You may be aware that during the recent Miss USA contest, Miss Utah flubbed a question about income inequality between men and women in the United States.
Have a look.
But even if she got it right, she would have flubbed it. Because she should have started out by questioning the premise of the question.
The line that women only earn 77 cents on a dollar compared to men is a favorite of President Obama’s. He parroted it yet again at a recent White House event, and he was hopping mad about it:
I don’t want that for Malia and Sasha. I don’t want that for your daughters. I don’t want that to be an example that any child growing up ends up accepting as somehow the norm. I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.
Man, I wish he’d stop bringing those kids into things.
But it turns out one reason for the disparity is that women work fewer hours than men. According to Politifact, when you compare hourly wages, women actually earn 86 cents on the dollar compared to men.
And this doesn’t even take into account that “women also more often choose occupations with lower wages” and “obtain degrees that lead to lower-paying jobs than men,” according to Politifact.
What’s more, men tend to stay in their careers longer instead of dropping out to care for children, and they therefore obtain senior positions with higher salaries more often than women.
There’s no doubt some amount of wage discrimination. But it’s not the nightmare Obama describes and doesn’t require the kind of intrusion and remedies he supports – particularly the Paycheck Protection Act, a potential bonanza for Obama’s trial attorney supporters.
Here’s the appropriate answer, as imagined by reason.com.
At least she has a good sense of humor about it.