From: Ryan Kennedy (e-mail him)
Although I myself have never found the "pay gap" between men and women a compelling social problem, I view it as a natural result of division and specialization of labor; women hold down the fort and raise babies and men earn to support them. I realize some people do find this statistic irksome. (But as a man, I have to ask, why don't they ever publish studies on who spends the money that is earned? My bet is that women spend a lot of money that men earn and not so much the other way around.)
NPR just ran a story about how Hispanic women in California blow the doors off the "pay gap". Despite the fact that women in California are much closer to men in terms of pay, Hispanic women are less so:
The study's author speculates that the fact that many Hispanic women are illegal and so have to accept lower-paid because of it doesn't make much sense to me. Wouldn't the same be true of Hispanic men-folk and so result in a statistical wash?
No, think something else is at work here. I think that recent Hispanic immigrants take with them their social norms which include machismo and paying women less for identical work. But of course the study's author would never entertain that possibility.
I think we are importing gender inequity.
I think it's another case of different liberal blocs at war with one another's objectives.
James Fulford writes: Orthodox economic theory says that women aren't doing the same work for 77 cents on the dollar, but doing 77 cents worth of work for every dollar's worth of work a man does, or they'd be displacing men more than they do.
Uneducated Hispanic male laborers actually do work cheaper than whites or blacks doing the same work, so they do displace American workers. But that's frequently physical labor, which doesn't require language skills. Female unskilled workers are more likely to to work in service jobs: maids, housekeepers, and waitresses. Those jobs require English language skills.