Michelle Fields Presents Alarmingly Wrong-Headed Logic On Pelosi’s ‘Pay Gap Hypocrisy’
6:30 pm, June 1st | by Amy Tennery
Fields, a reporter for The Daily Caller, appeared on the show to address alleged “hypocrisy” in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office. Her main gripe? She thinks Nancy Pelosi is hypocritical for leading a campaign to combat the gender pay gap, a phenomenon some people believe is as phony as, oh, I dunno, a war on caterpillars?
Here’s what Fields had to say:
“What’s so funny, if you look at the salary of Pelosi staffers, her female staff members get paid $26,000 less on average than her male staffers.”
“Staffers.” Senior staffers? Entry-level staffers? Pssh! Who cares! Why quibble with details when there’s sensationalism to be made.
“You constantly hear liberals saying ‘hey, you know, umm, there’s this huge income gap that’s about 23 percent.’ Well, if you look at the income gap in her office, it’s 27 percent. So this is just pure hypocrisy.”
Now, sure. Maybe Nancy Pelosi has hatched some vendetta against women for the hell of it, in which she methodically denies her female staffers equal pay because she just feels like it. Maybe she’s just a total monster. No one can really know. Clearly.
But it’s pretty difficult to draw statistical significance from sample pools of very small sizes. A sample pool like, oh, maybe 18? I say 18 because that’s the maximum number of permanent staffers that a member of congress is allowed to hire (you’re allowed four temp staffers, also). So maybe the women in Nancy Pelosi’s staff get paid 27 percent less — but you’re going to have a tough time credibly establishing a statistical trend here.
And when asked by Cavuto, “How does this happen? Is it just the latest in, the least pay?” Great, question! Really valid! Unfortunately, Fields replies “it just is what it is.” What convenient vagueness.
Now maybe Pelosi isn’t hiring enough women in senior roles in her office — and I’ll be the first to say that is a problem. But there’s a big difference between hiring men for jobs that (intrinsically) pay more and paying men and women different amounts to do the same job. No one who combats the gender gap thinks that men and women who do different jobs should be paid the same amount. Obviously.
Some people will say the gender gap is fake; others will say it’s because “money is more important for men.” Others still (like Fields and Cavuto) will blame it on the mommy syndrome — even though credible data shows that moms are discriminated against even before they’re offered a job and maternity leave accounts for a tiny fraction of the pay differences.
And noise like this, the finger pointing and shouting, “but they do it too!” is designed only to distort reality: Gender pay discrimination is real, it happens and we have the data to back it up.