You’ve never been my size, you wouldn’t understand.”

I was a big fan of the TV show Spenser: For Hire. It was about a Boston private eye, starring Robert Urich. Later I found the book series the TV show was based on written by Robert B. Parker. They are about the only books I will re-read.

The insight that Robert Parker had on issues of the day that are still around amaze me. Here is an example. Spenser is having a conversation with a woman he has been hired to protect, and she’s complaining that he can’t relate to what she is going through:

Candy smiled at me a little. “Look,” she said. “You’re a good guy. I know you care about me, but you’re a white male, you can’t understand a minority situation. It’s not your fault.”

“Extend that logic, and we eventually have to decide that no one can understand anyone. Maybe the matter of understanding has been overrated. Maybe I don’t need to understand your situation to sympathize with it, to help you alter it, to be on your side. I’ve never experienced starvation either, but I’m opposed to it. When I encounter it, I try to alleviate it. I sympathize with its victims. The question of whether I understand it doesn’t arise.”

She shook her head. That’s different,” she said.

“Maybe it isn’t. Maybe civilization is possible, if at all, only because people can care about conditions they haven’t experienced. Maybe you need understanding like a fish needs a bicycle.”

“You’re quite thoughtful,” she said, “for a man of your size.”

“You’ve never been my size,” I said, “You wouldn’t understand.”

A Savage Place – Copyright 1981

That has been position all my life. If am told I can’t understand what it’s like to be a woman, or black, or poor, or pick-your-minority, how do they know what it’s like to be me? Either EVERYONE knows what it’s like to be someone else, or NO ONE knows what it’s like to be someone else. If I can’t understand your situation, how can you understand mine? That’s not how it works. And it shouldn’t matter. It’s what I do about it that matters.

Written in 1981 and it’s as relevant today as it was then.

Abortion is murder

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but

The leaked SCOTUS memo does not ban abortions. It makes it a state decision, which is a good thing.

Yes, the baby is in the women’s body, but the baby has rights, too.

If it’s not a human life, why are we harvesting organs from it?

People say that abortion is a “difficult choice.” Okay. Please explain why? The only answer is because there is the life of a preborn baby involved. Period.

Abortions kill children. Period.

Johns Hopkins Study: Lockdowns Saved No Lives and Only Destroyed Jobs.

Johns Hopkins recently released “A LITERATURE REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF LOCKDOWNS ON COVID-19 MORTALITY” and here is the abstract (emphasis by me):

This systematic review and meta-analysis are designed to determine whether there is empirical
evidence to support the belief that “lockdowns” reduce COVID-19 mortality. Lockdowns are
defined as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI).
NPIs are any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that
limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel. This study
employed a systematic search and screening procedure in which 18,590 studies are identified
that could potentially address the belief posed. After three levels of screening, 34 studies
ultimately qualified. Of those 34 eligible studies, 24 qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis.
They were separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-placeorder
(SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies. An analysis of each of these three groups support
the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. More
specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only
reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average
. SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing
COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence
of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.
While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects,
they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In
consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy
instrument.

0.2%.

For 0.2%, we locked ourselves down for a year and a half? And people STILL want to continue?

The most frustrating part of it all is that those who were saying this for the last 2-1/2 years were dismissed out of hand – or worse – had their reputations and careers threatened or destroyed.

While you have to credit Johns Hopkins for releasing the study, they did it without a press conference or even a press release. Huh. I wonder why?

Unintentionally Hilarious News About Electric Vehicles

Further proof that is this site is mostly a place for me to post stuff I want to be able to easily access later, here is a post from Ace of Spades HQ where they talk about Electric vehicles and how we are woefully unprepared to have very many of them on the road.

I also read somewhere that that is the purpose of pushing electric cars – to keep us from going cross country and traveling great distances. They want us close to home (away from flyover states?) where they can more easily control us. I’m not ready to go that far… yet, but this Ace of Spades HQ post is a good reminder to think critically and question everything.

