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Which Gender Gets the Most Pay? October 5, 2015 8:00 AM | Tagged as women

WSJ October 1, 2015, Page A17: “The ‘Wage Gap’ Myth That Won’t Die” by Sarah Ketterer

Governor Jerry Brown of California is about to sign into state law CA’s Fair Pay Act. This act purports to right the ongoing wrong that women are paid less than men.  Ketterer runs the numbers and finds a different answer.  The allegation that women make 79% of men, nationally, is bogus. Consider these facts:

1.        Women work fewer hours and the statistics don’t correct for that.

2.        In many cities, single women under 30 earn 8% more than their male counterparts.

3.        Women dominate nine of the ten lowest paid careers. They chose those careers in college.

4.        Men dominate nine of the ten highest paid careers. For eight of them, 70% are men. Generally, women choose not to pursue Petroleum Engineering, for example.

5.        Many women choose to delay a career during their child-rearing years, giving them a late start on the career ladder. And having the title ‘Outstanding Mother’ is just as important as being a manager at Good Ol’ Amalgamated.

Now in California, employers will need to justify any allegation of underpayment to women. The proof will be difficult. The data gathering onerous.  Regulations again hinder businesses. Fewer jobs will be available, jobs that women might have gotten. Once again the Law of Unintended Consequences hits again. Great stuff, Sacramento. (The national version of this Fair Pay Act was scuttled by Congress last year.)

The Biz Bucks Guy remembers twenty-five years ago when he worked for a 7000-employee company where national searches were done to find women qualified to take middle-management positions. This was to meet equal-opportunity quotas. Several outstanding male candidates within the company ranks were overlooked. The salary offers given to women were higher, not lower, than offered to men. It was a simple matter of supply and demand.  

One time, a position had to be filled with a minority to meet quota. A talented woman was passed over. She cried, “Reverse discrimination.” The Biz Bucks Guy said, “Welcome to the club.”  Reverse discrimination is discrimination.

Government is really good at the Law of Unintended Consequences and it doesn’t take a legislative act to implement it. It just sorta comes with other legislative acts.

[Although opinion is included, The Biz Bucks Blog is primarily written to former students of Biz Bucks training courses to encourage their daily reading of the three opinion pages of the WSJ. This refreshes principles of Biz Bucks courses and improves business acumen on topics not discussed in Biz Bucks training.]

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