Saturday December 21, 2013
Archive - 2013
How you greeted the news that the Graham family had sold the legendary Washington Post probably depended on the first thing you do every morning, after you brush your teeth. If you turn on your computer and click to the day's news, you didn't even think about it. If you stumble to the front door and pick up the morning paper, you felt sad.
I know, here's another Postie weighing in on this week's sale of the paper to Amazon owner Jeff Bezos. The Louisiana Purchase has received less ink - in 210 years.
But, please, if you can, be patient with me, and let's use the newspaper's sale this week to revisit an industry that has changed in nearly every single American town primarily because of Bezos: the independent bookstore.
Few words strike greater fear in the hearts of economists and politicians than "Japanization." That specter of chronic malaise, deflation and bad debt has driven central bankers from Ben Bernanke in the United States to Mario Draghi in Europe to flood markets with liquidity in an effort to avert their own lost decades.
Everything you know about immigration, particularly unauthorized immigration, is wrong.
So says Princeton University's Doug Massey, anyway. Massey is one of the nation's preeminent immigration scholars. And he thinks we've wasted a whole lot of money on immigration policy and are about to waste a whole lot more.
The announced sale of The Washington Post to Internet business innovator Jeff Bezos seems at first a major blow to the tradition of newspaper ownership in the hands of families dedicated to the craft of journalism.
We live in a golden age of economic debunkery; fallacious doctrines have been dropping like flies. No, monetary expansion needn't cause hyperinflation. No, budget deficits in a depressed economy don't cause soaring interest rates. No, slashing spending doesn't create jobs. No, economic growth doesn't collapse when debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP.
I know everyone is exhausted from keeping up with the latest in the baseball career of Alex Rodriguez, but let's tackle the money-losing Postal Service, people!
Today, let's tackle a big national problem. Something that's been going on for so long that everybody's exhausted and has lost all hope of resolution in their lifetimes. (Like the baseball career of Alex Rodriguez.)
With Congress in the doldrums of summer recess, our town has inevitably sunk to the game of making political mountains out of molehills.
Thank you, Eugene Meyer. Thank you, Philip Graham, Katharine Graham, Donald Graham and Katharine Weymouth. Thank you for building and sustaining one of the world's greatest newspapers -- and, when the time came, letting it go.
It is, in case you have not noticed, the summer of 2013. There are all kinds of things to pay attention to. There are those cicadas (no one's written a think piece on them in a while, and that concerns me). There is every minute detail of what goes on in Anthony Weiner's undershorts. There are books - and there are the members of your actual family.