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Turns out a friend of mine reads The Economist. Upon discovering this somewhat disturbing information, I started paying a bit more attention to the publication than usual (I usually only go there if linked, which PK does on occasion). At some point, I mentioned to my friend that I hated the fact that either no name at all was provided (print edition) or only initials were provided (online posts). This surprised him: Why would I want to know who wrote the article? Because, I explained: How else can you know what think tanks or publications the author is associated with? This clearly hadn't occurred to him and then we started talking about the Kochs, who he hadn't heard of...anyway, I decided to take a closer look.  

And sure enough - I just barely scratched the surface and up popped Koch-whore Will Wilkinson (W.W.), a regular blogger for The Economist. Just a small-town Ayn Rand devotee doing what he can to debunk that silly inequality rumor (he has several "specialties," including union-bashing, but I decided to focus on his income inequalilty denialism).

As the eXile details (although with significantly more color than I'm including below), Will Wilkinson is really like a caricature of a Koch whore.  Here's Will describing his Randian conversion:

I’d been excited by Bill Clinton in the 1992 Democratic convention and was toying with voting for him. Then I read Atlas Shrugged. I began reading the libertarian canon and I voted for Andre Marrou that Fall. I started paying more attention to my philosophy classes than my art classes. Ayn Rand is why I almost became an academic philosopher, why I became a libertarian, and why I work at Cato.

Touching really. Just a boy and his dream of corporate domination. Actually, this too-common story reminds me of a joke I heard from Paul Krugman:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Sadly, W.W. did not discover Lord of the Rings.  He drank the Randian Kool-Aid, which set him up for a middling career (he's no Tyler Cowen, for example) as a propagandist for our country's most well-known oligarchical activists, the Kochs:

[B]efore working for the [Koch-funded] Cato Institute, Wilkinson drew his paycheck from the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University. . . .  Before his stint at Mercatus, Wilkinson sucked on yet another Koch foundation teat, working as a director at the Institute for Humane Studies, also headquartered also at George Mason University.

I often wonder why someone would spend their career as a oligarchical propagandist, toeing the corporate line at the expense of the poor, the environment, whatever. I mean how do these people sleep at night? The clearest explanation I've ever heard came from Jonathan Schwarz, who was explaining Megan McArdle's defense - yes defense! - of Goldman Sach's securities fraud:

As a primate, Megan McArdle has certain powerful instincts, and one of those instincts is: the head monkeys of my tribe are always right.

McArdle isn't a "libertarian," or "right-wing," or "conservative." She's just someone who's on the side of whoever has the money and guns. If she'd been born in 1932 in the Soviet Union, she would have been a hardcore communist and an editor at Pravda who burned with hatred for the merciless imperialist capitalists. If she'd been born in the Soviet Union in 1972, she'd now be a fervent Putinite writing angry articles about the conspiracy theories of Anna Politkovskaya. If she'd been born in Egypt, she would have written press releases for Hosni Mubarak.

A certain percentage of humans just have this instinct, and there's no point in getting mad at them . . . .  You might as well get angry at the tide for coming in.

Will Wilkinson is one such primate. Currently, he spends his time trying to please the head monkeys by by blogging for The Economist. Let's look at his recent work there (with a focus on his income inequality propaganda).

The following is a fair sample (though not at all exhaustive) of Will's contribution to the emerging pseudo science of income inequality denialism.  What's telling, in my opinion, is the variety of approaches.  He variously argues: 1) inequality isn’t as bad as people lead you to believe; 2) even if it is in terms of dollars, it’s not in terms of how people experience it; 3) we’re not measuring it properly; 4) anyone who says income inequality exists and/or is a problem is sloppy, lazy or partisan; or 5) there’s nothing we can do about inequality (much as we’d like to).  In the process, he smears a number of economic and political science heavy weights, including at least two Nobel Laureates (Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman).  

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

http://www.economist.com/...

I would have to say my personal favorite is W.W.'s unfavorable review of a book he admittedly hadn't read (Hacker & Pierson, Winner-Take-All Politics).  No need to read the book - Hacker and Pierson say inequality is a problem (and a solvable problem, at that).  The head monkeys clearly wouldn't like that.

9:51 PM PT: Thanks to fellow Kossak JC for pointing out an error (which he generously identified as a typo).  Diary has been corrected.

Originally posted to PlutocracyFiles on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  head primate = chimp for Bush = monkey for Obama (11+ / 0-)

    It's a matter of style and mine seems very different than yours. First and foremost I prefer to be a discerning reader of many different views and judge a piece on its own, on its merits. Afterward, it may be validating, or not, or elucidating, to know if a writer is attached to an ideology or organization. However, as a test of my skill, such alliances should at that point be hinted at by the piece itself. The risk of using such a filter as you describe is turning into a primate primitive thinker schooled in group think from echo chambers not growing or being able to communicate outside of my boundaries.

    As a well known aside, President Obama's former employer, BI, was consumed by The Economist and during his employ was hardly different.

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:31:06 PM PDT

    •  All I'm saying is (28+ / 0-)

      It helps to know - when someone is saying inequality isn't really that bad - that's they've been hired to spread this propaganda.  It's like knowing about the paid global warming denialists - they may look and sound like scientists, but they're not.  It's important to know that.  That's why academic journals require disclosures of any conflicts.  Income inequality denial has become an area of propaganda the Kochs have been giving increasing attention - in these contexts, I think affiliations matter.  This is not a detached scholar - he's a propagandists and one of his specialties is income inquality denialism.

      "Thousands of years ago the question was asked: "Am I my brother's keeper?" That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society." ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:46:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are a magnificent (7+ / 0-)

        writer.  Very clear.

