April 10, 2014

"The factoid that women earn only 77 cents of every dollar earned by men is the focal point of a feminist cargo cult."

Writes Rich Lowry, letting us see the anguish caused by the relentless sticking power of that number 77. So irksome! So unforgettable!
The statistic, and the political use to which it is put, deserve each other; they are equally shoddy, shameless and disreputable....

Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute note that men are twice as likely to work more than 40 hours per week as women....

Feminists are mistaking a byproduct of the laudable desire of mothers to spend time with their kids for a depredation of The Man.
Are they "mistaking" — or in thrall to a "cargo cult" — or are they utterly savvy and laughing at the anguish of Lowry, et al.? The factoid works politically, and there's some kind of problem involving women and work that a lot of people care about. Lowry would sweep aside that problem by calling it the laudable desire of mothers to spend time with their kids. That's not particularly accurate and subtle, and I'm not surprised that his political opponents continue, gleefully, to antagonize him and his ilk with that 77¢ business.

ADDED: I appreciate the more accurate and subtle approach taken by Megan McArdle in "Government Can't Fix Real Gender Pay Gap." Excerpt:
The part of pay disparity driven by sexism is so small that it will be very difficult to detect in any given case, or even in aggregate. The sexism that drives it probably mostly operates below the conscious level, in men and women who know that they don’t like hard-charging, opinionated women, but don’t recognize that this is partly because they’re women.

The part of pay disparity that is driven by differential ability to work long hours is easy to detect, but what do we do? Mandate that everyone be paid a flat rate by the hour? Put everyone in the country on something like the government’s GS system? Cap working hours? To state the meaningful solutions is to reject them....
See? She appreciates the nature of the real problem and doesn't slough it off as mere "laudable desire" to spend time with children (which sounds — infuriatingly — as though he thinks women are just doing what they like and deserve to make less money).

158 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

By utterly savvy and laughing at the anguish of Lowry, et al. you appear to mean what most people call lying.

eric said...

"The factoid works politically"

There is a lot of evidence that this is not correct.

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/04/10/marcus-say-this-equal-pay-demagoguery-from-democrats-is-quite-revolting-huh/

Ed Morrisey makes a pretty good case that this is a big crash and burn for the Administration.

EDH said...

The factoid works politically, and there's some kind of problem involving women and work that a lot of people care about... and I'm not surprised that his political opponents continue, gleefully, to antagonize him and his ilk with that 77¢ business.

Actually, I think the purveyors of the 77 cent nonsense are finally on the run.

Henry said...

Hell, why not just say 15 cents on the dollar. That sounds even more damning.

rhhardin said...

It's a good thing it's not 69 cents.

Gahrie said...

So dishonesty, lying and pandering are OK as long as they work for the Left politically?

How about demanding that Democratic politicians distance themselves and condemn such dishonesty?

AJ Lynch said...

There is nothing ilky about Lowry and his compatriots unless you are a math-shallenged, illogical, lying, shrill lib Althouse. His argument is accurate and true and debunks the 77% lie.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Zrimsek said...

Incidentally, if the 77% figure were meaningful, the number of days into 2014 that a woman would have to work to equal a man's pay for 2013 would be ((1/0.77)-1)*365, or 109. Those savvy laughing people should really be celebrating Equal Pay Day on Apr. 19.

66 said...

Yeah, I agree that Lowry's short-hand explanation for the supposed wage gap plays into the hands of those looking for sexism. On the other hand, I suppose most of the vulnerable democratic senators up for reelection this year are part of Lowry's "ilk" that are being "gleefully" antagonized by purveyors of phony statistics: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/04/09/phony-wage-gap-statistics-from-white-house-spur-a-backlash/

Ann Althouse said...

I put the "lying" tag on the post.

How about facing up to what I'm actually saying?

Jay said...

That's not particularly accurate and subtle, and I'm not surprised that his political opponents continue, gleefully, to antagonize him and his ilk with that 77¢ business.

Really?

“Men and women in equivalent roles here earn equivalent salaries,” Mr. Carney said. “Some of the most senior positions in the White House are filled by women, including national security adviser, homeland security adviser, White House counsel, communications director, senior adviser, deputy chief of staff.”

He said that the -cent statistic was misleading because it aggregates the salaries of White House staff members at all levels, including the lowest levels, where women outnumber men.


And,
Pelosi maintained that her position was not at odds with White House economist Betsey Stevenson, but Stevenson told reporters Monday that the oft-repeated statistic that women make 77 percent of what men make is not a statement about women and men in the same job.

“Seventy-seven cents captures the annual earnings of full-time, full-year women divided by the annual earnings of full-time, full-year men,” Stevenson said. “There are a lot of things that go into that 77-cents figure. There are a lot of things that contribute and no one’s trying to say that it’s all about discrimination, but I don’t think there’s a better figure.”

Stevenson discussed this issue at greater length with MSNBC last week, as National Review’s Patrick Brennan noted.

“I agree that the 77 cents on the dollar is not all due to discrimination,” she said. “No one is trying to say that it is. But you have to point to some number in order for people to understand the facts. And what it represents is the fact that women on average are put in situations every day that for a variety of reasons mean they earn less. Much of what we need to do to close that gap is to change the constraints that women face. And there are things we haven’t tried.”


I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

Ann Althouse said...

Politicians simplify to the point of dishonesty.

That's the oldest news in the world.

The question is how to play your side well.

Xmas said...

I defer to McMegan to womansplain things.

Most of the pay gap comes from women taking jobs that are more flexible and men working jobs that reward much more for working crazy hours. When you compare single women against men in the same job, the pay gap almost disappears.

Hagar said...

I think that if there is a problem with women's pay, it is more about the skirt on the front desk, $500/wk, "answer the phone and do a little light typing," who in many of the small businesses around the country is actually the most important person in the company, but I do not know of any law that will help with that.

What the democrats are proposing is another huge reporting cost to the larger businesses with a corresponding bureaucracy on the taxpayers' penny. And of course a boon to the trial lawyers association.

And for the larger businesses, where there actually is "equal work," I would not be surprised if the women do not already have a bit of an edge due to the old supply and demand principle, since the businesses already are trying to hire women for such positions to ward off court suits and bad publicity.

John said...

OK, Ann, you say that "There is some kind of problem involving women and work..."

So what is the problem? Don't just leave that hanging out there, tell us what you think the problem is.

The first thing to ask about the 77% is how it is measured. Usually it is measured by comparing apples and oranges. For example "all women vs all men"

They never tell us if it is hourly, monthly, annual or lifetime earnings. The longer the period, the greater the difference.

They never tell us if they are comparing the same jobs in the same location. For example, not just Chemical Engineers but Chemical engineers in the oil biz who work in the field (or in the office) Field work pays better but is much rougher.

Even full time is subject to distortion. Compare a woman who works 40 hours a week with a man who works 50. Both are probably grouped simply as full-time workers.

She works 80% of the hours the man works but is going to earn 73% of what the man works. Why? Because he is getting time and a half for the extra 10 hours.

And so on.

I could probably show you that women make 50% of what men make if you let me control how it is calculated.

It has nothing to do with discrimination. Any company that could hire a woman truck driver for 77% of what they pay a man would have an all female fleet.

The woman who drives the truck on the same schedule as the man, with the same experience etc, will make the same as the man.

John Henry

Paul Zrimsek said...

If the question is how to play your side well, then there's no point in demanding that Lowry's argument be accurate or subtle, so long as it "works politically". So far it seems to be doing pretty well politically.

Hagar said...

And, of course, additional costs per employee in private business and more taxpayer paid bureaucrats is just what we need to get out of this nagging recession!

wholelottasplainin' said...

So, Ann, why don't employers just hire as many wymyn they can, in order to pay them all less?

And what about all those wymyn in Human Resources overseeing the T's and C's of hiring?

Are they co-conspirators, keeping their sisters down?

eric said...

"Politicians simplify to the point of dishonesty."

This should read, "Democrat politicians simplify to the point of dishonesty."

The reason for this is simple. The media doesn't call them to task for it as they do Republican politicians. It's a double standard, but one we have to live with.

Harry Reid can say all day long that the Kochs are evil bad guys and he'll get no flack from the media.

But if Paul Ryan says something about inner cities, he's got to explain himself over and over and over again to the point of absurdity.

Republicans have to learn to be precise and detailed in their wording.

Democrats get to play to the low information voter.

Henry said...

The question is how to play your side well.

There's a point where the well is poisoned.

Ambrose said...

Fellow commenter Hagar has it exactly right about the"Paycheck Fairness Act":


"What the democrats are proposing is another huge reporting cost to the larger businesses with a corresponding bureaucracy on the taxpayers' penny. And of course a boon to the trial lawyers association."

Once again, Republicans fall into the trap of debating the name of the legislation rather than the substance.

Ann Althouse said...

"So what is the problem? Don't just leave that hanging out there, tell us what you think the problem is."

