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The Economist is a global weekly magazine written for those who share an uncommon interest in being well and broadly informed. Each issue explores domestic and international issues, business, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts. Your paid subscription to The Economist also includes unlimited access to Economist.com and our searchable archive.
- The best English-language news magazine in the world
I have been reading The Economist for 15 years and absolutely love it. It has the best concise coverage of news around the world. Its business and economics coverage caters well to my interest in both. I recommend The Economist to any educated intelligent reader who wants to be informed of all major political and business developments around the world in a concise weekly format....more info
- Excellent publication, theiving fulfillment organization
The publication itself is excellent - a different perspective from that of Time, Newsweek, and others on US and world events and trends and superb analysis and insight.
But for the third time in five years, the subscription organization has terminated my subscription for no reason or taken my renewal money and failed to renew my subscription. My inquiries result in an automated email response, but no action. This is nothing short of theft, and there is clearly a pattern of this behavior....more info
- Secular Humanist?
A review posted here criticized the Economist for showing a "Secular Humanist" bias. Here are a few qualities associated with Secular Humanism (cunningly stolen from wikipedia):
"Need to test beliefs - A conviction that dogmas , ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
Reason, evidence, scientific method - A commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
Fulfillment, growth, creativity - A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
Search for truth - A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
This life - A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
Ethics - A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
Building a better world - A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children."
I don't find that the editorial standard of the Economist always meets this irreproachable set of criteria. However, it's often close enough that I have no problem recommending the magazine to everyone....more info
- opinion of The Economist
Arguably the best economic and political journal in the world today, enabling citizens to make intelligent choices in everyday decision-making. Every article is a great read, and often full of marvelously understated British humour....more info
- Very Disappointing Magazine for Conservatives
Nearly four years ago, I bought a two-year subscription to The Economist. This newspaper-magazine is supposed to be the most serious and highbrow analysis of the previous week's events, aimed specifically at the university-graduate market (unlike the popular weeklies such as Time, Newsweek, etc.) Yet unfortunately, this magazine has proved extremely disappointing to me.
The Economist has a reputation of being a 'kinda' right-wing, but mostly centrist magazine (endorsing Bill Clinton in 92 and 96 but George W. Bush in 2000 rather than a leftish populist like Al Gore, while going back to endorsing John Kerry in 2004) that can be counted on for being very pro-capitalistic no matter what.
The other negative reviewers think this magazine is a 'rightist' magazine purely because The Economist strongly supports a form of globalization: globalization being the great bogey-man of the anti-capitalist left. I am going to show you why The Economist is not only not a conservative magazine, but is essentially a mouthpiece for the morality and economics of the Left. In other words, this magazine is not only leftist according to John-Birchers (not hard), but it is leftist even according the Republican party.
The Economist makes no pretentions of value-neutrality in its reporting (which is good, I don't believe there can be such a thing, so why hide it?) so what you get is very editorialized lead articles, subsection articles (which form the bulk of the magazine), and book reviews; all pervaded with the values of the Economist's reporting staff.
This magazine is quite open about the social and political positions it adopts, unlike say the New York Times and the Washington Post (officially unbiased and neutral, but unofficially the epitome of left-liberal), so you better make sure your values and ideas about your country and society coincide with the staff of the Economist before you invest a penny in a subscription.
As to The Economist's view of moral questions, The Economist is the very embodiment of anti-conservative bias and prejudice. It is extremely secular humanist in its general view of the world; it supports abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy as a basic right for women; it supports widespread contraceptive use and population 'control' (euphemism) measures in Asia and Africa; stem-cell research on aborted fetuses and fetuses intentionally grown; it advocates legalized prostitution and the moral indifference of sexual promiscuity; they believe the best way to stop Africa AIDS is to flood Africa with condoms; they insist homosexuality is perfectly natural and normal and possibly morally superior (any deviation from that party-line is homophobia, a word they like to throw around--a lot) and are loudly in favor of the civil recognition of homosexual unions as authentic marriages; they opposes the death penalty for murderers and rapists; endorse easy-divorce laws; defend compulsory taxpayer-financed schooling; Milton Friedman-style school vouchers; show anxiety and enmity towards America's homeschooling phenomena; strongly defends socialist national health care systems(!!!); university educations that are mostly socialist (and that education is a right the state must provide at socialized collective expense); big strong governments (i.e. governments involved with economic central planning); big strong standing militaries and interventionist foreign policies in search of foreign monsters to slay; pro-Iraq War; supra-national governmental agencies like the U.N., N.A.F.T.A. and the International Court of Justice which trump national congresses or parliaments; is a hard-core supporter of religious pluralism and always defends the view that the central tenants of traditional Christianity are absolutely false and the tenants of secular humanism true (which I guess is nice if you are a secular humanist).
