Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Politics Government

Economist Endorses Kerry, Reluctantly 143

Posted by michael
from the throw-caution-to-the-wind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Economist has picked John Kerry as its preferred presidential candidate, over George W. Bush. Though a British publication, the magazine points out that almost half of its readers are based in the U.S. The Economist leans right on trade issues and supported going to war in Iraq, but has been critical on Bush's policies on tax cuts and the deficit."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Economist Endorses Kerry, Reluctantly

Comments Filter:
  • Endorsements? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:43AM (#10662470)


    I've heard a lot of newspaper endorsements both ways this time around. Does anyone know how much effect endorsements actually have on vote counts?

    • I am sure that CowboyNeal endorsing Michael Badnarik and Libertarians at large would have more of an impact than most newspaper endorsements. :-)
      • Re:Not much... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flyingsquid (813711) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:48PM (#10664253)
        The Economist is a magazine which carries a lot of weight in certain circles. It is the indispensible, must-read weekly magazine of international politics and business. If you had one subscription while working at the State Department or the Federal Reserve, it would probably be this one. Though based in London, their US readership is three times their British readership and 45% of their world readership.While it has a great sense of humor (when Clinton referred to the beginning of WWII in 1941, the Economist noted that this was a "peculiarly American take on things") it is a very serious magazine full of graphs and figures of economic data. It's the type of thing you're likely to find scattered around at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Government rather than the dentist's office.

        While surprisingly progressive on social issues (the Economist is against the war on drugs for instance), and other times conservative (they supported the war in Iraq), it's a centrist to center-right magazine, balancing its values against pragmatic considerations. I think this makes the endorsement particularly condemning. A NY Times endorsement for Kerry is expected (anything else would be a sign of the End Times). An Economist endorsement of Kerry means that some very level-headed moderate conservatives and centrists looked at Bush and found him wanting. They say: we like his vision best. But it's clear he lacks the ability to carry it out. They aren't as thrilled by Kerry's vision, but feel he's all in all more capable for the job.

        Probably a fair assessment. It's hard to disagree with Bush when he advocates freedom. But turning Iraq into a giant guerilla war and locking people up without due process or trial isn't the way to create that. Perhaps Bush would be more fun on a fishing trip. But John Kerry is clearly the better man to lead the United States.

        • Re:Not much... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Pxtl (151020)
          Plus, the economist saying "vote Kerry" is saying more than most magazines do... most magazines, when they endorse someone, it means "this is good for our cause".

          The economist is read by investors. To them, it means more than its good for a cause. A recommendation from the economist to them means "do this to get more money". A far more direct effect. Especially when even here in Canada, I here people saying "I hope Kerry doesn't win or my pharma stocks will go down".
    • Re:Endorsements? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 4of12 (97621) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:30PM (#10663985) Homepage Journal

      Does anyone know how much effect endorsements actually have on vote counts?

      Depends.

      However, The Economist is probably one of the most highly respected of the weekly news magazines in the English-speaking world. It's read by the heavy movers and shakers (when I had a subscription I used to get bulk mail for services that would make more sense if my net worth were two orders of magnitude higher) and has a lot more detail and depth about international news than you'll typically find in any single U.S. magazine.

      In some ways they could be regarded as Libertarian; a few years ago they had some in-depth articles examining the proposition of decriminalizing recreational drugs.

      The Economist is thoughtful, detailed, slightly right leaning. A good complement to reading the New York Times, which is thoughtful, detailed, slightly left leaning. Both publications are well-written, too.

  • The Economist has supported the tax cuts, But not the increase of government spending.
    • Re: Info (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:52AM (#10662543)


      > The Economist has supported the tax cuts, But not the increase of government spending.

      Indeed. The "tax and spend" Democrats have been replaced by "tax cut and spend" Republicans. All the rhetoric about fiscal responsibility is just a facade for the real debate, "pay now or pay later".

      It's hard for the party in power to cut spending, because pork is one of the primary ways for legislators to buy votes.

