again call a man over to pull out her full pallet and put an empty one in. All the while, the women complained how they weren't getting paid as much as the men, for the "same job". What a joke.

Women's rights is no different then gay rights and abortion rights, the more you give in and compromise, the more they want and demand.

Silverfiddle said...

A lot has changed since then, Reverend. When I first came in the military it was somewhat like that (I don't know what their latrines looked like, but I know we all considered them the "weaker sex."

That changed by the time I got out. We got some tough women in there today. I think women have changes, but more importantly our perceptions have changed.

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