Salon adjusts for inflation for numbers they want bigger, chooses not to to create contrast

April 25, 2022

By Tim Worstall

Adjusting numbers for inflation makes sense. Adjusting the numbers you want to look small by inflation and not adjusting the numbers you want to look big by that same inflation is known as bias. Well, bias is what we call it when we’re being polite that is.

But here is Salon:

“The 15 companies listed in the report only scratch the surface. The median pay of S&P 500 CEOs rose by 19%to a record of $14.2 million in 2021 while the 4.7% increase in average hourly wages for workers was completely wiped out by rising costs, effectively resulting in a 2.4% decline in wages, according to Labor Department data.”

The report itself says this:

“In 2021, the median pay of S&P 500 CEOs soared by 19% to $14.2 million while average workers’ hourly wages fell 2.4% when adjusted for inflation.”

And the actual link in that report to Fortune says this:

“Adjusted for inflation, which is currently at its highest point in 40 years, the raise for CEOs in 2021 was only about 1.3% over the previous year.”

True, a rise of 1.3% after inflation is better than a 2.4% fall after inflation. But using the before inflation number for CEOs and the after inflation one for workers is clearly stacking the deck more than a little, isn’t it? Or, as we might say, bias.

Salon ranks in the low 60s among sites dealing with law and government. It gains some 9 million visits a month and is regarded as an actual information source by all too many progressives. So wonder their view of the world is a little off is this is the sort of manipulation of the numbers they’re subjected to.

Salon also tells us that “Verizon complained to investors about “labor rates” while looking to hike prices and “pass-through” costs while its CEO pay gap increased by 48%, to 166-to-1, and its median worker pay fell by more than 28% to $48,000.”

That’s an absurd number, that fall in median pay. No one with the slightest knowledge could possibly write that down without thinking hang on, what the heck happened here? Given that Mr. Google is our friend we can find out too:

“Verizon had the highest median employee salary in 2020, reporting a median employee salary of $170,288. The figure included a change in pension value during the year, which resulted in an increase of $47,830 for the median employee compensation.”

That’s talking about the 2020 pay year. So, they change the way that pensions are valued, it results in a $47,830 raise in the median wage. Next year, the pension change has worked its way through the system, the median pay falls $48,000. Telling us only about that fall in median pay is being more than just selective, isn’t it – that’s bias.


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