In his State of the Union address last month President Obama made the statement that working women in this country earn an average of 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men make. He demanded that women should receive equal pay for equal work.
I have no problem with the last statement. Having worked in the military then for the federal government my entire career saw that very thing happen. The women I worked for and with got the same pay as their male counterparts. And that's exactly how it should be in the private sector - equal pay for equal work. But in researching this topic I discovered that there are some discrepancies in the theory.
In an article back in 2012, the Institute For Women's Policy Research in Washington DC made the following comments: "Some economists challenge the 77 percent figure by pointing out it does not compare women’s and men’s earnings in the same jobs: in other words, the figure implicitly compares truck drivers, who are mostly male, with secretaries, who are mostly female, for example. Yes, the figure does compare women and men across the whole economy, but do we believe women should receive lower pay because they are any less talented, competent, or hard working than men? Given their equal competency, shouldn’t both women and men be able to find jobs in the economy that pay them what they’re worth?