Fathers earn more than childless men, idiots have no clue why

CNN Money has posted an article claiming that it “pays” to be a dad (H/T Dalrock):

Men without children earned 40% less than their counterparts with children in 2010, according to a new study by The Graduate Center, City University of New York. And fathers made nearly twice as much as mothers.

If you think about it for a moment it’s not difficult to come up with some reasons why fathers earn more than other men. For example:

  1. Fathers need to earn more than childless men in order to cover the expenses related to raising children (a childless man with 40% lower income may still have more disposable income since he probably has fewer expenses than a father). Fathers therefore have more incentive to try to get a higher paying job (CNN reports “more fathers are in management and professional jobs, while a larger share of childless men are in service, sales and office positions”).
  2. Fathers tend to be older than childless men (they’ve simply had more time to have kids), and older men tend to earn more because they are more established in their jobs, better educated, etc. (even CNN got this one: “Part of reason for the wide differential between dads and non-dads is that fathers tend to be older and more established in their jobs and command higher wages.”*)
  3. Employers, being smarter than your average CNN reporter, understand that fathers are generally more reliable and/or less able to leave their job since they have more to lose if they lose their job or quit (e.g. CNN reports “92% of dads are employed full-time compared to 77% of non-dads, who are more likely to be part-time workers”). Employers aren’t handing over more cash to fathers just because they want to (they actually don’t want to), they’re doing it because the reliability, skills, etc. of the average father is worth the higher pay.
  4. The number 1 quality women look for in a spouse is a steady job, which is, surprisingly, correlated with higher earnings. Number 2 is that the man has similar ideas about having and raising children, so apparently fatherhood is also correlated. Who would’ve thought?!

Nonetheless, the idiot CNN reporter and the author of the study believe

The findings suggest that dads are getting a boost on the job that others aren’t seeing.

“Parenthood is giving advantages to men but not to women,” said Justine Calcagno, a social psychologist and author of the report.

Yes, apparently fathers’ paychecks just magically get a special “boost” and *gasp* there’s that alleged “gender wage gap” too! Well, before we jump to conclusions let’s look more closely at the women:

It may not be that surprising that moms make much less than dads, but mothers still make more overall than childless women. Median personal income among mothers in 2010 was just over $25,000 compared to $20,165 for women without kids.

Many of the same reasons given above for why fathers earn more apply to women: mothers have more incentive to get a higher paying job in order to cover the expenses of raising children, mothers tend to be older, and mothers are generally more reliable since they have more to lose if they lose their job. Indeed, women who merely plan to be mothers seem to display a motivation to work harder and earn a higher income:

However, moms pulled ahead only because they tended to earn a lot more during their early working years.

If mothers earned more during their early working years then this was probably before they started having children, in which case they were no different than the women who eventually remained childless. It would be foolish to assume that mothers somehow received a pay bonus during the time before they even had children since employers couldn’t possibly know which women would go on to have children in the future. Rather, we should give the mothers credit for planning ahead and working hard to earn extra income to support children. In the same way fathers also deserve credit.

It also makes sense that mothers earn less in later working years as they start having children and working less (or not at all). Of course, this is one of the many reasons why the alleged “gender wage gap” is vastly overblown.

Yet the CNN Money reporter and study author were apparently either incapable or unwilling to reason why fathers tend to earn more and mothers tend to earn more in their early working years. The CNN reporter couldn’t even get the basic facts right as the following correction was issued:

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that dads earn 40% more than childless men. In fact, childless men earn 40% less than dads.

CNN evidently did not realize at first that the two statements are not equivalent. These are the idiots you depend on for financial and economic news.

* But did you notice the foolish tautology in that statement? Dads earn more than “non-dads” because they…”command higher wages”. Well, yeah, obviously.

Liebster Award

Despite the fact that I don’t post much I managed to receive a Liebster Award from starwarsanon. Thanks, Kiri!

I don’t care to pass on the award to anyone but will answer the questions she gave me.

Favorite TV show as a kid?

I guess that would have to be Doug.

Favorite local sports team?

I don’t really watch sports. The only sport I like to watch is Formula 1, but that is definitely not local.

