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October 30 2015

CNBC moderator Becky Quick used discredited wage gap statistics

Red Alert Politics
Charlotte Hays

John Hardwood wasn’t the only problematic moderator during Wednesday night’s CNBC GOP debate. Becky Quick made a question directed at Ted Cruz personal as she 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. I just wonder what you would do as President to try and help in this cause?

Charlotte Hayes for the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) criticized Quick for her word choice of “our cause.” More importantly though, she pointed out that the statistic Quick cited is “incorrect” and “has been frequently challenged.”

Hayes noted that Quick should have known this, and at least could have acknowledged the latter point. And yet with all the abounding media bias, any and all omission is sadly not surprising.

Included in Hayes’ explanation is an excerpt from another IWF piece:

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.

Cruz did not address Obama’s policies in his answer, though. And he didn’t address how Hillary Clinton pays her female employees less. Carly Fiorina jumped in to evoke Obama and Hillary by name, though the debate moved on to another question.

What makes the oft-cited statistic even more frustrating is that Hayes mentions “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,” she also added.

Hayes also rightfully called on Republicans to more effectively address this issue. Hayes may have had a worthy analysis, but she is not the one running for president, unfortunately.

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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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