Women, lamented Hillary Clinton in an April 2014 tweet, make just 77 cents on the dollar to men. As a presidential candidate she has repeated that lament again and again, updating the numbers, in line with government statistics, to 78 cents in July 2015 and 79 cents this year.
This injustice, she says, must be remedied by government. “Last time I checked,” Clinton told an event sponsored by a salary site called Glassdoor, “there’s no discount for being a woman. Groceries don’t cost us less, rent doesn’t cost us less, so why should we be paid less?”
There is, as you might expect, a simple answer for that, which is that the 77 to 79 cents numbers are misleading. Women are being paid less than men almost entirely because, as my Washington Examiner colleague Ashe Schow writes, “The average working woman works in a lower-paying field and works fewer hours each week than the average working man.”
Don’t just take her word for it. Listen to Obama staffer Betsey Stevenson, a respected academic economist. “Seventy-seven cents captures the annual earnings of full-time, full-year women divided by the earnings of full-time, full-year men,” she said when pressed by questions from the White House press corps. “If I said 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke.”