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:48:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well put & I agree with all of that. (4+ / 0-)

        Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

        by kck on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:55:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you (7+ / 0-)

        There's a lot of brainwashing going on and opinion pieces with an agenda promulgated frequently in newspapers as news.  There are all sorts of think tanks, lobbying firms, conservative pr firms that send stuff to newspapers like mine in this small Southern city trying to get them published.  Given budget and reporter constraints, the paper sometimes gives them a space, but don't really disclose that its not a news item, but an opinion item. It's okay to promote an agenda, but transparency is all important.  

      •  No it's not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elmar

        It's like knowing about the paid global warming denialists - they may look and sound like scientists, but they're not.  It's important to know that.

        This is classic ad hominem... the political beliefs of the speaker have no bearing whatsoever on whether his statements are factually correct or not.

        Go on your little confirmation bias crusade if you're so inclined, but please spare us how awesome it is.

        •  This is a red herring argument ... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, Fed up Fed, sturunner, sharman

          ... the fact that a "scientist" is being paid to arrive at the particular conclusion they arrived at is quite important to know.

          That is, independent of the content of someone's political beliefs, whether or not they are a paid propagandist is quite relevant in the weight that should be attached to the claims they make.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:48:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That was really, really weak (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave925, sturunner, sharman

          The corollary to your claim is that it's not useful to know that a "scientist" is being paid to jigger their data by the Heartland Institute.  I suppose your libertarian impluse is to say that we should all do our own research into the field.

          Climate science, like a whole host of issues, is incredibly complex and esoteric.  Much of the science these people do is beyond the layperson's capacity to understand and to draw rational conclusions.  Thus, in evaluating the issue of Global Warming, it is more rational to look at the scientist than at the science.  Which is why peer-review has worked so well for so long.

          The scientific community has a vested interest in being correct, and therefore can be entrusted to conduct their science properly.  The obverse of that fact is, global warming deniers who get a lot of press in wingnut media outlets are not vetted by the scientific community because they don't, you know, do actual science.  That's important to know.

          "Any of you other goat motherfuckers want to put a hoof on my bridge?" -- Stephen Colbert, 8/1/2011

          by Fed up Fed on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:26:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a ridiculous attitude (0+ / 0-)

            I suppose your libertarian impluse is to say that we should all do our own research into the field.

            Believing in the scientific method is libertarian now?

            Climate science, like a whole host of issues, is incredibly complex and esoteric.  Much of the science these people do is beyond the layperson's capacity to understand and to draw rational conclusions.  Thus, in evaluating the issue of Global Warming, it is more rational to look at the scientist than at the science.  Which is why peer-review has worked so well for so long.

            If one refuses to empirically investigate a factual matter, you're essentially turning scientists and economists into modern day priests.  They know what's best!  All we have to do is obey.

            The scientific community has a vested interest in being correct, and therefore can be entrusted to conduct their science properly.

            The Catholic church has a vested interest in being correct, and I'm no more inclined to follow them blindly.

            •  What a crock (0+ / 0-)

              You're not advocating for the scientific method, you're pushing the marginlization of expertise.  Professional scientists have years of education, post-doctoral training, and experience in their fields.  Preying upon the hubris of people who think that access to the data tables instantly explodes the miles-wide gap in ability between them and experts in the field is the height of dishonesty.

              I know that I'm not a climate scientist.  I have a tangential understanding of the field from a semester of Meteorology I took in my sophomore year in college.  Should I undertake to spend a decade studying the science to investigate the validity of the research the guy who spent 8 years of college and decades of research to build his hypothesis into a working theory conducts?  And should I do this for every single area of scientific research?  Or should I use the structure of the scientific community at-large to determine the validity of the line of inquiry and trust that the experts will deliver results based upon their self-interest being aligned with producing sound results.

              Advocating that science be subjected to the scrutiny of hobbyists and dilettantes out of some misguided resentment of authority is simply childish and irresponsible.  I know I don't have the skills and acumen to examine the science.  I have expertise in an entirely different field of endeavor.  If a scientist were to look over my shoulder while I did my job, I would rightly tell him to piss off and get back to his own work.  I think it's only proper that he have the right to reciprocate.

              Or, shorter answer, just because you have access to the Internet and a bunch of denier sites, that doesn't put you on par with actual scientists doing actual science, MGross.  It makes you a crank who knows just enough to make you dangerous but not enough to make you an expert.

              "Any of you other goat motherfuckers want to put a hoof on my bridge?" -- Stephen Colbert, 8/1/2011

              by Fed up Fed on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:05:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is no room in the scientific method... (0+ / 0-)

                ...for Appeal to Authority.  None.

                There's no reason anyone can't critique the set up and execution of an experiment, as well as proper use of control variables and significance of the outcome.

                Principles of rigor apply to all fields, be they biotechnology or quantum physics.

                •  And there's the old switcheroo (0+ / 0-)

                  Deferring to expertise isn't a fallacious appeal to authority.  It's an acknowledgment that no person can be an expert on all things, or even many things.  This is an appropriate approach for laymen to take to complicated scientific lines of inquiry.  So yeah, I'll go ahead and trust that the EPA, the Pentagon, the IPCC, NOAA, The National Academy of Sciences, and like every major institute of climate science in the world have evaluated the science, recreated the experiments, and know from whence they speak.  Since I don't have the millions of dollars in equipment and facilities, let alone the untold hours of free time I'd need to do the same, I'll defer to them.  You know, the people who actually know something about this subject - AKA, the experts.

                  By the way, since it's become apparent that you're something of a denier yourself, exactly what element of the science did you have a problem with?  I only ask because your lack of specifics is extremely conspicuous.  Seems you should put your money where your mouth is, fellah.

