Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the notion of income inequality between the sexes isn't a politically manipulative myth, and that eliminating the alleged gender wage gap is rightly a high priority and worth pursuing and promoting, the question remains whether government intrusion into private business and elsewhere is the right approach?
As intimated in the introduction to this series, the wage divide had been shrinking for decades, with no thanks to the
government, but liberals weren't satisfied, and after intervening in 2009 with the Ledbetter Equal Pay Act. and designating April 9th as Equal Pay Day, they
managed to make matters worse. (See also HERE)
This wasn't the first time that this has happened. Following the passage of the Equal Pay act in 1963 (see HERE), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 (see HERE), the wage gap widened from around 40% to about 43% (i.e. women dropped from making 60% to 57% the earnings of men), and for the most part remained above 40% for more than a decade and half (see HERE), or until 1982 when Ronald Reagan became President. (see HERE).
Thus, in spite of their good intents, on multiple occasions the Left just couldn't leave well-enough
alone, and had to mess up the works with their favorite entity, the
federal government. Clearly, government intrusion was and is the wrong approach.
Logically, then, this leaves us with the salient questions of what, if anything, may be the right approach? What factors may lead to shrinking gender income inequality?
According to the Institute For Women's Policy Research, given the general upward trend in women's earnings in proportion to men since 1960, the gender wage gap will completely close by 2058, presumably absent any direct public policy initiatives. (See HERE)
However, this means that women currently working in the labor force, or who may soon enter, will not achieve complete wage parity with their male counterparts during their work life--not that this is necessarily a bad thing.
And, in spite of what was indicated in my previous posts regarding the "unequal pay for equal work" myth, the rate at which the gender wage gap is shrinking on its own is unacceptable to many liberals, particularly among so-called Millennial Women or Generation X. (See HERE)
I find this fascinating given the fact that the wages of young women (ages 16 to 34) currently average around 90% of men their own age, as compared with older women (35 to 65+) averaging only 74.9% earnings as men their age. (See HERE and HERE).
Therefore, if anyone has cause to complain, it would be older rather than younger women. But, there it is.
So, what, if anything, is to be done to accelerate the gap closure?
According to the IWPR graph, and as intimated earlier, women saw their greatest steady gains towards income parity during the years of 1982 to 1990, when Reagan was in office. It dipped slightly in 1991, but climbed steadily over the last three years of the Bush Sr. administration. Then, it dropped slightly during the first year that Clinton was President, went up the next two years, went down and didn't recover for the next three years, and finally went up during the last two years he was in office. It rose fairly steadily over the eight years of the Bush Jr. Presidency, and then it has since dropped fairly steadily over the last six years that Obama has been in office.
Evidently, then, the more conservative the President, the more shrinkage in the gender wage gap and the greater the gain in wage parity.
Coincidence? Perhaps, though unlikely given the Leftist LUNC mentioned above where liberal government interventions seems to invariably make matters worse.
Ironically, if liberals wish to diminish income inequality between the sexes, the best thing and perhaps the only realistic thing for them to do is elect conservative Presidents, who in turn would leave the matter of income inequity to resolve itself naturally through rational market forces and the free choice of women--assuming that is direction women genuinely wish things to go (i.e. whether they generally wish to work as long and as hard and inflexibly and productively and at the same risky and dirty and challenging and highly competitive jobs as men).
Again, good luck with that.
For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization