October 31 2012
Furchtgott-Roth: AAUW Wage Gap Report is "Political Propaganda"
Don't look now, but Manhattan Institute fellow and former economist at the U.S. Department of Labor Diana Furchtgott-Roth has just demolished the American Association of University Women's "bogus" study on the gender pay gap. The study claims that women a year out of college make 82 cents on the dollar to what male counterparts in similar jobs earn.
Calling the AAUW report “the latest salvo in the wage gap myth,” Furchtgott-Roth explains how the study massaged the facts:
Buried in the report is the finding that, accounting for college majors and occupations, women make 93 cents (not 82) on a man's dollar. The remaining seven cents, the authors contend, is likely due to discrimination, because they cannot explain it. So let me offer a possible explanation for them: The study's occupational categories are too broad. One cannot draw precise conclusions about pay equity when comparing workers within fields such as "Other White Collar," "Business and Management" and simply, "Other Occupations."
A footnote tells readers that "Other White Collar" includes "social scientists and related workers ... ; lawyers, judges, and related workers; education, training, and library occupations ... ; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations; social science research assistants; and law clerks." So, the AAUW report compares the pay of male lawyers with that of female librarians; of male athletes with that of female communications assistants. That's not a comparison between people who do the same work.
Furchtgott-Roth calls the report “shoddy work” and asks why the AAUW would put out something of this calibre. The answer is simple:
Maatz said that part of the reason the AAUW wants to do this work is that it has an extensive get-out-the-vote movement. In this sense, she continued, this report is very well-timed. The AAUW get-out-the-vote program has been targeting millennial women to get to the polls. This particular year, the AAUW has made a huge investment in trying to get millennials to vote.
It seems that the AAUW is twisting the data to get young women to feel that they are victims of discrimination and march out and vote for President Obama, who is promising pay equity.
Furchtgott-Roth points out that women have not fared that well under President Obama: the number of unemployed women has increased from 4.4 million to 4.9 million. It would appear that Ms. Furchtgott-Roth is quite justified in calling the AAUW report “political propaganda.”