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Articles about the work of Annie Lowrey

Always the Inequality
smartertimes.com

A Times news article headlined "The Rich Get Richer Through the Recovery" reports on an updated study by "the prominent economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty," showing that "The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country's total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago."

The article does a lousy job of explaining what counts as "income" for the purpose of the study. Does the value of employer-provided health benefits count? The value of subsidized housing? Food stamps? Social Security payments? Is it post-tax income or pre-tax income? Sure, a reader can click through to the actual study and try to figure it out for himself, but these are all relevant points, and the Times article just doesn't deal with them.

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Lowrey's Campaign
smartertimes.com

At the New York Sun we had a rule banning the word "still" from headlines or the first paragraphs of news articles. I mean, an article about a police raid on a liquor still probably could have gotten past, but the point of the rule was that the newspaper was supposed to be about new things, not things that were still continuing.

That rule could have been usefully applied by the editors of the New York Times in killing an article that instead, alas, appears in today's paper under the headline "In Obama's High-Level Appointments, the Scales Still Tip Toward Men."

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Racial Wealth Gap
smartertimes.com

The front of the business section of today's New York Times carries an article headlined "Wealth Gap Among Races Widened Since Recession." It reports on an Urban Institute study about racial disparities in wealth accumulation. The headline news is that "the average white family had about $632,000 in wealth, versus $98,000 for black families and $110,000 for Hispanic families."

Here are two ways that both the Urban Institute study and the Times article are flawed:

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A Particularly Bad Paper
smartertimes.com

It's a disappointing issue of the New York Times today for those who appreciate the occasions when the paper strays outside its usual ideological rut.

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Annie Lowrey

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