Here is the article:

The Morning Rant: Unintentionally Hilarious News About Electric Vehicles

EV Range Anxiety Solved By Two (2) Fast Chargers Along Alabama Interstate

Huge news. If you were thinking about taking your Electric Vehicle on a road trip through Alabama for a Gulf Coast vacation, but you suffer from EV range-anxiety, there are now two “fast charging” EV car chargers in Fort Payne, Alabama.

Two.

And each of these “fast chargers” can only get you up to 80% of battery capacity before it becomes a slow-charger. To “fill up” from 20% charged to 80% charged takes about 30 minutes. Therefore, these two chargers can provide up to four EVs per hour a whopping 60% charge.

By contrast, just one typical highway travel center can provide over 100 cars an hour a complete tankful of gas.

Fort Payne, Alabama, launches first of 80 rapid rechargers planned in the Tennessee Valley

The rapid rechargers can boost most electric vehicle batteries from 20% to 80% power within 30 minutes and are being built within 50 miles of one another across most highways in TVA’s seven-state region as part of TVA’s Fast Charge Network.

“These chargers will not only help bring people here, but it will help relieve people’s range anxiety by ensuring motorists have a place along this I-59 corridor to rapidly recharge their electric vehicles,” Jeanette Mills, executive vice president of TVA, said during Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting event.

Two fast-chargers along a busy interstate are as worthless as two bottles of water in the middle of the desert. If there were an actual need, they would be woefully insufficient.

For a Tesla X, your 30-minute charge-up in Fort Payne will get you about 200 more miles of range, after which you will still be 150 miles away from the beach.

And what if there are already cars at those two charging stations? Let’s say there are four cars already there, two cars charging and two more waiting, you’ll be looking at an average 45-minute wait before it’s your turn, plus another 30 minutes to charge your car, plus the disconnect and paying time of each car. So, with only four cars at the charging station, you’re looking at about a 90-minute re-charging stop, for a 60% charge-up. Meanwhile the neighboring travel center could have provided 150 vehicles a full fill-up of gasoline.

Further, you and your Tesla still have to factor in another 90-minute charging stop in 200 miles, if you can find another fast-charger, so that you’ll be able to make the final push for the beach.

There is nothing that can be done to make an EV a long-distance vehicle. The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning on installing a whopping 80 fast chargers across its seven state network. Those 80 chargers are a statistical blip against the number of gasoline pumps in those states.

The highest purpose of an EV is to serve as a status symbol for the wealthy, and also to allow greens to flaunt their eco-conscious conspicuous consumption.

The second highest purpose of an EV is as a city-car that can be recharged every day.

Close to zero people who need to use their car for an out-of-town road trip will ever rely on an EV for that purpose. They might have an EV as a toy or as a second car, but they’ll use a gas-powered car for their road trips.

*****

GM Sold A Total Of 26 Electric Vehicles In Q4 2021

Speaking of EVs, guess how many electric vehicles General Motors sold in the 4th quarter of 2021.

Twenty-six. Not 26,000. GM sold 26 EVs between October 1 and December 31, 2021.

GM Sold Just 26 EVs Including 1 Hummer In Q4 ’21

According to figures released by the automaker, during the fourth quarter of 2021 it delivered a grand total of 26 electric vehicles. These consisted of 25 Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models and a single GMC Hummer EV pickup.

That is really extraordinary, in the sense that the Hindenburg explosion was also extraordinary. Was it due to supply chain problems? No. It’s because GM was dealing with the crisis of its existing EVs spontaneously bursting into flames.

What’s not mentioned is that GM also went through a huge battery recall of the Bolt EV and EUV which forced the company to suspend production.

So how big was the recall? Every single Chevy Bolt – which is GM’s flagship EV – was recalled.

“The company recalled all 141,000 Chevy Bolts, later confirming that 16 cars had caught fire.” (11/15/2021)

What were Bolt owners supposed to do with their four-wheeled bombs until they could get them in to be repaired?

