January 22, 2020

Posted on YoungNotStupid.com by Cameron Arcand. Click here to listen to the podcast.

ARCAND: Hello YoungNotStupid Show listeners! It’s Cameron Arcand here and I’m glad to be back for a second season of this show. We’re going to be starting off strong with Kara Bell, the Public Relations Office for the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women. She has also appeared in videos by Young America’s Foundation and has some pieces for several different conservative publications. We are going to be discussing the wage gap – is it a thing or is it not – and taking a dive into that topic.

So first off Kara, how about you introduce yourself and explain what you do at the CBL Center for Conservative Women.

BELL: Hi Cameron. Yes, my name is Kara Bell and I am the Public Relations Officer for the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women. We say Center for Conservative Women for short. My goal is to increase our communications with media and other organizations and share our mission and the great work we do so that we can expand our programming to more and more young conservative women nationwide. Something we have seen as an organization is the lack of confidence many young women have in expressing their political viewpoints. Oftentimes, they’re afraid of sounding uninformed, afraid of losing friends, afraid of receiving bad grades on their papers or projects because of a professor’s biased grading, you name it. But that’s why we’re here. We prepare and promote leading conservative women so that we can ensure a future of strong female role models and leaders who are committed to constitutional principles such as individual freedom, economic liberty, limited government, and strong national defense.

ARCAND: That’s great, and one of the things we are going to focus on today is a popular topic among liberals – women and men – is this idea of a wage gap. And you have expressed your opinion on this topic of whether women are generally paid less than men, whether it’s some sort of systematic discrimination or if it’s part of another issue. Could you explain to the listeners what your stance is on the wage gap, and if you could explain it or debunk it or support it, or whatever your thoughts are.

BELL: Well first, let’s be clear how exactly the Left came up with the classic wage gap statistic because, oftentimes, we hear this statistic all the time, but no one really dives into how this statistic was created. Rather than taking into account important factors like degree of education, risk in occupation, level of experience and amount of hours worked – which, by the way, account for nearly all of the differential in earnings between men and women, the Left only looks at the median earnings of full-time wage and salaried workers. In other words, they take the average working woman’s salary and the average working man’s salary and they compare them side-by-side. Hence, the 80 cents – I believe it’s 82 cents now – for every dollar statistic.

This statistic is taken by evaluating an unadjusted scale. We, conservatives, base our arguments off of an adjusted scale. In other words, we take into account the various factors that attribute to the earning differences between working men and working women. The Left does not. 

By taking the average versus the average, the Left’s goal is to really pack in the punch and drive home to their social justice warriors that women face extreme discrimination in the workplace. And they have been pretty successful at this, I’ll admit.

However, calculating such a difference isn’t as simple as the Left makes it out to be. It’s not an accurate representation of the workforce to just take the average versus the average – especially not the average man versus the average woman. Not only are we all individuals with unique goals, career paths and circumstances that affect our decisions, but the workforce is extremely varied. Not everyone works a 40-hour week – nor does everyone even want a job structure like that. 

Also, how can you measure the value of a flexible work schedule? How about a job with huge upward-mobility potential or great benefits packages? Calculating a statistic like this just isn’t a simple thing to do and it’s not as simple as the Left makes it out to be. Of course there’s going to be dramatic differences between the average versus the average – particularly the average working man versus the average working woman – because we are not the same. We need to account for more factors than just each side’s average yearly earnings. 

ARCAND: Now, what are some of these factors that you’re referring to? I know a big part of it actually has to do with college majors, and I believe it’s women, who on average, tend to go for lower paying college majors in comparison to their male peers. And I was wondering if you could build on that and if you knew anything more specific regarding that.

