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View Diary: How Nice: Someone at The Economist takes down a racist bonehead (19 comments)

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  •  I regard The Economist much as I do the (3+ / 0-)
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    MichiganChet, jfromga, lineatus

    Wall Street Journal. They both try to be factual about the financial news, they both favor the lunatics running the asylum in economics, and the editorial policies of both strongly favor the rich over everybody else, while often shedding crocodile tears over poverty and recommending Voodoo Economic solutions.

    I write this as one savaged nearly equally by both publications. Not personally, certainly not by name. Just as part of the One Laptop Per Child movement to end global poverty through education. Both publications have strongly denounced our work as worse than useless. Certainly our insistence on Free Software and Creative Commons content is a threat to the current Intellectual Property regime around the world, and our work more broadly threatens Voodoo Economics and other highly profitable absurdities.

    Gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:00:13 AM PST

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    •  I find merit in both preceding comments (2+ / 0-)
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      SilentBrook, lineatus

      But I will repeat that there is still way too much of an emphasis on fake 'debt crises' and although they do write, somewhere in the middle of the magazine generally, about topics like income inequality and global warming, the overall message does indeed favor the wealthy. Now I would not quite put them in the same category as the WSJ as the volume of arrant nonsense produced by that 1% suck-up newspaper is beyond comprehension, but I understand your point about real poverty potentially threatening the economic order even if I do not completely agree. Hey, give me a link to your laptop per child movement, let's see if I can help some

      An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

      by MichiganChet on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:21:44 AM PST

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      •  er...there actually IS a bit of a debt issue here. (1+ / 0-)
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        I'm having trouble understanding this--is the 'progressive' line to pretend that we can run up debt forever?  I've never been able to get a straight answer on this.  I just think that the deficits can be reduced via revenue hikes, things like single--payer, waste trimming, and substantial defense cuts.

        •  Depends on whom you ask. Some say that eventually (1+ / 0-)
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          we'll balance the budget by tax hikes and defense cuts.

          Long-term deficits are really mostly Medicare. And it's because healthcare in US is so damn expensive. If we somehow fix that, the rest is not so bad.

          •  Also correct (0+ / 0-)

            That is why there is so much talk of 'bending the cost curve'; do that and the deficit problem sort of goes away

            An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

            by MichiganChet on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:57:12 PM PST

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        •  This progressive can only speak for himself, but (1+ / 0-)
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          I think Krugman has it correct: No, you cannot run up debt forever; we don't go 'bankrupt' (how can we when we control our currency that the debt is denominated in?) but it makes the economy unstable and risks substantial inflation. But that is a longer term problem. Progressives get angry when the solution is to solve this 'crisis' by shafting the poor, the sick, the elderly and the students - i.e those in society already least able to endure government cutbacks.
             Here is the straight answer: grow the economy, and the debt takes care of itself. That is exactly what happened after WW2, when the country went into debt every bit as deep as it is today (relative to the economy). We never really paid it off; it just sort of shriveled relative to how darned big the economy got.
             It's like having a revolving credit card balance of 10,000 when you only make 11,000, but then getting a raise to 250,000 per year. Suddenly your reolving credit card debt of 10,000 doesn't seem that big a problem anymore.

          An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

          by MichiganChet on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:56:13 PM PST

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          •  ok---but countries like, say, Germany (0+ / 0-)

            got out of their crisis through stringent tax collection (and increases) as well as limited spending cuts...

            same with California.

            Also--this assumes that we are in a position to grow our economy rapidly again---are we?

            •  Well that is the question (0+ / 0-)

              And we really don't know that until we try, but I think the answer may very well be yes with proper investment. There is after all a big demand for infrastructure, smart grids, energy efficiency, renewalble resources and the like.

              Be careful analogizing state and federal governments. California raised taxes, sure, but remember that 1)it cannot print its own currency, 2)by law it has to balance its budget, 3)since it cant' print its own currency it can in theory go bankrupt and 4)it gets a lot of federal aid, i.e has the fed govenment to backstop it. Germany also cannot just print its own currency anymore, it is tied to the Euro and also Germany has a relatively generous social safety net which kind of got it through the crisis by guaranteeing some demand.

              All this is not to suggest that America is currently overtaxed; i think it is undertaxed myself. But it is necessary to confidently and in a single sentance rebut the concern trolls who hysterically pontificate about "Oh that awful debt, we are goning to bankrupt our grandchildren!". No you won't unless you trash the economy under a misguided concern about the balance sheet, which is sort of exactly what they did in the early 1930s

              An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

              by MichiganChet on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:43:05 AM PST

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    •  Hard to see a real equivalence re Economist & WSJ (2+ / 0-)
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      lineatus, MichiganChet

      In addition to the more patrician tone of The Economist, and it's general willingness to report facts rather than talking points, the main difference I see is the ownership of WSJ by Rupert Murdoch.

      Historically, the WSJ editorial page has been pretty far right, while the stories were not so "foxy", shall we say. But since the Murdoch buyout, there are an increasing number of "foxy' news stories populating the pages of WSJ.

      This week, as I heard about the Beyonce-lipsyncing "scandal", I noticed that the initial "story" ran in Murdoch's NYPost. Then, as it began to lose steam (particularly after the original anonymous source recanted, and others defended lipsyncing at cold, outdoor events), yesterday the WSJ had a front page article about the ginned-up controversy. What in the holy name of fuck is the connection between the Beyonce story and the economy? Damned if I can see any connection other than running down a long-time ally of Obama and creating controversy re the inauguration.

      Sadly, I expect little more from the WSJ at this point. I certainly would expect The Economist to ignore Beyonce, unless it wrote a fuller article about her, where the controversy would be little more than a footnote.

      A winning campaign? You didn't build that...

      by SilentBrook on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:34:27 PM PST

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