“General Motors on Wednesday recommended that Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle owners parking in decks do so on the top floor or on an open level, at least 50 feet away from other vehicles, citing potential fire risks.” (9/15/2021)

Wow, good thing that EVs are just a niche vehicle for GM. Oh wait…

GM to go all electric by 2035, phase out gas and diesel engines (01/28/2021)

Unless all freedom has been lost in this country thanks to green communists, gas and diesel powered vehicles will still rule the roads in 2035. If GM does go all-electric, it will simply become a small niche vehicle manufacturer. But at this point, another bankruptcy seems more likely.

Mike Rowe and Mandate Metrics – Tell Me Where He is Wrong

Mike Rowe put out a meme of him and his Dirty Jobs crew wearing diapers, and the meme said, “Imagine there’s a 99.97% chance that you won’t crap your pants, but you’re forced to wear a diaper just in case. Now imagine you have to wear the diaper to keep your neighbor from crapping in their pants.” You can imagine that set some people right over the edge. But to Mike’s credit, he responded to one of them – it was brilliant.

The entire post is a great read and it is copied below, but here is the money quote:

All I know for sure is that no one in favor of mandates – including him – has ever proposed and then honored a concrete metric that would signal a return to normalcy. Well, that’s no longer acceptable. After two years of contradiction, confusion, and rank hypocrisy, I think we deserve to know what success looks like. If our elected officials refuse to articulate the metrics whereby these mandates will end, then why not end them today? Seriously, what exactly are we waiting for? If it’s not a better survival rate, then what? Fewer cases? Fewer hospital admissions? A higher vaccination rate? A thumbs up from the Teachers Union? The promise of a risk-free world? Whatever it is, just tell us. Be specific, and as you consider the conditions, please consider that it’s no longer 2020.

Here is the entire post:

________________________________________

Michael – I’m so disappointed you would share such an absurd meme with 6 million people. How can you compare masks with diapers? How can you compare an INFECTIOUS disease that’s killed hundreds of thousands of people with incontinence? Do you think this is clever? Do you think this is funny? I don’t understand how anyone could make light of a pandemic by opposing a mask mandate that’s clearly saving lives.

Brad Winslow

Hi Brad

Michael?

Yikes – for a moment there I thought you were my mother!

The meme in question was created from a photo taken ten years ago after a long day at a diaper laundry, somewhere in California. It made me laugh then, and it made me laugh the other day, when I saw that it had been liked and shared by 300,000 people, and reached millions more. Happily, most of the comments have been positive, but this one did break a few eggs, and you are not alone in your disappointment. Here then, is a brief explanation of why I shared it, along with a few thoughts on what you and others might have missed.

First, juxtaposing face masks with cloth diapers is a perfectly reasonable comparison. Both products are designed to protect us. Diapers are meant to protect our clothes, and to some extent, our dignity, and masks are meant to protect us from germs. Obviously, (or perhaps, not so obviously,) a cloth diaper is far more effective at doing its job, than a cloth mask is at doing it’s. In the words of Dr. Leana Wen, the leading medical reporter at CNN, cloth masks are, “little more than facial decoration.” On Dec.22nd, she added, “Cloth masks are not appropriate for Omicron, not appropriate for Delta, Alpha or any of the previous variants because we’re dealing with something that’s airborne.” In other words, we just endured two years of fistfights, brawls, and stabbings over masks that “are not appropriate for this pandemic.” https://bit.ly/33HPurM

That should make you angry, Brad. Mandatory, indefinite masking is not a small thing to impose upon a free people, especially when the masks in questions are largely ineffective. How ineffective? Well, The District of Columbia reinstated its mask mandate on December 21, requiring masks in offices, gyms, stores, entertainment venues, houses of worship, restaurants and other establishments. On that day – December 21 – the District had a little more than 76,000 total cases since the start of the pandemic. Well, a month later, they have more than 121,000. Think about that. More than 37% of the District’s total cases since the start of the pandemic have occurred in the past month, after the mask mandate was put into effect.

