by Richard A. Epstein
Hoover Institution
April 14, 2014
Last week marked the observation of “Equal Pay Day.” That day is meant to draw attention to how a woman who works full time earns “77 cents for every dollar a man earns,” as President Obama has put it. Though a detailed analysis reveals that the claim of a systematic pay gap is spurious, the President wants to enact reforms to decrease the so-called inequality. The President’s political advisors are clearly gambling that his brand of economic populism may achieve two ends. First, it may divert attention from the still unpopular rollout of Obamacare. Second, it may rally women voters around the Democrats for the upcoming mid-term elections by characterizing Republicans as waging a “war against women.” But a dubious economic agenda drives our populist President, whose plans to further regulate the economy will harm the economic prospects of women and men alike.

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