                  "Any of you other goat motherfuckers want to put a hoof on my bridge?" -- Stephen Colbert, 8/1/2011

                  by Fed up Fed on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 12:17:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What element of what science? (0+ / 0-)

                    The original post was on the Economist and Gini coefficients.  The diarist didn't list any actual factual complaints, just Ad Hominem regarding the author.

                    •  INTO THE MEMORY HOLE WITH YOU! (0+ / 0-)

                      Yes, the original diary was about something else, but our conversation (recorded above for posterity) evolved into a debate about the merits of expertise and specifically trusting scientists on the issue of Global Warming.  Did you forget?  Because you could have just re-read the thread if you did.

                      Are you just embarrassed about your Global Warming denialism?  If you were, I'd understand.  But you did make several insinuations that the science of Global Warming isn't sound.  So I ask again, what specific problem do you have with it?

                      And for the record, the diarist made several factual claims, including a summary of Will Wilkinson's several articles on income inequality.

                      "Any of you other goat motherfuckers want to put a hoof on my bridge?" -- Stephen Colbert, 8/1/2011

                      by Fed up Fed on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:58:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Not really. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fed up Fed
            Climate science, like a whole host of issues, is incredibly complex and esoteric.  Much of the science these people do is beyond the layperson's capacity to understand and to draw rational conclusions.  
            A lot of the details are tricky, but the basic outline is fairly simple: http://www.energybulletin.net/...

            This is very true, and important to know:

            ...global warming deniers who get a lot of press in wingnut media outlets are not vetted by the scientific community because they don't, you know, do actual science.  

            Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

            by Calamity Jean on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:41:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Very nice reply; (7+ / 0-)

      and kudos to the well-written diary- even though he probably goes WAY to far with the title of his diary.

      Some libertarians are smart and make sense at times- W.W. included from what I've seen in his stuff that Andrew Sullivan links- although I would agree that it's patently ridiculous not to recognize that income inequality is not a problem.

      The Economist is a capitalist magazine.  In fact, almost all modern magazines and academic journals are capitalist in orientation, and that's for a reason.  It's because capitalism allows for the most rapid economic accumulation.  

      We can be capitalists without being Koch-whores.  In fact, we MUST be.

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:47:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who is B.I.? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, divineorder

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:52:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Economist has other bloggers and writers. (15+ / 0-)

    Most of them are traditional journalists.

  •  One thing I don't understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, kurt, Matt Z

    about the Economist is WHY they do the initials thing.  PK cites R.A. alot (Ryan Avent) but damned if I haven't tried to surf the Economists website to determine which initials belong to which human or Koch lackey.

    Why do they do this?

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:50:58 PM PDT

    •  Tradition I suppose - (7+ / 0-)

      And PK does cite Ryan Avent quite a bit and Grep Ip every now and then.  Although another thing for me about The Economist was the fawning over the Paul Ryan budget before everyone found out it was bogus (magic asterisks and whatnot).  But really, shouldn't they be better than that?  Are they just printing conventional wisdom?  The Paul Ryan budget, Iraq, questionable bloggers - makes you wonder.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:57:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. Greg Ip. (0+ / 0-)

        You're right about the Ryan budget stuff, of course.

        It probably gets to the "modern" (i.e. 2011) problem of superfast reaction and opinionating to whatever comes down the pike.  I suffer from it badly- if someone waits a week to discuss, say, Rick Perry's entry into the race they seem like turtles.  Paul Ryan's budget cataclysmics lend themselves to waiting a few days, however.

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:00:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  it's called HIDING in plain site..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux

      ... i have always and will always refuse to read an article without knowing who the author is, or a way to email them.  As far as I'm concerned, any initials or no name at all is just propaganda designed to lie to people or at least confirm their own xenophobic/idiotic ways.

      don't play their game.  just pass along some commonsense, like why would someone hide their name?

    •  Decoder (0+ / 0-)

      Go to the Media Directory for a complete list and profiles of the editors and writers.

      The Economist has many style conventions including a strictly enforced style book and, as you may notice, do not use bylines for articles and opinions except for those of guest writers.

      My post down thread links to the Wikipedia page which discusses some of these conventions.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:35:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have, briefly, (6+ / 0-)

    looked at 'alternatives' to capitalism in the literature (Z magazine, etc.) but nothing out there looks like an economic alternative.  

    European Social democracy and high taxation- which I do support, of course- does encompass capitalism but the pressure from the American rightwing doesn't allow for undereducated whites to acknowledge it.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:05:24 PM PDT

    •  Capitalism does some things very well - (31+ / 0-)

      But to privatize the necessities of life?  Health care?  Water? These things and many others should not be privatized.  Capitalism is unspeakably cruel - it seeks to maximize profit and only some Randian fairy tale leads people to believe that's fair.

      What I want is a mixed economy, with a decent standard of living for all and broadly shared prosperity.  I don't think anyone should have the kinds of fortunes we see today (bigger than the GDP of MANY countries) - it perverts democracy because they can buy the process, which is unfortunately where we are.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:11:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  health care is a market service. (0+ / 0-)

        Pretending that it isn't doesn't change it.

        "For those who understand - the world is as it is.  For those who do not understand - the world is as it is."

        Healthcare is not a necessity of life.  Humanity has existed for quite a while with no healthcare.  It wouldn't have existed for much amount of time without air, shelter, food, or water - actual necessities of life.  It certainly enhances and prolongs life but lets understand what things are.  Exaggeration makes any argument look weak.

        •  Look at the work of Kenneth Arrow on this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sturunner, Calamity Jean

          I absolutely do NOT believe health care should be a market service.  I don't even know what to say to someone who thinks that say, chemotherapy, should only be provided to those who can afford it.  I completely disagree that there should be winners and loser in the distribution of health care.  And I cannot think of an argument to the contrary that doesn't trivialize human life.

          Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

          by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:58:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  PF, you beat me to it! (0+ / 0-)

            Why does my comment appear before yours even with a latter time stamp?   Maybe because I started mine a little earlier?

            Fear is a habit. I am not afraid." Daw Aung San Suu Kyi * * * * " [we]. . . refuse to let fear change the way we build our society." Jo Nesbo

            by sturunner on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:15:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Your belief on the matter won't change it. (0+ / 0-)

            Its a service born out of two or more entities coming to an agreement.   That is a service that experiences market changes.  Even fully nationalizing it won't stop it from being affected as a market service.  It isn't like fishing in a pond where there is only one entity making the action and taking from a shared resource - that is a public good.

            You can provide it to everyone just understand that the effects of the market on the service will still affect that service.  If you think the gain will be greater than the loss pursue that end - I don't believe the gain could be since nothing reacts faster to market conditions than the sum of actors.  

            It saddens me that you can't think of an argument to the contrary of your position that doesn't (insert emotional position here).  Opportunity cost doesn't care about emotions - it simply exists and its costs are hidden because it is exactly those things that could have been done but were not in which some (and sometimes most) of the damage lies.  

            •  I didn't just cite belief - look at Ken Arrow (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, I think your position is immoral and disgusting, but that's hardly all of my argument - particularly in light of the fact that it's contra sound economics.  So, again I refer you to the work of Kenneth Arrow on the topic.      

              Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

              by PlutocracyFiles on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 08:02:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've looked at Ken Arrow's discussion about (0+ / 0-)

                healthcare.  He is critiquing the system as it currently exists.  I am not defending the system as it currently exists because there is too much interference in how the market would deliver services.

                Compare our current system with either the veterinary medicine or lasik procedures which is still not likely to be covered by insurance.  Both are improving at a great rate in both quality and cost which means their value is increasing.  The same is not true for our current system because of the artificial disincentives and incentives impeding market effects.

                •  It's not a discussion - it's an economic analysis (0+ / 0-)

                  That shows that health care should not be market-based.  The data clearly supports the analysis.  Please cite an economist (other Koch-whore Tyler Cowen) who disagrees with this assessment.

                  Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

                  by PlutocracyFiles on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 05:35:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It can't be anything else but market based. (0+ / 0-)

                    Communism tried to pretend things were not market based when they were and the market slapped them upside the head.  Supply, demand, changing metrics, logistics, none of that changes if a government tries to become the monopoly supplier.  Market conditions and reactions still apply.  

                    His analysis (as I already pointed out) only looks at the current system and shows its flaws.  It then assumes a correct course of action.  I am not disputing that the current system is flawed (and not do to reasons in the market) but because of interactions by government which cause bad incentives in the market.

                    A monopoly is only an efficient arrangement (governmental or not) for non-elastic goods or services and health care is certainly more elastic than not.

                    Perhaps I mistakenly assign a desire to you.

                    What is it that you desire out of a health care system?

                    •  Communism? Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                      Arrow's analysis is a "market failure" analysis.  Do you have an economist that contradicts Arrow?

                      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

                      by PlutocracyFiles on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 09:56:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Honestly I can't believe you made this argument (0+ / 0-)

                      Communism tried to pretend things weren't market based?  That's just crazy laissez faire, free market fundamentalist non-sense.  In certain areas (including health care) there are market failures - recognizing this doesn't put you on the slippery slope to communism.

                      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

                      by PlutocracyFiles on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 09:59:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I honestly cannot believe you're basing your (0+ / 0-)

                        replies on one word that I used and ignoring the rest of it.  There are plenty of economists who disagree but majority opinion has never been anything but an appeal to popularity.

                        I've found most things claimed to be market failures are not because the assumption of what efficient distribution should look like is based on some of idea of how that person believes distribution should be based on some moral conviction and then labels it inefficient because the reality does not match the premise.  A circular logic if you will.

                        •  cite an economist (0+ / 0-)

                          Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

                          by PlutocracyFiles on Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 02:11:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  *eyeroll* (0+ / 0-)

                            Ok, Tibor Machan.

                          •  Give me a link (and save the eyeroll) (0+ / 0-)

                            Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

                            by PlutocracyFiles on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 02:03:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Lol - Tibor Machan isn't an economist + (0+ / 0-)

                            He's not an economist and he's associated with the Mises Instituted. So, you cited an Austrian crackpot - well yeah, Austrians don't believe in market failure (which is what Arrow argues). They don't care about the evidence - they don't believe in market failure as a matter of principle. Well, Austrian economics is heterodox (a/k/a crackpot). So, you cite me a peer-reviewed article by an economist undermining Kenneth Arrow's analysis and we can go from there. Until then, this is free-market fundamentalist garbage.

                            Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

                            by PlutocracyFiles on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 02:10:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  No, it's not. Krugman cites Nobelist Kenneth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PlutocracyFiles

          Arrow's paper, Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care.  

          As PK says,

          the article that explained, half a century ago, why health care can’t be treated as an ordinary market. It’s amazing that we’re still fighting to get people to understand the same lesson.

          Fear is a habit. I am not afraid." Daw Aung San Suu Kyi * * * * " [we]. . . refuse to let fear change the way we build our society." Jo Nesbo

          by sturunner on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:10:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The magazine is generally not bad (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, hmi, atxcats, dloberk, oxfdblue, Dave925

    (e.g., The Economist endorsed Sen. Obama for president in 2008).

    As for bloggers, I usually stick with Johnson (the language/grammar blog), Babbage (the sci-tech blog), Prospero (the culture blog), and Gulliver (the travel blog).

    "Specialization is for insects." -- Heinlein

    by BachFan on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:05:50 PM PDT

  •  How can you read one book that fore ever changes (8+ / 0-)

    your life? Are these people such empty vessels that the first strong tome they ingest takes over the host?

