Tag Archives: Economist

The Worst The Economist Argument Ever

Most bastions of good journalism have taken a terrible fall during the past ten years, especially The Economist. But the fall has never been so well illustrated with this quote from one of the Home Truths leader in the May 10, 2008 issue of The Economist that argues Congress should bail out “homeowners” who face mortgage problems:

…there is a case for government intervention to avoid unnecessary foreclosures. Evicting a homeowner and selling his property takes months, during which vandalism and legal fees can destroy a large part of the home’s value–and drag down the price of the neighbours’ homes as well.

Vandalism and legal fees? Did someone forget to edit this article? Or maybe they just forgot to think before writing.

Equally disturbing is the use of “homeowners”? Are we so blind we miss the problem of calling individuals who can’t pay their mortgages “homeowners”?

Fast-Quick Internet Meets Slow-Conservative Buying

I am catching up on last week’s Economist and came across a small article on Blue Nile, an online middle-man for jewelry sales (mostly engagement rings). I remember when Blue Nile launched in the late 1990s for a couple reasons, including the fact that it was crazy you could buy high-end jewelry online. Yes, I will be sure to point my grandchildren to this blog post.

Anyway, here was an interesting and amusing snippet from the article:

Some 85% of purchases from Blue Nile are made by men. On average they pay $6,200 per engagement ring and take three weeks to make up their minds. Yet the majority of visitors to the Blue Nile site are women, who browse and e-mail pictures of the stone and ring they want to friends for comment, and ultimately to the target fiance-to-be.

DC Food Choices

One of my former-favorite magazines, The Economist, has a semi-regular e-publication for Washington DC and other cities. These e-mails are usually interesting, making me aware of some event or news about which I was clueless. So check out the city guides and sign up for sure.

In the current issue, there is a bit about DC’s street vending situation that I thought was blog-worthy (what isn’t?):

Man cannot live on pretzels alone

A hot dog can only go so far. Influenced by a recent survey that found locals dissatisfied with Washington’s street-food vendors, the District is working to improve its on-the-go fare. The city’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Officials asked the opinions of 480 people who live or work in the District: 82% said they would buy from street vendors if the carts offered the occasional gyro, burger or burrito along with the usual hot dog and pretzel. DC’s limited vendor menu is largely due to an eight-year moratorium on new vending licences, issued when the District was overrun with over 3,000 street vendors (who often traded punches for prime spots). Since then the number of vendors has dropped to just 650.

Hankering for a wider range of food and other goods, the city is now launching a campaign to support street vendors. In November the District lifted the moratorium on vending licences. Officials will also map vending sites across the city and, for a fee, provide licences for specific locations (to avoid turf wars).