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Apr 22 - Apr 29, 2014

Ceretto's 'Equal Pay' Bill Ignores Free Market Reality

By Margaret Shea

April 22, 2014

John Ceretto, usually on right side of issues, drops ball in explaining this one.

Earlier this month, Assemblyman John Ceretto (R-Lewiston), who is seeking re-election this year, went on record pledging to create and support legislation that he claims would guarantee "equal pay," for women and men apparently without regard to equal performance.

"For every one dollar in pay a man makes, a woman earns only 77 cents. This puts working women at a disadvantage and it must be fixed," said Ceretto, quoting a U. S.

Census statistic widely used by the White House that claims the average earnings of men and women working full-time in America is 23 cents more for men, and is used mainly to imply this difference is caused by gender discrimination.

"I will be working closely with the governor and legislative leaders to pass substantive women's rights legislation that can pass in both houses," said the Republican Ceretto who joins President Barrack Obama and a raft of Democrats in promoting the idea that wresting hiring and pay freedoms from employers will cure a socialinjustice.

The Republican Ceretto, like many Democrats, have chosen not to consider, as part of the debate, a body of empirical evidence that suggest men make more money than women because the free market is paying more in the aggregate for the work men do.

In its 2007 Behind the Pay Gap report, the American Association of University Women admits that most of the gap in earnings is explained by career choices.

A Georgetown University study revealed that of college majors which lead to the 10 highest-paid careers, men enrollees outnumber women in all but one. And in the 10 least remunerative college majors, women prevail in nine out of 10.

Women are not forced to major in early childhood education, social work or performing arts rather than petroleum or chemical engineering or metallurgy. In fact millions of state and federal dollars have been devoted to recruiting women into engineering and computer technology.

Besides career choices, another obvious reason for the 23 cent difference is motherhood.

Women, obviously, take maternity and family leave at higher rates than men and have differing job tenure (many women do not enter the workforce until their childrenare in school).

Even the liberal Washington Post called the 23 cent wage gap "dubious".

"There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women… make it difficult to make simple comparisons," they wrote.

So how does a Ceretto re-engineer society and redistribute the wealth of the genders?

He could mandate social workers get paid the same as chemical engineers.

Or force more women to become engineers and men to become early childhood educators.

Or pay men less for their work regardless of performance.

Or maybe he can't because the actual text of the bill is far different than what Ceretto leads people to believe.

The bill does nothing to address the socialist goal of redistributing wealth by gender and hence cannot aalter the fact that women earn on average 23 cents less than men across the board.

What the bill -the equal pay bill - part of the women's equality act- does do is make a provision for women who are doing identical performance for an identical job as a man - but who are not being paid identically - to take action under discrimination laws.

It is a job by job right that does nothing to effect career choices and other factors that actually create the gender pay gap.

Ceretto appears to use women's choices against them to construct a false claim about social inequality that is destructive to families, can be used to pervert the free market and take away freedoms.

But perhaps this is Ceretto's idea of the most effective way to pander to women.

After all he has a gender gap in his own office.

According to an analysis of his staff based on their 2013 pay, as published in, female staffers at Ceretto's office earn less than the national average of 77 cents as compared to men.

Ceretto's female staff earns 42 cents for every dollar Ceretto and his male staffers earn.

Should Ceretto demote his chiefs of staff Bill Angus and Chris Stazio?

Should he have at least one woman switch jobs with one of the men, so there is gender equality?

The bill Ceretto sponsored would not require that at all.

Men in his office could earn more than the women if they did differing work.

However, if a man earned more money for the identical job then the women in his office could sue under his bill.

But Ceretto, in the shadow of President Barrack Obama, the man most vocally promoting the 23 cent gender pay disparities being caused by discrimination, is using the socialist argument that women and men have to earn the same across the board and this is the disingenuous part.

And ironically, like Ceretto, Obama has a wage gap too.

Female staff at the White House earn 88 cents on the dollar compared to men, according to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute.

But like Ceretto, Obama chose his staff based not on gender but on his freedom to choose. The freedom to pay employees what it takes to hire and keep them is important not only to freedom but business, too.

Obama and Ceretto prove that not with their words but with their actions.

To surrender that freedom to pandering politicians is folly, and will provide entrepreneurs with yet another reason to choose some state other than New York (or, for that matter, America) to do business.

But at the end the day that is not at all what Ceretto is proposing.

Based on his bill, nothing will change - and perhaps nothing should change, other than identical pay for identical performance.

Not a socialist lumping of all work men and women do.

So why not say it?

Here is a list of the 10 most remunerative majors compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Men overwhelmingly outnumber women in all but one of them:

1. Petroleum Engineering: 87 percent male

2. Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration: 48 percent male

3. Mathematics and Computer Science: 67 percent male

4. Aerospace Engineering: 88 percent male

5. Chemical Engineering: 72 percent male

6. Electrical Engineering: 89 percent male

7. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: 97 percent male

8. Mechanical Engineering: 90 percent male

9. Metallurgical Engineering: 83 percent male

10. Mining and Mineral Engineering: 90 percent male

And here are the 10 least remunerative majors—where women prevail in nine out of ten:

1. Counseling Psychology: 74 percent female

2. Early Childhood Education: 97 percent female

3. Theology and Religious Vocations: 34 percent female

4. Human Services and Community Organization: 81 percent female

5. Social Work: 88 percent female

6. Drama and Theater Arts: 60 percent female

7. Studio Arts: 66 percent female

8. Communication Disorders Sciences and Services: 94 percent female

9. Visual and Performing Arts: 77 percent female

10. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs: 55 percent female






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