But even if we were all issued “new and improved” masks that were “guaranteed to save lives,” we should still understand the risk of dying from Covid before we accept more government intrusion. I know that sounds cold. I know that many people recoil at the idea of risking the lives of others for the sake of convenience. But the fact is, we do it every day. We evaluate risk, we weigh the odds, and we proceed accordingly. We know for instance, that there will be six million accidents on America’s highways this year. That’s a lot of injury, a lot of suffering, billions of dollars in medical bills, and 35,000 fatalities. We also know that those numbers could be dramatically reduced this year, if the government mandated a speed limit of 20 miles an hour, required all motorists to wear a helmet, and forbade left turns. Would you support such a mandate, Brad, knowing full well that lives would be saved? If not, why not? What about a nutrition mandate? Forty percent of Americans are obese. Seventy-one percent are seriously overweight. Think of the millions of lives we could save if the government outlawed sugar and fast food. Would you support a mandate that eliminated your favorite foods, if the government told you that doing so would save lives? If not, why not?

As for the differences between Covid and incontinence, obviously, there are many. To your point, Covid is a highly transmissible virus, whose consequences range from nothing at all, to death. The consequences of pooping your pants on the other hand, range from inconvenience to humiliation. But this meme isn’t comparing consequences; it’s comparing odds. Specifically, it’s comparing the odds of dying from Covid – which we know are 0.03% – with the odds of pooping your pants, which we are asked to assume are roughly the same. It then asks us to “imagine” a world where our elected officials force us to wear diapers to keep our neighbors from pooping their pants.

Is this absurd? Of course it’s absurd! But is it more absurd than millions of frightened people covering their faces with ill-fitting, totally ineffective cloth masks for nearly two years? Is it more absurd than forcing millions of children to do likewise? Is it more absurd than watching countless elected officials brazenly defy their own mandates?

I think we can agree, Brad, that no one wants to die of Covid, and no one wants to poop their pants. And yet, as I type this, lots of people are doing both. In a country this big, 0.03% adds up to a lot of dying, and lot of pooping. I understand that, but if you think this meme makes light of dying and pooping, then I’m afraid you’ve missed the point. The fundamental questions at hand are the same questions we’ve been wrestling with from the start – how much absurdity can we endure, and how much government intrusion is justifiable in order to increase the odds of surviving a virus with a survival rate of 99.97%?

Two years ago, Andrew Cuomo was the first to answer this question publicly. “No measure,” he declared, “no matter how draconian, can be deemed too extreme if it saves a single life.”

Did he actually believe that? I doubt it. All I know for sure is that no one in favor of mandates – including him – has ever proposed and then honored a concrete metric that would signal a return to normalcy. Well, that’s no longer acceptable. After two years of contradiction, confusion, and rank hypocrisy, I think we deserve to know what success looks like. If our elected officials refuse to articulate the metrics whereby these mandates will end, then why not end them today? Seriously, what exactly are we waiting for? If it’s not a better survival rate, then what? Fewer cases? Fewer hospital admissions? A higher vaccination rate? A thumbs up from the Teachers Union? The promise of a risk-free world? Whatever it is, just tell us. Be specific, and as you consider the conditions, please consider that it’s no longer 2020.

Today, every single person in this country who wants to be vaccinated, is vaccinated. Everyone who wants to be boosted, is boosted. Everyone who wants to social distance, or stay inside, or wear a mask, is 100% free to do so. We have a new batch of early treatments that make infections far less miserable than they were two years ago, and these vaccines – while not the preventative the President promised – have proven to be remarkably effective at lessening the symptoms of Covid and all its variants. Personally, I wish more people trusted them, but they don’t, and the reasons why no longer matter. We are where we are, and all that matters now are the answers to the questions implicit in the meme:

  1. How much more mandating are we willing to endure to avoid a virus we’re all going to get?
  2. How much more mandating are we willing to endure to improve upon a 99.97% survival rate?

I don’t have the answer, Brad. I’m just a guy in a diaper, trying to keep the conversation lively. But I’m also a citizen, and I am worried. I’m worried that we’ve become irrationally averse to risk. I’m worried that mask mandates will lead to vaccine mandates, and vaccine mandates will lead to vaccine passports, and vaccine passports will lead to QR codes on our phones, which we’ll all need to present at every restaurant, every gym, every library, every theater…everywhere we go.