'Fundamentalists' in the US (translation: adherents of pre-1920s style Christianity), admittedly an eccentric and varied group, both amuse and scare the writers of the Economist and they are often the subject of editorials in the American section, ones that paint them mercilessly in negative terms. The writers have great difficulty mentioning Christians who haven't gutted their beliefs with theological liberalism without using the word 'zealot' (check for it, 'zealot' and 'Christian' appear together as often as 'conspiracy' and 'theory') and delicately though straight-forwardly hinting that bible-believers are dangerous simpletons who are also bigots. The Economist argues that Fundamentalists dominate the Republican party, to the Republican party's great shame. Does any of this sound very conservative to you?
As to its view of political economy or economics, the staff of the magazine has their good points. They oppose and lampoon outright leftist protectionist boondoggles like France's "industrial champion" policy and Britain's former policy of "picking winners". They dislike erecting tariff-barriers in the face of outsourcing or alleged foreign 'dumping', and are pretty good at mocking various featherbedding rules. The Economist is always a friend to the inescapable logic of Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage; a foe to protectionism of all (i.e. most) stripes and flavours. Great! But unfortunately... the Economist also has a lot of problems with its economic prescriptions.
The magazine has writers on it who demonstrate various economic tendencies: Keynesians, Chicagoites, Historicists, and other positivists. The common thread is statist-economics. Nixon said in the seventies that we're all Keynesians now, and the description continues to aptly fit The Economist. It is solidly neo-classical as opposed to new classical. It is relentlessly in favour of so-called counter-cyclical action by every nation's Central Bank. It views business cycles as an inevitable defect of the capitalist system which has absolutely proven the necessity of the welfare state. It insists monetary policy (inflate the money supply!) and fiscal policy (deficit spending!) are the right recipes for the welfare state to 'smooth out' the bumps of the business cycle, and I guess as Keynes said, "save capitalism from itself." They argue the Great Depression of the 1930s 'proved' the folly of laissez-faire capitalism and the requirement of a "third way" that mixes the alleged best features of socialism with the best features of capitalism while supposedly avoiding the worst of both (a.k.a. the Keynesian "revolution" in economics). They fully reject the gold monetary standard and embrace on principle fractional reserve banking, central banking and fiat money as alone desirable. They are hard-core defenders of the welfare-state, and a large activistic government. The Economist pokes fun at Germany and Japan's moribund economies and sclerotic labour markets, but you know that as Keynesians & Chicagoites all they really want for these two countries is for them to operate more like the U.S.A.'s government, so the criticisms are pretty tame since of course the U.S. government is huge, and keeps on growing.
Prospective conservative subscribers should be growing apprehensive by this point, I hope.
Where once the classical and neo-classical (pre-Keynesian) schools proclaimed the value of laissez-faire and a market free from state intervention, today's mainstream (post-Keynesian/general equilibrium) economists maddeningly find more and more justifications for the state to be getting involved due to all sorts of putative market failures. Unquestionably, the economic and finacial advice this magazine provides is far from what the laissez-faire economists of the classical/early-neoclassical (Smith, Ricardo, Say, Mill, Jevons) and Austrian (Menger, Bohm-Bawerk, Von Mises, Rothbard) schools taught. I find that utterly annoying and grating. While still controversial to suggest it, I think the entire economics profession has shifted to the left over the last century. At any rate: the Economist is squarely mainstream Ivy League statist economic orthodoxy. If you are the sort of person who thinks abolishing the income tax might be a good idea, you are already way, way too far to the right for this magazine, you crazy nut-case.
Something an economics-literate person might ask themselves is do they believe FDR's New Deal shortened or prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930's? If they think shortened, then the Economist might be for them, and it will try to reinforce that belief. But if you are a conservative and suspect the creation of the welfare state might not have been very good, then the Economist will just grate on you, week after week, since it will tell you it was VERY good.
I let my subscription to the Economist expire without renewing. So much for that experiment. Please don't make the same mistake I made in thinking this was a conservative magazine....more info
- A sound source of information
Other reviews seem to be quite well written as it is. There was a concern about the difficulty of changing one's address. I have had to do it about five times, and it takes about three weeks each time. Yes, it is an overly tedious process.
I came across an estimate of three hours to read an issue. If you read the whole thing it takes about six hours, but most people would only want or be able to read half of the articles.
The magazine is worth it even if you just read the obituary and a couple of in-depth articles per issue....more info
- It's great!
Pound for pound the Economist provides more interesting reading than any other magazine I can think of. I often disagree with their editorial stance, but the articles have very interesting analysis, especially when compared to the superficial coverage provided by many American magazines....more info
- Not just for economists
If you're an economist, businessperson, or just interested in economics, then you absolutely must subscribe to this magazine. And if you have no interest in economics whatsoever, you may still find it essential.
