Which New York Times Are You Reading?

By September 18, 2006Economy

We’ve written recently about how the Washington Post doesn’t appear to read its own newspaper, full of internal contradictions as it is. Now, thanks to Jerry Bowyer, a financial consultant and author, we can add the New York Times to that list as well.

Writing in National Review, Jerry recently pointed out the (apparent, inadvertent, obvious?) hypocrisy at the Gray Lady.

An article by Times reporters Steven Greenhouse and David Leonhardt entitled, “Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity” takes America to task for spending less money than in years past on wages. Turns out that the average American business used to allot 50 percent of its output to wages and now only allots 45 percent.

Of course, The Times ignores the fact that it’s not that people are making less money, but rather that the economy is growing faster than their paychecks. And that the rising costs of benefits like health care mean more compensation comes in non-wage form.

But, here’s the interesting thing that Bowyer also uncovered: turns out the Times only puts 38 percent of its revenue toward wages! Moreover, that 45 percent national statistic we noted above EXCLUDES benefits (i.e., it’s just wages alone). But the 38 percent that the Times spends on wages INCLUDES benefits, which means that wages actually represent signficantly less than 38 percent. And, while the New York Times has seen revenue increases of 4.5 percent, the wages-and-salaries line item in its profit-and-loss statement shows an increase of only 2.9 percent over the past two years.

As Bowyer noted, “The New York Times is a capitalist enterprise, although you’d never know it by reading it.”