      • Re: Info (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nelsonal (549144)
        I blame the line item veto (the real reason the budget declined during the Clinton years), which was removed following the impeachment trial. It was passed following the Perot candidacy (and strong showing and became a part of the Republican congressional takeover platform, AFAIK). With a line item veto pork could be removed from a bill by the President and a 2/3s vote was required to override it. For those who haven't looked into the sausage factory that is Congress a large bill (annual highway, farm, d
        • Re: Info (Score:4, Informative)

          by revscat (35618) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#10662910) Journal

          I blame the line item veto (the real reason the budget declined during the Clinton years), which was removed following the impeachment trial.

          The line item veto was never actually implemented. As soon as the bill was signed by Clinton it was challenged on constitutional grounds and kept from going into effect. The SCOTUS eventually ruled it unconstitutional, and the OMB afterwards announced that the 40 items that were line item vetoed would have their funds released.

          The budget deficit looked good because Clinton was a fiscally responsible president.

          • .... and because he happened to be president during the longest largest boom in human history.

            • > .... and because he happened to be president during the longest largest boom in human history.

              Also, I'm not convinced that it's fair to lie everything at the president's feet. The Congress has a huge impact on our national spending habits too.

            • .... and because he happened to be president during the longest largest boom in human history.

              Sure- if you count the DOW hitting 10,000 while the soup kitchens get overcrowded as a BOOM. I consider it to be more of a bust myself- and the harbinger of the process to turn the United States into the third world bananna republic it is today.
              • Regardless of the nature of the boom, government had no problem with revenue during the 90's. That was not because of Clinton.
                • Who cares whether the GOVERNMENT had enough revenue? Or whether investors had enough revenue? The purpose of bothering with having a stable money supply and economy to begin with is so that the PEOPLE have enough revenue to live lives without government help- and that simply didn't happen very well at any time in the last 40 years, let alone during the Clinton Administration. In fact, it hasn't really happened since Ronald Reagan, President of the Screen Actors Guild, talked Congress into reducing the to
                  • Heinlein (via Lazarus Long):
                    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people slip back into abject poverty.
                    This is known as "bad luck."
                    • Unlike Heinlein, I'm not a Randroid. But I must admit- I've always liked this quote; as well as the whole concept of exiling criminals internally.
                  • no shit, but that wasn't what we were talking about. We were talking about Clinton's fiscal responsibility. I put forth that it wasn't his fiscal responsibility that set the tone for the 90's budgets and surpluses, it was gobs of available revenue for the government.

                    What you're saying has a few valid points, but isn't at all relevant to what we were discussing.
              • Sure- if you count the DOW hitting 10,000 while the soup kitchens get overcrowded as a BOOM.

                What are you talking about? Poverty went down massively under the Clinton administration. In 1999 the poverty rate was 11.9%, the lowest rate since 1979, child porverty went down by amazing amounts, median incomes were up, unemployment was down, and more people had health care than ever before.

                No matter how you measure it, the Clinton years were great for Americans of all income levels. This was due to a combinati

                • It wasn't great for the Textile Workers- NAFTA laid them off by the tens of thousands. Wasn't great for most manufacturing actually. And while the poverty rate did go down- it bounced right back up after 1998 and the begining of the dot bomb crash. The Clinton years were the the tail end of the manufacturing phase of the American Worker Replacement Program- and with the H-1b bill, pushed through Congress late at night in early October 2000 and signed into law by Clinton, the Knowledge Worker Phase began
          • Re: Info (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            The deficit looked good because Newt Gingrich shutdown the government, and reduced spending to the point that the government borrowed less; without bonds to put the money into, big institutional investors and foreign banks had to invest it elsewhere, leading to a boom in the stock market and the economy in general. I think Clinton is considerably more conservative that people give him credit for; he probably wasn't as unhappy with the Gingrich freeze as he put on.

            But Gingrich represents a completely diffe
        • by mabu (178417)
          You're naive if you think the line-item veto would have made any difference. Just like campaign finance reform, had the line-item veto gone into effect politicians would have found loopholes, such as making one line-item contingent upon another not being vetoed, therefore rendering the whole effort useless.
          • Worse- it would have killed political comprimise. WHile a lot of ammendments are pork, more are comprimises to make it acceptable to both parties. With a line item veto, the president can veto the ammendment, making the comprimise null and void. Basicly if you weren't from the presidents party, you would have no chance of getting your laws through.
            • With a line item veto, the president can veto the ammendment, making the comprimise null and void.

              Well, maybe they could implement the line item veto differently than the regular veto.

              Let's say to override the veto of the entire bill still requires 2/3 majority, but to override a line item veto only requires a simple majority.

              If it is really pork that is being killed with the line item veto, the politicians will be less likely to support an override, because then next election time people can look at
              • Except 2/3 is int he constitution, that makes it hard to change.

                Also, 1 person's pork is another key deal. If its 5 billion to welfare- is it pork or not? Depends on your political beliefs.
      • Re: Info (Score:5, Informative)

        by lastninja (237588) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#10662911)
        Increases in non-defense discretionary spending over the past six administrations:

        Nixon/Ford: 6.8% per year

        Carter: 2.0% per year

        Reagan: -1.3% per year

        Bush 1: 4.0% per year

        Clinton: 2.5% per year

        Bush Jr: 8.2% per year

        Source [washingtonmonthly.com]
        And here [house.gov] is a nice graph.
        • and what happens if you add in defense spending I wonder? Why pull that out?
          • If you add Defence spending, I'm sure Bush's spending increase % would skyrocket. With the data included, people would generally state that the incease in spending was due to the war in Iraq. Seeing the numbers without defense spending shows that Bush has been fiscally irresponsible, even after including the increased costs due to the war.
          • and what happens if you add in defense spending I wonder? Why pull that out?

            The rationale is that defense is (a) vital and (b) not an accurate reflection of policy, because it depends heavily on the behaiours of the rest of the world. There's a lot to that, and a lot to the observation that it should be included, as Bush's foreign policy shows, because it actually is "discretionary spending".

            But, there you go, that's the reasoning.

      • That's because, despite popular belief, the Republicans are not the party of small government. They're the party of "government growing at a slower rate than the Democrats would." Economically, Reagan was a Libertarian, the party actually working for less government.
        • Re: Info (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mugnyte (203225)
          well, actually, the post's argument was that Republicans' government outpaces Democrats, but AFAICare, they both pork everything up.

          What amazes me is that the "down home" americans, the 50% or so that make up the "working class" rural vote, believe that they somehow benefit from backing the party that spends in deficit and supports smaller government oversight in business alone, since in personal matters, we have abortion fights, patriots acts, and DCMA/internet nonsense.

          These people end up the victims of
        • > They're the party of "government growing at a slower rate than the Democrats would."

          No, just as with spending the biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is who gets the advantage out of it. The current government claims to be big on states' rights, but watch what happens when a state wants to legalize marijuana, import medicine from Canada, allow gay marriage or euthanasia, etc.

          Also, if the newscast I heard a couple of nights ago was correct, the federal government has hired 800,000 p

      • Re: Info (Score:4, Funny)

        by Masker (25119) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:51AM (#10663534)
        You're totally missing Bush's strategery: You don't have to "pay later" if the apocolypse comes! Didn't Nostradamus predict [hogueprophecy.com] these events?! Yea, these are the end times, people. </sarcasm>
      • Indeed. The "tax and spend" Democrats have been replaced by "tax cut and spend" Republicans. All the rhetoric about fiscal responsibility is just a facade for the real debate, "pay now or pay later".

        And don't forget that when you "pay later" you pay with interest.
        That is why I believe that the Republican party, and especially GWB are no longer conservative.
    • "The Economist" is moderate in an "averaging sense". This journal advocates open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens and also favors the use of H-1B workers. Yet, the journal also condemns Chinese society for violation of human rights and condemns Korean society for xenophobic racism (e.g. unleashing snakes in movie theaters showing American films).

      So, the journal supports both extremely liberal positions and extremely conservative positions.

      By contrast, the Fox News Channel is moderate in a pervas

  • Great quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Troed (102527) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:53AM (#10662552) Homepage Journal
    as Mr Bush has often said, there is a need in life for accountability. He has refused to impose it himself, and so voters should, in our view, impose it on him ...

