Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Media Watch: The Grey Lady Strikes Again

Greetings, ducks! Today, on Monday Media Watch, a special double-hit from our favorite source of all the news the establishment deems worthy to print, the New York Times!

First, let's talk the economy! I'll wait while you finish crying. There, there.

It's bad, right? I myself am an underemployed computer worker, which is why I have so much time to write internet screeds. But do you know who has it worse than me? Did you guess men? Because the Times sure did!

We’ve pointed out before that that recession has disproportionately hurt men, who are more likely to work in cyclically sensitive industries like manufacturing and construction. Women, on the other hand, are overrepresented in more downturn-resistant sectors like education and health care.

Casey B. Mulligan noted, for example, that for the first time in American history women are coming close to representing the majority of the national workforce. It would of course be a bittersweet milestone, given that it comes primarily as a result of men’s layoffs.
The data is actually very interesting--it is in fact true that men are getting laid off more than women. The article linked in the quote has some ideas on why:

Women tend to be employed in areas like education and health care, which are less sensitive to economic ups and downs, and in jobs that allow more time for child care and other domestic work.
But is that the only reason? Or is it also that, well, women make a lot less?

Male Female
_____________________________ _____________________________
Number Mean income Number Mean income
Age and year with ___________________ with ___________________
income Current 2007 income Current 2007
(thous.) dollars dollars (thous.) dollars dollars
2007 104,789 $47,137 $47,137 105,230 $29,249 $29,249
2006 103,909 46,677 48,001 104,582 28,416 29,222
2005 102,986 44,850 47,635 104,245 26,261 27,891

CY 2007 data

Even when you factor out women working part-time jobs, the median wage gap between full-time male and full-time female employees was still almost $10,000 a year. (see page 14 of the pdf.)

So maybe that's another reason that women aren't losing their jobs as fast--they're cheaper to keep on.

Of course, some things never change:

When women are unemployed and looking for a job, the time they spend daily taking care of children nearly doubles. Unemployed men’s child care duties, by contrast, are virtually identical to those of their working counterparts, and they instead spend more time sleeping, watching TV and looking for a job, along with other domestic activities.
Speaking of things that don't change: Ross Douthat is still kind of a tool! Today he bewails the fact that nobody likes Judd Apatow's new movie--not because it's not that good, but because it's too conservative:

Don’t laugh. No contemporary figure has done more than Apatow, the 41-year-old auteur of gross-out comedies, to rebrand social conservatism for a younger generation that associates it primarily with priggishness and puritanism. No recent movie has made the case for abortion look as self-evidently awful as “Knocked Up,” Apatow’s 2007 keep-the-baby farce. No movie has made saving — and saving, and saving — your virginity seem as enviable as “The 40-Year Old Virgin,” whose closing segue into connubial bliss played like an infomercial for True Love Waits.

Oh yeah, Knocked Up sure makes keeping your baby look glamorous and wonderful--plus you get to be the reason a 30-year old man finally decides to grow up! And The 40-Year Old Virgin tells us that woman can be the reason a...40-year old man finally grows up. Which is a great deal, if you're not the one who's the lady.

Somehow I don't think that ever crossed Ross's mind.

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