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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Who's On First? The NYT's Mangled Reporting on EU Farm Subsidies

Who's On First? The NYT's Mangled Reporting on EU Farm Subsidies

Monday, 06 September 2010 19:50

The NYT had an article on a coming dispute over EU farm subsidies in its next budget. It told readers:

"Agriculture subsidies account for more than 40 percent of the E.U. budget — worth more than €130 billion, or $167 billion, each year."

Readers probably assumed that this sentence was saying that the E.U.'s agricultural subsides are 130 billion euros each year. In fact, that number was referring to the total E.U. budget. Agricultural subsidies come to a bit over 50 billion euros each year. 

Comments (4)Add Comment
BtP - *You* are missing forest for trees
written by cas127, September 07, 2010 4:10
The important take away in the NYT is that a huge 40% of the EU budget goes to farm subsidies.

The absolute dollar/euro amounts matter less to a general audience because it would be harder for them to put the absolute figures in context.

You are picking nits for the sake of picking nits.
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written by Nejaky Europan, October 03, 2010 2:37
No, cas127, you are missing the point. 50 billion is really rather different than 130 billion. Whether or not that's an inordinately large part of the EU budget at 40% is another question entirely.
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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.