    So if this dude doesnt read Ayn Rand, say instead, at that primal moment in his life, he reads A Star Trek Novel, from what hes saying, he would not be working for CATO, instead hed be writing sci fi for Bean Books and attending Star Trek conventions dressed as James Tibernius Kirk?

    Yeah.... empty vessel indeed. Is asshat a tag?

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:57:40 PM PDT

  •  Ugh, what a poorly conceived diary. (10+ / 0-)

    I never read this magazine but my friend did and that scared me and I found out one of their writers is crazy thus the whole magazine is rubbish!

    I get enough of this kind of analysis from book burners on the right to read it here.

    The Economist is a fine magazine with an obvious conservative lean to it. The editorials aren't tricky about hiding their leanings and honestly I just ignore them.

    Their news is usually top notch and more importantly is more broad in its international coverage that almost any other print publication available to the mass US market. People read it for the news, which like the WSJ pre Murdoch has a history of shedding light on issues we never get to hear about here from domestic sources.

    It shouldn't be anyone's bible but bashing it b/c one of their bloggers is a right wing idiot is way over the top.

    Congrats this diary was so bad it shook me out of a multi year posting coma.

    "Buying Horizon Milk to support organic farming is like purchasing an English muffin in an effort to prop up the British economy." -Windowdog

    by Windowdog on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 09:02:54 PM PDT

    •  rubbish (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, BruceMcF, esquimaux

      I bash the Economist because every piece of news that I know anything about is slanted to favour their ideology. They lie, twist and distort....nothing they present as fact should be taken at face value, and they have a smug contempt for lefties that simply oozes from every page.   And no, I can't provide evidence, because I refuse to read the smug lying prickears anymore. My remarks come from my impressions of having dipped into the magazine at intervals in the 80s and 90s.

      Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

      by Boreal Ecologist on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 12:41:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...and here's the problem. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Duck, Elmar

        And no, I can't provide evidence, because I refuse to read the smug lying prickears anymore.

        That doesn't persuade me not the read the Economist.  Disliking people just because they make arguments you find inconvenient doesn't cast you in a very good light.

        If you don't read news magazines because they make you feel bad, you are kind of missing the point.

        •  If you continue to read news magazines ... (4+ / 0-)

          ... after finding that they repeatedly "lie, twist and distort" ...

          ... that is not "disliking people because they make arguments you find inconvenient". That is disliking a supposed news source that lies, twists and distorts the events reported.

          And if one has concluded that a publication is repeatedly lying, twisting and distorting the events they cover, that is an excellent reason to turn to other sources of information.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:00:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I Disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Dave925, sturunner

      I think The Economist has a pronounced agenda that nicely megaphones neoliberal dogma.  BBC has better news, without the corporate cheerleading.

    •  This. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MGross

      Crescat scientia; vita excolatur

      by AxmxZ on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 06:59:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's not what I said at all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner

      I said that I read it some and started it reading it more once I found out my friend did and here's what I found.  This is a poorly conceived comment that ABSOLUTELY misrepresents what I said - in fact, so badly that I'm fairly sure this won't get through.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:37:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Panning Mag based on one blogger (12+ / 0-)

    Your title and the beginning of the article made is sound like you were going to give a general criticism of the Economist, but then you focus on only one specific blogger. I think this is very unfair to the magazine.
    Cato spokespeople post on HuffPost but that doesn't make it a right wing tool that 'friends shouldn't let friends' read.

    I used to have a subscription to the Economist and still read the print version from time to time. It has a decent amount of breadth in it. The economics article and some international articles are pretty good.  

    •  Here's the question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, slampros, sturunner

      Since the print Economist is unsigned articles, do they have Koch propagandists writing some of them, too? If it were a magazine full of signed works, then ... not so much of a problem.

      The problem we have is that the Nazis, who were evil, make it difficult to call the Kochs and their paid followers (and unpaid) what they are: seriously evil. No, they aren't evil in the same way the Nazis were, nor is there some simple quantitative scale on which they are as evil as the Nazis, because evil is more a quality than a quantity. So the defense of "You're calling us Nazis. We're not." is no defense against an accurate charge of evil.

      Ayn Rand literally got her values from a killer of children. She wrote that she loved the way he pursued what he loved to do without concern for social norms. All serious followers of Rand embody her evil. No, it's not Nazi evil. And it can't be measured against Nazi evil, because it's qualitative. The Koch brothers are evil. W.W. is evil.

      The Economist should not provide a platform for a Rand follower. lt is precisely the same as giving a platform to a committed, unrepentent child killer. And the pursuit of the Randian platform will result in far more human deaths than the Nazis ever accomplished. That's simple math, if their policies are brought more into practice.

      •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner

        In terms of the "evil" of the Nazis, check out Hannah Arendt's concept of the Banality of Evil.

        Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

        by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:55:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why care about initials?, look at the article. (0+ / 0-)
        Since the print Economist is unsigned articles, do they have Koch propagandists writing some of them, too? If it were a magazine full of signed works, then ... not so much of a problem.

        So I am aware of using a writer's past or present affiliations as a quick judge of reliability. Our present, internet included world, has vast amounts of articles, and I use a writer's affiliations as a short hand way to sort what's worth reading and what's not.
        But ultimately, I don't get the fervor over initials or not initials. If the only way the OP's friend could tell tell whether a writer is a Rand follower is by their initials, then they have bigger problems.

        The article should be judged on it's own merits, not solely based on who the author is. That's a short hand method, for dealing with an overwhelming amount of information, not an absolute litmus test as to whether the article is valid or not.

        You seem to make the same sort of argument that that OP does.
        Your post shifts half way through from stating that the problem is unsigned articles to the problem being giving a platform to Rand followers at all.

