Nov 7, 2019

The appeal of The Economist

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Economist is by a large margin the most valuable magazine on the planet, still going strong in the digital age, with a 50% non-controlling stake changing hands in 2015 for £469 million ($731 million) in cash. (In comparison, Marc and Lynne Benioff spent $190 million for 100% of Time in 2018.)

The intrigue: The Economist's allure is based in liberalism, but it's not easy to understand how that is defined.

The big picture: Every so often, a talented essayist attempts to identify the source of The Economist's appeal, and invariably finds that its actual quality falls far short of its reputation.

Both pieces are good, but neither aspires to being a comprehensive historical survey, going back to The Economist's founding in 1843.

  • Now, that survey has finally arrived, in the form of "Liberalism at Large: The World According to The Economist," a new book by Alexander Zevin.

Required reading: Pankaj Mishra's magisterial review-essay of Zevin's book has appeared in the New Yorker, and it is likely to change the way you view not only The Economist, but the entire edifice of liberalism.

  • When all 175 years of the magazine's history are viewed as a whole, the reek of colonial hypocrisy becomes impossible to ignore.

Go deeper: Radio's decline is podcasting's gain

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Health care prices drive up inflation

Photo: Aric Crabb/Digital First Media/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Consumer inflation rose 0.4% in October, which was higher than expected due in large part to rising health care prices, according to new federal figures. The monthly spikes in inflation were especially prominent for health insurance costs (2.2%), prescription drugs (1.8%) and hospital services (1.4%).

The bottom line: "Inflation remains well-contained almost everywhere, with the major exception of the health care sector," left-leaning economist Dean Baker wrote in an analysis.

Keep ReadingArrowNov 13, 2019

The Boomers' media behemoth

Axios Visuals

AARP, formerly known as The American Association of Retired Persons, is one of the largest media companies in the country, bringing in more than $174 million annually in media-based advertising revenue, according to public filings.

"OK, millennials. But we're the people that actually have the money," Myrna Blyth, senior vice president and editorial director of AARP Media, said in an interview with Axios, referencing the popular "OK, boomer" tagline that youngsters are using to poke fun at older people online.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019