Check my addition to the post, linking to Megan McArdle who explains the real problem.

I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).

Some of you guys are so dug in. You don't realize how badly positioned you are for attack in The War on Women.

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.

Gahrie said...

he thinks women are just doing what they like and deserve to make less money

Isn't that exactly what is happening? Women (for various reasons) choose to work less and less harder than menn and so they get paid less?

PB Reader said...

I always thought if it were true that women were systematically discriminated against, the HR departments largely staffed by women and responsible for salary administration and compliance with law and regulation, would be rushing to expose it.

That they haven't tells me a lot.

Gahrie said...

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.

The "war" is working because so many women react emotionally, and are unable to think about such issues rationally.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

This might be one of the most retarded posts you have ever put up, outside of your gay marriage hissy fits.

Nice to see that affirmative action was alive and well in the legal profession when you were coming out of law school.

fivewheels said...

Paul Zrimsek: I've also seen this mistake made by many a feminist this week. Life imitates Dilbert.

Men are paid 25 percent more

Æthelflæd said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BKorP55Aqvg


Althouse is the lady wanting to draw just a tiny kitten, while the rest of us are the engineer trying to explain the rules of geometry and why a red line implies red, not transparent or green.

"Oh you all are so stubborn!" Althouse complains. "Why can't you see I am trying to help you?"

My husband makes a lot of money doing a job in an industry with very few females, because it involves crazy hours, travel, and danger. The very few females are inevitably single. The men are single or have a woman at home who keeps the home fires burning and takes care of the kids and bills.

For 95% of people, this makes total sense. Trying to draw perpendicular transparent kittens for the tiny number of intellectual egalitarian women isn't going to work.

Hagar said...

I am going to be even more sexist.

I think many of the "ladies on the front desk" stick with the job even if it pays less than $500/wk. and works them to a frazzle, because they get satisfaction out of being the "mother hen" that keeps the outfit together and functioning, whereas a man would be more likely to say, "The heck with that, I need more money!"

And there is a lot of women like that, so the old supply and demand principle certainly is at work, however "unfair" that might be!

tim in vermont said...

Of course we could also go to the evolutionary psychology answermatic and notice that women are hypergamous (feminists deny this, but men who assume it is true get laid a lot) that men know this and work hard to create a babe attracting income and women have no such motivation because men care about other things in women besides income.

Feminists are doomed to fail in their attempt to read millions of years of evolution out of the human mind. Won't keep them from stopping though. What it will produce is a weakened economic environment that will be blamed on the Patriarchy and White Male Privlige, regardless.

66 said...

I guess I'm puzzled as to the suggestion that Lowry's point makes him a bad spokesman or makes republicans more vulnerable to the "war on women" meme.

Here is Lowry:

"What is clear is that the wage gap is largely an artifact of the fact that women devote more time to caring for children than men do. Harvard economist Claudia Goldin points out that the earnings of women without children are almost equal to those of comparable men. Feminists are mistaking a byproduct of the laudable desire of mothers to spend time with their kids for a depredation of The Man."

Isn't it true that much of the wage gap is explainable by women working fewer hours so that they can care for their children? Isn't this an admirable choice? Is that hate-speech?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

So because democrats and their leftwing media enablers lie, that is the fault of conservatives.

Of course it is.

fivewheels said...

For those not getting or addressing it, the point is supposed to be that women aren't really choosing to spend time with children, they're forced to sacrifice their careers in ways men don't have to -- by the unfairness of the patriarchy.

Because women having children certainly isn't a choice that they made, and for god's sake they should never have to accept the consequences of these non-choices.

eric said...

"he thinks women are just doing what they like and deserve to make less money)"

Yes.

They are doing what they like and they do deserve to make less money.

No one deserves to make more money because they have the right sex organs.

Alexander said...

Better idea. Find a girl who doesn't shriek about the war and just go home. And when the barbarian crosses the border because there's no men actually defending the borders, or the power goes out because there are no men in the power plants or maintaining the lines, or they starve to death because there's no men working the fields, or they die of disease because there's no men cleaning out the garbage... then maybe they'll rethink whether the war was a good political gambit.

But fighting over it just plays to the accuser. It's a "when did you stop beating your wife" sort of question - the very debate 'proves' there is a problem. And like *every other time*, the left will move the goal post, or disqualify the move as insincere, or some other such nonsense.

There's no good faith here. Nobody raises a fuss about occupational fatalities (wonder if that might, just might, have something to do with the pay differential), equal prison time, or equal life/care insurance rates (again, funny that). The "war on women" will continue until women occupy >50% of jobs in all fields, at which point the "war on women" will be proven by the fact that all them men are not working and exploiting female labor.

So screw it. And watch how quickly the attacks change from "Go Away, give the girls a chance!" to "You can't just quit!"

wholelottasplainin' said...

"I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women)."

Then why use that contemptuous term "ilk" when referring to Lowry?

Larry J said...

The whole "income inequality" and "living wage" arguments are just another way of saying the classic line, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs."

In 2011, my wife and I visited Vietnam. Our guide said something memorable. This is as near an exact quote as I can recall:

"Following Reunification in 1975, Vietnama was a socialist country. Do you know what socialism is? It's where if I work hard and you don't, we get paid the same. So no one worked hard. About 20 years ago, the government changed the rules. If you work hard, you get to keep what you earn. Things are much better now."

You can file this under "Things that a tour guide in Vietnam knows that academics and leftists (but I repeat myself) here in America don't."

Birkel said...

Women who do not have children and who have reached the age of 40 (after which child bearing is increasingly unlikely) tend to make slightly more (2% more) than men in similar positions.

Economists believe the difference is reasonable because women are less likely to miss days from work for illness (at the same age as their male counterparts) and are less likely to quit suddenly (e.g. death, jail, debilitation, etc.).

As a man over 40 I think this is systematic sexism and demand recompense!!!

Shorter Althouse:
Democrats are lying and that can't be stopped so now come up with the most effective arguments that accepts Democrats are liars as a given and that might persuade... Ann Althouse.

gregq said...

See? She appreciates the nature of the real problem and doesn't slough it off as mere "laudable desire" to spend time with children (which sounds — infuriatingly — as though he thinks women are just doing what they like and deserve to make less money).

Women are making choices. men are making choices. You don't like the fact that the men's choices bring them more money than yours do? Then make their choices, and don't whine about it.

So yes, the people who make those choices DO deserve to get paid less.

Titus said...

Did he really use the term factoid?

holdfast said...

So very, very predictable. Althouse is more than willing to be objective and probing on some topics, concerning some groups, but when there's gay or womyn "victims" involved the pearls are clutched the voice goes up an octave or two.

Yes, Lowry launched a full-throated broadside, and good for him. Enough meally-mouthed moderation - voters don't want a party that is playing to not-lose, instead of playing to win. I too am tired having this BS statistic crammed down my throat by the same lying Administration that is doing everything in their power to increase the incremental cost of hiring an additional workers (via new taxes, fees, regs, etc.), thereby encourraging employers to have fewer workers who work their @sses off but are well compensated for it.

Let me know when Althouse and the MSM start caring that womyn suck up a disproportionate amount of healthcare spending and men are much more likely to die on the job - because of course typist and roustabout on an off-shore oil rig are "equal" jobs deserving equal pay.

jr565 said...

Whatever the approach used to discuss the 77% number, the fact is that the number is being used as a political tool for the benefit of one party,and not because its true.
OR, even if it is true it doesn't mean what those who keep stressing it says it means .

Blue Ox said...

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.

Jesus. Has Meade stopped beating you yet?

If people greet Obama's smarmy, snide, petulant deliverance of easily disproved lies with adoration, I don't know that they're going to be receptive to a calm, reasoned response.

The notion that truth for truth's sake should be trumped by "what works politically" makes me want to wretch.

jr565 said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).

YOu're not trying to prod liberals who are pushing the 77% mantra as a political tool?

Birkel said...

Ann Althouse:
"The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable."

Brazilians:
"Women who dress provocatively deserve sexual assault."

Me:
Blaming the victim is a fun game. Can I play?

Brando said...

Inequality itself shouldn't matter until we determine the cause of the inequality. Here are the possibilities for what is causing the gender pay gap:

1) Women not "leaning in" enough--I guess that means that women need to adopt better negotiating tactics, which you can learn in a bestselling book!

2) Women not knowing how much their male colleagues make, hence Obama's latest executive order which affects only federal contractors--an initiative as small as his presidency.

3) Outright discrimination. Bosses who decide that they'd rather pay men more than women, though if this were the case I figure those bosses would hire only women. Or at least their competitors would.

4) Women voluntarily choosing less lucrative professions. Maybe these are innate preferences, or maybe (as some feminists suggest) this is socialized into them at a young age. Though, unless that socialization is caused by public schooling--which I doubt, as I don't recall the "math for boys, playing with dolls for girls" electives back in grade school--there's nothing government can do about that.

