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Compare opinions of world leading experts and influencers.

The Economist

Politics and Business Magazine

The Economist is a weekly magazine founded in 1843 to support the cause of free trade. It has a liberal position on both economic and social issues, arguing for freedom of the individual over government intervention. Today it has over 1 million subscribers.
Contents

The Economist's Opinions

Agree
[The Economist was] founded in 1843 to support the cause of free trade.
01 Jan 1843    Source


Mostly Agree
Perhaps the best support for decoupling comes from America itself. Fourth-quarter ['07] profits of big companies, such as Coca-Cola, IBM and DuPont, were better than expected as strong sales growth in emerging markets offset a sharp slowdown at home. In other words, bits of American business are rising above their own economy. With luck, the world economy can rise above America's.
06 Mar 2008    Source


Mostly Agree
As the financial crisis has broadened and intensified, the global economy has begun to suffocate. That is why the world’s central banks have been administering emergency measures, including a round of co-ordinated interest-rate cuts on October 8th. With luck they will prevent catastrophe. They are unlikely to avert a global recession.
09 Oct 2008    Source


Disagree
Homosexuals need emotional and economic stability no less than heterosexuals—and society surely benefits when they have it. [Furthermore, today we know that] homosexuals do not choose their condition; indeed, they often try desperately hard, sometimes to the point of suicide, to avoid it. [Therefore] for society, the real choice is between homosexual marriage and homosexual alienation. No social interest is served by choosing the latter.
04 Jan 1996    Source


Agree
The case for allowing gays to marry begins with equality, pure and simple. Why should one set of loving, consenting adults be denied a right that other such adults have and which, if exercised, will do no damage to anyone else? Not just because they have always lacked that right in the past, for sure: until the late 1960s, in some American states it was illegal for black adults to marry white ones, but precious few would defend that ban now on grounds that it was “traditional”.
26 Feb 2004    Source


Agree
If Mr Hussein refuses to disarm, it would be right to go to war.
23 Feb 2003    Source


Neutral
The country no longer looks in imminent danger of flying apart or falling into everlasting anarchy. In September 2007 this newspaper supported the surge not because we had faith in Iraq but only in the desperate hope that the surge might stop what was already a bloodbath from becoming even worse (see article). The situation now is different: Iraq is still a mess, but something approaching a normal future for its people is beginning to look achievable.
12 Jun 2008    Source


Tax

Agree
They have become such vast buyers that they have become a risk to liquidity. Suppose that, as some believe, America is going through a housing bubble. Given their exposure to mortgages, what happens if the bubble bursts?
26 Jun 2003    Source


Mostly Disagree
In our view, the pair [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] should have been nationalised back in July, and the new scheme should have had a clearer plan to shrink or break up Fannie and Freddie, so that they never again hold the taxpayer hostage (though not right now, because of the ailing housing market).
11 Sep 2008    Source


Agree
...people tend to compare their lot with that of others. In one striking example, students at Harvard University were asked whether they would prefer (a) $50,000 a year while others got half that or (b) $100,000 a year while others got twice as much. A majority chose (a). They were happy with less, as long as they were better off than others.
07 Aug 2003    Source


Mostly Disagree
...according to many surveys taken in rich countries [...] once a country has lifted itself out of poverty, further rises in income seem not to create a meaningful rise in the proportion of people who count themselves as happy. Since the 1950s, for example, the proportion of Americans who tell pollsters that they are “very happy” has stayed constant at around 30%, while the proportion who say that they are “not very happy” has barely fallen.
13 Jan 2005    Source


Mostly Agree
The housing boom was fun while it lasted, but the biggest increase in wealth in history was largely an illusion.
16 Jun 2005    Source


Neutral
A paper published by Christopher Foote and Christopher Goetz, two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, finds an embarrassing hole in the evidence [that the answer is yes].
01 Dec 2005    Source


