Academy Awards Enters Equal Pay Debate…Unfortunately

 

ArquetteThe #AskHerMore Twitter campaign encouraged reporters to ask female Oscar nominees about more than just than their fashion choices. Hearing more about their films? Great. But hearing more from nominees, of either gender, about public policy is often not a path to viewer enlightenment — particularly if their film has nothing to do with that particular issue. Example:

Patricia Arquette used her big win at the Oscars on Sunday as an opportunity to talk about an issue that is extremely important to her — women’s rights. In accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Boyhood,” Arquette read from a sheet of paper and began her comments by thanking her children. At the end of her speech, Arquette made a call for action on women’s rights and argued that it’s time for women to renew the push for equal pay. “We have fought about everyone else’s right,” Arquette, 46, said. “It’s about time we fought for our own; it’s about time we have equal pay and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

I don’t know about Hollywood — I will give Arquette the benefit of the doubt about her own industry — but studies suggest overall that 5% or maybe less of the gender difference in worker pay has to do with discrimination vs. the fact that men a) work longer hours than women, b) work at more dangerous and financially risky jobs, c) have greater years of continuous work experience on average, and d) choose college majors with more value in the marketplace. AEI’s Andrew Biggs and Mark Perry:

Some gender discrimination in the labor market certainly does exist. But the best solution isn’t more lawsuits. In fact, the Obama administration’s proposal to shift the burden of proof in gender discrimination cases against employers would make hiring a female employee a potential legal liability for employers, and thus employers would hire fewer women.

What female workers need is a vibrant and competitive workplace, since it is competition that weeds out discrimination. When one employer discriminates against women, a new employer could earn a windfall profit by hiring an all-female workforce and paying them slightly more. … Several studies have shown that as industries faced increased competition, through either deregulation or international trade, the gender pay gap shrank. And the pay gap is larger in monopoly markets without competition and smaller in start-ups and small businesses that must be productive in order to survive. Women need more markets, more enterprise, and more opportunity, not more regulation and litigation.

And actually, the job market may be improving for women vs. men, per this story today in the New York Times: “Health Care Opens Stable Career Path, Often for Women.

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  1. user_1065645 Contributor
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    : Get the facts about the & . Spreading misinformation doesn’t serve anyone.

    • #1
  2. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    I my field (law) I’ve seen that there is a definite advantage to being a female, all else being equal.  I’ve got a limited sample size, but when a man and a woman both go up for the same job, with the same qualifications, it seems far more likely that the women will get the job.

    Also – does anyone watch the Oscars??  Talk about a big self-congratulatory group-orgy.  I’m happy to have a bunch of hollywood sorts get together and talk to themselves about how much better they are than everyone else.  I’m not sure anyone takes that sort of thing seriously.  Anyone remember George Cloony’s acceptance speech?  Neither do I.  I only know because South Park made fun of it.

    • #2
  3. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    David Sussman’s comment says it all. I was paid more than my male co-workers because I put in the time and achieved better results. There is no greater opportunity on this planet than to be a competent woman in the American workplace.

    I wonder why American liberals (and NOW in particular) refuse to focus upon the dreadful and dangerous conditions that many women are subjected to in Islamic nations. Those are the issues that need to be addressed not only for moral reasons but for purposes of global security as well.

    • #3
  4. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Here’s a counterintuitive proposition — the best remedy for underpayment of women, for “equal work,” is to repeal all sex-based anti-discrimination laws.  This would allow “enlightened” employers to differentially hire only women, who are necessarily a bargain, as they are (supposedly) paid less for “equal work.”  There would be two effects:

    1. By increasing the demand for female workers and decreasing the demand for male workers, the market would tend to equalize wages for individuals of comparable ability and work ethic;
    2. Before the “wage gap” is closed, the “enlightened” pro-female employers would have a substantial cost advantage, and would tend do drive their competitors out of business.

    Of course, this proposition will never be adopted because: (1) it just makes too much sense, and (2) it would actually have no effect because there is no real “wage gap” after other relevant differences (e.g. education, experience, work history, hours worked, willingness to work at unpleasant jobs) are taken into account.

    • #4
  5. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    I wish we could go back to the time when Hollywood celebrities understood their place – that of entertainer.  It’s no longer enough they be paid insane amounts of money to look pretty while reciting words other people write for them, and live a life most everybody else can only dream of.   They have to also feel like they are important, and that their ideas are really worth hearing, so they blather on about things they really know very little about. They are so predictably tedious.

    Robert Redford, in a moment of honesty, once admitted that celebrities know deep down inside their success streams primarily from something they had no part in: their appearance.  That induces a certain level of guilt and the result is Hollywood do-gooders taking up a cause.

    I find it interesting we never hear of these preachers of the Hollywood gospel sacrificing their money or worldly goods in support of the causes they espouse so passionately.

    • #5
  6. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Songwriter:

    I wish we could go back to the time when Hollywood celebrities understood their place – that of entertainer. It’s no longer enough they be paid insane amounts of money to look pretty while reciting words other people write for them, and live a life most everybody else can only dream of. They have to also feel like they are important, and that their ideas are really worth hearing, so they blather on about things they really know very little about. They are so predictably tedious.