5) The cause that most people are starting to recognize--the effects of childbirth. However, again this comes down to individual and family dynamics--in some cases the lower-earning husband is the one who stays home or has a more limited career to be with the kids while the wife works the demanding profession. That a couple may choose to go the more "traditional" route is really up to them, and government has no place in that decision.

So where does that leave us? I'm sure a lot of women who have sacrificed for their kids (or men who have done the same) would prefer a cushier leave policy from their employers, or some subsidy from the government. Who wouldn't? But any solution like that will necessarily come at the expense of the childless. Is it really fair to lean even heavier on them?

jr565 said...

There is nothing especially irksome about Lowry's take. Why can't you have Lowry AND Mccardle's post. I think the bigger issue, is that many women simply can't handle the truth.
Or would rather get spoon fed statistics about how they are victims than look at numbers objectively and see that the war on women is a canard.
If you're going to fall for the 77% rhetoric, you're also going to fall for the Warm on Women rhetoric. That's what its there.
The problem is not Rich Lowry, the problem is you.

tim in vermont said...

Oh, I get it now. We are supposed to hide what we truly believe, and come up with something we know in our hearts not to be true and think will be insulting to the intelligence of women, to get them to vote for us. If we were capable of that, we would probably be Democrats.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

as though he thinks women are just doing what they like and deserve to make less money

You DO deserve to make less money if you take off more time from working....for whatever reason. Caring for children is one of those reasons.

All things are not equal and they never will be equal. One job that a woman might have is not equal to one that a man might hold. For instance a clerk in a construction company will not, and should not, get equal pay to the field worker in the same company. However if in the same job, then YES, equal pay based on seniority and skill level. You aren't going to pay the entry level clerk the same as the clerk who has been on the job for years. It doesn't matter if it is a man or woman. Experience and skill trumps gender....or at least it should.


Decisions that you make have consequences. Learn to live with it. Also....you cannot have it all. Deal with that too.

When you do decide to have children, sacrifices must be made. Most often, but not always, it is the woman who bears the burden or brunt of the sacrifices. If you decide to be a single parent (man or woman) then there are challenges. If you are a married couple with children, your life is different than a married couple with NO children. Both partners have sacrifices. Your decision.

If a woman decides that she will work as long and as hard as others in her SAME occupation, then she deserves to be paid the same and earn the same. BUT.....deciding to take off over the course of your working career, man or woman....you WILL earn less.

This whole make up hooha is nothing more than another way to try to pit people against each other for the cynical purpose of keeping political power and control.

Richard Dolan said...

"The 'war' is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable."

Perhaps people would understand that point better if it were phrased in terms familiar from any B-school marketing class. The objective in addressing the 77 cent issue, from a political perspective, is to persuade those who don't already agree with you, so that you end up with the largest possible group of potential buyers. To do that you need to know your audience and what motivates their buying decisions.

Lowry's approach isn't interested in doing that, and instead is focused on revving up those who already agree with him. Unfortunately, his approach also causes those who might be persuadable to tune him out. McCardle's approach is more sensible from a marketing perspective, even if her choice of framework is a bit heavy on geeky-economist-speak.

jr565 said...

I bet that a lot of women who say that women earn 77% of men and that this is sexist, couldn't even tell you what men and women earn in their own companies and whether there is a discrepenency, and why. And yet they are are able to tell you the way it is for ALL companies?
If you are plugging in the numbers then you can get any result you want. And too many liberals are saying we need to accept the results simply because that is the number they came up with.
YET AGAIN, its liberals pushing the frame of debate, applying the stats that they want to show prove their case, and if you dare disagree then its a war on women.
If it's disagreeing with climate models that haven't been accurate in years, then its war on science.
If it's disagreeing with quotas, then it's war on minorities.
If it's agreeing that marriage is what it has always been then it's war on gays.
The left learned much from their communist overlords. This is agit prop theater.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).

Are libs making their argument well? Is the 77% talking point in fact a good argument? You seem to side with Mccardle, but then I wonder why you wouldn't hold dems to task for making the 77% argument in the first place?
Mccardle shows it's not a war on women that the stats are the way they are. You accept that premise. Yet every week the dems trot out this stat and then make war on women arguments about it. So then, THEY are the ones that should be held to account for false arguments, not the Rich Lowry's of the world.

Gabriel said...

@Ann: I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).

Some of you guys are so dug in. You don't realize how badly positioned you are for attack in The War on Women.

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.


Yes, when one side gets to make up rules as it goes, which the self-appointed referees go along with, the other side tends to be vulnerable.

But the root of the outrageous outrage is that Republicans are a viable political force. The rules of what is outrageous will always be adapted to disfavor Republicans as long as this is true.

jr565 said...

All people are doing is holding Obama and the libs to his standard.

SJ said...

@Ann,

if I responded with "the desire of women to not work jobs requiring lots of physical exertion and unpredictable overtime", would that be more palatable than "desire to spend time with children" ?

If there is an actual desire on the part of many women to spend time with children, but it is politically challenging to mention it...can we call anyone who denigrates that desire a child-phobe?

Tom said...

Megan is a smart cookie who doesn't seem interested in scoring political points. Good for her! She's not always right but she always think and presents the thinking behind her opinions well - so it can be tested. When she knows she's biased, she says so. When she has a lucky guess and is right, she shares that too. I think she's very committed to exposing and testing her own mental models and assumptions in order to think more clearly about a number of issues. I'm not sure we can say that about a lot of bloggers.

JPS said...

Prof. Althouse:

"You don't realize how badly positioned you are for attack in The War on Women.

"The 'war' is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable."

Cuts both ways, though, doesn't it? Our opponents are getting overconfident. They're sure it'll work. They're sure someone on the right can say something so offensive they can hang it on the rest of us. (Actually I'd bet they're right on that one.)

But they're not prepared for simple questions like, So why do full-time working women in your office make 88% of what men do, using your same metrics?

Then they hem and haw and explain that it's all so much more complicated.

Jason said...

Concern troll is concern trolling.

n.n said...

To think that women's equality was purchased with the normalization of murder/abortion of around one million human lives in America alone. You have to love those women and their supporting men.

That said, they could address progressive cost-of-living, but instead they seek compensation for the consequences of their well-intentioned policies (e.g. bubble economics).

There is no reasonable response, other than directed redistribution unmatched by productivity. There are only emotional appeals and the people who exploit them for leverage.

Tom said...

A second point regarding the war on women: A frontal assault on the war on women meme doesn't work. A subtle approach, like Megan's, to the conversation probably won't work either. It will help us think about the issues more clearly. But we're not the target audience. The target audience already believes there is a war on women and is just looking for "data" to back up that mental model. We'd have better luck arguing with the cast of Monty Python - we're really not playing the same game and I'm not sure what to do about that.

rhhardin said...

The problem is that women won't upgrade their political game to men's level.

We're talking to children.

Unknown said...

Ms. A, there isn't a simple, sound-bit answer, unless it's "you're lying" which makes the accuser sound mean.

jr565 said...

eric wrote:
Republicans have to learn to be precise and detailed in their wording.

Are people who would fall for war on women politics ones who would be swayed by precise arguments. Especially if even making the contention that the stat isn't true could be a fireable offense or at least one that ends the conversation.
A lot of people are wedded to this idea, and want to criminalize opposition to it. As such, they're not going to want to hear rational discourse on what stats actually mean when there's a war on women going on.

Sigivald said...

She appreciates the nature of the real problem

What problem?

In McArdle's reading (which is correct, to all available evidence), there is no problem.

That's the reason I reject the lie of "77 cents" or "80 percent", used as it's actually used, to pretend women are underpaid for the exact same work.

Lucien said...

I'm not sure what I care less about, this issue, or how wealthy the top .1% of the population are.

MattL said...

I don't see how McArdle's post explains any better. Lowry's reason is the reason behind the differential that McArdle brings up. Lowry's also explains a lot of why there are fewer females at senior positions, since they often drop out of working or are at least more likely to take a break while men are building up seniority.

What's the shelf life on the war on women nonsense? Is it shorter now that the race baiting has become so ridiculous that they'll have to resort to more desperate ways to contrive a war on women?

Professor Chaos said...

You're probably right about the politics, but you're wrong that there's evidence of any real problem. I realize that Megan McArdle says that the "residual gap that’s left after you control for age, experience, work hours, choice of profession and so forth ... most likely represents sexism." But she gives no evidence for this. Virtually every social science model has unexplained variance; it's not legitimate to conclude automatically that the unexplained variance is due to sexism. It could easily be due to some other variable not in the model, imperfect measurement of the variables in the model, or many other things.

n.n said...

They should classify families as corporations, where the mother and father are its sole officers. So, the issue is not how well a man or a woman performs, but how well the corporation performs. Aside from this, women who choose to be sole proprietors should assume the benefits and deficits of that choice.

