Bernie Sanders can't close the gender wage gap, because it's due to choice

At Saturday night's Democratic presidential debate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would fix the economy in part by closing the gender wage gap. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also brought up "equal pay for equal work," implying that is not currently the case and that there is some unspoken rule in business that women can be paid less.

The problem with this statement is that the gender wage gap is due to the choices women make and is therefore not fixable unless those choices are controlled — which is a ludicrous suggestion.

And it's not even properly called a "wage gap," it is more appropriately called an "earnings gap," because that is the claim that women earn 77 or 78 cents on the dollar compared to men.

Women as a whole earn less than men as a whole because women are more likely to stop working to take care of a baby, to work fewer hours and to go into lower-paying fields. The 77-cent claim doesn't actually compare apples to apples, it compares apples to oranges.

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