    Robert Redford, in a moment of honesty, once admitted that celebrities know deep down inside their success streams primarily from something they had no part in: their appearance. That induces a certain level of guilt and the result is Hollywood do-gooders taking up a cause.

    The gentleman featured in this article Fifty Years Ago, “Tom Jones” Gave a Cincinnati Theater is my father’s closest friend. He still attends the Oscars and his wife has a pretty neat collection of photos with Warren, Clint, etc. Their favorite observation about actors is this: “The insecurities run deep and they are never, ever satisfied.”

    • #6
  7. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Songwriter:I wish we could go back to the time when Hollywood celebrities understood their place – that of entertainer.

    Robert Redford, in a moment of honesty, once admitted that celebrities know deep down inside their success streams primarily from something they had no part in: their appearance. That induces a certain level of guilt and the result is Hollywood do-gooders taking up a cause.

    Remember all the patriotic movies of WW2? Surely, that was not mere entertaining? How about all the social problem movies of the post-war era heralding the social revolution? There is no way to separate stories about American life from opinions about what it is, whether it’s good, &c.

    As for this fashion that has celebrities transformed into moral crusaders of some unwieldy or unlikely kind or another–maybe America’s the problem here. Americans are really moralistic. Being beautiful or peddling some talent for public attention & reward may not be acceptable…

    • #7
  8. user_1008534 Member
    user_1008534
    @Ekosj

    Hi Titus. Yes, the WW2 films were more than entertainment. But we are discussing the actors rather than the films. Back then, Humphrey Bogart would not been announcing that General Montgomery should have landed at Palermo rather than Syracuse; or that the Air War over Europe resulted in too much collateral damage.

    Today’s batch seems to think differently.

    • #8
  9. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    I just watched a segment of “The Five” on Fox – and Greg Gutfeld eviscerated Ms. Arquette’s high-handed preachiness – and pinter out that she is wrong on the facts.

    • #9
  10. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    The gentleman featured in this article Fifty Years Ago, “Tom Jones” Gave a Cincinnati Theater is my father’s closest friend. He still attends the Oscars and his wife has a pretty neat collection of photos with Warren, Clint, etc. Their favorite observation about actors is this: “The insecurities run deep and they are never, ever satisfied.”

    Shame the theater was shut down, but your father’s friend sounds like a hoot! Would liked to have known someone like him. I knew a few Hollywood people when I lived in that neighborhood. I wasn’t very impressed with them. I was impressed with Gerald R. Mohen, sitting next him at “An Evening with Brigitte Gabriel” last August.

    • #10
  11. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Kay of MT:Shame the theater was shut down, but your father’s friend sounds like a hoot! Would liked to have known someone like him. I knew a few Hollywood people when I lived in that neighborhood. I wasn’t very impressed with them. I was impressed with Gerald R. Mohen, sitting next him at “An Evening with Brigitte Gabriel” last August.

    No worries Kay! As the article mentioned, he went on to open 168 successful theaters and is richer than Croesus. :)

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    What a train wreck that speech was. She was so flustered at the prospect of delivering a “truth to power” speech, while knowing next to nothing other than what the White House spews about pay discrimination.

    Surprisingly, there’s been substantial criticism on the left for – get this – not including gay people and so-called “people of color” in her manifesto.

    I can’t believe it.

    • #12
  13. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    EThompson:

    Kay of MT:Shame the theater was shut down, but your father’s friend sounds like a hoot! Would liked to have known someone like him. I knew a few Hollywood people when I lived in that neighborhood. I wasn’t very impressed with them. I was impressed with Gerald R. Mohen, sitting next him at “An Evening with Brigitte Gabriel” last August.

    No worries Kay! As the article mentioned, he went on to open 168 successful theaters and is richer than Croesus. :)

    Is he married?

    • #13
  14. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    Even though it had its moments, watching the Oscars reminded me of why I haven’t watched them much the last decade or so. Arquette, and the whole Selma thing were really irritating, and I just said “go away” at them both. I was telling my dad that the only reason Ms. Arquette is so concerned with “wage equity” is because Obama told her to be. It’s representative of something so strange about liberals: the inability to move on. I figured that she must have been a very small child when pay discrimination was legislated against in the early 70s. The video above mentions a 1963 law, which means Arquette – who was born in 1968 – and all the other minions are complaining about something that was supposedly fixed 5 years before she was born.

    • #14
  15. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    EThompson:David Sussman’s comment says it all. I was paid more than my male co-workers because I put in the time and achieved better results. There is no greater opportunity on this planet than to be a competent woman in the American workplace.

    I wonder why American liberals (and NOW in particular) refuse to focus upon the dreadful and dangerous conditions that many women are subjected to in Islamic nations. Those are the issues that need to be addressed not only for moral reasons but for purposes of global security as well.

    It is easy to wonder at this, but the reason is they are not in reality concerned about women. They are just cultural Marxists who are obsessed with how they perceive power relations in their own culture. Real concern for women is too messy, and does nothing to perpetuate their own self-righteousness.