That said, this would also address the moral hazard created by selectively normalizing homosexual behavior. It would open an avenue for families, or rather corporations, where men and women can mutually enjoy loving relationships, and economic benefits, too. It also defines a fiscal basis for liquidating assets (e.g. "children"), which is perfectly attune with the predominant "pro-choice" morality.

I think this would greatly reduce the cognitive dissonance engendered by a selective morality, and it would facilitate the government's primary duty to capture and redistribute private capital.

Speaking of the IRS...

Pub 525: Other Income, includes: bribes, kickbacks, and other illegal activities.

I wonder how many politicians and other prominent and not so prominent people in public
and private employment are in full compliance with IRS statutes.

Just some April 15, tax collector's holiday humor.

damikesc said...

Professor, if it is politically expedient to lie is immaterial. That you don't seem to have a problem with blatant untruth is a bit disconcerting.

Either women wish to be condescended or they wish to be equal. You can't have both.

You can't really "argue" your side if the other side is free to simply lie with impunity. It's been said, REPEATEDLY, that the stat is a lie and the reasons why have been explained ad nauseum. We've cited that the jobs done are different, that men are killed and harmed on the job at far higher numbers, and the hours worked are worlds different.

YEARS of this argument has led to: The WH still citing this stat that works well with idiots.

They know its bullshit, which is why they got annoyed when people pointed out THEIR pay gap.

The WH KEEPS using it in spite of that.

If women wish to believe something that is patently untrue, eventually, one should just write them off as capable of being reasoned with.

I doubt most women buy this crap, but the ones that do are too stupid and ill-informed to even bother with.

Nonapod said...

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.

Exactly. Saying or doing something provocative to illicit a negative response (trolling) is an interesting phenomenon. I have to believe that at least some people on the left are quite aware of all the holes in particular arguments. When a person or group has a very strong or even irrefutable argument that is consistantly ignored, it can often be very frustrating. I'm convinced that there are many on the left who know this well and purposely antagonize and bait people on the right with arguments that they know damn well are weak or simplistic but my have an emotional appeal to certain people. They then get the angry, frustrated response that they want from some people on the right and they can continue to paint them as angry, bitter white men.

Bob Ellison said...

I think leftist political operators on the left mostly know or have stopped questioning the validity of the 77-cent claim, much as they know the real balance of arguments against minimum wages. They also know these arguments work for what Rush Limbaugh calls "low-information voters".

Most rightist political operators are more principled, less Alinskyite, and so disinclined to make things up so readily to win votes. They should take up the subtle and informative way McArdle makes the points, as usual for her.

If you can't win people over with substance, you might as well give up, because there really are no benevolent dictators.

Gahrie said...

The target audience already believes there is a war on women and is just looking for "data" to back up that mental model. We'd have better luck arguing with the cast of Monty Python - we're really not playing the same game and I'm not sure what to do about that.

Repeal the 19th Amendment.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Kookie, lend me your comb.

SGT Ted said...

So dishonesty, lying and pandering are OK as long as they work for the Left politically?

My question as well. Ann, you show a remarkable affinity for the lack of political accountability towards leftist dishonesty.

And it isn't a "factoid"; it is an out and out anti-male sexist lie.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I hate to have to tell you this Althouse {actually I don't hate it--it's kind of fun} but you're doing that thing where you neglect to acknowledge how isolated you are in your little purebred doggie half-a-mil house world.

I assure you that out here in normal working America, both men AND women know bullshit when they see it.

My local news station in Flyover City, Texas posted a story about "Equal Pay Day" on their Facebook page and within a hour it had two hundred comments--mostly from women--that amounted to, "Bullshit. Women get paid less because they work less, and if they want to work more/earn more, they are perfectly free to do so, and if they are paid less to a man who's the same on paper they can sue because it's already illegal."

I don't know why you think that stating the obvious on this issue is some kind of conservative vulnerability when we great unwashed can see clearly that this Equal Pay nonsense is a giant nothingburger. The chattering class can wring their hands over it but the REALITY for most Americans is that Mom wants to work few enough hours so that she's not grocery shopping at 11 pm and has time to plan the kid's birthday party.

Brando said...

One of the most annoying moments in the 2012 debates was the infamous "binders full of women" question about the pay gap. Obama spouted off some crap about his support of the Lily Ledbetter law, which basically does nothing more than extend the statute of limitations for discrimination complaints. In other words, a boon for trial lawyers, and a brush off for the issue.

That moment, Romney could have replied by saying Obama's answer is thin gruel because gender discrimination is already illegal and all he's doing is extending the SOL which practically would have no real effect on the pay gap.

Then, Romney could have gone on to point out that the biggest reason for the pay gap was a lack of flexibility at many workplaces for telework and alternative schedules, and that he would explore ways in which companies can be encouraged to do more in that regard. He could also have pointed out that federal agencies could also do more for their own workforces in this area to lead the way--putting the onus on the chief executive.

But no, we got the "binders" remark and that's all anyone remembers. That election made Americans dumber.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...

The question is how to play your side well.

and

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.



Come on guys, get your demagoguery on! Appeal to emotion, disregard rationality and the reliance on the literal truth, frame things in the way you think Nancy Pelosi would and you'll be fine. Lowry saw the problem as one of the consequenses of women's choices and assumed the choices were made based on a love of family, etc...so insulting! Remember, you're talking to *women* here. If a situation or outcome is non-female-genderoormative then it is bad, obviously.

As an example, you might be tempted to point out that the pay gap is largely caused by the individual choices made by men and women and as such isn't ameanable to a governmental "fix," nor is such a fix self-evidently necessary. McMegan calls it the "ability" to work long hours but since this ability is dictated by those individual choices she is in fact framing the situation the same way. But wait! Individual choices imply individual responsibility, and responsibility is a code phrase for War on Women! Resist the temptation, men! And don't worry, when you follow that advice you won't be mocked for pandering, talking down to women, or being disengenuous, no sir.

Unrelated--when is the conservative equivalent to Thomas Frank going to write "What's the Matter With Chicks?"

chillblaine said...

I think cargo cult is a poor choice of terminology.

I prefer to think of it as bushkazi.

SGT Ted said...

Ann, we (the collective posters here, have made the arguments rebutting the DNC lies about the pay gap AD NAUSEUM, here and in other places. Lots of others have as well.

The issue isn't the arguments against the wage gap lies.

The issue is the corruption of the National press that allows and encourages Democrats and sexist feminists to lie without accountability or correction, which furthers the lies, which are designed to attack the GOP and win elections.

If we had an honest national press, the wage gap lies would be non-starters.

66 said...

OK, I withdraw my two previous posts. In reading some (though certainly not all) of the commenters, I believe I understand your point.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the attack that we have seen with the WH presser with Jay Carney is a good approach - pointing to the gender gap with the WH, Senators, etc. When pressed, they point out that the men make more because they have more important jobs. Duh. But, that is pretty much their argument - that women don't make as much, because they don't have as good of jobs. And, they don't have the jobs because they aren't as qualified, in terms of what they can do. And, that invariably means that the men have worked longer, harder, and taken more chances. Which is human nature. I don't see the Dems being able to really distinguish between their own situation, with their own staffs, and the situation that they claim needs to be addressed. I esp. like that those vulnerable Dems were singled out, since there is now a stake in the ground for when they try to trot out this meme during their campaigns - which brings things back to their ObamaCare votes (though I also fault them for the "Stimulus" and Dodd-Frank, among other things.

Lucid said...

The proper response to the 77 cent lie should be, as has been, to strenuously call out the lie, and the liars. Showing the result of the calculation on the White House is the perfect pushback to this meme.

We should have a article online, ready to be referenced, when this factoid is used again.

tim maguire said...

The gender pay gap, in the sense that the complainers are using it, is a hoax, a lie. Not even a smidgen of truth behind it. Men in aggregate make slightly different choices than women in aggregate and, in aggregate, get slightly different results. Period.

If the Democrats were just normal everyday liars, they'd probably get away with it, but they kept insisting on using the $0.77 number that beggars belief and, fortunately, people seem to be catching on to their sham.

Unfortunately for truth and the American public, but fortunately for Democrats, there is plenty of time for them to adjust the message to something their supporters in the press are willing to get behind.

Fen said...

The GOP should know by now that lying to the electorate is bad for their branding. They should denounce the liars in their party.

oh its a Democrat talking point? My bad - politicians simplify to the point of dishonesty. That's the oldest news in the world. The question is how to play your side well.

Marshal said...

McArdle's argument doesn't work in politics though, because it presupposes only solutions that address the issue would be offered.

Fen said...

The GOP should know by now that lying to the electorate is bad for their branding. They should denounce the liars in their party.

oh its a Democrat talking point? My bad - politicians simplify to the point of dishonesty. That's the oldest news in the world. The question is how to play your side well.

Rumpletweezer said...

The Democrats want women to work more and harder. They want women to have fewer choices. They want women to be unhappy with the choices they've made.

That's my pitch. How did I do, sirs?

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me also make clear, that part of the differential is not just maternity, per se, but also motherhood, in general.

