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As the Elvis Costello song goes: "I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused".

I completely agree with you, both here and in your post on this topic earlier this year, that the data to be collected will be so general as to be meaningless.

In fact, at the lower wage bands I doubt you can get even one standard deviation of difference if you pay all unprotected class members at the very top of the band and all protected class members at the very bottom.

This is simply posturing and pandering around a non-issue. When sufficiently controlled for hours worked, occupation, and human capital variables, the wage gap becomes so small that what's left is likely the result of other unobserved (and possibly unobservable) variables.

To be sure, there is an earnings gap. But that gap results from the intersection of culture (at a societal level) and individual choice.

Thanks, Tony. Boring facts have never dissuaded politicians from flinging provocative sound bites to agitate the public and activate voters. The media propagandists thrive on exciting demagoguery and ignore quiet explanations that require comprehension beyond the 4th grade level. Dumbed-down catchphrases won't clarify complex issues.

Searching "77 cents" will yield Stephanie Thomas's excellent 7/27/2010 article about gender discrimination. The comments under it gave more details, too.

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