BELL: Yeah, so actually, women on average tend to gravitate towards majors that lead to service and care related industries, such as nursing, social work, psychology, and areas of business like marketing and administrative work, whereas men typically gravitate towards engineering, computer science, and business majors. So, it’s a great thing that we’re starting to see more women diving into these different sorts of careers because these careers obviously have different earnings. However, the Left still argues that even if men and women have the same level of education, the same experience level, and the same career, that women still earn less than men, but that’s not quite true. It makes sense why particular degrees and career paths would lead to different salaries, but if a woman is working the same job as a man, in let’s say computer engineering, why would we see a difference in pay? But there are other factors, besides education, too, that the Left pinpoints as reasons for a wage gap. Women are known, within the workplace, to value flexibility more than men in their careers. And actually, we’re seeing a movement now where more millennials and younger generations are attracted to flexible working hours rather than the typical 9am to 5pm job, or a 40-hour work week. And actually, young women who are just starting their careers make, on average, the same as their male counterparts in the same position. This is because when a woman is younger, she can commit more hours to the workplace, in general. They don’t have families yet and the world is in their hands. But this trend starts to dive and we do start to see a greater difference in earnings between men and women when women tend to reach the age of 30 or higher. And, the number one reason for this is because of family. Many women tend to choose family instead of a career, or put their family above their career, around the time that they’re 30 years old or so. And this also creates a difference between the average yearly earnings between men and women. So, there are a lot of other different factors besides just education that account for the difference in pay, but when you account for all of these factors, there’s really only a 5-7 percent differential of earnings between men and women, and that is just from other factors that we haven’t even accounted for yet.

ARCAND: Yeah, and a lot of these things require complex explanations. It’s not as easy as passing out one number or stat out there. And for the average person, I was wondering why you think the average person does believe in this wage gap myth?

BELL: There are several reasons why people, particularly young women and students, are first and foremost suckered into believing the wage gap myth, and then why they also grab onto it tightly and run with it. And each of these ways have come with different motivations.

First, children, particularly young girls, are taught very early to prepare for a life of constant competition to their male counterparts. In children’s books and shows, it’s often the young girl working hard to be a firefighter or professional athlete among the other boys. We are seeing more and more TV shows, movies, and books about female empowerment that set the groundwork for young girls to feel like they, too, can do what boys can do. This is a good thing because it’s true. Women can be doctors, police officers, you name it. However, in every story there needs to be a bad guy, and unfortunately, men assume that role in many of these ways.

Fast forward to Leftist feminist leaders today, we see this same power dynamic explained between men and women. To women like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, men are the bad guys and always will be. Because of misogyny and the patriarchy, men look for, according to them, any way to knock down the accomplishments of women and suppress them. One way is by keeping a considerable wage gap between men and women. To these feminists, women are victims in nearly every aspect of life and they need the government to protect them. But it’s 2020 and we know women are not systematically oppressed by men.

Another way people are fed into believing the wage gap exists is through culture, popular media, and the prevalence of the discussion in many aspects of our lives. For example, in our education system, this discussion has crept into our classrooms for years now. When I was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I needed to take Gender and Women’s Studies to fulfill a science requirement and in the class, we spent time discussing women in the workplace. We discussed how all women are paid considerably less and that it was the evils of capitalism that made it nearly impossible to be a working single mother. If you go onto Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media app, there will be some sort of discussion about women’s discrimination. Equal Pay Day falls on March 31st this year which is a day dedicated solely to this poorly translated statistic. Even the Women’s March which picks up nearly two weeks of news coverage throughout the year uses the wage gap as a talking point. Popular songs, celebrities, and Hollywood use the gender wage gap as a prime example of women’s oppression. The conversation is everywhere, but no one knows how the “wage gap” was even calculated. It’s just an avenue to push a larger talking point, that women need to government to be successful.

ARCAND: Yeah, and I noticed that. There was this video that went viral a few months ago where a bunch of celebrities were ripping up dollar bills to say “this is how much we make an hour,” and they were ripping up the bills based on a man they were equivalent to. And you have a point there in saying how much pop culture impacts this and now I think we’re in a place where our culture is almost pitted against people even though under the disguise of empowerment.

BELL: And those celebrities who were tearing up those dollar bills and saying they understand the wills of the people and that they understand the sacrifices the majority of Americans have to make – they have no clue. They are so separated from reality, and I hope a lot of people who were watching that video understand.

