Democratic lawmakers and national women’s organizations claim the legislation would bring an end to gender discrimination and the infamous wage gap. But let’s be clear: the myth of the wage gap — which has been repeated ad nauseum by the left — uses gender discrimination to explain personal decisions. When researchers control for any number of variables — from education to college major to taking time off — the wage gap largely disappears.  

What’s more significant is the impact legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act would have on job creation and economic growth. Rather than help women, gender protection laws like the PFA skew the labor market, increase liability and the potential of lawsuits for employers, and ultimately increase the cost of employing women.

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Too often when lawmakers propose legislation like the PFA, they are focused entirely on bad employers. The more important question is, what does legislation like this mean for good employers? Women and men benefit most from a flexible work environment that allows them to enter freely into contracts that suit both the needs of the employer and the employee. Additional layers of regulation intended to protect certain segments of the workforce simply increases the cost of hiring (insert “discriminated” group here). 

Today a growing number of women out-earn their spouses. Women earn the majority of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and now Ph.D.s. And as women’s earnings have increased, so has their purchasing power, making them the lead buyer of everything from groceries to cars. So it should come as no surprise that women in 2010 are focused on economic recovery and job creation.  

Democrats lost the support of women by playing gender politics. If they want to win them back, they are going to have to stop focusing on “women’s” issues and start tackling the very difficult economic challenges that affect women — and men — every day.