The Economist

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As a longtime reader of The Economist, let me just say that in the past six years I have come to the conclusion that in five important issue areas--U.S. politics, U.S. economics, finance (U.S. and global), Middle Eastern politics, and African politics — anything The Economist states that I did not already know is likely to be wrong... And it's the reason I pay much more attention these days to the Financial Times.
Brad DeLong[1]

The Economist is a British magazine that covers business, world politics, science, and technology. Their editorial stance is classically liberal, advocating free markets, a social safety net, and personal freedom. They favor globalization, free trade, and increased spending on healthcare and education, as well as drug legalization and gay marriage. Historically, they have endorsed both Republicans and Democrats in US elections, as well as both Tories and Labourites in UK elections.

The magazine is one of the most respected in the world of its kind, claiming the readership of many influential policy-makers and executives. A warning, though: the comments section of the website has been packed with the average Internet wingnut. Naturally, many of the commenters hate The Economist for being too moderate.

Hmm[edit]

In the 1860s, The Economist stood nearly alone among liberal opinion in Britain in supporting the Confederacy against the Union, all in the name of access to cheap Southern “Blood Cotton” and fear of higher tariffs if the North triumphed. “The Economist was unusual,” writes an historian of English public opinion at the time; “Other journals still regarded slavery as a greater evil than restrictive trade practices.”
The Nation, "The Economist has a slavery problem"[2]

Criticisms[edit]

The Economist is intended for a highbrow, well-educated, upper-class audience, and it shows. Most of its writers (who don't attach their names to articles, but rather hide behind pseudonyms or don't give a name at all) are young and fresh graduates of Oxbridge. Because of its serious tone, readers may be deceived into thinking they must be experienced and distinguished journalists. Therefore, the magazine steers clear of vulgar libertarianism, but tends towards espousing free markets and privatization as a solution to almost every problem. Having said that, The Economist staff are by no means free-market fundamentalists; they just have a strong bias towards market solutions, though they also support state intervention for some things (like healthcare). On foreign policy, they have a mixed record and notoriously were chickenhawks when it came to the Iraq War, a position they later regretted.

Despite all this, their highly liberal positions on social policies and rational opinions when it comes to science mean a left-leaning reader can peruse the magazine without their head exploding. Indeed, the magazine, oddly enough, has a small cult following among radical leftists, much like Al Jazeera America does.

The Economist hates political correctness so much that they despise gender-neutral language and characterised the word "humankind" as part of the "ugly expressions of PC culture".[3]

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