Your theme song is:

The Imperial March. Obviously.

Beer, wine or liquor?

Moscato wine.

The movie version of my life would be titled:

No one would make a movie about my life. I lead a boring life, in a good way. So I guess the appropriate title would be Null.

If I could have one superpower, it would be:

Force Lightning. I’m an electrical engineer — just think of what I could do if I had the power to project electrical current from my fingertips!

It’s a Saturday morning at 10am. If I’m not sleeping, I’m:

Grumpy. Saturday morning is my day to catch up on my sleep from the rest of the week so I need a good reason to get up early. I might get up early on a Saturday to drive north for skiing or hiking, but even then I won’t be happy.

Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway was:

I would never say that I’ll never do something.

Wait, did I just say I’d never do something…and then do it?

If they could bottle my personality, the label would read:

Cynicism

WARNING: Do not take if you are an optimist and/or think “people are generally good”.

Of course, the pills would be red.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is:

I don’t own a smartphone. Although I wouldn’t mind being able to read e-mails while I’m waiting for something or look up some information quickly, it’s not worth the expense of a data plan.

On a related note, I hate the slightly modernized 19th-century communication system that is “texting”.  The only good thing about “texting” and “apps” (I hate that half-word) is that pedestrians distracted by them are an endless source of amusement:

If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to:

This is a tough one. I enjoy reading history and my two favorite subjects are World War II (especially Nazi Germany*) and the Roman Empire. I would love to visit historical sites in either Germany or Rome. I’m not sure which I would prefer, and it’s difficult to come up with a tie-breaker between the two. On the one hand, Germany also has the Autobahn — I could rent a German sports car (which I would like to do anyway) and take it for a spin with no speed limit. On the other hand, Rome also has Vatican City with its many wonders.

But why should I choose? The question does not specify a particular city or geographic location to choose, so I can answer “Europe” and go to both! For that matter, I could answer “the world” and go everywhere I want. Then I could visit WWII battlefields in other countries like France and Russia, Roman Carthage in Africa, both the European and Asian sides of Constantinople, etc.

*Reading history is how I learned the root of the “Liebster Award” before I’d even heard of the award. In letters to his wife German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel addressed her “Meine liebste Lu”, which translates to “My beloved Lu[cia]”.

Feminists can’t keep their story straight

A few weeks ago feminists were bemoaning the 23% gender wage gap and how it was crippling women’s economic futures, despite the fact that their interpretation of the figure as evidence of sexism is hopelessly wrong. Let’s briefly review what feminists say about the gender wage gap.

Consider this quote from a CNN opinion article:

So what can be done? For starters, we can fix the wage discrepancy between men and women. This could cut the poverty rate in half for struggling working women and it would represent an economic stimulus of half a trillion dollars.

Or consider this quote from the Huffington Post:

Women are also lagging behind men in terms of re-employment after the recession. The number of men working full time year-round increased by 1 million between 2011 and 2012, while the number of full-time working women remained close to the same.

“We are disappointed by the Census Bureau’s latest economic snapshot showing that the gender wage gap remains stagnant,” Hallman said. “Unfortunately for women and their families, it’s the same old story — another year of no improvement. It’s clear that this problem is not going to fix itself — we need strategies to address it…”

House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), are working with progressive advocacy groups to launch a major initiative aimed at improving women’s economic security. They will push to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and close some of the loopholes employers use to pay women less than men for the same work…

This article from American Progress specifically bemoans the gender wage gap’s harm to single women and to mothers:

Single women are even more adversely affected by the wage gap than married women. Single women earn only 78.8 percent of what married women earn, and only 57 cents for every dollar that married males earn.

Mothers earn about 7 percent less per child than childless women. For women under 35 years of age, the wage gap between mothers and women without children is greater than the gap between women and men.