Disagree
My freedom-loving colleague is absolutely right to defend the institution of WikiLeaks, and in case my earlier post was unclear, let me re-emphasise that I think we're all better off having an institution where leakers can anonymously submit important information, have it verified and get it published if it checks out. I certainly don't think Julian Assange should be prosecuted for doing this.
30 Nov 2010    Source


Oil

Disagree
[In] the words of Exxon Mobil, the oil production peak is unlikely “for decades to come”. Governments may decide to shift away from petroleum because of its nasty geopolitics or its contribution to global warming. But it is wrong to imagine the world's addiction to oil will end soon, as a result of genuine scarcity. As Western oil companies seek to cope with being locked out of the Middle East, the new era of manufactured fuel will further delay the onset of peak production.
20 Apr 2006    Source


Mostly Disagree
The price of oil, which will average $65 a barrel—slightly less than in 2006—will weigh on profits and lighten wallets. Tensions in the Middle East will keep prices at a premium.
31 Dec 2006    Source


Mostly Agree
[Our] survey will argue that although the science remains uncertain, the chances of serious consequences are high enough to make it worth spending the (not exorbitant) sums needed to try to mitigate climate change.
07 Sep 2006    Source


Mostly Agree
It would be surprising if a body studying such a vast and complex area did not get some things wrong. And, by and large, the IPCC does what it was supposed to do: it provides a robust scientific basis for politicians to get on with policymaking.
12 Oct 2007    Source

Mostly Disagree
When open criticism began last year, it was airily dismissed by Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the IPCC... If he had not heard the claims were wrong by that stage, he should have done. This mixture of sloppiness, lack of communication and high-handedness gives the IPCC’s critics a lot to work with. ... There is an urgent need to study these things, and to synthesise the results in a way that can be relied on.
21 Jan 2010    Source


Mostly Disagree
HD-DVD looks to be the winner in the battle between the incompatible HD-DVD and Blu-ray technologies, given its cheaper production costs.
31 Dec 2006    Source


Agree
Publishing has only two indispensable participants: authors and readers. As with music, any technology that brings these two groups closer makes the whole industry more efficient—but hurts those who benefit from the distance between them.
05 Jun 2008    Source


Disagree
Politicians, business and the unions all want a bail-out of Ford and General Motors [but doing so] would be a bad use of public money. It would be bad in principle, because it would be an open invitation to companies everywhere to apply for aid to survive the recession [banks are an exception because the entire economy depends upon their services]. [Unfortunately Congress will do so because they are] itching to “save jobs” and to counter the public-relations disaster of bailing out Wall Street.
13 Nov 2008    Source


Mostly Disagree
The nomination is not yet Mrs Clinton's, but it increasingly looks as though it is hers to lose.
26 Jul 2007    Source

Mostly Agree
For Hillary Clinton [the debate on the March 26th 2008] represented a final chance to unsettle Barack Obama ahead of the next round of primaries, and she failed.
27 Feb 2008    Source


Disagree
With a cap-and-trade regime, where annual emissions are strictly capped, variation in these costs implies significant price volatility. It also forces the market to cut emissions at times when emission reduction costs are high. A carbon tax, on the other hand, would allow firms to cut emissions most when doing so is cheapest. This is a strong argument in favour of the overall efficiency advantages of a carbon tax. But there's more to the story than that. ...
15 Feb 2008    Source


Agree
Mr Obama had it right. Speaking to the enemy is an ordinary part of diplomacy and does not on its own amount to appeasement. In Munich in 1938, Neville Chamberlain's sin was not that he talked to Adolf Hitler, but that instead of standing up to him he sold Czechoslovakia down the river. Had the British prime minister then been Winston Churchill, the outcome of the meeting, and the history of the world, might have been different.
22 May 2008    Source


Mostly Disagree
But a conflict that has lasted 100 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. Those who choose to reduce it to the “terrorism” of one side or the “colonialism” of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. At heart, this is a struggle of two peoples for the same patch of land.
08 Jan 2009    Source


Disagree
This week Gordon Brown refused to invite the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, to Downing Street but met him at the home of the leader of the Anglican church. That was a fudge to appease China, and is a genuine disgrace.
22 May 2008    Source


