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October 29 2015

CNBC's Rebecca Quick Cited Discredited Wage Gap Number in Last Night's GOP Debate

Charlotte Hays

A disappointing moment in the otherwise brilliant performance in last night's debate in Boulder by Senator Ted Cruz came after CNBC financial anchor Rebecca Quick posed a question featuring The Phony Statistic that Just Won't Die. Or maybe we should call it the Statistic that Democrats (and moderators) keep on Life Support, despite having been conclusively debunked numerous times. Cruz didn't call Quick on the phony stat.

Here is what Quick asked: "Senator Cruz, working women in this country still earn just 77 percent of what men earn. And I know that you’ve said you’ve been very sympathetic to our cause. But you’ve also you said that the Democrats’ moves to try and change this are the political show votes."

Our cause, Becky? Your cause for the evening was supposed to be asking questions that elicit information from the voter, not posing questions for Hillary Clinton's campaign. But I am a working woman too, and as such have no hesitation in debunking Quick's incorrect and out of date wage gap statistic.

I know that Quick's 77 cent gender wage gap is incorrect. How could she not know it after working as a financial anchor at an important cable network? At the very least, she could have indicated that the stat has been frequently challenged. She stated it as fact, which it is not.

Senator Cruz didn't challenge the figure either. I wonder if he aware that the 77-cent number is wrong but didn't want to get into the weeds. If Senator Cruz wouldn't do it last night, this working woman will.

Here is an explanation of why Quick's figure was dead wrong, when the phony figure was invoked in a previous campaign (included in the post is a link to our video "Straight Talk about the Wage Gap"):

Women aren’t really paid 23 percent less than men for the same work, but Democrats keep repeating the debunked statistic anyway.

“In Ohio, women earn 82.7 cents to the dollar compared to men,” Sen. Sherrod Brown wrote in a June 18 campaign email. “And on average, that number is 77 cents to every dollar.”

According to Brown and other Democrats — including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee — a federal law is necessary to fix the gender wage gap.

But the “77 cents” figure used by Democrats and feminists is misleading, Carrie Lukas, managing director of the free-market Independent Women’s Forum, said in an email to Watchdog.org.

2009 U.S. Department of Labor study controlling for profession and education found a gender wage gap of less than 10 percent and concluded “the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action.”

To the extent a wage gap even exists, [IWF's Carrie] Lukas said it’s a reflection of “different choices men and women make when it comes to work.” Men are more likely to work longer hours, and in more dangerous, physically demanding conditions.

This seems to be the case in President Obama’s White House, where men were still paid more than women five years after Obama signed a law meant to fix the wage disparity between the sexes.

“If there was a policy solution to the wage gap, why wouldn’t it have been implemented already? Democrats were in full control of Congress when Obama took office,” Lukas said.

IWF has worked to refute the “77 cents to every dollar” myth for several years. Lukas penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the topic in 2011, and IWF released a video summarizing its economists’ findings in 2013.

The White House in 2014 conceded that the 77-cent gap is wrong. But that has not stopped Democrats from using it. Nor did it hinder Ms. Quick last night.

One more observation: Republican men are often uncomfortable with wage gap issues. There will be an onslaught of "war on women" rhetoric in 2016, and the GOP should be prepared.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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