However, just a few weeks later Slate published an article from feminist professors Naomi Cahn and June Carbone titled “Just Say No: For white working-class women, it makes more sense to stay single mothers”. In the article, Cahn and Carbone recount the story of a pregnant single woman named Lily:

Lily…was four months pregnant and not feeling well, and she was in tears. She was also not married, but that’s not what was upsetting her. The car that she needed to get to her two jobs in the city had broken down, and she had no other way to get to work. We asked whether her boyfriend, Carl, could help her. Lily frowned. She had recently broken up with Carl, she explained, because “I can support myself. I always have. I can support myself and our kid. I just can’t support myself, the kid, and him.”

Poor Lily! Why can’t she depend on Carl? Cahn and Carbone explain:

Carl has quit more than one job because he got fed up with his boss. More recently, he was laid off because construction work dried up during a particularly cold spell during the winter. After the layoff, he hung around with his friends, drinking and playing video games. Lily finally had enough when she found out that Carl had run up several hundred dollars in expenses on her credit card.  Lily knows she will never be able to depend on him and, particularly now that she has a child, she doesn’t believe she can afford the risk.

That loser Carl! What a bum! No wonder Lily can’t depend on him to help support her (let’s not stop and wonder why Lily would date and sleep around with such a loser in the first place…). Cahn and Carbone argue the problem is that women like Lily just can’t find a good man:

Although it defies logic, socioeconomic, cultural, and economic changes have brought white working-class women like Lily to the point where going it alone can be the wiser choice…When Lily looks around at the available men, they don’t offer what she is looking for…Nor does she believe that she will meet someone who will meet her standards anytime soon, and the statistics back her up…The  women ready for marriage in this group have grown larger than the group of marriageable men who would be good partners.

It certainly defies logic, which isn’t exactly feminists’ strong suit. Cahn and Carbone’s narrative also defies the narrative advanced by other feminists just last month. We were told that working women had a high poverty rate, that men have been more successful in getting jobs after the last recession, and the gender wage gap has remained stagnant. And we were told that single women and mothers — like single mother Lily — in particular suffered the most as a result of the wage gap. So how can Cahn and Carbone argue with a straight face that working class women (white ones, at least) should choose single motherhood?

Cahn and Carbone’s argument hinges on the statistics they cited, which state that there is a relative dearth of employed, single men for women who are not college graduates and/or who are black. Their argument is that if there is a relative dearth of men available for women like Lily then such women should just go it alone. A lot can be said about the statistics cited (the data is limited to metro areas and a short time frame, the author himself admits that his assumptions cause the statistics to “understate the number of men available to White women”, etc.), but even if we charitably take the statistics at face value it by no means follows from a relative scarcity of marriageable men that a woman should just forgo marriage and try to raise a child all by herself. If the only men available to women like Lily are losers like Carl, the solution isn’t to shack up with them and get pregnant by them before “going it alone” — it’s to avoid them altogether.

Cahn and Carbone would have (white) women deliberately choose single motherhood simply on anecdotal evidence from one woman and some vaguely relevant statistics, but there are other statistics which argue against them: namely, the gender wage gap itself. The gender wage gap of 23% means that a woman with median earnings earns 23% less than a man with median earnings. This means that over half of full time male workers earn as much or more than a women with median earnings (all the men who earn above the male median and some below it). Moreover, we are told Lily is “working-class” so she probably earns less than the female median — which means that an even higher percentage of full time male workers (well over 50%) earn more than Lily. For example, if Lily is at the 25th percentile of female earnings and the 25th percentile of male earnings is higher than hers (which it very likely is) then more than 75% of all full time male workers earn more than Lily. The gender wage gap by itself does not quantify the number of men vs. women who work full time nor the number of those men vs. women who are single, but with all the men who earn more than Lily it is statistically unlikely that Lily could only find a man who earns less than her — much less one who is unemployed entirely like Carl.

In short, the statistics — including the gender wage gap feminists love to complain about — just don’t support Cahn and Carbone’s idea that white, working-class women are forced to choose single motherhood. As they put it themselves, it defies logic. Or, to paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy: if you think that women suffer from a gender wage gap yet should nonetheless choose single motherhood, you might be a feminist.

P.S. Happy National Offend a Feminist Week!

CBO estimates 500,000 jobs lost due to minimum wage hike

A couple of days ago the Congressional Budge Office (CBO) released a report on the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour. The good news is that

most [low-wage workers] would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold.

