Obama’s Faulty Pay Gap Statistics, Philosophy Of Abortion; Plus, The End Of The World

Deadline: 21 May 2011

Family Radio Worldwide has hit the road (in a bunch of mobile homes) to preach that the end shall come just over two months from now. end of the world On that date, “a massive earthquake will shake the world apart.”

According to the Daily Mail, “Those who believe in Jesus will be carried into heaven, while the rest of humanity will endure 153 days of ‘death and horror’ before the world ends on October 21.” This is the Rapture followed by the Tribulation spoken of by millennialists.

Harold Camping, the group’s leader, issued the definite forecast and for that I admire him. I do not believe him, but I approve of his concreteness. Most who preach doom and gloom haven’t the guts to put definite numbers, shape, or dates on their prognostications. Most are content to sit and wait for events “similar” to what they have vaguely predicted, and then take loose credit for having actually predicted those events.

Camping and his flock will have the chance to learn from their mistake. Not that Camping will take his failure to heart, but his followers might.

Of course, these sort of things often turn out badly. The evidence of a failed core belief is often too much for the devout to bear. Many in the group will not be able to face their ex-family and friends who they have abandoned to take up this cause. These poor people will not need our ridicule, but our prayers.

Obama: Women Earn Less

Mr Obama, in his radio address of today (which your intrepid reporter caught a portion of) said, “Today, women still earn on average only about 75 cents for every dollar a man earns. That’s a huge discrepancy.” He called this “troubling.” He also told us that March is women’s month. Oops: it’s National Women’s Month. (Men don’t get a month.)

Mr Obama’s statistics are faulty. I have done the numbers myself and can report that, within a job and age-matched with men, women not only earn as much as men, but sometimes more (on average). Particularly, women entering the workforce now earn more than men on average in most career fields. Yes, even engineering. At the very top, where gray hair abounds, men still, on average, have an edge. But these wrinklies are old and getting older and will be replaced by higher-earning women.

Another reason for the supposed “discrepancy” is that women do not enter the job force in the same proportion as men, but they are increasing that proportion. Thus, some fields are seeing dramatic increases in women; and, since these women are new employees, they tend to earn less than the older employees, who are more likely to be male.

Thus, Mr Obama, while quoting a (more or less) accurate statistic gave it the wrong interpretation; and not just the wrong interpretation, but one that is exactly the opposite of the truth. But one well in line with his call for more taxing, spending, and regulation to “correct the balance.”

Abortion Philosophy

Many philosophers have tried, in vain, to show that the only question about whether abortion should be legal depends on whether the fetus is human or not. To kill a human for convenience or personal gain is murder. Thus, if the fetus is human, then to abort it is to commit murder. Abortion is in no way an “issue” of women’s “rights.” Women do not have the “right” to murder simply because they are women.

You can argue that the fetus becomes human at a certain point in time. For example, it is not human at conception but becomes so at the beginning of the second trimester. (Never mind measurement; we are speaking purely philosophically.) Mark Mercer, chairperson of the philosophy department at Halifax’s St. Mary’s University, says the fetus does not become human until after it has been out of the woman’s womb for 18 months. Mercer says human-like creatures 18 months old or less are not human, but they become so after 18 months of life.

Mercer’s argument, while asinine, is, so far, philosophically sound. The only question is where to draw the line. He draws it rather late because being human is a “legal term which has had a changing definition throughout history.” Here is his mistake, a common one made by equality-mongers and multiculturalists. Just because a society commends or does not penalize some action, does not imply that that action is moral. The reason this is so should be obvious (hint: what is a society?).

Abortion “rights” supporters hate debate and tried “to disrupt a debate on abortion at Dalhousie University Tuesday night by ripping down ads, setting off stink-bombs, and covering the ceiling with helium balloons featuring pro-abortion slogans. In the end, they even turned on” Mercer. Why? Because he refused to acknowledge that abortion was an “issue” of women’s “rights.”

This proves that ignorance isn’t, or doesn’t produce, bliss, but perpetual outrage.


See also this video where MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur argues (soundly) that the fetus’s first heartbeat cannot draw the line because the fetus “is not really a person.” But he also says, “Now, we reached out to the fetus to see if he or she wanted to come on the show, but it did not say anything, because it does not have a mouth. But if it could talk, I’m pretty sure it would say, could you please get out of my mother’s uterus.” How could a non-human say “Please abort me” or “Please let my mother decide whether to abort me”? Uygur’s fallacy is that he wants it both ways.