The mother of my kid, a strong career woman, had six weeks of paid leave when she had our kid. Before then, she thought that would be sufficient. But, she really, really, didn't want to go back to work after that.

Still, our natural instinct is that if both parents are working, that if one of them is going to work insane hours to support the family, or to get ahead, all other things being equal, it is the males who do it. Those are our natural instincts, and that is what happens more often than not. So, 20 years down the road, even with identical credentials before having kids, the men are going to make more, even controlling for the time currently worked, because of all the extra time that they spent working over the previous 20 years.

To become the best at something, you not only need the educational training and the natural ability, but you also need to work harder and longer. When I was still programming, I was ultimately better than any other programmers I ran into, and a good part of that was spending 80 hours a week immersed in it over the previous decade. Before personal computers and the like, I had a full set of manuals at home, and after 60-70 hours a week at the office, I would just read them at home. That sort of thing. That sort of immersion.

You see that sort of thing in a lot of places. For one, in the practice of law, and esp. Big Law. After your 40-50 hours of billables (which initially make take longer than that to accomplish, given inefficiency and excrement rolling down hill), you then need to spend much of that again on building a practice. So, after 20 years, the woman who may do as well professionally as a man, is going to be behind him, if she hasn't also spent the hours building a book of business, because that is where the real money is - making money off the business that you control and have other attorneys do for you.

I think that part of it is a question of balance. Women seem to need it more than men do, and that is part of why they don't seem to be willing to work the insane hours that some men do. Or, at least not as many of them do. I think that some of this is instinctual, where men have thrived through the eons through their ability to focus, and women, to multi-task, from the time the men were out hunting, and the women taking care of the children while making dinner around the campfire. That sort of thing.

Things may be changing though - Millennium males don't seem to be working more hours than Millennium females. A lot of them are not centering their lives around their work and professions. Many more than in previous generations. With the reduction in the number of children being had, esp. outside of the dependency classes, in this country, I wouldn't be surprised if the "gender gap" continued to shrink, and maybe ultimately in the future almost disappear.

Hagar said...

This kind of "problem" only exist in universities and other government bureaucracies where the jobs are goods in themselves and production is irrelevant.

Out in the real world, if you think you are underpaid for the value you provide to the company, tell your boss about it, but understand that if he does not agree, you are supposed to quit.

If you were right, someone else will hire you for your asking price.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

Math is hard.

Bruce Hayden said...

Repeal the 19th Amendment.

I have long espoused this with the women in my life, pointing out that women are why we got both Slick Willie and Monica, along with Obama, the PPACA and being in the 6th year of the Obama Recession. Haven't gotten any of them to yet agree that the country would be better off, if they, and other women, couldn't vote. But I keep trying, and have one possible convert (my partner), who has a very dim view of women and their ability to rationally decide issues. But, she isn't, yet, willing to give up her own vote, for the cause.

jr565 said...

j"You don't realize how badly positioned you are for attack in The War on Women.

I reject the premise that there is a war on women. And I wish that people who cite others saying that such arguments are false wouldn't accept the premise as a given and suggest that we have to counter the premise with anything other than facts.
Today, it's War on Women. Yesterday it was Breitbart.
Tomorrow it will be Global Warming and/or gay marriage.

Jane the Actuary said...

So -- anybody got any survey data handy? Do voters, by and large, understand about controlling for occupation, hours worked, work history, etc., or not?

And by the way, various feminist writers (including the whole Slate writing staff) will declare that women's choices are irrelevant, as in the future women and men must be conditioned into making "better" choices.

gregq said...

If this is success, I wish the Democrats much more of it:


Ga. Dem bemoans gender pay gap but pays female staff less than men: http://georgiatipsheet.com/2014/04/10/ga-dem-laments-gender-pay-gap-pays-women-less/

Obama pays women on his staff 88% of what men get.

Democrats’ revolting equal-pay demagoguery: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-democrats-equal-pay-demagoguery/2014/04/09/59425640-c037-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html

Jane the Actuary said...

Remind me to blog about this, by the way.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Tim in Vermont says: "Oh, I get it now. We are supposed to hide what we truly believe, and come up with something we know in our hearts not to be true and think will be insulting to the intelligence of women, to get them to vote for us. If we were capable of that, we would probably be Democrats."
Tim is right. The kind of people I want to share a society with, reserve underhanded, sneaky, cheating behavior for warfare. The killing-people-with-guns kind of warfare, not the who's-in-Congress kind.

Fernandinande said...

Some of you guys are so dug in. You don't realize how badly positioned you are for attack in The War on Women.

There is no "war on women". There's a war against freedom and against "equal protection of the laws."

The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable.

Socialist BS is working because there's no shortage of people who are stupid and greedy.

Pookie Number 2 said...

There are plenty of folks responding the way Althouse would like, by pointing out that applying the misleading "77 cent" statistic also shows that Obama underpays women.

That's fun, and probably somewhat effective, but Lowry's argument is geared toward people that are intellectually honest.

I don't know why Althouse believes that more women will be influenced by inaccurate talking points than by reason.

gregq said...

I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).


Here's reality: you get paid what your work is worth. If someone else makes decision that make them worth more to the employer, they SHOULD get paid more. Otherwise those more valuable people will go to work for someone who values them, and your employer will go out of business, costing you your job.

Essentially all of the wage gap is caused by the different decision people make. Be an adult: take responsibility for your decisions, and stop whining.

No, that's not what the politicians will say. It's just what they would say if the voters were adults.

n.n said...

Professor Althouse identifies a marketing deficit. She is not necessarily remarking on the substance of the claims.

McArdle, for one, has identified that Nature engenders certain differences between male and female opportunities, but also between individual opportunities. She has also identified, if only implicitly, progressive moral hazards. Long before the "war on women", there was a war on humanity, in the form of destroying intrinsic value (aka "spontaneous conception"), and the war on family (the primary level of social organization), in various forms. There is also a war on individuals, in the form of sexism, racism, orientation-ism, and selective exclusions.

The issue is that the market is a democratic system which reflects real and perceived value ascribed by its members. This is not a male or female-oriented issue. The case of murder/abortion is a perfect example of an underground or "back alley" market which was normalized and brought into the mainstream. Where it previously had a negative real value, today it has a positive artificial value, which is promoted (i.e. normalized) through executive, judicial, legislative, and democratic leverage.

So, how do we equalize the disparity between individuals by virtue of circumstance? How do we address progressive inflation and other consequences of bubble economics?

RecChief said...

Gahrie said...

Isn't that exactly what is happening? Women (for various reasons) choose to work less and less harder than menn and so they get paid less?

But that's not necessarily so. When we had twins, we did a calculation on daycare costs vs. our wages. Long story short, it made more economic sense for her to stay at home with the kids. Of course, there were other considerations that came into the cost/benefit analysis, but the bottom line was that most of her after tax pay would have gone to the day care provider.

Anglelyne said...

AA: I put the "lying" tag on the post.

How about facing up to what I'm actually saying?


Because then I wouldn't get to enjoy another round of watching the emotional, Pavlovian responses of people susceptible to trigger words and sound bites complaining about the emotional, Pavlovian responses of people susceptible to trigger words and sound bites.

Bruce Hayden said...

Here's reality: you get paid what your work is worth. If someone else makes decision that make them worth more to the employer, they SHOULD get paid more. Otherwise those more valuable people will go to work for someone who values them, and your employer will go out of business, costing you your job.

This is important. To the extent that men make more money than women, it is because they are more valuable to their employers. If this were not the case, and they were not more valuable their employers, companies that hired more women would have a competitive advantage over companies that did not.

Of course, this doesn't actually apply in government employment, or at least not as much, because governments are monopolies, where efficiency is typically a low priority, as contrasted with other government goals, and most employees rarely work more than 40 hours a week any way. So, no surprise, that in many cases the alleged gender gap is much narrower in government service - unless you are working w/o civil service like protections - such as for the White House or a Senator.

RecChief said...

by the way, I'm still a bit angry over the fact that problems in liberal enclaves like DC, NYC, LA, and SanFran drive national policy for the other 300 million of us.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

Democrat message to women:
"Don't worry your pretty little head about it.

Daddy will fix it for you."

RecChief said...

Repeal the 19th Amendment.

Actually, I would be up for realing the 17th and 26th Amenments.


As for the 26th, if you aren't responsible enough to drink until you're 21, then you aren't responsible enough for an activity with much graver consequences if you engage in it irresponsibly.

Hagar said...

@ Jane the Actuary,
"Controlling" the data for this, that, and the other must be done for some problems, but it is a bad idea to rely on the conclusions of such studies when there is a reasonable suspicion the researchers wanted to reach those conclusions before they started the study.

Hagar said...

That's how we got AGW.

CWJ said...

Althouse makes a comment and the commenting flood breaks loose.

The problem is Althouse is correct! The war on Women is a political winner. Whether its free birth control. Free pre-K education. Or 77% (you should be making more), the message is the same.