Of course, no one was really disputing that — it is, after all, the entire purpose of the proposal. But there’s a catch. As economist Thomas Sowell likes to say (and any engineer would agree with him): “there are no solutions, only trade-offs”. In this case the trade-off is that jobs would be lost:

some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly.

Specifically, CBO estimates that the minimum wage hike would

reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent.

This may come as a surprise to you if you only listen to leftist politicians and/or MSNBC, who would have you believe that increasing the minimum wage would also reduce unemployment and actually create jobs. Apparently, you can have your cake and eat it, too! But the CBO report is not surprising in the least to economists and those of us who have studied some economics — the vast majority of economists agree (H/T Wintery Knight) that a minimum wage increases unemployment (emphasis added):

I include a table of propositions to which most economists subscribe, based on various polls of the profession. Here is the list, together with the percentage of economists who agree:

  1. A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available. (93%)
  2. Tariffs and import quotas usually reduce general economic welfare. (93%)
  3. Flexible and floating exchange rates offer an effective international monetary arrangement. (90%)
  4. Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy. (90%)
  5. The United States should not restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries. (90%)
  6. The United States should eliminate agricultural subsidies. (85%)
  7. Local and state governments should eliminate subsidies to professional sports franchises. (85%)
  8. If the federal budget is to be balanced, it should be done over the business cycle rather than yearly. (85%)
  9. The gap between Social Security funds and expenditures will become unsustainably large within the next fifty years if current policies remain unchanged. (85%)
  10. Cash payments increase the welfare of recipients to a greater degree than do transfers-in-kind of equal cash value. (84%)
  11. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%)
  12. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)
  13. The government should restructure the welfare system along the lines of a “negative income tax.” (79%)
  14. Effluent taxes and marketable pollution permits represent a better approach to pollution control than imposition of pollution ceilings. (78%)

Go Red for Sexism

Last year I wrote about the pointlessness of “awareness” campaigns like National Go Red Day, which was last Friday and was part of the Go Red for Women campaign. I also noted that the campaign is sexist since it is a heart disease awareness campaign specifically for women despite the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women. Granted, the Go Red for Women Sexism campaign claims that research from 2003 revealed “actually killed more women than men”; on the other hand, the CDC cites a more recent study from 2009 which found that more than half of deaths due to heart disease were in men. Either way, sexism is the only reason not to include men if you’re going to go through all the trouble of launching a nationwide awareness campaign complete with a fundraiser and a shop full of merchandise.

It turns out I’m not the only one who recognizes the sexism in the Go Red for Women campaign. A female cardiologist posted a comment on reddit arguing that the Go Red for Women campaign is sexist and harmful to boys and men. She writes that Go Red for Women leaflets distributed at her son’s high school mentioned heart disease prevention only for women and were only given to girls. The result was that

It left a very bad impression on the students-a few boys were left with the impression that men didn’t get heart attacks or heart disease, and only had to worry about cancer.

She also gives some statistics on heart disease for men vs. women:

The average age for a first heart attack in men is about 64. For women, the average age for first heart attack is about 73. About 40% of men will suffer a heart attack in their lifetime. For women, this number is 15%. The average age of death from all heart disease is 70 for men. For women, it’s 84. 21% of men over the age 65 have Coronary heart disease. This number is 10% for women.

She unpacks the claim that heart disease kills more women than men despite these statistics:

The simple fact is that so many more men than women die before the age of 70, that there simply aren’t enough men left to die in heart disease at equal numbers with women. More women die of heart disease in old age simply because there are more women who reach old age in the first place. Men still have higher rates of heart disease at all ages, and are more likely to die of heart disease at all ages.

The Go Red for Women campaign is highly sexist and based on misleading statistics and/or outright lies — which sounds (and reeks) like feminism.