  1. DAV

    “just because a society commends or does not penalize some action, does not imply that that action is moral. The reason this is so should be obvious (hint: what is a society?).”

    Are you saying that morals aren’t relative? If so, I disagree. Is it moral to kill? How about in self defense? If you agree that circumstance sets the stage for determining morality then morality is not absolute.

    You might say that necessity allows for violating morality but then wouldn’t such an action still be immoral? If the answer is yes and if killing another is immoral then anyone who has killed in self defense is immoral. Yes?

    I maintain that it is society which dictates morality. I agree that if society does not penalize something that doesn’t make necessarily it moral however if society commends an action then that action is moral by definition within that society.

    Some people think that eating meat is immoral. Some of the moral argument in favor of veganism also applies against veganism (whatever happened to vegetarians?) as well — an interesting dilemma. I think you would be hard put to name a moral action that is absolute regardless of circumstance.

  2. Briggs


    I am indeed saying morals are not relative; they are absolute. There are also actions which are judged moral or not which are really not; and there are others (such as proscriptions on eating) that are, but only because they are conditional on another belief.

    Again, I ask: define society.

  3. DAV

    Just to make it clear. I don’t favor abortion for convenience. I have a problem with drawing thresholds between OK and NOT OK — particularly if the line is for convenience. It’s really not much different than the problem of determining BALD and NOT BALD but with abortion an arbitrary line can have some pretty dire consequences for one of the entities. Imagine what it would be like to know that the number of hairs on your head directly affects your probability of survival.

  4. DAV


    Name one thing that is absolutely moral.

    My definition of society is a bunch of people supposedly living together. If there is anything comes close to absolute morality — or rather , absolute immorality — it’s action which would directly harm that society.

  5. DAV

    On a somewhat different note, Deadline: 21 May 2011. I just took a poll around the room that I’m in and the consensus is that the end of the world will come 21 DEC 2012. These people are obviously unread, though not necessarily illiterate, and obviously are using heretical biblical text to support their misbelief. However, that doesn’t mean Judgment Day won’t come 21 MAY. Heaven’s been around a lot longer than the Federal Government so it stands to reason its bureaucracy would be that much more entrenched and would need extra time time meet the 21 DEC 2012 end date. “153 days of ‘death and horror’” is unreasonably optimistic.

  6. Noblesse Oblige

    re Obama. A good rule to follow (p>0.95, as a frequentist) is that the truth behind any administration pronouncement, slogan, or Congressional bill name is the opposite of what is said. E.g.,

    Affordable Health Care Act will hasten bankruptcy
    Fairness Doctrine means muzzling opposition views
    Women earn less than men, etc. etc.

    Orwell had it right in his characterization of the dishonesty of the totalitarians:
    Ignorance is Strength
    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery.

  7. Person of Choler

    That Mark Mercer is a piker compared to some people I’ve met. They claim the right to abort their kids until they’ve gotten jobs and permanently moved away from home.

  8. Ari

    “The evidence of a failed core belief is often too much for the devout to bear. Many in the group will not be able to face their ex-family and friends who they have abandoned to take up this cause. These poor people will not need our ridicule, but our prayers.”

    Oh, I dunno, the Watchtower has been pushing the date forward for a while, and they seem to be doing okay.

    As far as the pay discrepancy goes, I had an argument with someone about this on The Consumerist. I said that another big problem, looking at the stats, is that they often data grouped in a way that will favor one gender or the other. Because of my wife, I often look at medical profession data. The data has “physicians and surgeons” as a cohort.

    Anyone who has ANY experience with the medical field knows that: 1) surgeons make more than physicians (on average); and 2) most surgeons are still men.

    So it’s not surprising that the data will show a pay gap between men and women there. I almost wonder if they grouped them that way on purpose (I think rather than nefarious behavior, they were probably just lazy or unaware.)

    One other thing that was mentioned in my discussion, by a woman no less, is that women tend to be consensus-builders by nature, so they’re less likely to push for raises. I’m not sure I necessarily agree, but there is a lot of explanations that go far beyond the whole “men are bad” framework.

  9. JH

    If morality is absolute, then is mine the gold standard?