Agree
...the complaint seems to boil down to a vague sense that doing Muslim stuff near ground zero is an unhappy reminder of terrorism, because the terrorists claimed to be acting in the name of Islam. ... [In any case, it's] impossible to be sensitive both to those who see the mosque as an affront and those who see opposition to it as proof of prejudice, which is why America has a constitution to adjudicate such disputes. And in this [case it] comes down squarely on the side of the mosque-builders.
17 Aug 2010    Source


Agree
Wind is only an interim stop on the way to a world where electricity no longer relies on fossil fuels. The ultimate goal is to harvest the sun’s energy directly by intercepting sunlight, rather than by waiting for that sunlight to stir up the atmosphere and sticking turbines in the resulting airstreams.
19 Jun 2008    Source


Sex

Disagree
Circumcision and other forms of male-genital mutilation are commonplace in many societies around the world. The origin of these practices, however, puzzles anthropologists and evolutionary biologists. They wonder what benefit they could bring, especially given the obvious risks of infection and reduced fertility.
19 Jul 2008    Source


War

Disagree
Russia has made perfunctory attempts to justify the invasion. ... The latest fighting in South Ossetia may have been triggered by the Georgians, but it was largely engineered by the Russians, who have, over the years, fanned the flames of the conflict.
14 Aug 2008    Source


Neutral
Relying on tribal structures may work best in the south-east of the country, where the tribes are comparatively stable and cohesive. In the south, however, tribal structures are weaker, warlords tend to dominate and insurgents exploit tribal rivalries. In Iraq, the Sunni tribes were vital to success; in Afghanistan, tribal rivalries may undo the best-laid plans.
18 Dec 2008    Source


Mostly Disagree
It is not all his fault. But for the most part, good policy repeatedly took a back seat to Mr Bush’s overweening political ambition. Both the country and, ultimately, the Republican Party are left the worse for it.
15 Jan 2009    Source


Disagree
WikiLeaks is able to improve the quality of our democracy. Of course, those jealously protective of the privileges of unaccountable state power will tell us that people will die if we can read their email, but so what? Different people, maybe more people, will die if we can't.
29 Nov 2010    Source

Agree
It's part of the nature of human communication that one doesn't always say the same thing to every audience. There are perfectly good reasons why you don't always tell the same story to your boss as you do to your spouse. ...simply grabbing as many diplomatic cables as you can get your hands on and making them public is not a socially worthy activity.
29 Nov 2010    Source


Comparisons with Other Experts and Influencers

The similarity between The Economist and each expert and influencer is calculated by looking at how the same questions were answered. These figures are used to calculate conforming, nonconforming, and projected opinions. The accuracy of the analysis depends on The Economist's coverage, which grows with the number of their opinions entered into TakeOnIt.

Agree
Ron Paul
U.S. Politician, Libertarian
83% agreement / 3 opinions

Kevin Rudd
Australian Prime Minister, 2007-2010
87% agreement / 2 opinions

Alan Greenspan
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman 1987-2006
87% agreement / 2 opinions

Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State 2009-, Democrat
100% agreement / 2 opinions

Glenn Firebaugh
Sociology Professor
87% agreement / 2 opinions

Laura Tach
Sociologist
87% agreement / 2 opinions

Mostly Agree
Barack Obama
United States President
62% agreement / 10 opinions

John McCain
U.S. Senator, Republican
66% agreement / 6 opinions

Nouriel Roubini
Economics Professor
65% agreement / 5 opinions

Robin Hanson
Economics Professor
66% agreement / 3 opinions

Conservapedia
Christian Encyclopedia
75% agreement / 2 opinions

Gautama Buddha
Founder of Buddhism
75% agreement / 1 opinions

In-Between
Joseph Romm
Physicist, Environmentalist, Writer
50% agreement / 2 opinions

