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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 12, 2013/ 2 Iyar, 5773

Discrimination Is Not the Issue

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Fifty years after the passage of civil rights laws outlawing discrimination based on race, ethnicity and sex, blacks, Hispanics and women still earn less than white men. In many circles, this fact alone reinforces the belief that discrimination is widespread and only greater government intervention will solve the problem.

But might there be other reasons to explain the earnings gap between whites and minorities and between men and women? Yes, according to a provocative new book by economists June O'Neill and Dave O'Neill. "The Declining Importance of Race and Gender in the Labor Market" makes a persuasive argument that factors other than discrimination are to blame.

The O'Neills don't downplay the role of race and sex discrimination in the past. For Southern blacks in particular, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had an immediate and salutary effect. The wages of blacks in the South rose significantly in the aftermath. But elsewhere, the wage gap had been narrowing at a fairly rapid rate for 20 years. And anti-discrimination law had little demonstrable effect on the wages of women, though their earnings, too, had been steadily rising.

Blacks, especially black males, saw their earnings go up dramatically in the aftermath of World War II. Indeed, the 1940s was the decade in which the earnings of black men rose fastest — exceeding the improvement experienced after employment discrimination was outlawed. Much of this rise was attributable to the movement of blacks out of the Deep South, where they were barred from certain jobs and were paid less even when they performed the same jobs as whites. But educational advancement was also a major factor in how blacks began to close the gap with whites.

The differences that persist today, according to the data the O'Neills present, are largely the result of divergent work-related skills between the groups. Most differences in hourly earnings disappear when black and white men with similar years of schooling, work experience and regional residence are compared.

The O'Neills use a rich source of data from the Current Population Survey and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to measure these factors, as well as scores from the Armed Forces Qualification Test. In 2008, when schooling, work experience, scores on the AFQT, age, region, hours worked and type of employer were accounted for, black men ages 35 to 43 earned 100 percent of the wages of similar white males. Hispanic males in the same category earned 97 percent of what non-Hispanic white males earned, and those between the ages of 43 and 51 earned 100 percent when these factors, along with the ability to speak English, were taken into account.

But when researchers don't include these important characteristics in their analyses, the differential appears much greater. The unadjusted earnings of black males are only 70 percent of the earnings of whites, and Hispanics' earnings are 82 percent of whites. The same holds true for women. The raw numbers suggest that women lag far behind men in their pay — a theme feminist groups have touted for years and one President Obama took up in his inaugural and State of the Union addresses. But the oft repeated claim that women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn is highly misleading, as the O'Neills go to great lengths to prove.

There is a large wage gap between men and women, one not entirely explained by years or quality of schooling, regional differences, or scores on aptitude tests. In fact, women have completed more years of schooling, on average, than men, live in all regions of the country, and score as well as males on aptitude tests. But women often make choices that have a large impact on their earnings, including the decision to have children.

Working mothers are more likely than men to work part time and take career breaks during the childbearing years, which means they accumulate fewer years of continuous work experience. And women also are more likely to try to balance work and family obligations by choosing occupations that provide more flexibility but less pay. Even women who work full time work fewer hours per week than their male counterparts. When all of these characteristics are factored in, the gender gap largely disappears. Young, childless single women, for example, earn comparable wages to similarly situated men.

The best way to close the wage gap between blacks, Hispanics and whites, the data suggest, is to encourage blacks and Hispanics to stay in school, study hard and commit to gaining work experience. When it comes to women, perhaps we should throw out the rhetoric and honor women's choices instead of trying to force them to conform to feminist priorities that place little value on families.

In reality, discrimination doesn't seem to be the biggest problem facing either minorities or women.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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