Here’s the latest wrinkle in the seemingly endless media trope that “women are victims.” The Los Angeles Times is fretting that big, bad men are responding to layoffs and the economy by “grabbing” jobs in fields typically dominated by women, like retail.
A great article by Suzanne Lucas of CBS MoneyWatch offers a heaping helping of hard-nosed reality:
Women are not helpless victims here. If there are differences in job attainment, it is largely due to different choices. And, in fact, as of last month, the male unemployment rate (8.4 percent) was still higher than the female unemployment rate (8.0 percent).
So, unemployment is a terrible thing, regardless of what gender you are. But this is not a case of women suffering more than men. Men are still lagging behind. If the Los Angeles Times wishes to find an area of unfairness in unemployment, perhaps they could examine unemployment by race — where Asians have an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent compared to 14.4 percent in Blacks/African Americans. That sounds a lot more unfair than the gap between men and women.
Other areas of unfairness to consider are a punitive tax code for married, dual-earners; women disproportionately stuck planning for death taxes; a social security scheme that provides paltry benefits to women who work their entire lives and few options for additional savings; and union pension plans that effectively penalize women who are more likely to move in and out of the workforce.
Want to help women—and men—economically? Eliminate onerous regulations that stifle job creation in the first place. This would foster a greater variety of career and work options for all Americans. Then allow earners to keep and save more of their hard-earned money.