The Economist's coverage of politics and current events is top-notch. It contains news dispatches and analysis written by on-the-ground journalists located all over the world. There is a careful mix of playful artwork and punning headlines with serious, thoughtful writing. Other highlights include excellent science articles and brief book reviews.
Content is also posted online as it comes in; print subscribers gain unlimited access to The Economist's website. (A cheaper online-only subscription is also available.) As a bonus, subscribers can now download an unabridged audio version of each issue: About 7 hours, pleasantly narrated and skillfully produced, with a separate MP3 for each article. I find this format to be absolutely ideal listening.
Note that college students and faculty qualify for a discount, rarely advertised, at EconomicAcademic.com....more info
- My favorite magazine!
I've wanted this magazine for 6 months, and finally splurged and got it.
I love reading this magazine each week! Puts all other news magazines to SHAME!...more info
- A teenager's perspective
I have always been interested in keeping up with current events. As a child, foolishly, i used to watch Fox News, thinking that it was a gem. As I got older and my intellectual capacity started increasing I started becoming disgusted with cable news, which most of the times seems like a circus show.
I started reading the NY times and the Economist and found that, when bundled up together, I could get a clear picture of pretty much everything going on in the world very easily.
What other people have said of The Economist is true: it's not written for the average, spoon-fed American. It takes work to plow through this stuff. However, I've found that it has helped me tremendously in almost every aspect of my life (I know, how cliche!)
Perhaps the most tangible way it has helped me is with my English and writing skills. Now, English is not my first language (and when i started reading the magazine my brain would fry before i could get through a fourth of it). Getting through this magazine has helped me become a better writer and reader (i can think critically now, in English!). This was so noticeable that when i retook my SAT's a year later after discovering this Magazine my score jumped from a 470 in Critical reading to a 640 (out of 800) and my writing score jumped from a 500 to a 700 (out of 800). The articles College Board made me analyze seemed like a piece of cake compared to those of The Economist.
For the record, i wrote my SAT essay about Obama. I got all the information for it from the Economist.
LESSON: gift this subscription to any SAT anxiety filled teenager you know! (trust me, there are many.) He or she will be grateful.
The economist has taught me so much about so many different areas. I confess, i feel like an "intellectual" sometimes because of this magazine....more info
- Best global weekly magazine in the world
If you can only subscribe to one news weekly, I would suggest The Economist. I've been reading it for almost thirty years and am never disappointed. Combining incisive reporting with humor and a bit of serendipity, The Economist is a must-read in today's global world....more info
- Absolutely Brilliant! As "fair and balanced" news as you're gonna get these days!
Those on the far-left cry of its "callous conservatism" and those of the far-right call it a "bastion of ivy tower liberalism", but for your average American, this is what commonsense journalistic reporting should be: well-written, researched, for a somewhat educated but not strictly academic audience, and simply about the facts. You'll find articles written from nearly every political perspective here, but the most common take on the issues is a moderate one, usually just slightly left-of-center or right-of-center.
The Economist keeps up with the world's current trends and uniquely puts them into the context of a economic and political landscape. Despite the magazine's title, you don't really have to be an economist to understand or enjoy reading it. Give it to your teenagers and watch how smart and aware they become come time for them to take their SATs.
One review cried that The Economist is "statist". Hardly so! Sure, it's not as hard-nosed classicially liberal as some would like it to be in that it recognizes the immorality of obscene wealth concentration in the hands of a few while the overwhelming majority suffer. But, this is not hand-from-top Keynesian economics. Rather, it's called having a heart. Or rather, in more technical terms, it is what John Rawls, political philosopher and former Harvard University law professor, referred to as the "distributive justice" when he wrote the famed scholarly works "A Theory of Justice" and "Justice As Fairness". Rawls is a new classical liberal, but not a classical or neo-classical one. It was he, not Keynes, who invented this idea of "reflective equilibrium". He recognizes that even Adam Smith himself conceded that his model was imperfect and could lead to hegemony and market failure given the right conditions. Rawls does not believe in forced redistribution of wealth like statists do, but he say that an unequal distribution in a configuration that it works against the allowing of equal opportunity to flourish for the least advantaged is the very definition of injustice in a free society.
What the free-market fundamentalists fail to understand is that America changed after the Great Depression. The old glory days of freely raping and pillaging the earth without consequence are over. We now live in a world of over 6 billion people and limited resource. We are in this together. Sure, we should allow people to make their own economic decisions, as destroying their incentive would accomplish little in matters of improving the overall economic status of society in general. But, those of us who live in extreme opulence must come to eventually acknowledge that while one might choose to own ten limousines and a gold-plated toilet seat (and that is your freedom), such cannot be seen as moral when innocent children are born into starvation everyday through no choosing of their own. To say such is not so much Marxist or "leftist" as it is being a genuine human being with a sense of true compassion and justice for the whole of humanity.
