Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Obama's State of the Dis-Union pits men against women

In his State of the Union Address last night, President Barack Obama's otherwise lackluster speech still managed to stir emotions - of the negative type - by pitting men against women. After all, what does the president like better than making people angry at each other? In this case, he pulled out the old gender pay gap myth.

Though there is a widespread perception that women are paid less than men on average, the perception goes wrong in thinking that such pay disparity is about cases when a woman doing the exact same job as a man for the same hours, in the same company or industry is paid less than her male co-worker. That is not, however, where the disparity lies. The "pay gap" simply looks at the median earnings of all men and women who are full-time workers, and because the average of men's earnings skew higher, feminists cry discrimination. But were they to take a closer look at the facts, they'd have to recant their accusation.

The fact is, men and women make different career choices for different reasons. A U.S. Department of Labor study found the average full-time working man works 8.14 hours a day, compared to 7.75 hours for the full-time working woman. Naturally, this would result in the man making more money.

Even more to the point, the natural differences between men and women result in different priorities, and therefore, different job ambitions. Women in general tend to seek jobs that offer comfortable and safe working conditions. In particular, women with children tend to choose lower paying jobs in return for companies that offer work-life balance packages that allow them to be more available for their children. Fathers, on the other hand, tend to seek work that can best support their families, which often means longer hours.

Men also are much more likely to take on dangerous or physically demanding jobs that most women simply don't want to do. You don't see many women working on oil rigs, construction sites, coal mines or the like. These jobs pay more because it's difficult to find people who are able and willing to do them. People crying discrimination need to understand that the oft-repeated statistic that women make on average "70 cents on the dollar compared to men" simply reflects an overall average of all pay for all jobs across the board.

But what do logic and facts matter when Obama can take an opportunity to divide us? He's doing it with race and class. Why not add a fight between men and women into the mix as well?

What do you think?  Click on the comments link in the bar below to share your thoughts. No registration necessary.


  1. You deny that women are "generally" paid less than men...and you then profess that President Obama's only reason for bringing that fact up was to pit men against women. Why don't you just stop pretending to write with knowledge about anything. All you really do is write about things that give you a reason to get up on your podium and criticize anything or anyone that is not super Conservative and Republican.

    1. Jim, thanks for commenting. Please show me statistics contrary to what I've stated here. Thank you:-)

  2. Jim your comment makes no sense. If Julie is pointing out that the pay gap is a myth - which I happen to agree with - and if her facts are correct, which I know they are because I've studied the real numbers myself, then shouldn't the President know the fact too? So he either doesn't know the facts and Julie is correcting him, or he does know the facts but wants to sweep them under the rug - in which case his only reason for lying would be to cause more dissension among citizens, in this case, men vs. women. Julie hit it perfectly. Jim, you seem to be in the dark in one way or another.