Yes, I’m also worried about overcrowded hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers. And of course, I’m worried about the 0.03% of those who won’t survive this thing. But I’m more worried about the path we’re headed down, and the support that many in this country have openly expressed for a social credit system, like the one in China. That path, in my view, is a lot more dangerous than Covid. And that path is paved with mandates.

To sum up, I think the time has come to demand our elected officials tell us the exact conditions by which all mandates will be lifted. We need to know what success looks like. And, as the meme suggests, “depends,” is not an unacceptable answer.

Mike

PS If you want to hear more, (and even if you don’t) I discuss the matter further on this week’s podcast with my old friend Jeremiah Sullivan, inventor of the steel mesh shark suit. (A diaper for your whole body!) Check our “Diapers and Masks and Sharks, Oh My!” https://bit.ly/TWIHI234

I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE AND WE’RE SCREWED

(Taken from the Ace of Spades Morning Rant this morning)
The future does not belong to countries that make an issue over pronouns.

The future does not belong to countries that rely on ‘green’ energy.

The future does not belong to countries with rotating power outages

The future does not belong to countries that are not energy independent.

The future does not belong to countries with falling birthrates.

The future does not belong to countries with a declining manufacturing base.

The future does not belong to countries that slaughter their babies.

The future does not belong to countries with dozens of genders.

The future does not belong to countries that encourage gender dysphoria.

The future does not belong to countries that have normalized graphic pornography.

The future does not belong to countries that purposely destroys the innocence of their children.

The future does not belong to countries that declares war on half of their citizens.

The future does not belong to countries that gives two sh*ts about climate change.

The future does not belong to countries that pay people not to work.

The future does not belong to countries that try to create more wealth by printing more money.

The future does not belong to countries that allow rioting and looting to go unpunished.

The future does not belong to countries that decriminalize crime.

The future does not belong to countries where people poo in the street.

The future does not belong to countries where mental illness is a civil right.

The future does not belong to countries run by elites who think the country needs to be “fundamentally transformed.”

The future does not belong to countries run by elites who think they’re smart enough to pull off a Great Reset.

The future does not belong to countries without borders.

The future does not belong to countries whose people have forgotten how to govern themselves.

The future does not belong to countries run by elites who hate it.

Shooting down the ‘gender wage gap’ AGAIN

Mark Perry does another wonderful job of shooting down the fallacious ‘gender wage gap’ argument. You can find his most recent post here, but I have included it here for future reference:

Details in BLS report suggest that the ‘gender earnings gap’ can be explained by age, marital status, children, hours worked, etc.

Carpe Diem

October 22, 2021

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases an annual report every year on the “Highlights of Women’s Earnings.” Since the BLS report actually analyzes both men’s and women’s earnings, one might ask why the report isn’t simply titled more accurately “Highlights of Earnings in America”? Here’s the opening paragraph from the most recent BLS report “Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2020” that was released last month (September 2021):

In 2020, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings that were 82.3 percent of those of male full-time wage and salary workers. In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women’s earnings were 62 percent of men’s. Most of the growth in women’s earnings relative to men’s occurred in the 1980s (when the women’s-to-men’s ratio went from 64 percent to 70 percent) and in the 1990s (when the ratio went from 72 percent to 77 percent). Since 2004, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has remained in the 80 to 83 percent range.

How do we explain the fact that women working full-time last year earned 82.3 cents for every dollar men earned according to the BLS? Here’s how the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) explains it:

The wage gap exists, in part, because many women and people of color are still segregated into a few low-paying occupations. Part of the wage gap results from differences in education, experience, or time in the workforce. But a significant portion cannot be explained by any of those factors; it is attributable to discrimination. In other words, certain jobs pay less because they are held by women and people of color.

Let’s investigate the claim that the gender pay gap is a result of discrimination by looking at some of the data on wages and hours worked by gender and by marital status and age in the BLS report for 2020:

1. Among full-time workers (those working 35 hours or more per week), men were more likely than women to work a greater number of hours (see Table 5).

a. For example, 19.6% of men working full-time worked 41 or more hours per week in 2020, compared to only 10.2% of women who worked those hours, meaning that men working full-time last year were nearly twice as likely as women to work 41 hours per work or more. 

b. Further, men working full-time were also 2.3 times more likely than women to work 60+ hour weeks: 4.3% of men worked 60 hours per week or more in 2020 compared to only 1.9% of women who worked those hours.

c. Also, women working full-time were more than twice as likely as men to work shorter workweeks of 35 to 39 hours per week: 7.7% of full-time women worked those hours in 2020, compared to only 3.6% of men who did so.