So, in having 'The Economist' embrace the new school of Western liberalism, one should be glad. The older school of Classical Liberalism in the end points us to an absurd form of moral relativism and self-interested utilitarianism, where it's "dog eat dog" and everyone who gets eaten goes to hell. It leads to a perversely selfish style of individualism and pride ego that even to this day remains one of the most harshest critiques made against modern liberalism. Hardly anything a true conservative would embrace... A moral one, that is.
Don't read The Economist if you think Marx killed God or Milton Friedman was God. Rather, read The Economist if you if think Thomas Paine in "Common Sense" said it all when he said:
"Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil."
- One of the best, if not the best news magazine
Well written, insightful and covers a wide scope of topics.
You might not always agree with all the view points presented, but the argument are put forth in a coherent and beautifully written way.
One of the best news magazine in publication. If you would get only one news magazine, this is it....more info
- King of the weekly news magazines
The Economist is truly the best of the weekly global news magazines. Too bad it's not American so I don't have to bother with the pesky differences in spelling! Don't let the magazine's name mislead you into thinking it is mostly about business, financial, or economic matters; The Economist covers important news in virtually every country, including articles on science, technology, books, art, and people, and it offers at least two in-depth reports every issue. The writing is clear, insightful, and aimed at an intelligent, informed audience, with a sprinkling of dry British humor (always in good taste). Yes, The Economist has a bias - a free-market bias - but they wear their heart lightly on their sleeve, so I can live with it. If you want to stay informed about the world, if you can read only one news magazine, then The Economist is the one....more info
- Great publication! Just don't get it from Amazon...
Don't get me wrong. I love the Economist. It's a very well written, objective publication. I would recomend it highly for those people who want to get great coverage on global news but are tired of the left-leaning/pesimistic news from the hometown newspaper.
My problem is that I have never received one single copy from this subscription with Amazon. In fact, this is the 2nd time (out of 2) that I have been snubbed on a magazine subscription. My advise would be to bypass Amazon and go straight to the publication. There seems to be a disconnect between Amazon and certain publications. ...more info
- great magazine IF you can get the subscription dept to send it
Frankly their subscription department is UNANSWERABLE in that they
do not acknowledge subscription problems. At this price point it is
exceedingly difficult not to feel ripped off when the magazine doesn't arrive....more info
- The Economist is to Time as Time is to People
I love it - The Economist's US coverage is more in-depth than any weekly I know. The international section is my favorite....more info
- An Intelligence Goldmine
Anyone who understands that democracies rise and fall on how well informed its citizens are knows why The Economist is widely regarded as the world's most informative, authoritative general news magazine -- hands down. Its coverage of global events is grounded in the recognition that economics is as much about politics and culture as it is about money supply, capital flows and math theory, perhaps more so in today's exclusively speculative economy. What really sets The Economist apart is its superior journalism: stories are concise, yet set within a damn near encyclopedic overview that allows the reader to understand the subject in past, present and future contexts. What's more remarkable is the prose is generally flawless -- and leavened with wit. ...more info
- Impressive Coverage of World News
I first read an issue of the Economist as a pre-teen, and was impressed by their truly world-wide coverage of news and issues, though I was too young to understand any of it. This is, I gather, the response of a typical American brought up on US News and People. Almost all US magazines focus too little on the world beyond, and the Economist does make an impression.
I may not share all the views of the Economist, but it does not make their wit (all articles are attempted to finish with something witty), and cogent and compact coverage any less important and entertaining. A magazine or a newspaper of any importance has a philosophy, and one would be naive to expect truly objective coverage. The Economist's point of view does appear somewhat cynical, but the news pieces always provide multiple points of view, and even direct quotes from parties at odds.
You need to differentiate between the tone of the editorials/columns and the news coverage (try reading The Wall Street Journal and trying to ignore the difference). I've heard many complain that the Economist's predictions have not been correct. It is true, but then again I don't read this magazine for picking stocks or investing: I use this as a source of in-depth, truly cosmopolitan and somewhat erudite coverage that I cannot find in US mainstream media. I would find good coverage in NY Times, but I don't have a lot of time to spare.
Their cartoons and photos are always funny and a propos. And they do it without grossing you out or using sophomoric tropes. If you like to know what is happening in the world, try reading The Economist for a few weeks, and then make your decision. I have been a subscriber for a few years, and enjoy their online content in addition to the print edition....more info