August 30, 2006
It's in the P-I: Fake News! (I)
Today's P-I: "Women's pay falls farther behind men's"
the gender gap in pay grew in the county by about 4 cents from the previous year, according to a Seattle P-I analysis of the statistics in the 3 million-person national survey. That means women earned about 74 cents for every dollar a man earned, down from about 79 cents a year earlier.
Which makes it sound like women are being paid less for doing the same jobs as men. What the "P-I analysis" fails to consider is that women tend to choose
lower-paying jobs more often than men do. It's also the case that many women, particularly those who entered the workforce in previous decades, have chosen to make different family/career trade-offs than men have. As just one example of more detailed research on the subject, this study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
shows that when comparing younger workers head to head by college major shows that the gap between men and women is much less than the illusory "inequity" in the "P-I analysis". Nevertheless, today's superficial and context-free article fits better with the P-I's familiar narrative of "gender oppression"
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at August 30, 2006
10:10 AM | Email This
There has also been recently published a "politically incorrect" study that says that boys learn better when taught by men, and girls learn better when taught by women.
Since about 80% of educators are women and about half of the students are boys, the study implies boys are getting short-changed on their educatons.
I wonder what the Washington Education Association and National Education Association would say about boys getting a poorer education than girls. My guess is that they'll either attack the study or say nothing.
2. Libertarian--WEA and NEA will call for smaller class sizes--2 boys & 2 girls per class, all from different races to balance things out--more support staff--more "in service" paid training days--a dew diversity section on the WASL--AND a "school supplies" list costing $280 per kid, with 8,000 pencils "to share," (as I was recently told, "yes, but...we use a lot of pencils during the year.")
Women also "suffer" from higher rates of absenteeism which, while it may not be their "fault" it still counts against their income generating abilities.
These "studies" are bogus, biased, and Barbara Streisand. They only serve to inflame and heighten passions - as evidenced by the fact that, with all their had-wringing over the last twenty years (or more) the alleged disparity has increased (according to they themselves).
That said I heard that my boss recently got a juicy raise....I hope she takes us out to lunch to celebrate!
4. What WILL they do when they find out that in many instances, women are outnumbering men on college campuses???
Fake news versus omission of news, what's worse? The PI has been accused of slanted coverage for a long time, but bias extends beyond what is printed, but to what a paper decides not to cover at all.
For example, in a story that has been very important to me, which is why I even know this, the PI reported more than a year ago how the King County hearing examiner had ruled against Redmond Ridge East:
"King County Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith used words such as "perplexing," "tainted" and "egregious" to describe King County's work on a traffic study that teed up approval of an 800-home housing development that a Weyerhaeuser Co. subsidiary wants to build northeast of Redmond."
And yet, while nearly every other paper in the region has stayed with this story, albiet to varying degrees little more than reprinters of county and developer press releases, the PI has been completely silent.
They certainly received the same press releases, and I personally emailed them with the facts surrounding the most recent events. But despite whistleblowers, allegations of significant wrongdoing, controvercial appeals and settlement agreements, and even the Council's approval last week despite the examiner's recommendation to deny the development, the PI just doesn't consider any of this news anymore. Why?
Is it the fact that this Eastside news is no longer of any importance to this Seattle-centric paper? Is it a fear to stay involved in a scandalous story involving county government and a massive Northwest corporation? Or perhaps did the paper get beat up for its surprisingly critical covering of that ruling last year?
Whatever the reason, the credibility of a paper should not be judged only on its alleged bias or even invention of news, but on the news that it is too gutless to even report to its readers. I for one am not interested in a paper that selectively decides that news worth printing is not news they wish its readers to learn about. That behavior pretty well nullifies the entire reason for a newspaper to even exist, and perhaps the PI doesn't deserve to exist if it won't report fairly, accurately, or even thoroughly what is occurring.
6. Haha. I love how everybody missed the actual part of the story that makes it news. The gap is increasing! You have no explaination for why the pay gap has gone up by 4% in one year. Try again losers.
Sorry Charlie - Could it perhaps be because more women are CHOOSING (oh that darn freedom of choice) to stay home and therefore earning less/no money? I am guessing that drives down the average.
I heard this story reported on the radio and just had to roll my eyes. Of course women are going to make less. How many females do you see in construction/garbage/physical labor jobs which pay more than secretary/receptionist/office manager? It's the type of jobs, duh.
Now, do a study that compares a male secretary to a female secretary and I'll pay attention.
You are right about women choosing to make lower wages by staying at home. My wife just this year went down to 10 hours a week because I received a promotion and work over time. She is now able to work at the schools as a volunteer and spend more time with the children. This of course brought her wages down by 75%. But that does not support the message they want to send.