        Those are two different arguments. And getting upset over unsigned arguments as long as they are well supported shouldn't be an issue.

        •  Here's the problem + (0+ / 0-)

          Unless you're really an expert, it's difficult to know when someone isn't presenting all of the data or if the analysis is being driven by an underlying assumption.  So, something can really appear well-supported, but if you don't know all of the details of the debate, it's easy to be mislead.  There are a number of people who are routinely publishing things that are misleading - not false, not unsourced, but misleading.  This happened a lot with the global warming debate - where more than 50% of the mainstream publications gave equal weight to the denialists.  This is a very sophisticated form of propaganda.  Given that no one is an expert in all areas, it's good to know the affiliations of the author.  Academic journals, for example, require the author to disclose any conflicts.  Same thing.

          Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

          by PlutocracyFiles on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 05:43:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Get info from multiple sources (0+ / 0-)

            Yes that's where using affiliation as a short hand comes in handy.

            However, you are assuming that the article exists in a vacuum. If you want to see if an article holds up, you can go to Google News (or just Google) and pull up three or four articles on the same topic and see how they compare.

            I use affiliations as a sorting method as well, however, my original point is still that one shouldn't criticize a whole magazine because of one writer.

            •  Right, but one really can't do this on every issue (0+ / 0-)

              You can come to reply on some people (until they prove you wrong).  But if you don't know who it is, you have to check.

              Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

              by PlutocracyFiles on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 10:24:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  ummmm isn't their name plainly noted at huffpo? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      that makes all the difference in the world . .  .

      nameless or just initials posted articles are just propagandists TRASH.  if only we all knew that.

  •  You make a good point about W.W. but... (15+ / 0-)

    I'm a loyal DK reader and an Economist subscriber. The Economist, as a whole, slants towards these prescriptions for the US.

    - Higher taxes on richer Americans.

    - Taking the church out of the state.

    - Relegating the current health care system to the dustbin of history.

    - Less polarized politics.

    - The end of gerrymandered congressional districts.

    - Cutting the defence budget.

    - Taxes to bring externalities into the price of goods (eg. carbon taxes).

    - End the "War on Drugs".

    It's no Wall Street Journal.

    •  Well one of the things I would say + (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wytcld, divineorder, esquimaux, sturunner

      Is that I find The Economist to be fragmented.  For example, they recently had guest posts by Richard Koo and Brad Delong (who I love and who have a similar take on the economy), but then also Scott Sumner (who is better than total whack-job Austrian economists, but very different from Koo and Delong in terms of both diagnosis and prescription).

      I mentioned above that I see the biggest problem to be with their bloggers, but that's not the only problem.  First of all, just the fact that they're having this kind of propaganda on their blog isn't good.  But also, they're big-time neo-liberal free marketers.  And hence their coverage of both Russia in the 90s and the Iraq War sucked (they totally bought into the "capitalist paradise" propaganda).

      Also, they got snookered by the Ryan Budget, which means they cannot independently analyze a budget and are pretty much just spouting conventional wisdom.

      They're pro-nuclear power.

      All that being said - they're not the National Review or anything.  Partly, I think they like to present themselves as above the political fray while maintaining their status as corporate apologists and cheerleaders.  But also, they're big in Europe (in fact I think it's a British publication) so, their neo-liberalism doesn't tend to be as virulent as the American strain.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 10:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is a British publication. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frisco, divineorder

        And that is a major factor on their POV.

        We've had a subscription for years (hubby gets it).  I read it and just keep in mind their pro-business interest biases, and find it quite good overall.  You don't need to know the individual writers' identities if you understand what the overall tone of the publication is, and correct for it accordingly.

        I take the editorials with a grain of salt, but find the straight reporting generally pretty good.  I especially appreciated the fact that they still cover much of the world that gets ignored by most other media.

        •  The thing is ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, sturunner

          ... when their straight reporting on the economy is an area that I know well enough to catch slanted writing, the writing is generally slanted. And the slant is most often not an explicit short term political goal, as on Fake Noise, but rather a broadly shared conventional wisdom about how things work that is empirically false.

          While the Economist is useful to read to find out what well educated, well informed neoliberal conventional wisdom is, by the time you have chased down enough additional information on the material its covering to sort out the wheat from the chaff, the Economist itself has become redundant.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:10:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  In other words (0+ / 0-)

        They publish a diversity of viewpoints.

        Editorially, The Economist tends to be socially liberal, politically moderate, and a tireless defender of Capitalism, but not without a critical viewpoint.

        Strangely, this is the second time in a week I have engaged on this subject, you can read the other thread here, starting exactly one comment above that linked, perhaps an amusing read and relevant to the subject of this diary.

        Strange.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:59:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you could argue they publish a diversity (0+ / 0-)

          But the income inequality denialism is straight-up propaganda on the level of global warming denialism.  And it's sophisticated propaganda, the kind that poses as "balance" and "diversity" and "objectivity."  This is particularly problematic in technical areas like economics.

          Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

          by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 11:08:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Also - the title was really for humor + (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankSpoke, divineorder, sturunner

      The diary is really only about W.W.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 10:20:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In addition... (5+ / 0-)

      I am also a reader of The Economist and like many of the others who have commented understand the magazine's (technically a "weekly newspaper" published continuously since the late 19th century) pro-capitalist and libertarian leanings. I appreciate its broad coverage of global events and trends. The Economist also has a lively written style that makes it all the more enjoyable to read. I'd add to the foregoing list that the paper is also pro same-sex marriage and did a cover story on that subject. The Economist even published an essay titled "Marx after communism" (Dec 19th 2002 | from the print edition), assessing Karl Marx's intellectual legacy. Very few mainstream magazines or newspapers would bother with that these days.

