News and Analysis

Biden Bank Regulator Nominee: ‘Say What You Will About Old USSR, There Was No Gender Pay Gap’
Feminism concept. Gender Pay Gap for Work of Equal Value - stock photo
Olivier Le Moal/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s pick to serve as Comptroller of the Currency, a position that regulates national banks and federal savings associations, appeared to long for the glory days of the USSR because it had no apparent gender wage gap.

A recently unearthed tweet from the nominee, Saule Omarova, in 2019 says: “Until I came to the US, I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world. Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.’”

As The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote, Omarova was criticized for her tweet and responded by saying: “I never claimed women and men were treated absolutely equally in every facet of Soviet life. But people’s salaries were set (by the state) in a gender-blind manner. And all women got very generous maternity benefits. Both things are still a pipe dream in our society!”

As the editorial board remarked, “Sure, there was a Gulag, and no private property, but maternity benefits!”

Omarova’s comments ignoring the numerous downsides to the USSR while promoting its gender parity are not uncommon for modern feminists. The World Economic Forum each year produces a report ranking the countries on the world based on various gender policies and routinely ranks Rwanda ahead of the U.S. because it has a smaller gender wage gap. Sure, many countries have no gender wage gap because people are so poor that both men and women are forced to work and have limited freedoms in the jobs available, but that is seen as better than the U.S. because the gap is smaller.

As I have reported time and time again, the gender wage gap can be attributed almost entirely to the different choices men and women make in their careers, and what can’t be explained that way cannot conclusively be linked to any kind of discrimination. Thus, it is not a “wage” gap, but an earnings gap, because it is measured by the median or average amount of money a woman earns at the end of the year versus the median or average amount a man earns.

In 2018, when the media tried once against to insist there is a discriminatory wage gap, The Atlantic admitted six paragraphs in that the earnings gap is entirely due to women making different choices in their lives than men, and not a “wage” gap from discrimination:

Comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, women earn close to what men earn: Women in similar workplaces with similar titles and similar credentials make pretty much what their male peers do, whether they are fast-food employees making close to the minimum wage or corporate executives making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

I’ve explained before how earnings gap works:

Think of it this way: A man and a woman with the same educational background work for the exact same company for the exact same number of years. They’re both paid $20 per hour. The man works 47 hours per week, while the woman works 37. Even though they’re paid the exact same wages, at the end of the week the man will end up earning more because he worked more hours.

Numerous studies bear this out: Men routinely work more hours than women, which contributes to the gap. Activists will argue that it is because women are assumed to be the ones to take off work to care for children or a sick family member, but that is a decision among families. Also, assuming this assumes the flip side: That men are valued for the amount of money they can bring in and not the time spent with family.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Biden Bank Regulator Nominee: ‘Say What You Will About Old USSR, There Was No Gender Pay Gap’