Juxtapositions; or Kindle to the Rescue

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Bush Administration, economy, Obama Administration

The latest word on the possible Boston Globe closedown is that the Union blinked. The Globe will stay in business, for now.

Full disclosure: The Boston Globe is owned by the New York Times Company, as is the other site I write for, About.com. A couple of months ago the company announced it was cutting the stipend for those of us who write for About.com on contract. Of course, we don’t have a union, so there wasn’t much we could say about it.

But also in today’s New York Times — will Kindle come to the rescue? I’ve never used one (although if you buy one from Amazon, please click through using the kindle widget on the sidebar so I get a cut, thanks). However, I can foresee a time when most of us will have broadband kindle-type devices with us all the time so we can download and read current news wherever we are. I would like that. No paper, no ink, no printing, big cost savings for newspapers. Not so good for printers, of course.

Paul Krugman discusses falling wage syndrome. Lots of people are taking wage cuts, and falling wages create more economic stagnation. Bill Anderson at LewRockwell sniffs,

You see, Krugman believes that there should be no consequences to an unsustainable boom, and that once a bubble bursts, then the spending that occurred during the boom must be continued at all costs. That is not economics, folks. That is nonsense.

Krugman wrote that an economy needs spending, or else it is stagnate. And if an economy is heading for stagnation, it needs more spending. I don’t see how anyone could argue with that. One thing defines the other; like if it doesn’t rain for a long time, it’s a drought. In other words, it’s not about what should happen, or what Krugman wants to happen, but what will happen. Hardly nonsense. But you know libertarians; Ann Coulter will win the Nobel Peace Prize before libertarians will admit Krugman might be right about something. He could say water flows downhill, and they’d argue with him.

The righties must have worn themselves out over the weekend defending the honor of hedge funds, because so far they’ve been quiet about the President’s plan to crack down on multinational corporations that use tax loopholes to avoid paying U.S. taxes. But Andrew Leonard writes,

But the president’s announcement Monday morning of a push to crack down on tax loopholes that allow multinational corporations to avoid paying what they owe to the U.S. government is already spawning half-hearted chatter on the cable news shows: It’s more proof of Obama’s antipathy to business.

The criticism is muted, however, because it’s just not a winning political proposition to defend multinational businesses that offshore jobs at a time when populist fervor rages so high.

Well, yeah. And if you missed it, be sure to catch the story about the Bush Administration’s American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and how well that worked. It was great for business but bad for the economy, a circumstance that ought to cause heads to explode at LewRockwell.

Never fear for the rich, folks. Steve M tells us that in the past 100 days they’ve dropped $100 million on the George W. Bush Presidential Library. If they’ve got that much money to waste, I can’t feel too sorry for ‘em.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. moonbat  •  May 4, 2009 @2:34 pm

    I remember the scene in “Minority Report” where someone (on a subway?) was reading a USA Today on a Kindle-like device, whose content wasn’t static – it would periodically update with new stories, like a blog or Headline News. At a crucial turn in the movie, the “newspaper” flashed a breaking story warning that the protagonist was on the loose and wanted by the cops, IIRC.

    At any rate, this would be a cool future direction for newspapers – a marriage of electronic delivery (Kindle), and dynamic update.

  2. Bonnie  •  May 4, 2009 @3:01 pm

    But, can you read Kindle in the bathtub? That’s where I do most of my reading since I retired. Thus, I always read paperbacks in case I drop it in the bath water.

  3. biggerbox  •  May 4, 2009 @3:36 pm

    $100 million to the Shrub Library? Wow, that’s a lot of copies of My Pet Goat.

  4. buckyblue  •  May 4, 2009 @4:03 pm

    I think the Kindle sounds like a great idea. I teach high school and it would be welcome for many a student with 75 lb. back packs. Plus updates for textbooks would be easier and cheaper. I think it’s the technology of the future. I’m waiting for them to come down about $100 then I’m grabbing one.

  5. William Teach  •  May 4, 2009 @4:47 pm

    I do use a Kindle, had mine since we got that stimulus check, and I love it. However, I do not use if really for reading news, as I refuse to pay for the feeds. I also refuse to pay for newspapers, reading them pretty much on either the regular web, or using my Blackjack II. Furthermore, if I really want to, I can read the feeds through Bloglines, which is one of the extras that is incorporated for Kindle. Heck, I read your feeds on it, along with others, now and then.

    And, I have an iPhone coming, so I can read the Times free on that.

    I think the Grey Lady is forgetting their disaster involving Times Select. Almost nobody wanted to pay for it, Right and Left. During that time period, can you remember many bloggers, right or left, linking to a Mo Dowd or Krugman op-ed? Me neither.

    What will happen is, some will start charging for all content, and folks will just go out on the web to those that do not charge, and pretty much get the same story.

    That said, if you like to read, a Kindle is fantastic. I do tend to read most fiction by either going to a book store and purchasing, or going to the library, but, kindle is great for non-fiction, since I rarely read the same thing a second time in that genera. And, you can read a short excerpt, to see if you want to buy the whole book, which is less expensive then buying paper.

    I also have a whole bunch of reference books, as well as some books that you can’t really buy or get from the library anymore. There are tons of freebies all over the net. I can also get on the Internet to some degree, and there are supposed to be ways to unlock it more. I also used it for a business presentation one time, having the docs I need on it.

    The Sony bookreader is actually nicer, but, the Kindle supports more types of formats, and Amazon has WAY more content.

    Here is a cool link to see some of the stuff it can do: http://www.collegedegrees.com/blog/2008/06/17/hack-your-kindle-100-tips-resources-and-tutorials-to-get-more-out-of-the-amazon-kindle/

    Anyhow, if you read, and it means anything coming form this extreme right wing extremist, it is well worth the price to get one.

  6. fshk  •  May 4, 2009 @4:49 pm

    I think e-ink is the future. The technology exists; plenty of publishers are producing ebooks now (including textbooks searchable by keyword), but there are two problems: publishing companies are run by people who haven’t caught on that ebooks are the wave of the future, and the technology is still little bit out of the price range of consumers in down economy.

    Although, I own a Kindle and it is awesome. I don’t currently use it for newspaper subscriptions, but I did read this morning that there are already 10,000 people who subscribe to the NYT via the Kindle. I suspect that when Amazon gets more competition and the prices for e-readers come down, they will be a lot more common. It’s a win-win: publishers save a lot of money on printing costs, consumers can get print materials quickly and easily.

  7. Dave S  •  May 4, 2009 @5:18 pm

    I would rewrite Bill Anderson as follows:

    You see, banks believe that there should be no consequences to an unsustainable boom, and that once a bubble bursts, then the salary and bonus levels that occurred during the boom must be continued at all costs.

    I wonder if he would agree with that statement. I’m guessing yes, that would not be a problem at all.



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