Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump’s pick to join the Federal Reserve Board, claimed on Tuesday that the most critical issue the economy has faced over the past few decades is a drop in male earnings.
“The biggest problem I see in the economy over the last 25 years is what has happened to male earnings, for black males and white males as well,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “They’ve been declining. That is, I think, a big problem.”
Moore added that he wants “everybody’s wages to rise,” pointing out that women’s earnings have risen.
However, he asserted without evidence that there is a “steady decline in male earnings.”
“I think we should pay attention to that because I think that has very negative consequences for the economy and for society,” he said.
Contrary to Moore’s concern, although women have seen their median pay increase more rapidly than men since over the past 25 years, both groups have seen an overall gradual rise, according to CNN reporting on data collected by the Labor Department.
In fact, when it comes to pay equality, much of the attention has been given to the persistent pay gap between the sexes. According to the American Association of University Women, in 2017, women made an average of 80 cents for each dollar earned by men. The disparity is even greater for minority women.
Moore’s CNBC interview focused partly on a 2014 National Review column in which he questioned the potential impacts of women earning higher wages than men, contending that “it could be disruptive to family stability.” It read, in part:
If men aren’t the breadwinners, will women regard them as economically expendable? We saw what happened to family structure in low-income and black households when a welfare check took the place of a father’s paycheck. Divorce rates go up when men lose their jobs.
The editorial was one of several Moore penned for the conservative magazine in the past, some of which have been scrutinized as sexist.
Earlier this month, a handful of Moore’s writings from the early 2000s were resurfaced by CNN’s KFile, revealing that he once bashed female sports referees as “an obscenity” and complained about women who seek pay equality, arguing that their performance is inferior to that of men.
On Sunday, Moore, a former Wall Street Journal editorial board member, told ABC’s “This Week” that he regrets some of his old remarks.
“They were humor columns, but some of them weren’t funny and so I am apologetic,” he said. “I’m embarrassed by some of those things.”