Women earn LESS than men……or so it was reported today, based on a new study just out. Feminists and liberals were excited — this study “proved” they were right that those damned men earn more than women simply because they are men — and disappointed — those damned men are still earning more than women!
However, the study is actually a study in how NOT to present an accurate study. So what? Well, because it is so misleading, it might lead voters to support unnecessary legislation. It might cause resentment when the truth is obscured by nefarious numbers. So, let’s see why this study is so bad.
The failure of the study is that it is NOT a comparison of how much men or women earn in a particular job. Rather, it adds up ALL of women’s earnings and ALL of men’s earnings and “discovers” that men are earning more. Unfortunately, it does NOT take into account many mitigating factors, such as that men work more dangerous jobs, like mining and deep water drilling, which pay more. It does NOT account for the women who decide to be home makers, rather than career women, which skews the total salaries for women down. It also does NOT prorate the incredible salaries received by male athletes which are lumped into the “men’s earnings” column, but, which certainly do not represent an average man’s salary!
A more accurate and honest study would have compared salaries for men and women in specific jobs. What do men and women secretaries earn? What do men and women earn in certain financial industries? What is the average salary for men and women in specific governmental jobs?
Of course, for some, this study supports their mantra that society is unfair to someone…..this time, women. And, by using figures that, on the surface, appear disturbing, but ultimately are actually irrelevant, an erroneous picture of the job market is presented. This study attempted to prove that women are discriminated against in the market place. Unfortunately, even a superficial glance at the figures in this study cannot prove such a theory.
All too often, studies present data and figures in an effort to advance some cause, rather than to accurately represent the facts. If we are to be informed citizens and be able to vote, based on issues and not misrepresentations, we should be very sure of the reliability of any numbers presented. It’s too easy to take a number and make it add up to someone’s idea of reality. Beware of believing any theory when the facts and figures don’t compute.
Remember: Figures lie and liars figure.