      The top 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

      by dloberk on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 10:56:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  again, the E.'s position is conventional/intl. .. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jm214, divineorder, BruceMcF
        [..assessing Marx' legacy..] Very few mainstream magazines would bother [..]

        You mean, in the US, right?

        I could be wrong here, but I think a "reputable" mainstream publication actually documenting their support of same-sex marriage and acknowledging that Marx may be relevant to a forum on politics/economics/social-welfare only stands out in the US because it flies in the face of the typically restrictive MSM approved-talking-points list.

        In the rest of the world, the E. would be laughed off the stage if that position and acknowledgment were not included in their mix.

        ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

        by FrankSpoke on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:34:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  however, how subtle are any of these? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus, divineorder, sturunner

      You do make a good point, also. The diarist was just focusing on a very specific matter of sourcing the writings, and throwing a little humor in the title.

      I, for one, enjoyed this diary because (as a subscriber..) I find that the "follow the money" aspect of international intrigue vis-a-vis politics is best covered by the E. - so, getting a reminder of just how close to the edge of reality a few of their contributors are, helps keep it all in proper perspective.

      As to the topics you list, while the E should be applauded for their recommendations, I would hope that virtually all thinking individuals with the slightest international scope for their inputs would recognize just how intractable, and beyond the pale, the US has become on each and every one of these issues. You might as well support a hard limit of no more than 10 palaces and yachts for the 100 most prominent members of the ruling Saudi families, to keep the accusations of an oligarchy (and the tackiness of conspicuous consumption, for that matter) in check.

      How far along the path toward egalitarianism the E. would allow the discussion to proceed on these topics may lead to a more interesting discussion as well.

      I notice only a gentle scolding of the ever-widening US income gap. I don't think they can bring themselves around to actually condemning it as a serious threat to stability, except in the vaguest of terms.

      ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

      by FrankSpoke on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:58:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  that rag makes me cranky every week (9+ / 0-)

    My right-leaning father gifted a subscription to my infuriatingly moderate husband (for god's sake take a position on something!!!) and it's always tossed on the table, sucking me in.  Such an unexamined superiority complex about all things western, such a patronizing attitude towards progressives, so much unsubstantiated bullshit in every page.  Thanks for a great diary, it was a good antidote...

  •  My household is part of a tiny group (8+ / 0-)

    that subscribes both to The Economist and Mother Earth News. Take that, demographic police! I enjoy them both.

    Also, I am still giggling about some random facebook friend-of-friend-of-friend situation where someone, when confronted with the idea that even The Economist thought Republicans were crazy for playing chicken with the debt ceiling, dismissed it as a foreign socialist rag... because (she said) everyone knows that all Europeans are socialists. She obviously had never heard of it and kept digging in harder as people tried to explain the significance, making herself look pretty foolish.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 10:33:28 PM PDT

    •  This is a use for the Economist ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... "not even the Economist buys that story" ... but then that puts the Economist in position of the arbiter of the right edge of the "serious people" Overton Window, a position which can easily result in pushing the "serious people" Overton Window to the right, when there is some story line that they do buy.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:14:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In other words this person really has no (0+ / 0-)

    principals except "She's just someone who's on the side of whoever has the money and guns".   And you claim there is no reason for getting mad at her or them  - "A certain percentage of humans just have this instinct, and there's no point in getting mad at them" . . . ..  Bullshit I say to you !  I despise them.  I reject them.  Your attitude here seems a bit too Obamaesque to suit me.  Let me tell you what your friend is, like any Koch whore, in my most psychologically enlightening language.  Your friend is a scumbag.  Sell your BS to someone else.   Maybe if you acquire more guns someone will listen to you, lol.  Now, get off my friggin computer and stop wasting my time.

  •  I'm not into economics, but I thoroughly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, divineorder

    enjoyed this diary.  I particularly liked the Paul Krugman joke.  And thanks for introducing me to A Tiny Revolution which I had not clicked on before.

    If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

    by Tamar on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:31:39 PM PDT

  •  I was interviewed by the Economist... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, divineorder

    They were doing a story on the economic disaster that was autos/Detroit.  

    With Democrats like Obama, who needs Republicans.

    by dkmich on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:12:47 AM PDT

  •  Many thanks for this .. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, divineorder, BruceMcF, esquimaux

    As I stated in some responses to earlier comments, the "follow-the-money" aspect of the E. makes it invaluable for gaining insight to the ongoing flux of international positions and issues.

    While I typically enjoy it, I do get disgusted at times, when the articles morph into air-headed cheerleading for all things western and market-driven. The lack of vigor in holding the worst applications of market philosophy accountable when it all goes horribly wrong (and it is just never, ever, a problem of inadequate regulation) is particularly infuriating.

    Getting a glimpse behind the curtain at the agendas running through the minds of some of their writers puts it all in better perspective.

    Thanks for the fresh inoculation!

    ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

    by FrankSpoke on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:54:57 AM PDT

  •  Nevertheless (6+ / 0-)

    the Economist did have the guts to roundly condemn the Republicans for their manufactured debt limit crisis.
    But I doubt the Economist is much read by the brand of know-nothing conservatives we have today.

  •  I read E for variety. It's international (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, lineatus, Superpole, AxmxZ

    coverage is excellent and I am always enamored to reading all aspects of ideas regarding the state of the US. There have been times I have flung the magazine across the room out of sheer anger and other times when I have pointed out to others the accuracy of articles. It's a love hate relationship that I can't seem to break from. No matter how I try, I can't quit the E.

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:21:44 AM PDT

  •  I Read the Paper Version (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ROGNM, AxmxZ, Bob Duck

    Because I don't have time or energy to waste reading and fretting over irrelevant bloggers like W.W.; I suggest you do the same.

