Thanks to an aggressive propaganda capaign, the idea that women are paid less than men for doing the same work has persisted for decades despite a mountain of data to the contrary. Politicians — particularly Democrats — love to trot out the apples-and-oranges comparison of men's and women's pay in order to garner votes.
On Tuesday, conservative commentator and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Thomas Sowell, took to debunking the myth yet again.
"As far back as 1971, single women in their thirties who had worked continuously since high school earned slightly more than men of the same description," Sowell wrote. "As far back as 1969, academic women who had never married earned more than academic men who had never married."
Even more recently, single, childless millennial women out-earn their male peers in major cities. Yet Democratic politicians continue to ignore facts in order to scare women into thinking they need government help in order to earn what they deserve.
And it's not just gender earnings that are marred by discredited myths, Sowell wrote. The claim that black professors earn less than white professors also doesn't hold up when things like where the professor got their degree and how many papers they had published are factored in.
"When all these things were held constant, the black professors earned somewhat more than white professors," Sowell wrote. "But, since all these things are not the same among black and white professors in general, there is a racial gap in pay that allows some to loudly denounce racial discrimination among academics."
Sowell also notes that facts like these are often ignored in educational institutions, since they "contradict the prevailing groupthink." For example, Sowell wondered how many students have learned about the 1921 recession and how President Harding did not intervene and let the economy recover on its own, which resulted in a sharp drop in unemployment without a New Deal or stimulus bill.
Faulty claims such as "wage gaps" won't go away so long as truth-tellers stay quiet and politicians are allowed to benefit from political divisions. At least now there are many, many voices calling out the myths and forcing those perpetuating them to twist themselves in knots trying to find new ways to claim sexism or racism are to blame for the choices people make.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.