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This surgery could pay for itself after around 90 hours

The Economist takes a quantitative look at prostitution in the Internet age.
posted by meowzilla on Aug 12, 2014 - 26 comments

The Boring Generation

The staid young: Oh! you pretty things. The Economist on how young people are not the alcohol ridden hooligans they were thought to be (and how changing parenting styles, amongst other factors, may have contributed).
posted by tavegyl on Jul 14, 2014 - 56 comments

Democracy, Kleptocracy or Oligarchy?

What’s gone wrong with Democracy? It was the most successful political idea of the 20th century. Why has it run into trouble, and what can be done to revive it? Excellent Essay of the Economist.
posted by homodigitalis on Feb 28, 2014 - 115 comments

"Some things...can only happen once."

The Blip: What if everything we've come to think of as American is predicated on a freak coincidence of economic history? And what if that coincidence has run its course?
posted by Sticherbeast on Aug 12, 2013 - 107 comments

I don't think Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright will be at all surprised.

It's good to be the Kinga Micklethwait. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a new study of unusual surnames offers some depressing insights into the lingering impact of class on social mobility.
posted by Diablevert on Feb 14, 2013 - 14 comments

Northern Lights

The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 8, 2013 - 33 comments

Gregor MacGregor the Cacique of Poyais

In 1820 Gregor MacGregor, chieftain of the Central American principality of Poyais arrived in London and explained his problem: his principality had a fine climate, friendly natives, and a democratic government, but it needed investors and settlers to help develop it and exploit its abundant natural resources. To this end his government was to issue a £200,000 bond which would pay off at a generous 6%, as well as land rights for a modest 3 shillings an acre. MacGregor would eventually raise funds worth £3.2 billion -at today's prices- for the entirely fictional principality; this makes him arguably the most successful con-men of all time. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Dec 31, 2012 - 16 comments

6 marathon lengths in 36 hours

The lunacy of the long-distance runner [slep]
posted by mulligan on Dec 27, 2012 - 26 comments

An extraordinary coincidence?

And think about it for a second: this is bizarre. If Americans are in fact divided between two extremely different political ideologies, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if each of those philosophies were to hold the allegiance of nearly equal blocs of support. [more inside]
posted by memebake on Nov 7, 2012 - 206 comments

"Gosh, another oversight"

Banksters this story stretches far beyond Britain. Barclays is the first bank in the spotlight because it offered to co-operate fully with regulators. It will not be the last. Investigations into the fixing of LIBOR and other rates are also under way in America, Canada and the EU. Between them, these probes cover many of the biggest names in finance: the likes of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. Employees, from New York to Tokyo, are implicated.
The rotten heart of finance. A scandal over key interest rates is about to go global.
Naomi Wolf: The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works. This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 14, 2012 - 127 comments

My only country is six feet tall

A recent article in the Economist followed up on the British cover of this week's edition with a scathing attack on the economic case for Scottish independence. The Scottish National Party, currently in power and preparing for an independence referendum, are not amused but at least they have a powerful friend that can help out these days. [more inside]
posted by Talkie Toaster on Apr 13, 2012 - 67 comments

Security theatre theatre.

In the latest (ongoing) Economist debate (run Oxford-style), security expert Bruce Schneier and architect of the TSA Kip Hawley are facing off to respectively defend and attack the motion "This house believes that changes made to airport security since 9/11 have done more harm than good." Overview. Opening statements. Rebuttals. (Surprisingly cogent) comments from the floor.
posted by unSane on Mar 23, 2012 - 32 comments

I bungled things and couldn’t even fix a match

The Buddha tells the people he can fulfil only one of their wishes. Someone asks: "Could you lower the price of property in China so that people can afford it?" Seeing the Buddha frown in silence, the person makes another wish: "Could you make the Chinese football team qualify for a World Cup?" After a long sigh, the Buddha says: "Let's talk about property prices." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Dec 20, 2011 - 20 comments

Red state in the red?

Where Federal taxes are raised and spent. "Some American states receive more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes; others receive less. Over twenty years these fiscal transfers can add up to a sizeable sum." A graph of the United States, color-coded to indicate surplus or deficit.
posted by dubold on Aug 6, 2011 - 52 comments

Pakistan and India

What to do about Pakistan? The Economist urges the west to focus on the Kashmir issue in order to help stabilize the region. Christopher Hitches urges the US to stand more firmly behind India.
posted by beisny on Jun 10, 2011 - 29 comments

"Kill the economy. Blame the Democrats. It's the perfect crime."

