Doug MacEachern is having none of your Equal Pay Day!

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Someone told me recently that they knew AZ Republic columnist Doug MacEachern well and that he’s nothing like how he seems in all his columns, in which he channels your angry Birther uncle chain emailing conspiracy stories from World Net Daily and Newsmax all day long. I’m not sure why it matters if he’s sincere or not since the resulting output is the same and he is being paid a newspaper columnist’s salary to do it, but I thought I’d let you know that.

Speaking of pay, Tuesday was Equal Pay Day – signifying the additional amount women have to work this year, on average, to earn what men earned, on average, last year. MacEachern is (or is pretending to be) very testy about Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego marking Equal Pay Day by announcing a plan to ensure gender pay equity for city contractors.

They cite a statistic. Perhaps you’ve heard it before: Women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.

“The fact that women are paid less for the same work as men is a strike at our core values,” said Stanton.

“Women should no longer have to work more than four additional months to make the same salary that men did last year,” said Gallego.

The statistic they cite is the same statistic that we hear from the White House. Just 77 cents on every dollar! How could they? (“They,” in this implication, being the wicked rich men who control every detail of everyone’s lives and plot to keep women suppressed by cheating them on their pay, the clear devils.)

Few statistics are more demonstrably false. Here is a very good deconstruction of this intentional, venomous abuse of numbers. Here is another.

Heavens! Stop picking on rich men, ladies, and own up to the bad choices you make, which have NOTHING to do with sexism! Such choices, which have been found to factor in reducing women’s lifetime income include choosing occupations that are female-dominated, which tend to pay less because, uh, women tend to work in them, which has NOTHING whatever to do with sexism so stop saying that!

Another choice ladies make that causes them earn less is called “having children”. In most cases those children have what are known as “fathers”, and research has shown that fathers do not take the kind of lifetime pay cut that mothers do. In fact, here is the conclusion from one report MacEachern linked to, by the National Center for Policy Analysis about that (emphasis mine):

Career Choice. Women tend to work in fields dominated by women, in large part because these fields best satisfy women’s’ dual careers as workers and household managers. This can include less stressful work environments (noise, strenuous activity, etc.), more flexible policies regarding time off, and a number of other factors. The inclusion of this variable further closes the wage gap from 90.9 cents to 96.7 cents.

Thus, of the 21-cent differential, 17.7 cents, or 84.3 percent of the total wage gap, can be explained by largely innocuous, non-discriminatory factors that have more to do with career and life choices than employers’ prejudices. [See the figure.] Thus the charge of wage discrimination based on the 77-cent statistic is grossly misleading.

In fact, the unadjusted average hourly wage in 2000 of single women who have never had a child was 7.9 percent greater than that of their male counterparts. This comparison implies that any wage gap is rooted more in social trends and tendencies than malicious discrimination by employers. It undermines the justification for government intervention to eliminate the wage gap.

Wow, maybe Doug MacEachern really is faking us out on the Birther Uncle thing and is instead a stealth radical feminist! He did link to that statement above, after all, which seems to suggest that being single and childless is the surest path to prosperity for women. Good to know, Doug! Thanks!