Musings, rants, rambling, general nonsense

Jon Hulburd’s Fuzzy Grasp of Statistics

Posted on | October 10, 2010 | 2 Comments

We are slowly finding out just which pillars of the Democrat playbook Jon Hulburd is willing to embrace.

We know Hulburd likes the dirty money from, for instance, Nancy Pelosi and the SEIU.

We know Hulburd likes junk science, the manipulation of which has given us the “global warming” myth and in service to which Hulburd has said he supports Cap & Trade legislation. Such legislation would cost Arizona between 30,000 and 40,000 jobs, decrease disposable income for all families, drive up energy prices – all of which will adversely affect lower-income Arizonans most.

We now also know Jon Hulburd embraces inaccurate, discredited statistics, in this instance the old canard regarding a 23 cent per dollar disparity in pay, based on gender.

The main point to make here is that the “77 cents on the dollar” claim has been repeatedly disproved, a fact Hulburd could certainly have discovered had he bothered to do even the most cursory of fact checking. Instead he embraces the lie because it apparently conforms to his world view, but why is that? If he had female employees, would he pay them less than any males on his staff? (Of course, that would be assuming he had employees or had created jobs)

Just as troubling is Hulburd’s desire to enact legislation to ‘fix’ a problem that doesn’t exist, a problem that, even if it did exist, would covered by existing laws.

In order to believe any such pay disparity needs to be addressed via the legislative process, one has to believe that HR departments have been given specific salary guidelines. Guidelines that state, for instance, if a woman is hired the pay range is 23% lower than if a man is hired. (e.g. for the same position, the range for a man would be 45-60k, the range for a woman with the same qualifications would be 34-46k) More likely, in the event a difference in pay may exist, it would be as a result of women being less skilled at negotiating, therefore accepting an offer at the lower end (i.e. 46k) while a male candidate pushes his worth up to the upper end (i.e. 56k)

I know in my work life I have been paid less than I was worth – and more. I know I have made less than male colleagues – and more. Such is the nature of a free market. It is the job of any company to pay their employees at a rate they are willing to accept. If a woman is willing to accept a lower rate (as Lilly Ledbetter did when negotiating raises over the course of her employment), that is not a failing of her employer or cause for government interference.

Further, government interference in the workplace, like most government programs, will do far more harm than good. Besides forbidding businesses from controlling their own payroll costs (even more than D.C. does already) they will be forbidding employees from deciding for themselves what paycheck they are willing to accept.

The sector hurt worst by such regulation will be women. Companies often take a chance on an employee they might not otherwise hire (less experience, more time out of the workplace [e.g. maternity leave], more need of schedule accommodation [e.g. flex time]) when that employee is willing to start at a lower salary. With the federal government breathing down their necks, you can be sure businesses won’t be taking those compensated risks if that employee happens to be female.

The reasons for allowing the free market to do its job are many, the instances requiring government interference are few. Pay rates are not the business of bureaucrats in D.C.


2 Responses to “Jon Hulburd’s Fuzzy Grasp of Statistics”

  1. Hannah
    October 10th, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    Agree 100%! Another thing is the degree fields that women tend to pursue… Damn straight I will want more $ than my sister the English lit major when I come out of college with a physics degree 😀

  2. thiet
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:00 am

    I love this post.

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