Gawker makes a less-than-correlation

Usually when hacks passing themselves off as journalists attempt to tie two unrelated trends together they at least…attempt to tie them together. Gawker today stooped to a new low in advocacy scribbling with this story:

CEO Pay Rises in Tandem With Food Stamp EnrollmentIn 2012, the median overall pay of corporate CEOs rose 8%, to $9.7 million. The value of CEO salaries, stock options, bonuses, and perks all rose in 2012, in most cases by double digit percentages.The median wages of middle class workers rose by quite a bit less. Between 2008 and 2012, enrollment in the US government’s food stamp program rose by 70%. It is expected to rise again this year. “The biggest factor behind the upward march of food stamps is a sluggish job market and a rising poverty rate.”

The desired reaction is, of course, “THOSE EVIL CEOs! Making their evil moneys while people suffer!” And that is technically true – CEOs do make money at the same time that other people make less money. However, Gawker here doesn’t even bother relating the two with any statistically causation or even correlation. It’s less well founded than post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, it’s per hoc ergo propter hoc. Two things are happening at the same time, therefore they must be related!

The funniest thing about this gratuitous hackery is what they leave out. Guess what else has risen “in tandem” with CEO pay and food stamp enrollment? Employment. Over the last two years, employment has slowly increased (too slowly, in my opinion, but that’s another story). Why didn’t Gawker write the story titled, “CEO Pay Rises in Tandem With Employment”? The answer is obvious. Both stories are technically true while entirely misleading, but only one gives the opportunity to demonize wealth, success, and capitalism. Par for the course for the leftists at Gawker.

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