The Dark Side for the win

One of my odd personality quirks is that I have a tendency to root for the “bad guys” in fictional movies, video games, and books. For example, I root for the machines in The Matrix and the Helghast in the Killzone series (which is where my avatar comes from). This is partly because the “good guys” win in so many stories that the “bad guys” are really the underdogs, and so I love a story in which the “bad guys” surprisingly win. It’s also partly because the “bad guys” usually have much more complex and interesting schemes than the “good guys”. I like to look for the flaws of the “good guys” and the redeeming qualities of the “bad guys”, which are often overlooked by the storyteller and audience. And, let’s face it, the “bad guys” often look and act awesomely badass.

Star Wars is no exception. I root for the Sith over the Jedi for many of the reasons given above. Although the Jedi/Rebel Alliance is the putative underdog no one in the audience is really all that surprised that the Rebels manage to “miraculously” defeat the Sith and their mighty Empire. The most evil character in Star Wars, Emperor Palpatine, is the one who devised the amazingly complex and brilliant plan to topple the Republic and purge the Jedi. The Jedi (who are supposed to be the most virtuous of the “good guys”) are actually quite stupid and hypocritical, whereas Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side partly out of a noble desire to have the power to save his mother and wife from death. And there is no question that Darth Vader — with his jet black armor, hidden face, deep voice, and propensity to choke people to death with only his mind — is one of the most badass villains of all time.

Search your feelings: you know it to be true!

Given my support for the Sith it’s no surprise that I don’t rejoice at the defeat of the Sith and Empire at the end of Episode VI, which is a rather unbelievable event. Think about it: the Empire was defeated at the Battle of Endor despite the fact that the battle was fought between Ewoks vs. stormtroopers and the (fully armed and operational) Death Star II plus the Imperial Fleet vs. a ragtag “fleet” of Rebel Mon Calamari cruisers and starfighters. There was no contest. As unbelievable as the Empire’s defeat was given these facts alone, I found an article with five scientific reasons why the dark side should have won:

  1. The color black is scientifically proven to intimidate people
  2. Thinking evil thoughts and clenching your fist makes you stronger
  3. Arrogance inspires confidence
  4. Doom and Gloom makes you smarter
  5. Speaking with a deep voice [establishes dominance over others]

Since there is a scientific basis for all these arguments in favor of the dark side, we would be well advised to put the dark side into practice in real life. As for myself, you can probably guess from my color choices around here that black is my favorite color. I have actually noticed that I get an adrenaline rush and have better workouts when listening to hard rock music (e.g. Godsmack’s “I Fucking Hate You”) and literally clenching my fist, so I’ll have to keep that up. I’ve also found that when I’m ambitious (arrogant?) when setting goals I perform better than if I had settled for a less ambitious goal — my confidence that I could achieve such a lofty goal apparently helps me reach it (of course, one has to be careful not to become unduly overconfident). I’ve got doom and gloom covered since I’m a pessimist (my logic is that if I assume the worst then I’m either prepared for the worst or I am pleasantly surprised). I don’t have James Earl Jones’ voice but as a man I do have a relatively deep voice — I’ll just have to make sure I always keep it low.

So just remember: use the dark side for the win! Science says so.

A Feminist Programming Language: C+=

A couple of days ago an enterprising programmer posted the detailed description of a satirical “feminist programming language” dubbed C+= (a play on the programming languages C and C++). The language is obviously fake but the description is a hilarious parody of many feminist theories and concepts. You’ll need some programming knowledge (especially C/C++) to get all the jokes but I’ve quoted the best ones below.

Mocking the idea of class struggle using C++ classes and object-oriented programming:

No class hierarchy or other stigmata of OOP (objectification-oriented programming). In fact, as an intersectional acknowledgement of Class Struggle our language will have no classes at all.

Check your privilege:

All functions and procedures are now called lobbying, because actually doing things functionally and with clear-defined procedures is a Patriarchal construct and thus problematic.

  • All lobbying must be run at the right level of privilege. Before returning anything they must check their privilege.
  • If any other lobbying is more disadvantaged than this it will win the Privilege Check and return its own value instead. This stops heterosexist and cis-gendered lobbyings from dominating the discourse.

More concern over privilege:

Constants are not allowed, as the idea of a lack of identity fluidity is problematic. Additionally, if one constant were larger than another, that would privilege the larger one over the smaller one. As such, any numeric value is a variable, and is required to take on at least 2 values over the course of the program, or the interpreter will throw a Trigger Warning.