Substitute diamond necklace for any of the above. Great gasp followed by "Honey, its beautiful, but can we afford it." Democrat says, "Let me worry about that, I just want my pretty baby to have nice things."

Republican says, "Diamond necklace! Are you insane?!?, we can barely pay the minimum payment on our cards each month."

OK, which message works politically (which sadly is all that counts at the ballot box)? And how do you counter message #1?

I agree that McArdle's argument is the stronger of the two, but while it may persuade Althouse, Althouse is an outlier. I doubt that it would move the needle nationally.

Seriously Althouse, what do you say to effectively counter "more free stuff" that would have traction beyond the hyper-rational like yourself?

Skeptical Voter said...

Marketing deficit indeed. This equal pay for women gambit has been so mishandled that it's turning into a disaster for the White House and the Dems. It seems to me that if a man had been running this campaign, he could be accused of stepping on his own "membrum virile" as it were. But it's just Obama and his boyz--phony statistics and a botched rollout. Move on, nothing to see here.

Kirk Parker said...

Lucien @ 11:29am,

For me, the answer is easy: whichever of these two subjects I heard about most recently.

hughroe said...

I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).

It will be news to my wife, my daughters, my grand-daughters, Nieces, cousins, the sole surviving aunt and all the women I work with that i don't care about women.
Thank you for enlightening me that it is only by accepting the twin lies of the 77 cents on the dollar and it's because of Sexism that I become a caring individual.

Anglelyne said...

Bruce Hayden: I have long espoused [repealing the 19th amendment] with the women in my life, pointing out that women are why we got both Slick Willie and Monica, along with Obama, the PPACA and being in the 6th year of the Obama Recession. Haven't gotten any of them to yet agree that the country would be better off, if they, and other women, couldn't vote. But I keep trying, and have one possible convert (my partner), who has a very dim view of women and their ability to rationally decide issues. But, she isn't, yet, willing to give up her own vote, for the cause.

I think this is a fascinating question, well worth careful and thorough analysis of voting patterns and policy trends. However, I do often point out that, if voting Democratic is in itself indicative of an inability to rationally decide issues, then we ought to reconsider the voting rights of non-white men, too, as most of 'em (all?) turn out for Democrats at higher rates than white women, Republican delusions about "natural conservatives" notwithstanding. (At that point I usually notice a certain loss of interest in a dispassionate analysis of the correlation between voting and reasoning capacity.)

Me? I'm open to being persuaded - but I don't really think most men are rational voters, either. I agree that women vote emotionally and are ill-informed, but the notion that "men" as a class are disinterested voters voting for the maintenance of the common good in the long term is demonstrably untrue. "Slightly less crazy and stupid in general than the other sex" might work for me, though. Most people of both sexes vote emotionally and in their immediate perceived interest; the emotional buttons are different. Perhaps the emotional appeals that move men's votes cause less damage in the long run. But I'm not confident that a "what if" rewind of history with no 19th amendment would find us here in clover. Throughout history tyrants manage to tyrannize, democracies to become corrupt, recessions recess and depressions depress, and republics decay into empires and bread and circuses, without women being anywhere near political activity.

Chef Mojo said...

Substitute diamond necklace for any of the above. Great gasp followed by "Honey, its beautiful, but can we afford it." Democrat says, "Let me worry about that, I just want my pretty baby to have nice things."

Republican says, "Diamond necklace! Are you insane?!?, we can barely pay the minimum payment on our cards each month."


This.

The War on Women (TM) in a nutshell.

Some things never change.

n.n said...

RecChief:

I wonder if it is ever possible to realize full employment in a high density, high productivity civil center, let alone control the cost of living. In the Democrats' race to exploit democratic leverage, they are creating the problems they pretend to address. Perhaps their solution: finance, subsidy, and abortion, are the only realistic solutions to their problems. Their other battles, or "wars", are fought to preserve democratic leverage through division, in order to maintain a pseudo-stable state in their dominions.

Anyway, this is a real problem, which Republicans must address. The classical system is premised on full employment (i.e. productive population), and moral standards, which are necessary in order to mitigate progressive corruption and inflation.

Anglelyne said...

AA: I'm trying to prod conservatives to making their argument well instead of further alienating a lot of women (and men who care about women).

hughroe: It will be news to my wife, my daughters, my grand-daughters, Nieces, cousins, the sole surviving aunt and all the women I work with that i don't care about women.
Thank you for enlightening me that it is only by accepting the twin lies of the 77 cents on the dollar and it's because of Sexism that I become a caring individual.


What is it with all the men here taking this so personally? Sheesh, talk about the feminization of society.

The question here is whether any of this "war on women" boosh-wah is working for the Dems, whether Republican maladroitness in this area is losing them votes, and if so, what can they do to counter? Not whether it's bullshit (of course the "war on women" is bullshit). Not the ethical dimension of political pandering. (Politics is dirty and compromising. Duh.)

Althouse thinks it's working, and the Republicans should, and could, do something about that. Is it working? I dunno. Could they fix it by pandering? No. I think they'd be better served if they started paying attention to those millions in "their" base who declined in the last election to vote for another out-of-touch establishment "R" candidate. But they're not the Stupid Party for nothing, so they'll keep earnestly searching for the vote-winning answer to "when did you stop beating your wife?".

dbp said...

Democrats have tried with various success to get women to believe that there is a war against them.

The first casualty in this war has to be math. This turns out to be a bearable loss: Only those who never had much use for math would believe the 77 Cent myth.

Peter said...

If most of the press were not mathematically illiterate (as well as biased) then perhaps this stupid lie would not be politically viable, but as it is it just might be.

It is indeed difficult not to scream in the face of such a crude, yet possibly politically effective, lie. Even if that's not really a smart thing to do. And especially when the lie is spoken by the POTUS; somehow one expects more.

Does the press realize the 77 cents isn't for the same work, or even for the same amount of work? It's the wrong question. The answer is, they don't care.

The phrase "big lie" is overused, yet in this case it seems to fit. Certainly the lie resonates with many women. And why wouldn't it: who does not want to believe that "if only for [whatever] I'd be paid more"?

So, we have a POTUS engaged in crude, propagandistic lying and a press that can't be bothered to point that out. Why not just ... scream? (Or bellow, if that's closer to the natural pitch of your voice?)

Saint Croix said...

The war on Women is a political winner. Whether its free birth control. Free pre-K education. Or 77% (you should be making more), the message is the same.

I think men will put up with all manner of horseshit because we want to get laid. Women--who bear the risk and burden of pregnancy--are not as motivated to have sex. Which means they can and will engage in all sorts of gender-based prevarications.

Where is the men's version of a feminist movement, constantly antagonizing the opposite sex and blaming them? There is no such thing, and I doubt there will ever be such a thing.

It's one of the great ironies that feminism has achieved such success because of sex difference. Sex empowers women. It always has.

And consider the nature of the feminist lie. They say they are fighting for "equality." But their claim of inequality is utterly fraudulent. Althouse concedes as much with the lying tag.

So why are feminists trying to mobilize women and fight an inequality that does not actually exist? Answer: feminism is not at all interested in equality. They are interested in empowering women, by any means necessary, including blatant falsehoods.

See also abortion, which hasn't even pretended to be about "equality." Althouse is cheering a political movement that keeps fighting a war between the sexes, a war that hasn't existed for decades.

eric said...

"However, I do often point out that, if voting Democratic is in itself indicative of an inability to rationally decide issues, then we ought to reconsider the voting rights of non-white men, too, as most of 'em (all?) turn out for Democrats at higher rates than white women, Republican delusions about "natural conservatives" notwithstanding. (At that point I usually notice a certain loss of interest in a dispassionate analysis of the correlation between voting and reasoning capacity.)"

The main issue I have with this is, while there is quite a bit of difference between men and women, there is very little difference between men (or women) of color or not of color.

And it is in the difference that the conversation should take place. Is the difference between men and women great enough to reveal a reason why one group should vote and the other group shouldn't?

The voting preferences and reasoning methods of men and women would be the same at all times and in all places.

On the other hand, this isn't true of people of different colors. If we had been founded by white people and they had enslaved a large group of translucent people, it may be that the translucent people were voting Democrat today in response to their perceived history. Change the history of the races and you may just as well change the parties, perhaps.

Because men are all the same whether they are white, black, brown or yellow.

But men and women are not the same.

khesanh0802 said...

The White House economist will shortly be leaving her job. She revealed that the 77 cents figure is an overall calculation and really has nothing to do with discrimination.

Essentially we are comparing apples and oranges to make national policy. Is it a surprise that a Marine Corps Lance Corporal (male or female) makes less than a Marine Corps Colonel (male or female)? That, in essence, is the calculation the White House is using. Dishonest?!? Never.

dbp said...

More seriously, Lowry and McCardle mostly agree.

Women mostly make less money because of the choices they make: They choose to work less, or choose to be an RN and not a petrochemical engineer.