The only valid comparison is to compare the same job with men and women with similar resumes. Women tend to take time out for babies (imagine that!), and work less hours for family time.
An employee who has worked in a field for 20 years, 50-60 hours a week will earn more someone who has 15 years (5 out for babies), and tends to work 40 hours a week will get paid less.
people make choices every day--not always about money--
i know lots of very capable women (many are my former managers) making VERY good dollars who wanted something else; so--who's the fool? an obedient worker bee or someone in charge of their life? same with men too;
fact is, we choose to forgoe or take--stats are cold; they only show something, not the story behind something; what i hate is the pointing, implication and contribution to another "ongoing, permanent victim class" what--should we give every woman an immediate 20% pay increase?
(i think) the value of home moms or home dads is quite undervalued; sure, it's not cold cash, but the dividends paid later to society in stable families or good manners or good societial values is worth MORE than any liberal social program to fix the after-effects of having none;
Since all vocational choices are equally valid, it is incumbent upon society, hopefully through strict and rigorously enforced regulation, to ensure that comparable work is equally compensated.
For instance, both pilots and flight attendants are necessary for safe flight operations on a commercial jetliner. It seems only right that the pilots and flight attendants receive equal pay. In fact, the pilot gets to sit in a comfortable seat for the majority of the flight while cabin attendants have to work on their feet. Perhaps the latter should be paid more. Maybe we could arrange job rotations and let the cabin personnel fly the plane occasionally.
Maybe we could let RN's perform surgery! In fact, since we have a minimum wage, why not use it? I call on congress to mandate a maximum wage equal to the federal minimum wage. Otherwise, we could have a labor situation that compensates some individuals differently based on the value of their work rather than their intrinsic value as human beings.
What a wonderful idea! I suggest that we start with members of Congress, who shouldn't make any more money than the fellow who picks up the trash. (Come to think of it-the fellow who picks up the trash is dependable, pleasant and actually does what he was hired to do...certainly not traits that I associate with most politicians! Give all the trash collectors a raise and make Congress live on 40K a year!)
13. Will the PI now charge women 4 cents less for their piece of trash newspaper in order to make up the difference? ...just a suggestion
Hey, dorkbrain. Gender/pay studies are conducted on men and women working THE SAME JOBS.
So, for those of you in the slow group, let me spell it out for you: a woman working in the same job as a man EARNS LESS.
Get a clue!
They may be working the same jobs, but when the years of experience and hours/week worked are factored out, the difference disappears.
do they compare apples or apples or apples to oranges?
I learned 20 years ago to ask for 10% more than what I want to counteract this.
Women need to be taught negotiation skills.
17. Wage gap studies never seem to have an answer for why, if it's really cheaper to hire women for the exact same jobs and with the exact same qualifications, there aren't shareholder lawsuits against all those public companies who are (for unknown reasons) sacrificing profits for their gender bias. Once they can demonstrate there is enough evidence to even get that case heard then maybe I'll take these studies seriously. That, or demonstrating that someone can start a new company hiring all women at $.75 on the dollar. Either one will work.
Sorry Charlie -
Sorry, so sorry, but your math isn't nearly quick as your mouth.
Four cents out of 79 cents is 5%, not 4%.
And the change is most likely due to the fact that women have been starting more businesses than men in recent years.
The article mentions that the average man's salary increased, while the average woman's stayed constant.
When a person leaves a job to start a business, their salary, if reported to the BLS at all, is going to be smaller.
And the people most likely to leave a job to start a business are going to be the higher-paid ones.
If the majority of these higher-paid employees leaving their jobs to start businesses are women, then the reported average woman's salary will fall, compared to the reported average man's salary.
So, Charlie your answer is sorry, and wrong, but thanks for playing.
Re: 14, Libertine.
Your right, Women are the victims here. We must take immediate steps to ensure equal outcomes. Simple equal opportunity has been insufficient.
Since Title IX has created a situation where more women than men are FINALLY enrolled in college, I think a similar application of law to the workplace is in order.
Title IX requires universities to fund men's and women's programs equally. If you spend a dollar on men's sports, you have to spend a dollar on women's sports.
I propose mandating that businesses spend an equal number of dollars on men's and women's salaries.
The effect of title IX has been that instead of spending more of a fixed resource (money) on women's sports, universities have simply cut men's sports programs.
I think a simiar course of action is called for in business salary equity. Rather than raising women's salaries, lets cut men's salaries until the all women's salaries for all working women is exactly equal to the salaries for all working men.
20. Don, were you dropped on your head as a child?