    Abortion is in no way an “issue” of women’s “rights.” Women do not have the “right” to murder simply because they are women.

    That’s it. Just because you think so, it doesn’t mean it’s so. I think the 1973 US Supreme Court disagreed with you. Legality can’t settle questions of morality, but legality and morality sure are intimately intertwined.

    Simpson Paradox or not, the end of men is approaching! And my spring break is ending.

  10. Ray

    If women earned 75% of what men earn, then any businessman whose IQ was higher than his body temperature would fire all the men and hire women. That would dramatically lower his personnel costs.

  11. George Steiner

    I have proclaimed to my friends and acquaintances at the turn of this century, that this will be a woman’s century. What is my evidence? Years of anthropological observation around me, concerning young man and young woman.

    Young man are generally dull and sullen. Young woman are generally bright and vivacious. Women will succeed men will decline.

  12. DEEBEE

    Dont mind declining after being with a bright and vivacious woman 🙂

  13. Ari


    The big problem there is that women tend to be more likely to leave work to spend time taking care of children. Besides, women and men tend to have different strengths, and at least in my office, we’re better off having both because they tend to see different problems and solutions.

  14. a jones

    Umm yes. English juries have always been reluctant to bring in a verdict which might result in a death sentence if the evidence was not clear: or the crime trivial. And showed it under the period of the bloody code.

    Much to the fury of government and judges and the like. Which is why they keep trying to remove the jury and replace it with some twerp of an amenable bureaucrat even to this day.

    Where cases of murder by a mother of an infant did reach the courts, most did not, juries could perform remarkable legal somersaults to avoid conviction. And often did.

    This was actually formalised in England in the Infanticide Act of 1938 which states that if the infant was below 12 months of age and the mother was charged with murder, it only applies to the mother, she could plead manslaughter, a lesser crime, which the jury could accept if it pleased.

    Kindest Regards

  15. max

    October 21st isn’t good for me, I have longstanding plans for that weekend. Can we push it to the 24th, I figure that I’ll have a massive hangover and won’t mind if the world ends on Monday?

    As for the 75/100ths to women, good lord who is pushing that number to the president? Doesn’t he have fact checkers or something? The lowest I’ve seen the numbers tortured is to produce 81/100ths and has to use 7 year old data to boot. Using up-to-date numbers I doubt anyone can manipulate the data to go much lower than 85/100ths, and that’s not am accurate picture of reality but just a limit on how far out of focus as one can get.

  16. JT

    Many years ago now, late 70’s early 80’s I believe, the Fraser Institute published an analysis based on Stats Canada data that showed that if you compared the incomes of men who had never married with women who had never married the women were earning about 96% (IIRC) of what the men were. You might be able to find that research. In the years since I expect the gap has closed.

  17. John B

    Murder is the UNLAWFUL killing of another Human Being with malice aforethought.

    It’s legal roots are in Common Law and in Common Law a foetus is not a Human Being.

    I have however put the word ‘unlawful’ in upper case to make the point that merely killing a Human Being, whether or not one accepts a foetus is such, is not de facto Murder.

    Whether killing with intent in a particular situation is lawful or unlawful is a matter for Parliament/Congress to decide.

    That there is confusion about what constitutes Murder is illustrated by Mr Bragg when he offers his own interpretation to serve his reasoning thus, “To kill a human for convenience or personal gain is murder.”

    Well killing to defend life, one’s own or another’s, or to protect personal or community property, war, certainly fall under ‘convenience or personal gain’ yet the Law accepts these circumstances, even though the intent is to kill. Indeed police, other security forces and armed forces are empowered and trained to kill, not wound.

    As for abortion it is pointless trying to debate the practical issues with anyone morally opposed, just like it is futile to debate the existence of God or gods with those besotted by the notion of supernatural, omnipotent, sentient entities.

  18. Adam H

    “As for the 75/100ths to women, good lord who is pushing that number to the president? Doesn’t he have fact checkers or something? The lowest I’ve seen the numbers tortured is to produce 81/100ths and has to use 7 year old data to boot.”

    Mr. President is just rounding down to the nearest quarter 🙂 Getting 81 cents is just insulting, the quarters are the only thing worth keeping.

