By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Governor Chris Christie‘s decision to veto a goofy ‘equal pay’ measure earlier this week was the right decision, Save Jerseyans.
Because conservatives don’t want to see women treated fairly and equally?
Please. Of course not. My name isn’t “Bill” or “Donald,” right?
It’s because, as I’ve explained 1,000-times here at Save Jersey, the entire premise of a gender wage gap is factually bankrupt in 2016. It doesn’t exist! Across all professions, a modern woman in the same occupational position and with the same time on the job as a male counterpart, typically earns 95 cents for every dollar earned by the man. Woman have surpassed men is certain fields. ‘Equal pay’ campaigns rely on a non-existent problem to manipulate voters’ sense of fairness; they don’t control for experience, or profession, in peddling out-of-context information (e.g. more females choose to be librarians or teachers while more men historically elect to be doctors or accountants so, naturally, if you don’t control for profession, the ‘gap’ is artificially exacerbated).
I think it’s bad enough when politicians invent or manipulate facts to garner votes.
When so-called ‘educators’ do it? It’s extra disgusting and completely intolerable.
Enter the usual culprit, the New Jersey (Mis)Education Association (NJEA), which blasted the Governor’s veto in a Friday morning rant. Here’s what they NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan had to say:
The numbers don’t lie. Unionized workers in New Jersey earn 27 percent more than nonunionized workers. For women, the gap is even more dramatic. Women in unions earn 32 percent more than nonunionized women. The message is clear: we cannot count on employers to do the right thing, and we cannot count on the governor to hold them accountable.
“In a world where women still make only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, we refuse to sit by when men like Chris Christie smugly protect the status quo. We will continue to fight to make sure men and women are treated equally in the workplace and that every worker is treated with dignity and respect. We urge other working people to join us by unionizing in their workplaces, to gain a voice against this injustice and to give our movement more power to achieve positive change and social justice for all.”
I’ve already explained (see and click above) why the 77 cents statistic is, to be blunt, bullshit. I’m not going to dignify it with further discussion in this post. It’s also Friday; I need a sanity break.
Let’s briefly address the 27 percent union worker pay bonus.
For starters, the whole notion that unions help their workers is very misleading. As the Heritage Foundation’s research recently proved, across the board, labor unions charge higher dues and pay their union officers significantly larger salaries in non–Right-to-Work states than Right to Work states. In New Jersey? The head of the NJEA earns more than many CEO’s.
What do teacher members get for their dues and highly paid union officials? Not much. At least not the good ones. Data demonstrates that collective bargaining has accomplished what socialism always aims to do: raise the salaries of under-performing workers but, as is the case with high-performing teachers, their salaries have stagnated. This compressed pay scale, a trend dating back to the 1960s, is a problem that could be mitigated with reforms including merit pay. But why would union bosses care? Their financial incentive is attached to producing more dues, not raising salaries or improving the quality of the educational product.
Surprise! They haven’t accomplished either.
A close look at union pay generally reveals why the 27% figure is so frustratingly deceiving. As we see in the gender context, the Big Labor crowd is using the wrong measures,
“Unions do more to raise the wages of workers with less-than-average education than they do to boost the wages of those with better-than-average education,” Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless explained to Politifact back in 2014. “Unionized Ph.D.s do not gain as much from being in a union as high school dropouts, though even unionized Ph.D.s may enjoy a bit better job security and receive bigger helpings of health and retirement benefits than their non-union counterparts.”
You can add teachers, who need at least a bachelor’s degree, to the list of folks who don’t see big gains over the course of time.
Who does? Relative to their members’ average education attainment levels? Certain federal employees and “protective service occupations” including individuals who work in the police and firefighting fields. The folks who, along with teachers, drive New Jersey’s pension costs. The question remains whether we’re even doing as well by them (cause most deserve to do well) as we could be doing?
Don’t get too excited for the minimally-educated. When you factor in the fact that unions have killed millions of jobs in this country, it’s safe to conclude that unless you’re a public employee union member and/or in a public sector security field, there’s a decent chance that unionization has actually limited your ability to earn money. Look at what the minimum wage did to Sports Authority.
Unionization ALSO, again, creates more parity within a given unionized field but stagnates wages and also limits economic opportunity and mobility. In the public sector and building trades-public contract context, the correlating impact on everyone’s respective tax burdens contributes to a cumulatively-toxic economic cocktail for workers union and non-union alike…
You can see that there are clearly two sides to this story, Save Jerseyans. Difference we ALL need to consider. Are the ‘educators’ who run the NJEA earning their self-applied title if they continue to push only one side, rather than foster a good faith academic discussion, on their membership and students?
I think we all know the answer.