"When a Nobel Prize Isn't Enough." With a sharply-worded rebuke of the congressional GOP, Nobel Prize-winning economist Peter Diamond has announced he is withdrawing as a candidate for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors due to GOP obstructionism. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, a leading critic of Diamond's appointment, welcomes the announcement and raises a predictable call for a candidate "capable of garnering bipartisan support in the Senate."
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 6, 2011 - 86 comments

Koch-funded study confirms global warming

Koch-funded study confirms global warming. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Apr 1, 2011 - 63 comments

The 9 billion-people question

A special report on feeding the world
posted by beisny on Mar 5, 2011 - 18 comments

For better or worse

“This house believes that the global elite serve the masses.” The Economist’s latest online debate questions the role of the global elite in western society.
posted by londonmark on Feb 14, 2011 - 43 comments

Entrevista Con La Bailarina

The Dancer and the Terrorist. When Peru’s most wanted man, Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, was captured in 1992, a young ballerina, Maritza Garrido Lecca, went to jail too, for harbouring him at her studio. The story was turned into a novel and film, “The Dancer Upstairs” (trailer). This year, the author of the novel, Nicholas Shakespeare, flew to Lima to meet the dancer at last — and to ask her whether she was guilty.
posted by zarq on Jan 20, 2011 - 13 comments

A profile of a few families who chose to cross the border and a view of agricultural work in America for migrant laborers.

Do American citizens really want the agriculture jobs "illegals" are "taking?" Apparently not... "Only 8,600 people expressed an interest in working in the fields, says Ms Machuca. But they made demands that seem bizarre to farmworkers, such as high pay, health and pension benefits, relocation allowances and other things associated with normal American jobs. In late September only seven American applicants in the “Take our jobs” campaign were actually picking crops."
posted by ShadePlant on Dec 30, 2010 - 113 comments

Harry Potter and the Attempted American Accent

The Economist presents the stars of Harry Potter trying to sound American. Via LL
posted by Dim Siawns on Nov 22, 2010 - 141 comments

Is it the Economy, Stupid?

The Economist has created a rather cool interactive US map. The map allows a by state look at economic data (unemployment, GDP, personal income), demographic data, and voting in 2004 and 2008. (single link Economist)
posted by bearwife on Nov 8, 2010 - 33 comments

The rise of the pensionable pop fan.

What is working for the music industry and why the top buyers of pop music albums are now those over 60.
posted by rongorongo on Oct 8, 2010 - 33 comments

“Larry said, ‘It sounds like bad business to me. "

How the Bad Boy of Brit-Art Grew Rich at the Expense of His Investors From the Economist: IN 2008 just over $270m-worth of art by Damien Hirst was sold at auction, a world record for a living artist. By 2009 Mr Hirst’s annual auction sales had shrunk by 93%—to $19m—and the 2010 total is likely to be even lower. (The average auction price for a Hirst work in 2008 was $831,000. So far in 2010 it is down to $136,000, a sum that does not even take into account the many lots that failed to find buyers.)
posted by R. Mutt on Sep 11, 2010 - 58 comments

Death and the Sea

Obituaries editors probably belong by the sea. The cries of seagulls are their music, fading into infinity, and the light-filled sky bursts open like a gateway out of the world. The elderly gravitate there, shuffling in cheerful pairs along Marine Parade or jogging in slow motion past the Sea Gull Café, intent on some distant goal. Their skin is weathered and tanned, as if they have fossilised themselves in ozone to keep death at bay. They wear bright trainers, young clothes. But they have shifted to the shore here, or in Bexhill, or in Eastbourne, as if to the edge of life, and each flapping deck-chair reserves a waiting-place.
Ann Wroe, obituaries editor of The Economist, muses on mortality and the sea in the latest correspondent's diary, a series of articles by various Economist writers. You can read the magazine's obituaries here, including a recent one of former obituaries editor Keith Colquhoun. [Ann Wroe previously]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 24, 2010 - 8 comments

I don't think that living through an artificial self is all that uncommon.

Professional oboe player, senior economist in the UK Treasury, fellow of King's College, Cambridge, son-in-law of Jacob Epstein (and model for his statue of St Michael). Wynne Godley, who also wrote about his 'disastrous encounter' with the psychoanalyst Masud Khan in the 1960s, died last week. [more inside]
posted by lapsangsouchong on May 25, 2010 - 17 comments

Redrawing the map, Economist-style

The European map is outdated and illogical. Here's how it should look.
posted by armage on Apr 29, 2010 - 45 comments

The Deflationist

The Deflationist - How Paul Krugman found politics.
posted by nevercalm on Feb 27, 2010 - 25 comments

The Irony of Loneliness

The Economist reports on a study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (abstract) about how loneliness moves through a community. [more inside]
posted by djfiander on Jan 1, 2010 - 30 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Are polymathy and general knowledge in decline?

Two articles from The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine about changes in knowledge production and acquisition, The Last Days of the Polymath by Edward Carr and Is Google Killing General Knowledge? by Brian Cathcart. The first deals with the implications of increasing specialization in all field of human activity and the second with whether people are not committing facts to memory because they are so easy to look up on the internet.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 28, 2009 - 62 comments

Parkinson's Law

Why bureaucracy, like gas, fills up all available space. From the archive of The Economist, 1955 [via ArchiveDigger.]
posted by digaman on Jul 31, 2009 - 11 comments

Juvenile pensioners

"I once proposed a solution somewhat tongue in cheek to the problem of pensions: turn retirement upside down ... people would be supported by society up to the age of 30. During that period they would study, travel, prepare for a profession, reproduce and give full-time care to their young ... After 30, they would work until they dropped dead or became incapacitated." Letter from physicist Cylon Gonçalves da Silva to The Economist in response to this original article on the problems of an ageing global population.
posted by rongorongo on Jul 28, 2009 - 32 comments

'Critique' is a noun. If you want a verb, try 'criticise'.