    The Economist is not blindly/blatantly beholden to right wing politics like the Wall St. Journal, and it's a good source for global economic news. They have a sense of humor, and are not above poking fun where it is appropriate to do so.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:27:33 AM PDT

    •  I agree however (0+ / 0-)

      As I said, I think the blogging is the worst of it.

      But I was disappointed the print version published the propaganda cheerleading of the Ryan budget.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:43:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is simply a decision by the publisher (0+ / 0-)

    which has its own merits and own flaws.  Since the publication doesn't list the authors it has only its own name and reputation to consider which I think has allowed it to keep a good bit of respectability instead of publishing anything and letting the author take the hit (or assuming that they would).

    I sometimes find it annoying but overall I am glad that they can buck the trend and continue on with the experiment and to me it seems to be paying off (when compared to Newsweek or Time for example).

  •  Couldn't agree more. The Economist has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, PlutocracyFiles, FrankSpoke

    run this schtick that they are "neutral" commentators for to long now. They are a neoliberal rag with a strong bias toward maintaining and protecting the oligarchy on a world wide level.

    Their analysis of what has currently gone wrong with the economic system or any commentary on the failures of capitalism are totally absent from their analysis.

  •  I get the print version at home (0+ / 0-)

    I consider it a mixed bag.  And my conservative friends consider the magazine to be left wing propaganda.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix

    by Dave B on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 06:32:37 AM PDT

    •  Anything that could be considered ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PlutocracyFiles

      ... credible by educated corporate elites around the world (note that elites is not in scare quotes) would have to be considered left wing propaganda by people trapped inside the US radical reactionary information bubble.

      That does not, of course, imply that being considered credible by educated corporate elites is a benchmark for truth telling, but rather that the US radical reactionary information bubble is a benchmark for politically inspired misinformation.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:19:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's European neo-liberalism + (0+ / 0-)

      Which seems lefty in the US (especially on social issues like gay marriage, but they support more regulation than most purists here are willing to agree to).

      But their "reporting" of Russia and Iraq (among others) really showed their neoliberal bias IMO (which, in fairness, they ADMIT, but it still doesn't excuse whitewashed reporting).  

      And they got totally snookered by the Ryan budget, which means they were writing about a budget they didn't understand.  So, they were just basically repeating the conventional wisdom.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:48:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, let's all be outraged about The Economist. (0+ / 0-)

    Because of some blogger.

    Crescat scientia; vita excolatur

    by AxmxZ on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 06:58:12 AM PDT

  •  The Guardian (0+ / 0-)

    is a jewel and is bookmarked next to the Economist on my computer.

  •  i read them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

    just find out what the money people are trying to sell.

    that's an important part of knowing what to buy and sell.  it goes like this.  if they are saying buy, i get me some short sales.  probably just a matter of time before they sell their shares and the stock tanks.  that's how it works folks.

  •  Those people are authoritarians (0+ / 0-)
    As a primate, Megan McArdle has certain powerful instincts, and one of those instincts is: the head monkeys of my tribe are always right.
    McArdle isn't a "libertarian," or "right-wing," or "conservative." She's just someone who's on the side of whoever has the money and guns. If she'd been born in 1932 in the Soviet Union, she would have been a hardcore communist and an editor at Pravda who burned with hatred for the merciless imperialist capitalists. If she'd been born in the Soviet Union in 1972, she'd now be a fervent Putinite writing angry articles about the conspiracy theories of Anna Politkovskaya. If she'd been born in Egypt, she would have written press releases for Hosni Mubarak.

    A certain percentage of humans just have this instinct, and there's no point in getting mad at them . . . .  You might as well get angry at the tide for coming in.

    And thank you for that very insightful last paragraph.  I'm working with one such person right now, and I did in fact get quite mad at her the day before yesterday, and you're right, there's no point in getting mad; I just need to work around things.  

    Thank you also for reprinting Krugman's joke:

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:57:31 AM PDT

  •  Anti-intellectual nonsense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungeski

    I have been reading The Economist for nearly 20 years and it hasn't stopped me from a) reading critically, b) disagreeing with much of what I read, c) learning a lot form reading those I disagree with and d) remaining a Socialist.

    What seems to bother you is they publish a blogger you disagree with. I'm sure Daily Kos does as well, does that mean friends don't let friends read Daily Kos?

    I suggest you read the Wikipedia article on The Economist for some perspective, including the criticism of it.

    If you must put people and things in conveniently labeled boxes, but in the one where librarians dwell; the more to read, the more diverse, the better.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:16:31 AM PDT

    •  What bothers me is they're printing propaganda (0+ / 0-)

      I'm by no means anti-intellectual.  You know what is?  Reviewing a book you haven't read - W.W. does that.  

      The income inequality denialism is being pumped out by some of the same think tanks that pumped out the global warming denialism (e.g. Cato).  It's propaganda and The Economist is printing it - that's a problem for any publication claiming to be a serious.

      Thousands of years ago the question was asked: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. ~ Eugene V. Debbs

      by PlutocracyFiles on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:53:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you familiar (0+ / 0-)

        With The Economist's editorial positions on these issues?

        Numerous respected publications publish opinions contrary to their own editorial positions in the interest of debate.

        And you may note the Economist's policy of NOT publishing bylines for their own reports and commentary, but to byline the opinions guests to distinguish them from the publication itself.

        Not that I'm defending every position The Economist takes - obviously I have some strong differences - but I do defend debate, which readers are invited to participate in, in print, online and on the blogs.

        BTW, you will never find me HR rating anything on Daily Kos for the same reason; if I disagree with what others write, I have the opportunity debate or dispute in substance, verses plugging my ears and banging pots and pans to drown out whatever I find disagreeable.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 01:08:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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