    • #15
  16. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    kylez:

    EThompson:David Sussman’s comment says it all. I was paid more than my male co-workers because I put in the time and achieved better results. There is no greater opportunity on this planet than to be a competent woman in the American workplace.

    I wonder why American liberals (and NOW in particular) refuse to focus upon the dreadful and dangerous conditions that many women are subjected to in Islamic nations. Those are the issues that need to be addressed not only for moral reasons but for purposes of global security as well.

    It is easy to wonder at this, but the reason is they are not in reality concerned about women.

    Yep. This reminds me of a remark the former President of NOW (LA chapter) Tammy Bruce made after she quit that job after the OJ Simpson trial : “The girls were not supporting the girls. Race trumped gender.”

    • #16
  17. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @WardRobles

    As the only male in my house, I have been made firmly aware that many women have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace, and that this issue resonates with them. Thanks to this post, and David Sussman’s excellent link to iwf.org, when I start complaining about the “because War on Women!” shtick from famous actors like Patricia Arquette and Barack Obama, I now have some juicy facts to back up my indignation.

     In fact, the studio back lot is beginning to look more and more like a Potemkin village. There is nothing behind the façade. The most recent official estimate of average earnings pegs women’s as 82% of men’s, not 77%. President Obama’s staff is pretty sloppy not to use their own Department of Labor’s numbers.  This still sounds like a lot of discrimination- until you do even a little thinking and asking questions. What effect does child-rearing have on the difference? Single, childless women in cities make $1.08 for every $1.00 single, childless urban men make. Do men and women tend to pursue different kinds of jobs? As a whole, men’s jobs are vastly more dangerous. 92% of all workers who died on the job in 2012 were men. In other words, 12 men die in the workplace for every woman. Do we really want a war between the sexes when men are the ones dying in course of doing their job 92% of the time?

     Nonetheless, it is apparently reasonable to conclude that there is a remnant of wage discrimination of between 3-7%. Wage discrimination has been illegal since the 60’s, but the Demagogic Party has come up with a new get-tough law that looks like a cynical payoff to a familiar donor group- trial attorneys. Under the Paycheck Fairness Act, employers would have the burden of proving that salary decisions are all “job related” and “consistent with business necessity” or face unlimited damages, even without being shown to have discriminated intentionally. Employees would be included in hugely profitable class action lawsuits automatically- unless they take action to opt out. The Actor Activists last night were cheering for a bad solution to a relatively small social problem.

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Ekosj:Hi Titus. Yes, the WW2 films were more than entertainment. But we are discussing the actors rather than the films.

    Hello, there.

    To an extent, I do agree with you–especially because there was far less conflict between liberal & conservative opinion in America.

    My main point is, if America wanted actors to do all the stuff they did to sell war bonds & make patriotic movies, as well as the work they did to raise troop morale–then it seems to me you are conceding a kind of moral authority to these celebrities. It’s hard to unring that bell…

    The great change seems to have come in Vietnam–that’s when actors decided to stop supporting gov’t policy & to turn against the country. So far as I know, Vietnam was really popular, up until it wasn’t, which is not the doing of Hollywood weirdos, to be sure, but they did their part.

    Maybe another thing changed, too–in a sense, America is far more democratic, far less oligarchic. Democracy means nobody is naturally or conventionally famous. This might give new authority to celebrities–they seem somehow to be animated by an impersonal force: Popularity simply gathers about them, so people find it easy to listen to them, though they would not listen to their neighbor…

    • #18
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Ryan M:I my field (law) I’ve seen that there is a definite advantage to being a female, all else being equal. I’ve got a limited sample size, but when a man and a woman both go up for the same job, with the same qualifications, it seems far more likely that the women will get the job.

    Well, sure, they only have to pay the woman 73% of what they’d pay the man.

    That’s a significant competitive advantage.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Moderator
    Ricochet
    @DougWatt

    If capitalists business owners are greedy as well as male and out of malice and greed will pay a woman a lower wage why would they ever hire a man?

    • #20
  21. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Just once, I’d like to see someone go up on stage at a political convention to accept a nomination, and give an impassioned speech about movies.

    • #21
  22. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Doug Watt:If capitalists business owners are greedy as well as male and out of malice and greed will pay a woman a lower wage why would they ever hire a man?

    Because they aren’t making a proper business decision. The priority of a true capitalist is to hire and pay the most competent people regardless of gender or race.

    In re: to Ryan and Miffed’s commentary, there are rarely two candidates who qualify equally; that’s a myth. There is always somebody who outshines the pack.

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Back in the days of WW11 the actors were under contract to the studios and they had to abide to the conditions of their contract or go on suspension.  What I’d like to know is why Sean Penn was given the plum assignment of handing out the final Oscar?  He made an idiotic comment about the winning director getting a green card.  He was so rude.

    Lots of Hollywood actors are terribly overpaid — contracts are not gender-specific.  If an executive producer wants to save on an actor’s pay he’ll hire a Brit.  Sort of strange to have MLK portrayed by a Brit but greed is the name of the game.

    • #23
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