Some common solecisms (grammatical absurdities) from the Style Guide of The Economist
posted by blasdelf on Jun 1, 2009 - 127 comments

De la démocratie en Singapore

Economist Bryan Caplan is author of the best contemporary critique of democracy and democraticness (previously), and therefore the person I'd most like to visit Singapore and share his thoughts. He recently took a trip to this quasi-democracy lauded for both its pro-growth policies and its strong, competent government (and criticized for its repression and its draconian penal code). The trip to what is in some ways an economist's utopia allowed Caplan to think about the implications of his own writings, and the validity of Churchill's dictum on democracy. Here's what he had to say: [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jan 19, 2009 - 19 comments

Be a ruthless banker in your pyjamas.

Snowed in this weekend? Done with your Christmas shopping? Perhaps you're in no mood to shop anymore. Gather your friends together for a low-tech round of The Economist's Credit Crunch Board Game.
posted by thread_makimaki on Dec 19, 2008 - 8 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 comments

So, how do you spell it?

Freakonomics coauthor/blogger writes about a "spelling mistake" the Economist made in a recent issue. He is corrected within 5 minutes. The Economist responds to his "correction".
posted by jourman2 on Jul 16, 2008 - 84 comments

Immediate prospects for the electric car

Two takes on the immediate future of the electric car: we are either "Going Nowhere Fast" (if you ask a petrolhead from Top Gear magazine) or we are witnessing "The End of the Petrolhead" (if you ask The Economist). A bestiary of current and planned models includes TeslaMotors (now in production), Fisker Automotive (who are being sued by Teslamotors), the GM Volt (due 2010), The Lighting Car Company, the plug in Prius, the GWiz (now slightly less squishy apparently), the Corbin Sparrow, a few (vapory?) models from Zap! and the wondrous Sinclair C5.
posted by rongorongo on Jun 26, 2008 - 67 comments

Boring men?

Are men boring?
posted by djgh on Jun 19, 2008 - 163 comments

The Economist: The World in 2008

In 2008, China will fail to ride the Olympics wave and improve its worldwide image, the US will vote mainly on health (barring a terrorist attack or a recession), usher in a period of pragmatic caution and toast to it over a nice Merlot, the culture wars will go global, Israel may decide that it must act alone against Iran, African gangs will prosper, UK politics will be re-established as a spectator sport, we will finally quit oil - and want yet more of it, the potato will make a comeback, an island will be moved for the sake of the Euro, we will rush to give for free what others charge for, U will HAV CASH, robots will explore the seas of Earth, which is round, by the way, pigs will fly, and we will like totally love it (don't we?).

The Economist: The World in 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 28, 2007 - 33 comments

What goes around, comes around...

Chasing women will take years off of your life. But hey, things always even out somehow. You'll just return the favor to your poor, innocent mother.
posted by miss lynnster on Oct 19, 2007 - 56 comments

A week-long diary by The Economist's obituaries editor

I don't know what other people’s first thoughts may be on Monday mornings; but mine, as the jabber of my husband’s radio crawls into my dreams, is “Has anyone died today?” So began a week-long diary by The Economist's obituaries editor, Ann Wroe, which she completed today.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 27, 2007 - 9 comments

The Economist examines recycling

An interesting and in-depth article at The Economist about the state of recycling. It discusses the past and future of recycling as well as the flow of materials, energy and monetary costs, and technology involved. Info on local programs and other related stuff can be found at the EPA's recycling site.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 10, 2007 - 26 comments

Marriage in America: The Frayed Knot

Marriage in America: The Frayed Knot. "As the divorce rate plummets at the top of American society and rises at the bottom, the widening “marriage gap” is breeding inequality."
posted by chunking express on May 25, 2007 - 133 comments

The Economist: The World in 2007

In 2007 there will be lots of anniversaries, the web will keep killing the television star, the popcorn will taste familiar, humankind will come closer still to achieving immortality, and text messaging will conquer Africa. And although the spread of democracy is stalling (don't worry however - the Swedes still win (pdf)), it's still down to George Bush.

The Economist: The World in 2007.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 2, 2006 - 38 comments

Frédéric Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)
posted by hama7 on Nov 5, 2006 - 15 comments

"For their efforts to create economic and social development from below"

In 1976, a young Bangladeshi economics professor named Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank to implement microcredit — lending small sums to the very poorest members of society. Today, he and his bank share the Nobel Peace prize. Grameen, a profit-making company with social objectives, has lent $5.3bn to 6.4m people. 97% of borrowers are women, as Yunus believes [video] "men will do whatever they could to enjoy for themselves personally [but] women looked at it for the children, for the family and for the future."
posted by matthewr on Oct 13, 2006 - 24 comments

Cabin crew, please make sure we have remembered to close the doors.

Veritas Airways, the airline that tells it like it is.
The Economist asks, "In-flight announcements are not entirely truthful. What might an honest one sound like?"
posted by thatwhichfalls on Sep 14, 2006 - 51 comments

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