Chelsea Clinton Misuses Wage Data
Chelsea Clinton is the latest Clinton wrong on the wage gap.
She tweeted out a Business Insider animated map video that “shows how much less women make than men in every state.” In Arkansas, where her dad served as governor, it is 21.1 percent. In New York, where her mom served as a senator, the gap is the smallest at 11.3 percent. The largest gap is in Wyoming, 35.6 percent.
This presentation of the data makes it seem as if a man and a woman with the same educational background who work the same hours in the same job are paid differently, specifically that the woman is getting the short end of the stick. After watching this video, Wyoming women should be especially outraged and some might move states.
But like with the statistic that is routinely repeated by feminists that women make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, it is important to dig a little deeper. First, the actual statistic at issue has now increased to 82 cents, so the 79 cent statistic is outdated. Second, what that statistic measures matters. The 82 cent statistic is a comparison of the median earnings of women and men who work in full-time wage and salary jobs. It does not take into account individual choices—such as education level, years of experience, or hours worked. It is not comparing two similarly situated people.
Chelsea makes the same mistake with the state calculations. The video she promoted states that the “percentage reflects the average amount women earn less than men in each state,” but fails to mention all the factors that the percentage leaves out.
The calculations for the state wage gaps are based on the US Census Bureau 2015 American Community Survey data on the median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers. Again, the data measures the average earnings of men and women, only this time in a specific geographic location. It doesn’t compare two individuals, a man and a woman, and how much they each earn. The percentage calculations don’t mean that a woman in Wyoming is making less than her male coworker who is doing the same job—though that is clearly what those hyping the findings and video want viewers to conclude.
It is no wonder Chelsea is wrong on the wage gap. Her mom is as well. During her failed presidential bid, Hillary Clinton raised the issue with tweets such as, “A typical woman working full-time is paid just 79% of what a man makes, but there’s no discount for being a woman.”
While Chelsea Clinton’s people have denied that she is planning to run for office, she has become a louder voice on Twitter and headlines keep popping up such as, Chelsea Clinton fuels speculation of political run. Someone, somewhere is trying to make Chelsea Clinton the elected official happen.
One of the biggest stories of the presidential election was that Clinton’s brand of victim feminism just didn’t seem to resonate with young people, and more specifically, with young women.
If Chelsea Clinton wants to win over the next generation of voters, she is going to have to rethink how the Clinton brand reaches young women. One step should be to stop misusing wage data to tell women they are worse off than they actually are.
This article originally appeared in Forbes. Read the original here.