ARCAND: Yeah, and unfortunately they probably won’t because a lot of us, left and right, are living in an echo chamber of our own media. So this is definitely a lie that has been propagated by the left to push this victim mentality, and once you make people feel enough like they’re a victim, as you mentioned earlier, they’re going to turn on capitalism. And, it’s all pitted against the entire system that we have here in America.

BELL: You are 100 percent correct and, even as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, taking a gender and women’s studies class, and, to be completely honest with you, any political science class, capitalism is always the problem. And it’s because it, “creates a hierarchy of wage earners and doesn’t allow for people, particularly women, to ever get a head start,” which we know is completely untrue.

ARCAND: I wanted to switch over from the wage gap and kind of go into a broader context. This is an election year right now and a lot of people are going to be reflecting on who they should vote for right now and how that choice should be made. Under the current Trump administration, I was wondering what you’ve seen, the kinds of changes for women, socially and economically, right now.

BELL:  Our President has made tremendous strides for women. And a lot of people either do not recognize this, refuse to recognize it, or they just simply don’t know because of the biases in our media. But his achievements have been so monumental for women, especially for the unborn. First of all, President Trump’s choice of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court was a huge step in the right direction for protecting the lives of children, and therefore, women. President Trump is hands-down one of the most pro-life presidents our country has ever seen. He has had unwavering support for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, he has had consistent disapproval of Planned Parenthood, he has had opposition to funding the UN’s Population Fund, he’s an avid supporter to reinstate the Mexico City policy, and he has fought to ensure Title 10 Federal Funding does not go towards abortions.

Just recently, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act which includes a provision for federal workers to receive 12 weeks of paid family leave. This is a great move that will help young families and working single mothers care for their family both maternally and financially.

ARCAND: Yeah and I think that’s a really great step right now. I read this article the other day that I believe the women’s unemployment rate is at a record low, especially for minorities right now as well. And these are just certain things that we might not want to acknowledge, and there are things that you tend to not actively seek out to find out these unemployment rates and different numbers and stats and stuff like that, but definitely the narrative contradicts the truth in this situation.  

BELL: And even if we take a step away from the economic positives that President Trump has made for women, he’s also made our country safer. I feel like a lot of our country has already forgotten about the whole border wall crisis. President Trump is making huge strides by creating the border wall, which, we know will dramatically decrease the amount of human trafficking, as well as drug trafficking. And so that’s also a huge step for women and Americans in general.

And also, President Trump has been a champion for women outside of the United States. He has expanded our positive reach outwards to countries around the world where women’s oppression is actually very, very real. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative set out last February made real advances for women pursuing business. And so, I’m very proud to say that we have a very supportive President who has led more women to educational opportunities and skills training, and has connected their business and their growth to the United States. And this is just, yet again, another example of how great capitalism is pulling people out of oppression to making money and have freedom for themselves.

ARCAND: Yeah, and my last question for you looking more long term in a sense, is, what do you see as the future for women in America?

BELL: That’s a good question because we could go in so many different directions, but I think, in general, we’re headed towards a very good direction. And so, if the United States votes on Tuesday, November 3 to keep President Trump in office for another four years, I believe we will continue to see great strides for women, both domestically and internationally. We have a very pro-life, pro-business, pro-family, and pro-security president that has done more to defend the freedoms of his people than prohibit or regulate them with government intervention. The Left has never seemed to figure out that people really do know what they need to be happy. We don’t need the government to manage every aspect of our lives. But through years and years of government dependency programs and propaganda telling women and people that they need the hand of Uncle Sam to live, we’ve come to find more neighbors voting for people like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. If we have four more years of President Trump cutting the hold of government, I truly believe we will see a happier and freer people.

ARCAND: Thank you so much for coming onto the podcast, Kara. To find Kara on social media, you can find her at @karabellbell and @cblwomen on Instagram. For more YoungNotStupid content, check out @thecameronarcand and @ynsmedia on Instagram, and of course the website, YoungNotStupid.com.