Ms. McCardle indicates that there is a real pay gap though this is actually debatable--economists think it is 0-5%. The lie is the bald claim that all of the 23% discrepancy is due to discrimination.

Conservatives dismissal of the whole 23% is far closer to the truth even if the high end of 5% actual discrimination is true.

virgil xenophon said...

Anglelyne@3:17pm

I usually grovel at your feet (metaphorically speaking) so impressed am I with your grasp of the logic of the obvious that seems to elude most others, but I must take umbrage with your belief that a "re-wind" of history re the 19th Amendment would not have changed things much. I would draw your attention to a study by John Lott (he of the "More guns less crime" fame) who studied spending on social welfare programs in each State prior to that states' adoption of the amendment and post adoption fiscal expansion. His careful documentation fully demonstrates the explosion of State (as well as Federal ) spending on social welfare in each State once women got the vote. Whether one thinks this now well-documented fact a good thing or no, one cannot, imho, argue that it would have been of no moment whether the 19th Amend passed or failed. From a fiscal stand-point it changed the financial shape of America forever and because of the social programs these financial commitments brought in their train unalterably changed the sociocultural face of America--for good or ill--forever.

SOJO said...

It's hard for me to take anything the lightweight Lowry says seriously on any level. There have to be better people with whom to engage on this subject.

hombre said...

The Democrats' cult of the covetous based for the most part on nonsense and damaging the country.

Pretty much business as usual for The Evil Party.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Slightly on-topic: I want to congratulate the lede for using the term "factoid" correctly: "Something that appears to be a fact, but probably isn't."
Mostly "factoid" is used to mean "a small or trivial fact", for which the proper term is a word I have coined (Copyright 2014, Trademark of Drinkwater Inc., Patent pending): "factlet". (The alternate spelling "factlette" is permissible solely for texts originating in Commonwealth countries.)
You are welcome.

MayBee said...

Is there anyone who really believes the War on Women blather?

It's just political posturing, a way to make your opponents look repugnant. The number of people who really believe it's a thing who aren't already solid Democrats has to be tiny.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think this is a fascinating question, well worth careful and thorough analysis of voting patterns and policy trends.

It was said somewhat in a humorous vein. A lot of the women in my mother's family seem to have been early feminists. I have a great-great-great grandmother, who with her sisters was very involved in the fight for Sufferance, along with Abolition and Abstention. And, their men folk voted Republican in the 1860 election, as a result.

The problem though is, as you suggest, that if you take the franchise away from women because they vote more emotionally, who else should it be taken away from? The answer isn't pretty.

damikesc said...

I've asked feminists this repeatedly and never gotten an answer:

If this was true, why do ANY men have jobs?

Lorenzo said...

"If women make less than men for doing the same job, why would a capitalist ever hire a man?"

-Twittered by Iowahawk

Æthelflæd said...

Angelyne said..." But I'm not confident that a "what if" rewind of history with no 19th amendment would find us here in clover. Throughout history tyrants manage to tyrannize, democracies to become corrupt, recessions recess and depressions depress, and republics decay into empires and bread and circuses, without women being anywhere near political activity."

This, sadly.

Æthelflæd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Æthelflæd said...

Virgil xenophon said..." but I must take umbrage with your belief that a "re-wind" of history re the 19th Amendment would not have changed things much."

Just driving off the cliff at 60 instead of 55.

Chef Mojo said...

Uh oh. Shit just got real in the War on Women (TM).

Kathleen Sibelius is resigning. That's really gonna mess up the gender wage disparity big time!

RecChief said...

n.n said...
"RecChief:

I wonder if it is ever possible to realize full employment in a high density, high productivity civil center, let alone control the cost of living. In the Democrats' race to exploit democratic leverage, they are creating the problems they pretend to address. Perhaps their solution: finance, subsidy, and abortion, are the only realistic solutions to their problems. Their other battles, or "wars", are fought to preserve democratic leverage through division, in order to maintain a pseudo-stable state in their dominions.

Anyway, this is a real problem, which Republicans must address. The classical system is premised on full employment (i.e. productive population), and moral standards, which are necessary in order to mitigate progressive corruption and inflation."


I tend to agree with that, the democrats policies exacerbate teh problems that they imagine. Of my left liberal friends, I notice that many are unable or have a stunted ability to see possible unintended consequences. And this stretches into areas nowhere near politics such as home maintenance or improvement projects (which is where I usually get drug into the picture). Here's an example: my neighbor had 8 feet long pieces of downspout to get the water as far away from his foundation as possible. Had been that way since he moved in. He always used to complain about moving them during his weekly mowing. So last march, he removed them. In this part of the country, it generally rains a lot in April and May. Lo and behold, we have a couple of weeks where it rains nearly every day, and finally on Memorial Day, he comes over to borrow my wet dry vac because he has water in the basement. He then embarks on spending hundreds of dollars on inspections, etc. before I reminded him that he never had water in his basement until the downspouts were dumping all the water from his roof straight down next to his foundation. $40 to replace what he had thrown away. Is this a silly anecdote that can be easily dismissed? Sure, but as I examine my interactions with my left liberal acquaintances, they all seem to have this blind spot to consequences to one degree or another.

How does that translate to policy decisions? Well, for example, every one of them argued with me about the Employer Mandate contained in Obamacare. Every one thought that the cost would be absorbed by the employer, and couldn't see that, in the case of small companies (and the big ones too), those extra costs would be passed on to employees in the form of stagnant or lower wages, and to consumers in the form of higher prices. And none of these folks are particularly naive. Can you say that confirmation bias is at work here? go ahead, but in the case of the dozen people or so that I know, it's a common malady. Someone should do a study!

As far as the destruction of the classical system and morality, have you noticed that all of the cultural institutions that were the moral underpinnings of our society are, and have been, under attack? Specifically Christian Religion and the nuclear family. And what replaces that morality, why the "morality" pushed by leftists. The State, the Collective.

RecChief said...

"Could they fix it by pandering? No."

Agreed.

But they don't call them the stupid party for nothing

cubanbob said...


"The "war" is working for your opponents because you make yourself so vulnerable. "

Of course the War is working for their opponents. Who is opposed to rent-seeking when it works for you?
All of this is nothing more than equal pay for less work.

RecChief said...

people here are seriously debating repeal of the 19th Amendment?

Weird.

Fen said...

I tease about repealing Suffrage, but I don't really mean it. For every 100 emotional insane women you get 1 Elizabeth.

Western Civ would not exist without her.

Tarrou said...

Fuck the 77 cents bullshit.

Men are 98% of workplace fatalities. Sexism on the part of women is the cause. And even were the discredited factoid true, an extra 23 cents per hour would be far too little for shouldering nearly all teh vital risk.

cubanbob said...

@ Jane the Actuary

jane please be so kind and run the numbers with the following variables:

1-men's mortality rate as related to employment versus woman's mortality rates per employment.
2-average lifespan of men versus woman.
3-average number of years more woman will collect tax based retirement benefits than men and account for the difference in proportionate contribution over the number of years worked versus number years collected.

While probably wholly incidental and not by any means intentional it would appear the 77% assertion might be right since on average woman would appear to working less and paying in less on the front end and collecting more on the backend.

n.n said...

have you noticed that all of the cultural institutions that were the moral underpinnings of our society are, and have been, under attack? Specifically Christian Religion and the nuclear family

Why, yes. Yes I have. It's a cultural revolution designed to install a new order. From what I have observed, this order has advantages and disadvantages; but, the former are trumped by the latter. Perhaps they will stop denigrating individual dignity, once they have realized their ambitions. Perhaps they will stop devaluing human life, once they realize their optimal population set. Perhaps.

The classical system is naive, in the sense that it operates with a presumption of various conditions. It is not intended to operate on its own, without the moderation of religious (i.e. moral) temperance. Its goal is to optimally balance two interests: individual and collective (i.e. general) welfare, which is further constrained by the natural order (e.g. limited availability, finitely accessible), through a market mechanism (i.e. organic, democratic).

I think that your example identifies one of the principle issues. Specifically, local and regional contexts, which demand local and regional solutions. Any compromise must reconcile the two interests, while mitigating progressive corruption, misaligned development, etc.

However, I will disagree, in so far as discerning cause and effect is not always obvious. For example, did the war on poverty create a demand for lower costs of production, or did lower costs of production create a need for a war on poverty. What I am certain of, is that there has been a widespread effort to compensate (e.g. Obamacare). This has created a big ball of yarns, which no one seems capable of unwinding.

Republicans need to recognize not that a compromise is inevitable, but that a compromise is mandated by their principles. It's the economy, stupid, is a good place to start. Despite claims to the contrary, the principal motive to vote Democrat is money. That was patently obvious in the recent referendums to normalize homosexual behavior, and the reversals on murder/abortion. I don't think the myth of spontaneous conception is selling well.