The Patriarchy is whatever feminists need to blame, and is therefore imaginary:

The only constants are the amount of privilege lobbyings are share()d with. These are all real values greater than 0, the only exception is the value of WHITE_HETEROSEXUAL_CISGENDER_MALE_PRIVILEGE which is set to infinity, and also the value of PATRIARCHY, which is set to sqrt(-1). The value of PATRIARCHY is non-deterministically i, -i, or something else depending on how it identifies itself.

Mocking the feminist invention of rape culture using booleans:

Booleans are banned for imposing a binary view of true and false. C+= operates paralogically and transcends the trappings of Patriarchal binary logic. No means no, and yes could mean no as well. Stop raping women. Instead of Booleans we now have Boolean+, or bool+ for short, which has three states: true, false, and maybe. The number of states may go up as intersectionality of the moment calls for such a need.

Mocking gender identity:

In general, all data types are dynamic. Who’s to say a number can’t be a string if it believes it is? Data structures and variables of all kinds have a random chance of deciding that they don’t “feel right”, and are actually a different type, and must henceforth be referred to ONLY as its preferred data type. Not calling the preferred data type leads to a PrivilegeNotCheckedException, or PrivilegeNotCheckedTriggerWarning

Privilege and affirmative action:

Resource allocation is inversely proportional to privilege level.

Feminists will say any two things are equal, even when they are obviously not:

Equality between two variables is denoted by ==. Since everyone is equal (with the exception of cishet men, who are already excluded as per the license), this always evaluates to true.

This extreme devotion to call everything equal and eliminate “privilege” can and often does cause feminists to make math errors:

When evaluating expressions, * and / are no longer privileged over + and -. Rather, each previous use of each operator is counted, and expressions are evaluated based on which ones have been used the least up until that point.

You are a hateful misogynist for daring to criticize feminism:

There can be no bugs in this language. To suggest otherwise is offensive. There are no bugs, only snowflakes. There is to be no debugging. We need to do away with functional-centric, bugphobic attitudes in programming. You need to accept the program the way it is.

In addition to the detailed description, the author also provided some hilarious source code examples. My favorite is the sorting “algorithm” femsort.Xe.

/*
 * The concept of 'sorting' things has long been a cornerstone of
 * patriarchal discrimination against women and PoC. To 'sort' objects
 * according to some percieved 'value' is morally wrong and oppressive.
 * Therefore a truly feminist algorithm cannot be based upon comparing
 * values of 'objects'. Feminist sorting algorithms have to take various
 * things into consideration: gender, race, the program's feelings and
 * the current make-up of the objects to be sorted. To implement this,
 * we use a progressive stack with added affirmative action.
 */

#consider
#consider
#consider
#consider <progressive_stack.Xir>
#consider <Affirmative_Action.Xir>

xe womain(xe *Unique_person[])
{
	CheckPrivilege(); //Always check your privilege
	CheckPrivilege(); //Better check it twice
	xe sorted_unique_people=progressive_stack(xe *Unique_person[]); //construct the
									//progressive stack
	among (person p : Unique_person) {
		maybe(p.gender==male && p.orentation==het_cis_scum) {
			yell('RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE!!!!!');
			crush(p); //Use the function crush in Dworkin.Xir to discard the oppressor
		ENDMISOGYNY
		perhaps_and_equally_valid {
		ynt q = accepts(guilt_feel(p.oppression)); //measure the oppression level according to
	 						  //the function guilt_feel in feelings.Xir
		sorted_unique_people[q]=accepts(p); //assign every wonderful person a place in the new stack
		ENDMISOGYNY
		maybe(feels==right) {
		affirmative_action(&sorted_unique_people) //If the progrym feels like it, it will
							  //use affirmative action to make the sorting more fair.
							  //The actual affirmative action algorithm is poorly understood,
							  //but DON'T MESS WITH IT! IT IS FAIR!
		ENDMISOGYNY
	ENDMISOGYNY
	return sorted_unique_people;
ENDMISOGYNY