  • According to German press articles, many more newspapers recommend to vote for Kerry this time, than did support Gore in 2000. Is this true? If so, is this a trend in the more intellectual America? Is this a division between the more intellectual America reading and writing newspapers, and the popular opinion? Or is there another explanation for the fact that this tendency is not reflected in the popular opinion (according to polls)?
    • I believe fewer Kerry supporters answer the phone that bush supporters, hence phone polls are skewed.
      • Actually most of the polls activly target a certain number of republicans and democrats and independents to balance with amounts that exist in said county. Of so the only way you will see polls differ from registered numbers is from people who are going to vote for another party. In past elections this number was fairly large, its become quite small with the divisions that we now have.
    • See here [editorandpublisher.com] for an overview of battleground state endorsements. Of course, the Republican radio propaganda network will chalk this up to the "liberal media", but this isn't good news for Bush, and is therefore good news for America and the world.

      Is this a division between the more intellectual America reading and writing newspapers, and the popular opinion?

      More of a reflection that newspaper editorials only have a limited impact. There is far more of an impact from the previously mentioned propaganda networ

      • In my hometown (Dallas) there are currently *two* radio stations, with pretty significant market share, whose only purpose is to spread GOP propaganda, 24 hours a day.

        Wouldn't you think that those two radio networks are carrying those particular shows because they have a large listening audience and therefore garners larger ad revenues for the stations. I don't believe that the station owners are in the business of losing money. If there was not a market out in this country for political talk shows then
        • I don't believe that the station owners are in the business of losing money. If there was not a market out in this country for political talk shows then those shows would go out of business.

          What's good for their bottom line is not necessarily good for the republic, and in fact in this case I would argue that it is specifically damaging to the republic.

          • There is a large percentage of the population that feels that what they here from the major networks is filtered through the sieve of the liberal/progressive agenda.

            They feel that they are not getting the whole truth and have to turn to alternative sources to here the whole truth of what is going on in the world. For example you never here a single story about the good that is being done in Irag (like the many public works projects that the US and its allies have started and completed). You never here the
            • "There is a large percentage of the population that feels that what they here from the major networks is filtered through the sieve of the liberal/progressive agenda."

              Fox News is a major network. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp and Fox are a gigantic global media empire that is unabashedly right wing. The "liberal" networks usually try to maintain a pretense of neutrality whether true or not. Murdoch is blatant about his political bias and it shows in his networks, newspapers, etc.

              Fox News is the #1 cable net
              • It IS dangerous to the republic and the world because the right has a great tendency to tilt to extremism, demonize everyone they disagree with and is really, really fond of solving disputes by killing people.

                I think this is the pot calling the kettle black. The left/liberal/progressive side also tends toward extremism, censorship and suppression of free speech.

                They tend to demonize anything that does not fit their opinion of the way the world should be.
                • "The left/liberal/progressive side also tends toward extremism, censorship and suppression of free speech."

                  This isn't really a right versus left thing either. Libertarians and true conservatives are a shining light in this regard from the right. Unfortunately they've been buried under the extremism that is the new Republican party. I'm not really interested in framing this as left or right, my problem is almost entirely with the new Republican party and the fact its completely abandoned its civil libert
            • They feel that they are not getting the whole truth and have to turn to alternative sources to here the whole truth of what is going on in the world.

              Utter crap. Any half-decent psychologist could tell you that most (probably all) people simply need (psychological imperative) their opinions to be reinforced rather than questioned. And that's what we do.
          • Keep in mind that what you consider to be "good for the republic" is in many ways a reflection of your political views and may or may not accurately reflect reality.
        • You are rig^H^H^Hcorrect...consider this tho:

          (1) Air America is a new left-leaning radio network; seems to be doing well for itself.

          (2) In this left-vs-right radio survey, I'd venture to say that most moderate-to-left folks tend to support public radio, the avenue that rightists refer to as among the "liberal media".

          (3) Left-leaners simply may listen to the radio less, or differently, on the whole, than right-leaners. Consider a recent theory that telephone-based surveys skew to the right because survey
        • A right wing talk show host explained the phenomena pretty well a day or two ago. Right wing radio/TV portray everything as black and white, liberal media tends to be shades of gray. Unfortunately combative black and white is more interesting and holds an audience better, especially a poorly informed audience who is just listing to have their preconceptions confirmed on a daily basis.

