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Front of the Book The Economist

This week I chose to read The Economist. It is evident that the front of the book acts as an introduction to the major stories that are discussed in the article each week. The reader is given background so that when the longer articles are read the reader has a short summary of what to expect and can better process the article. The front of the book articles are brief overviews, while the longer articles have extensive explanations and anecdotes to provide a fuller picture of the story. This edition of The Economist was primarily focused on Trump and most of the articles all tied back to what was going on in the White House, so it was only fitting that the first and longest front of the book article was on Trump. These front of the book sections ran this week because they were relevant to what is going on in the world today. The most pressing matters for both the United States and the world obviously have to do with Trump. The emerging economies such as in Turkey and India are also extremely important because the world seems to be at a turning point and emerging economies could experience great adversity when established economies such as the United States choose to abide by a protectionist economic policy. Technology is always at the forefront of the news because we are living in an increasingly technological world. AR is clearly the next big thing, so it is only fitting that it be introduced as soon as possible. It was also a nice light piece to read after the political and economic woes that were written about in this issue.

The front of the book section of The Economist begins with a recap of world news for the week. It is no surprise that the majority of the news is centered around the new American president. The news section talked about the authoritarian nature of his executive orders and his questionable cabinet picks, especially Stephen Bannon, who is notoriously associated with the alt right. Following this they discuss the murder of six people at a Mosque in Quebec City. The man believed to have committed this crime “has anti-immigrant and white supremacist views.” This story shows the danger of those in the alt-right. This is seemingly connected to the new prevalence of alt right individuals in American politics. The majority of the snippets in the news sections are also featured as longer articles later in the book. The first front of the book story is called “An insurgent in the White House.” This article is critical of Donald Trump and Stephon Bannon. The author uses imagery that paints Trump and his policy as harmful to not only American democratic ideals, but also the world. The author points out that the American people at least of laws and institutions that will protect them from much of Trump’s policies, but the rest of the world does not have that luxury. The U.S. has been instrumental

The first front of the book story is called “An insurgent in the White House.” This article is critical of Donald Trump and Stephon Bannon. The author uses imagery that paints Trump and his policy as harmful to not only American democratic ideals, but also the world. The author points out that the American people at least of laws and institutions that will protect them from much of Trump’s policies, but the rest of the world does not have that luxury. The U.S. has been instrumental to forming and maintaining alliances, but Trump has the capability to drastically change alliances and to end them. The damage that he could cause could be irreconcilable. This story acted as a lead into “American first and last,” “The world, watching,” and “A crumbling fortress.” It is evident that this front of the book section was specifically written to give background and lead into these main articles.

The “Bonfire and subsidies”  story in the front of the book is a lead into the “Rupees for nothing” story. Bonfire and subsidies discusses welfare reform in India. India has a notoriously poor population and an ineffective welfare system. The author points out that it will be a critical step to the future of India to solve the economic discrepancies that exist. The author discusses the benefits of universal basic income for those living in India and the risks that would be associated with it. This was written primarily as an introduction to the longer story, Rupees for nothing, which is a is able to explain the current corruption that would likely leak into the UBI program and in turn benefit those who are already well off instead of the poor.

The front of the book story “Turkeys and blockbusters,” which is about the economic woes of Turkey is directly related to the long article “Pop-up markets.”  In Turkeys and Blockbusters, the author discusses the slowness of the central bank and contrasts it to other economies. By looking comparatively, the author shows that central banks are not actually good in practice. The long article is able to connect the decline of the lira to the American election. Pop-up markets also discusses the potential ramifications that Trumps policies will have on emerging markets, which was not discussed in the lead piece.

The “Say AR” front of the book piece is a lead into the “Better than real” story. The short piece about AR is a short introduction to augmented reality becoming a part of the mainstream technology world. It discusses the creation of smart glasses that use similar technology, and it briefly discusses the drawbacks. The drawbacks are primarily aesthetics, practicality, and the potential for illegal activity primarily in the form of illegal filming of un-consenting individuals. Better than real explains in depth the details of AR. It discusses the benefits of AR and how AR is not as far-fetched as many believe it to be because it already exists. Both articles discuss how Pokémon Go is a form of AR.

The “Vote early, vote often article” in the front of the book is directly related to the article “Not turning out.” The front of the book article was written to give the reader a brief overview of the problem and potential solution to the problem and the longer article was written to give an in-depth analysis of the problem and the solution. The short article was primarily about the poor voting turnout of American political voters, but the longer article used the anecdote of an Israeli millennial to exemplify the general trends in democratic nations. Vote early, vote often touches upon compulsory voting and lowering the voting age to sixteen and the long article expands on both of these possibilities. This article is especially relevant with the low voter turn-out in the most recent American election.

 

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