What’s especially interesting is that men working 35-39 hours per week last year earned only 92.4% of what women earned working those same hours ($600 median weekly earnings for men vs. $649 for women), i.e., there was a 7.6% gender earnings gap in favor of female workers for that cohort. Using the standard political and gender rhetoric of groups like the National Committee on Pay Equity, couldn’t that earnings premium for women be mostly explained by gender discrimination against men in the labor market for employees working 35-39 hours per week? That is, to be consistent shouldn’t the claim here be that “certain jobs pay less because they are held by men”?

2. Another way to adjust for the significant gender difference in average hours worked is to compare the “median hourly earnings of wage and salary workers paid hourly rates” instead of the “median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers.” In 2020, the median hourly earnings of women ($15.22) were 85.7% of the median hourly earnings of men ($17.75), representing a gender hourly earnings gap of 14.3%. Therefore, nearly 20% (3.4 percentage points) of the 17.7% gender weekly earnings gap disappears just by comparing median hourly earnings instead of median weekly earnings.  

3. Although not reported by the BLS, I can estimate using its data that the average workweek for full-time workers last year was 41.3 hours for women and 42.8 hours for men. Therefore, the average man employed full-time worked 1.50 more hours per week in 2020 compared to the average woman, which totals to an average of an additional 75 male work hours per year compared to the average full-time female worker.

Comment: Because men work more hours on average than women, some of the raw earnings gap naturally disappears just by simply controlling for the number of hours worked per week, an important factor not even mentioned by groups like the National Committee on Pay Equity. For example, women earned 82.3% of median male earnings for all workers working 35 hours per week or more in 2020, for a raw, unadjusted pay gap of 17.7% for all full-time workers. But for those workers with a 40-hour workweek (more than three-quarters of all full-time female workers), women earned 87.4% of median male earnings, for a smaller pay gap of only 12.6% (see chart and Table 1). Therefore, once we control only for one variable – hours worked – and compare men and women both working 40-hours per week in 2020, almost one-third (5.1 percentage points) of the raw 17.7% pay gap reported by the BLS for full-time workers disappears.

4. The BLS also reports in Table 1 that for young workers ages 16-24 years, women earned 94.7% of the median earnings of their male counterparts working full-time reflecting a 5.3% gender earnings gap for that age cohort last year. Once again, controlling for just a single important variable – age – we find that more than two-thirds (12.4 percentage points) of the overall 17.7% unadjusted raw earnings gap for all workers disappears for young workers.

5. The BLS reports that for full-time single workers who have never married, women earned 94.0% of men’s earnings in 2020, which is a gender earnings gap of only 6% (see Table 1 and chart above), compared to an overall unadjusted pay gap of 17.7% for all workers in that group. When controlling for marital status and comparing the earnings of unmarried men and unmarried women, two-thirds (11.7 percentage points) of the raw 17.7% earnings gap is explained by just one variable (among many): marital status.

6. In Table 7, the BLS reports that for full-time single workers with no children under 18 years old at home (includes never married, divorced, separated, and widowed), women’s median weekly earnings of $819 were 93.7% of the weekly earnings of $874 for their male counterparts in that cohort (see chart above). For this group, once you control for marital status and children at home, we can explain nearly two-thirds (11.4 percentage points) of the unadjusted 17.7% gender earnings gap.

7. From Table 1 in the BLS report, we find that for married workers with a spouse present, women working full-time earned only 78.5% of what married men with a spouse present earned working full-time in 2020 (see chart). In contrast, female workers who have never been married earned only 6% less on average than their male counterparts, which is only one-third of the 17.7% unadjusted gender earnings gap. Therefore, BLS data show that marriage has a significant and negative effect on women’s earnings relative to men’s, but we can realistically assume that marriage is a voluntary lifestyle choice, and it’s that personal decision, not necessarily labor market discrimination, that contributes to at least some of the gender earnings gap for married full-time workers with a spouse present.

