The original article on NewsBreak: Project Management Knowledge: The Daily Scrum
Thanks for writing Lou.
Depending on your point of view, I guess that statement could be construed as factual. However, if done correctly, a project manager brings clarity and processes to the project, enabling the team to go from thin air to a product.
For example, to bring your point to the forefront, a project manager (or ScrumMaster, 'case my article is specific to Scrum) may indeed conduct data collection. The first part of my day is spent gathering stats and updating tables. This is all to capture the work that's being done so I can show the team how their individual progress is building the whole product.
Concerning your comment about "it increases the number of non-producing employees," I fail to see how that's possible. If a project hierarchy is introducing non-work into the workflow, the ScrumMaster is the one who should be addressing that. The work being done is being done by everyone. If they're not working, there is no need for them (so, to your point, the project managers/ScrumMasters in your past are not doing their job).
While I hope that your future PMs can navigate their responsibilities better, there's also a team dynamic issue at play here. First, the team needs to be sure their leader (per se) is the right one. If not, a conversation needs to occur with someone up the chain to make a change or two.