          The right wing has also become way more adept at demonizing the democrats and liberals and this again makes for good enter
          • I guess that means the right="evil/pig headed/stupid" and left="good/enlightened/smart".

            All I ever here from the left is how stupid/racist/ignorant anyone is who does not agree with them and their opinions. It's just one ad-hominem attack after another.

            Some things really are black and white. Moral relativism is more a sign of societal decay than enlightenment.

            To say that Bush/Cheney have lied more than Clinton/Gore seems a little bit like sticking your head in the sand. They lied or covered up many, many
            • "To say that Bush/Cheney have lied more than Clinton/Gore seems a little bit like sticking your head in the sand."

              Please list some of these lies? I can't wait. We can do a head to head comparison of the gravity and magnitude. Again Clinton/Gore were savaged for theirs including impeachment which as serious an accounting as our Constitution allows.

              As nearly as anyone can tell no one in Bush/Cheney have paid in any way for theirs and constantly deny they've ever lied or done anything wrong or made a mist
    • I've seen a number of editors of conservative newspapers explain why they endorsed Bush in 2000 and are either endorsing no one, Kerry or Bush only reluctantly in 2004. They are pretty consistent in what they say. They endorsed Bush in 2000 based on the policies he said he supported in the campaign, since it was all they had to go on other than his stint as Texas governor which wasn't a very good guide.

      They are all disenchanted with him because his actual record in office has run counter to everything th
      • Barry Goldwater was a great senator and great patriot. Its disgraceful to even compare such a man to that dumbass piece of crap Bush.
      • "They were naive in thinking he would be fiscally conservative since Bush idolizes Reagan and Reagan ran up the deficit exactly the same way though Bush has taken it to a who new level."

        Reagan did so for correct reasons though: to bankrupt the Soviet Union and end the Cold War and to bring the country out of Carter era stagflation (via tax cuts). Reagan was actually very fiscally responsible in non-defense discretionary spending. As someone else pointed out, he actually shrank it during his term. The d
  • Interestingly, it also endorsed Tony Blair in the last British election. From what I can tell, this is more of a reaction to the Democratic and Labour Parties moving toward the center rather than the editorial board moving toward the Left.
  • How can you vote for someone that doesn't even know how to wear a baseball cap properly?
  • Kerry Republicans (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alomex (148003) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:00AM (#10663076) Homepage
    This is yet another case of a Kerry republican. In all, there have been over two dozen publications which endorsed Bush for president in 2000 and this time around are behind Kerry. In contrast, half a dozen newspapers have gone the opposite way, that is, from endorsing Gore in 2000 to endorsing Bush in 2004.

    I believe history won't be kind on the 43rd president of the USA. He had the support of the entire world post-9/11, plus the largest fiscal surplus ever and he blew away both of them in less than three years.

    • He had the support of the entire world post-9/11, plus the largest fiscal surplus ever and he blew away both of them in less than three years.

      That post-9/11 sympathy was a blip in a sea of anti-Americanism. It evaporated long before the runup to the Iraq war.

      And when the economy goes down, golly gee, tax revenues go down too! Who'da thunk it?
    • From the cover [amconmag.com] of the series:

      "we've asked several of our editors and contributors to make "the conservative case" for their favored candidate. Their pieces, plus Taki's column closing out this issue, constitute TAC's endorsement."

      They go on to endorse [amconmag.com] the Constitution Party candidate, Michael Peroutka - not John Kerry.

      "Without big ideas, elections become about personalities--popularity contests, nothing more. Both major candidates are filching each others' rhetoric and pandering. All that matters is t

      • Err, well, they don't really endorse anyone specifically. Each editor makes their case for a different candidate.

        The real endorsement is for the Republican party to wake the hell up and kick out the neo-cons who have caused unbelievable damage to the country.
  • That the New Republic endorsed John Kerry... No. Really. Check it out [tnr.com] for yourselves.

    This from a magazine that prides itself in being the in-flight magazine of Air Force One.

  • There are more issues at hand than economics. Even if the economy tanked at the hands of Bush, I still wouldn't vote for Kerry given what he did after Vietnam. If you don't know what I'm referring to, watch the Stolen Honor video [vietnamvet...nkerry.com].

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.

Working...