8. Also from Table 7, married women (with spouse present) working full-time with children under 18 years at home earned 78.5% of what married men (spouse present) earned working full-time with children under 18 years (see chart). Once again, we find that marriage and motherhood have a significantly negative effect on women’s earnings; but those lower earnings don’t necessarily result from labor market discrimination, they more likely result from personal family choices about careers, family-friendly and flexible workplaces, commute time, child care, and the number of hours worked.

Bottom Line: When the BLS reports that women working full-time in 2020 earned 82.3% of what men earned working full-time, that is very much different from saying that women earned 82.3% of what men earned for doing exactly the same work while working the exact same number of hours in the same occupation, with exactly the same educational background and exactly the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and with exactly the same marital and family (e.g., number of children) status. As shown above, once we start controlling individually for the many relevant factors that affect earnings, e.g., hours worked, age, marital status, and having children, most of the raw earnings differential disappears. In a more comprehensive study that controlled for all of the relevant variables simultaneously, we would likely find that those variables would account for nearly 100% of the unadjusted, raw earnings differential of 17.7% for women’s earnings compared to men as reported by the BLS. Discrimination, to the extent that it does exist, would likely account for a very small portion of the raw 17.7% gender earnings gap.

For example, a comprehensive 2009 study from the Department of Labor (“An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women”) came to the following conclusion (emphasis added):

This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.

Final thought: Consider these definitions:

Wage: A payment of money for labor or services usually according to contract and paid on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis.

Earnings: Money obtained in return for labor or services.

Using the definition of “wage” above, the claim of a “gender wage gap” implies for many (like the NCPE) that women are paid lower hourly or daily wages than men when they are working side-by-side for the same company doing the exact same job with the same educational and work backgrounds.

Language and words are important. And that’s why I think it’s important and more accurate to refer to a “gender earnings gap” rather than a “gender pay gap” or “gender wage gap.” Note that the NCPE uses the terms “gender wage gap” and “wage gap” 12 times on just the Q&A page of its website and more than 20 times on its main website. The Department of Labor study also used the term “raw wage gap.” The underlying assumption with that language (“gender wage gap”) is that there is one hourly (or weekly or monthly) wage paid to men and a lower hourly (or weekly or monthly) wage paid to women working side-by-side their male counterparts doing the exact same job when both have the exact same educational and work backgrounds, etc.

Switching to using the term “gender earnings gap” broadens the concept of earnings differentials by gender, and more accurately allows for the reality that women are usually making the same hourly (or weekly) wage as men doing the exact same job. But men often “earn” more on average than women because men are working longer hours on average, performing different jobs than women, working in jobs that are physically more rigorous (construction), working in jobs that are more dangerous (logging) and in more hostile work environments (oil rigs workers), involve longer commute times and may be less flexible and less family friendly. So I think it’s time to completely scrap the term “gender wage gap” and replace it with the more accurate “gender earnings gap.” Unfortunately, a Google search reveals that there are 30 times more results for the term “gender wage gap” (more than 2 million results) than for “gender earnings gap” (62,000).

Instead

Another gem from Seth Godin:

A simple substitute might change a habit.

Instead of a snack, brush your teeth.

Instead of a nap, go for a walk.

Instead of a nasty tweet or cutting remark, write it down in a private notebook.

Instead of the elevator, take the stairs.

Instead of doomscrolling, send someone a nice note.

Instead of an angry email, make a phone call.

Instead of a purchase seeking joy, consider a donation…

https://seths.blog/2021/09/instead-2/

Meme of the Day

In case the image ever goes away, it says, Asked my doctor today how long he thinks this covid thing will last. He responded with: “How should I know I’m a doctor, not a politician.”

In case the image ever goes away, it says,

Asked my doctor today how long he thinks this covid thing will last. He responded with: “How should I know I’m a doctor, not a politician.”