As many of you now know, the federal budget was released earlier this week with its usual brouhaha and fanfare.
The title of this years budget was Equality and Growth – which is funny because it was mostly all about equality and not so much about growth.
In what has become a sad trend for Justin Trudeau’s budgets, this years came with a heavy dose of virtue signalling and a light amount of fiscal numbers. It should concern Canadians that their government is pushing aside cold hard facts in favour of flashier, more politically beneficial rhetoric around gender equality and other progressive buzz words.
One of the central focuses of this year’s budget was taking meaningful and concrete steps towards solving the problem of the gender pay gap.
However, there’s one massive flaw in this approach that the Trudeau Liberals have yet to consider.
What if the gender pay gap can’t be solved?
What if it’s simply a result of free men and women making their own employment and lifestyle choices?
Have they considered that maybe women, on average, prefer to spend more time at home caring for their young children instead of shipping them off to daycare and returning to the workforce as soon as they can?
Do they know that on average men are much more competitive about finances and career-focused?
Do they realize that when it comes to well-paid STEM jobs, due to a host of psychological reasons, men are much more inclined to study and get a job in this field than women?
Have they looked into the science behind career choices?
Even a quick read through chapter 1 of Budget 2018 will tell you they have not.
You know, for a party that always railed against the Harper government for muzzling scientists, they’ve really gone out of their way to make sure the science behind men and women and their respective career choices are not included in their uber-progressive budget.
However, just because Trudeau ignored the science behind the gender pay gap, doesn’t mean we have to. Let’s take a look at the literature.
In a large study of 55 cultures, published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers Schmitt, Realo, Voracek, & Allik concluded that:
“With improved national wealth and equality of the sexes, it seems differences between men and women in personality traits do not diminish. On the contrary, the differences become conspicuously larger.”
In other words, when men and women are afforded the luxury to choose careers based upon their own interests and skill sets, as opposed to taking any job out of necessity, the gap between men and women in different industries increases.
This is particularly obvious in male-dominated industries like skilled trades or engineering and in female-dominated industries like nursing and childcare.
The major flaw in Justin Trudeau’s budget is therefore that he’s trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. He and his government, as demonstrated numerous times in this budget, are operating on the false assumption that there are no differences between men and women.
If you start with that incorrect assumption, it is easy to see why the Liberals get so amped up about reducing the wage gap and promoting so-called “equal pay.”
This, of course, is merely the beginning of the endless rabbit hole of identity politics which the Liberals, and the NDP for that matter, constantly find themselves in. This ridiculous routine can go on and on until you have boiled it down to individuals. Nobody is exactly the same, and everyone has their own reasons for the career and lifestyle decisions they make.
In his eagerness to create a more equitable and egalitarian society, Justin Trudeau has overlooked, or even worse, ignored the foundational science of gender differences that, at least or in large part, are the reason for the current gender pay gap we have here in Canada.
Now all of this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t dismiss the problem of the gender pay gap and equal representation altogether. As folks such as James Damore have pointed out in his somehow controversial memo, there are non-discriminatory ways to encourage more diversity and equality in the workplace.
Much of it comes down to positive rhetoric and letting women and other minority groups know that they have an opportunity to be leaders in the workplace. However, concrete efforts like creating a more flexible work environment, which allows for meaningful and subsequently well-paid part-time work, are certainly worthy of discussion and implementation.
At the end of the day, this fight to increase workplace diversity and eliminate the gender pay gap all boils down to between to two ever-present realities, biology and culture. Since biology is nearly impossible to alter, at least in the short term, this Liberal government, along with many Western progressive governments worldwide, have opted for the much more malleable option of culture.
Let us hope that in his ever-present feminist approach to all things governmental and cultural, Justin Trudeau does not forget about the pesky reality of biological differences between the sexes and eradicate the precious value of equality of opportunity for all for the ghastly spectre of equality of outcome.