Donald Trump
American Business Magnate
50% agreement / 2 opinions

Mostly Disagree
George W. Bush
United States President 2001-2009
33% agreement / 6 opinions

Ben Bernanke
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman 2006-
25% agreement / 2 opinions

Betsey Stevenson
Business Professor
37% agreement / 2 opinions

Justin Wolfers
Business Professor
37% agreement / 2 opinions

Andrew Roberts
Historian, Conservative
25% agreement / 1 opinions

Lawrence Summers
Barack Obama's Economic Advisor
25% agreement / 1 opinions

Disagree
Sarah Palin
Former Governor of Alaska (Republican)
0% agreement / 3 opinions

The Catholic Church
Largest Christian Church
0% agreement / 2 opinions

Paul Krugman
Nobel Laureate in Economics
0% agreement / 1 opinions

Heinrich Himmler
Hitler's Head of Security
0% agreement / 1 opinions

Conforming Opinions

The Economist's conforming opinions are opinions that align with the group of experts and influencers The Economist typically agrees with.

Coverage Answer Question
High Agree Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?
High Disagree Does Cap and Trade beat carbon tax for reducing emissions?
Medium Disagree Should Julian Assange be considered a criminal for Wikileaks?
Low Neutral Can the military presence in Afghanistan help create democracy?
Low Neutral Can the US military presence in Iraq help create democracy?
Low Agree Do Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero?
Low Agree Is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a huge risk to the economy?

Nonconforming Opinions

The Economist's nonconforming opinions are opinions that contradict the group of experts and influencers The Economist typically agrees with.

Coverage Group Answer Expert Answer Question
Medium Disagree Mostly Disagree Does money make you happy? (specifically: absolute spending power)
Medium Mostly Agree Agree Should gay and straight couples have the same legal benefits?
Low Neutral Agree Should the United States invade Iraq?
Low Mostly Agree Agree Should the US president talk face to face with Iran's president?

Projected Opinions

The Economist's projected opinions are opinions The Economist is expected to have if their opinions align with the experts and influencers that they typically agree with.

Coverage Answer Question
High Neutral Should abortion be legal?
High Agree Is capitalism good?
High Neutral Does government spending help mitigate a recession?
Medium Mostly Agree Does God exist?
Medium Neutral Should the United States have Universal health care?
Medium Mostly Agree Is global warming caused primarily by humans?
Medium Mostly Disagree Does minimum wage help the poor?
Medium Mostly Agree Should the US fence its border with Mexico?
Medium Agree Is efficient market theory the best approximation of the truth for the average investor?
Medium Mostly Disagree Is the war on drugs good policy?
Medium Mostly Disagree Will the WikiLeaks cable leaks do more harm than good?
Medium Neutral Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection?
Medium Mostly Agree Is morality objective?
Medium Disagree Are the core truths of science and religion complementary?
Low Neutral Should the federal government ban gay marriage?
Low Agree Should atheists directly challenge religious beliefs?
Low Agree Is "ought" derived from "is"?
Low Neutral Will genocide occur if the US pulls its combat troops out of Iraq?
Low Neutral Should the Kyoto protocol be adopted?
Low Agree Is self-deception a fault?
Low Mostly Agree Is a technological singularity likely?
Low Mostly Disagree Is Yucca mountain the best place to store nuclear waste?
Low Neutral Should marijuana be legal?
Low Agree Should the US close Guantanamo Bay?
Low Disagree Is abortion morally acceptable?
Low Neutral Is the Holocaust a myth?
Low Neutral Is Islam fundamentally a peaceful religion?
Low Neutral Was oil a motivation for invading Iraq in 2003?
Low Neutral Should Australia apologize to the Australian Aborigines for the stolen generations?
Low Mostly Disagree Will Australia enter a recession before 2010?
Low Neutral Is a National Broadband Network for Australia good value at $37 billion?
Low Agree Should psychoactive drugs be legal?
Low Neutral Should marijuana be decriminalized?
Low Agree Should prostitution be legal?
Low Mostly Agree Is abstinence-only sex education effective?