    Failing to predict the end of the world has not damaged the spirits of at least one major religion: Jehovah’s witnesses. They changed the date of the end of the world several times, after the predicted date passed by without fanfare, before deciding they were right the first time (that the end of the world already came in the 1910s).

    I love that Mercer’s debate opponent invoked Godwin’s law. Love it. And it worked, too. Mercer came off like an evil little aryan.

  19. Bob Ludwick

    Hello William,

    “Particularly, women entering the workforce now earn more than men on average in most career fields. Yes, even engineering.”

    Actually, in particular engineering. And other science/math intensive fields.

    As La Griffe has pointed out, all available data indicates that on a ‘level playing field’, women and minorities would be relative rarities, at least at the pointy end of the qualification pyramid. This is of course unsatisfactory to the diversity industry, which decrees, with absolutely no evidence other than head counts, that the presence of women and minorities in these fields at proportions below their proportions in the population at large is strictly the result of deliberate gender and racial discrimination. And they are not going to stand for any such thing. No way. They will see ‘social justice’ done! Or else.

    With the specter of the diversity police, backed by phalanxes of lawyers hired by cubic yards of public funds, coming down on them without hope of mercy (or reason) (the ‘or else’ branch of the hiring decision tree), companies understandably engage in somewhat of a ‘bidding war’ for the scarce resources. When the supply of a ‘desirable’ resource is limited, its price rises. And the evidence at hand indicates that unless God decides that a ‘do over’ is warranted or our society reverses course and decides that a meritocracy isn’t such a bad thing after all, the ‘Yes, even engineering.’ women’s salary advantage will continue.

    Bob Ludwick

  20. Who is man that he can determine life that has been created by God? Man has never made any form of life. Grass trees, flowers etc. Man has the ability to destroy life in its many forms, but has not even the faintest idea of how to make life. Only God can make life. When a seed falls to the ground from its natural protective cover it starts its life as soon as the circumstances are favourable. So with mans seed that is placed into the womb and awaits the favourable conditions and then immediately starts life. These wise men who think they can determine when life begins so as to decide whether it is right to destroy that life or not should read the word of G-D. not the books of men. shalom.

  21. Think on these true stories that dont mAke the world news.
    Feotus found alive in dust bin at medical practitioners premisses.
    Live feotus found in bushes near witch doctors hut,
    In one street alone in a distance of 400m. there were found 35 pamphlets, posters and bin adverts of people willing to perform abortions. Most stating. No QUESTIONS ASKED. In other words: No counciling. No after care. You bring, we kill (LAWFULLY). G-D have mercy. Vengence is mine sayeth the LORD.

  22. Doug M


    “The fetus does not become human until after it has been out of the woman’s womb for 18 months.” But just try to get a 5th trimester abortion.

    The end of the world is comming soon:

    Many a cult (including the Majors) has mad a precise forecast for the end of the world, or time and place for the second comming. When the world is spared, this is proof of God’s grace. The cult ususally becomes stronger.

    Women and pay:

    The feminist trope says that women are excluded from the high paying job. Equal pay for the same job and expirence are irrelevant. Unequal representation is proof of discrimination.

    Harvard Business School noticed that they take in the brightest, high-achieving men and women. Within 5 years of gradution, the men are achieving and the women are out of the work force.

  23. “Are you saying that morals aren’t relative?”

    Are you saying that morals are relative in all times, places, conditions and circumstances? Because something that is true under all circumstances is an absolute.

    Is it morally wrong, by being a lie or a deception, to say that morals are absolute? If not, then you have no ground to object to the statement. The idea that men OUGHT to think and speak the truth is an idea of morality. Now, if morals are relative, is it not true that at all times, places, and conditions men ought to say that morals are relative.

    Hence we can see that, you yourself assume morals are absolute when you make the statement that morals are relative. Any proposition that must be assumed even by those who wish to deny it is a self evident proposition.

  24. sylvain

    In Canada the question is settled. The fetus has no right. The fetus is not a person. To be a person a fetus must first be born and alive. Since the fetus is inside the mother, the father to be has no right to prevent the abortion. Since the fetus is not a person, it is the woman’s right to do what she want with her body, so in this sense it is a women’s rights issue.

    One of the first thing I’v when I was studying law is that moral has nothing to do with justice.

    Other countries might come to a different definition of what a person is. At 21 weeks a baby can be rescued although with severe medical problems. At 30 weeks a baby will have minor problems.

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