Anyway, we are addressing a comprehensive problem, with comprehensive causes. I only focus on Democrats because they are the cause of fundamental corruption. While the Republicans clearly have overlapping or even convergent interests, which has compromised their positions. It's an interesting conundrum, isn't it?

RecChief said...

yes it is an interesting conundrum. One quibble I have with your analysis though is the war on poverty. I must admit, you lost me there for a couple of sentences. Seems to me that someone has to be on the left side of the bell curve, and we will always have a "war on poverty" unless it is a flat line. And we all know what flat lines signify. Politically, the Left will always have the inequality argument because there will always be a block of people susceptible to the argument that someone else is better off not because of hard work, but circumstances of birth or something nefarious.

In any case, I agree with you that local problems demand local solutions, and some problems are isolated in particular regions and aren't problems at all.

RecChief said...

"Perhaps they will stop denigrating individual dignity, once they have realized their ambitions. Perhaps they will stop devaluing human life, once they realize their optimal population set."

I don't think so, and in any case, I don't want to be part of the experiment. I'd rather fight against it now.

Phil 3:14 said...

Guys, let's be honest here, Lowry is a guy and McArdle is not.


(Everything I know I learned from Crack.)

Æthelflæd said...

Personally, I find the need to come up with a better sales pitch for "water is wet" for the single females, and those even sillier men who want to bed them, to be depressing. Maybe there are a few Republican politicians that have the heart for it. Open the gates and let the silly Vandals in. This issue is a hydra, if we beat it down, they will just gin up two more to replace it. Lies and pants and around the world and all that.

Mr. Mike said...

I think my wife would agree, our sons were worth the $.23 she sacrificed

Anglelyne said...

eric: The main issue I have with this is, while there is quite a bit of difference between men and women, there is very little difference between men (or women) of color or not of color.

Not in voting patterns in the United States, there ain't, and that's what we're talking about here.

Obama carried* black men by 87% and Latino men by 65%. He lost whites of both sexes, carrying only 35% of white men and 42% of white women. (There is indeed a gender gap in each group, but it's smaller than the race gap between both non-white males and white males, and non-white males and white men + white women). For some reason this chart doesn't break down the Asian vote by sex, but it does show 73% of the Asian vote going to Obama, and iirc the gender gap went the other way in this group - slightly more Asian males than females went for Obama. In other words, Obama carried non-white males at significantly higher rates than he carried the crazed irrational shouldn't-be-voting-because-they-voted-for-Obama Sandra Fluke demographic of single white women (~56%). (While we're at it, Romney just barely took the single white male vote, so pretty close to half of single white men are silly little things who shouldn't be trusted with a vote, either.)

Jus' sayin'.

(*Scroll down link to see "gender by race" and other tables.)

n.n said...

RecChief:

Absolutely, but a peaceful resolution will only be possible if you control the republic. Since we operate with a pseudo-democratic system, that requires a favorable demographic. I describe the Democrats as fundamentally corrupt, not necessarily in principle, but certainly in practice.

Their principal failure was to normalize murder/abortion. While they did not introduce it into law, they did run with it, and make it socially acceptable. This action destroys intrinsic value.

Another failure, with similar consequences, is to denigrate individual dignity. Their concept of diversity, which denies individual dignity, is fundamentally corrupt.

Then there are their social agendas which seek to normalize dysfunctional behaviors; and their economic practices which sponsor corruption through a progressive dissociation of risk. The former can be individually tolerated when possible; and, I would argue are only viable because of economic incentives, and power sharing with appointed community leaders. While the latter are correct in principle, they are often wrong in practice.

That said, the dynamic which has driven the progressive dysfunction is not at all clear. We know some of the original causes originated in compromises. We do not have a comprehensive view of how it evolved. However, I would not focus on its development, since we have a good understanding of what works and why it is effective.

Anyway, demographics are destiny. With the right principles, the right framing (i.e. presentation), a consensus may be reached.

RecChief said...

n.n.:
Yes, I agree, most especially with this:

Another failure, with similar consequences, is to denigrate individual dignity. Their concept of diversity, which denies individual dignity, is fundamentally corrupt.

But I cannot bring myself to believe that "demographics are destiny". I am still optimistic about the citizenry's chances of finally waking up to the truth of the above statement.

Anglelyne said...

virgil xenophon: I would draw your attention to a study by John Lott (he of the "More guns less crime" fame) who studied spending on social welfare programs in each State prior to that states' adoption of the amendment and post adoption fiscal expansion. His careful documentation fully demonstrates the explosion of State (as well as Federal ) spending on social welfare in each State once women got the vote. Whether one thinks this now well-documented fact a good thing or no, one cannot, imho, argue that it would have been of no moment whether the 19th Amend passed or failed. From a fiscal stand-point it changed the financial shape of America forever and because of the social programs these financial commitments brought in their train unalterably changed the sociocultural face of America--for good or ill--forever.

Good point and good stuff, v.x. I'm familiar with this Lott study (that is, I haven't read it but am familiar with the summary you give), so it was silly of me to suggest that there would be little or no difference - even if there have been other trends that have more seriously affected our fiscal health (and I believe there have been), with their own attendant cultural consequences, I don't think one could argue that the expansion of social welfare programs that facilitate single motherhood have not had a huge negative effect.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

585 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer:

As I jotted with pixels as I saw fit.

Wending/brimful/p33 suicide fantasy/felicity/ Adored Unknown /shivering glass/ benediction/ disconcerted

through page 3X.XX

Posted by: twoslaps at April 11, 2014 01:11 AM (HckbS)

You all ain't even be knowing what you ain't know.

Sweet.

Michael P said...

The Althouse theory on how Republicans stop offending women is for their political talking heads to turn into journalists who write 500-word pieces on a subect rather than one-phrase summaries? Or at least to capture the full nuance of the former in the space of the latter?

No wonder some men complain that women have unrealistic explanations.

Unknown said...

This is a continuation of the Democratic party's war on families. {fill in stats on divorce, abortion, unwed mothers, whatever and link to the disintegration of traditional families}. Equalization of pay accomplished in the they way the Democratic party has framed the debate will sacrifice a mother's contribution to raising children and degrade the mother-child relationship -- aren't your kids worth 23 cents an hour?.

n.n said...

RecChief:

It is a self-evident truth. Count heads. Characterize their predisposition. For example, this is at least one reason why we cannot afford unmeasured immigration, including illegal immigration, especially when it exceeds the rate of assimilation. This is the source of democratic leverage: people. This is the basis for eugenics. This is the justification for population control protocols, including murder/abortion.

I am similarly optimistic; but, only because of a lingering moral predisposition and inculcation. Still, we must acknowledge just how precarious the situation is.

Again, I refer to normalization of murder/abortion as exemplary of moral degradation. Whether a woman commits murder/abortion, or people choose to tolerate it (i.e. pro-choice), the fact is that is done for causes of money, sex, ego, and convenience, and it is advocated as a population control measure.

There is also homosexual behavior, but it is still a minority behavior; and there is no evidence that it or other dysfunctional behaviors are progressive. So, while its normalization is unjustified, especially the selective advocacy which creates yet another moral hazard, it does not pose an immediate threat to the viability of the population. Murder/abortion does in three ways: reduces the population, devalues human life, and shifts the demographic distribution.

Jupiter said...

What does "deserve" have to do with it? I don't get paid because I deserve to get paid. I get paid because my employer cannot think of any other way to get the work done, and I won't do it for less. Oh, and lest we forget, my employer believes that the work I do will lead to profits that more than cover my pay.

And knock off with the "because they have children" nonsense. The reality, as everyone in math, physics or engineering knows perfectly well, is that there are a lot more really smart men than really smart women. This fact is probably an evolutionary result of the fact that women bear children, but that does not make it untrue.

The Democrats have developed a strategy of systematically interposing the government between men and women, replacing the voluntary relations of marriage. Instead of being supported by a man while raising their children, a woman and her children by various random men can be supported, if poorly, by the government. This frees her from the necessity of dealing for very long with any particular man. The fish no longer requires a bike lock!

To everyone's surprise, the women who find this option attractive -- are not. Women who can get husbands go right on getting them, and they don't vote Democrat. After all, if men get paid 30% more than women (1/.77 = 1.298), a woman is better off marrying than working. Isn't she? And it doesn't do her any good to have the government take her husband's money and give it to other women. Does it? Maybe Democrats think women are too stupid to make that calculation.

The real question the Democrats are asking is, are you a winner, or a loser? They are betting on the losers.

Jupiter said...

"Whether one thinks this now well-documented fact a good thing or no, one cannot, imho, argue that it would have been of no moment whether the 19th Amend passed or failed."

We have to recognize the reality that the 19th Amendment was passed by men. It seems unlikely that they supposed it would improve the quality of the decisions made by government. Rather, they hoped to escape the pissing and moaning by giving in to it. This has never worked, and it never will. But like Charlie Brown, we cannot be dissuaded from trying. To say that the 19th should not have been passed when it was, is only to say that it should have been passed a year or two later.