Oldspapers and the Crisis of the Establishment
(LewRockwell.com) -- by Gary North --
...Almost no one under age 35 subscribes to a daily newspaper in the United States. This is a widely known fact. It has been known for over a decade.
It is clear to all that newspapers must switch to the Web in order to survive. They must also find a business model that enables them to show a profit. So far, no major daily urban newspaper has made this transition. The losses on the Web editions are so great that they must be sustained by the print editions. It is highly unlikely that any of them will make the shift successfully. The loss of paid subscribers is now too rapid.
In the fall of 2009, Bloomberg published a report on the decline of paid subscriptions to print editions over the past year. For 379 newspapers, the decline was 11%.
If we apply the "law of 70" – 70 divided by 11 – we find that these newspapers will have only half their paid subscribers in another 6.3 years. Of course, they won't all decline at the same rate. Probably half of them will go bankrupt before then. It may be more than half.
Here is the poster child of on-line paid subscription newspapers. A family paid $650 million to buy Newsday, the Long Island newspaper. The paper paid an additional $4 million to create an on-line edition in which readers would pay $5 a week. Total number of subscribers who did this: 35...
I have not subscribed to a print edition of a daily newspaper for a dozen years. I used to subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. That was a long time ago.
Those two outlets are the mouthpieces for the two sides of the Punch & Judy show that we call politics. Their editorial pages are where Left-wing Keynesians and Right-wing Keynesians debate about how large the Federal deficit should be.
You have never read an editorial in the WSJ on the need for reducing the Federal debt to zero, while simultaneously removing all legal authority of the Federal Reserve System to act as an enforcement agency of the U.S. government, i.e., advocating the complete privatization of the FED. That is what Andrew Jackson did: reduced the Federal debt to zero for the first and last time, and also privatized the Second Bank of the United States, which then went bankrupt. So, it can be done. But no agency of Establishment opinion thinks that the Federal debt should ever be zero, nor does it suggest that central banking is an enormous scam.
The Right and the Left are agreed on central banking. This goes back to 1848: the anonymously published Manifesto of the Communist Party, wherein Marx and Engels recommended the creation of a central bank as one of the ten steps to socialize a society.
In a puppet show, you never see the person or persons whose hands are inside the puppets, or whose hands control the strings of the marionettes. That would spoil the show.
The children know the puppets are not real. So do the parents. But the show is entertaining.
The national puppet shows that entertain us politically are not widely perceived as puppet shows. So, the entertainers who control the strings can charge a lot more to the public. The public really does think that the show must go on. The level of taxation borne by the victims, the level of national government indebtedness, and the rate of monetary expansion all point to the grand success of the illusion.
The threat to the entertainers is that the public will begin to perceive that there are hands inside the puppets and above the strings on the marionettes.
This process of realization has begun...
Pundits are salaried opinion-makers who have shaped the opinions of intellectuals for a century. They have readers because they are on the payrolls of newspapers.
The Times attempted to convert their pundits into an income stream in 2005. The paper began charging readers to read these pundits. That experiment lasted for exactly two years. Then the company abandoned it.
These experts – mostly Left-wing Keynesians – sit at their keyboards and crank out the daily quota of ideas. I do the same myself. But these people are salaried. I am not. These people are hired to communicate the latest opinions of the Establishment. I am not. They are supposed to influence the opinions of decision-makers and their advisors. In the past, they have done this. But the cozy little arrangement is being smashed by the Web. There are too many opinions out there. The voters can find out what they want to know through social media and Google searches. There are now millions of well-informed voters who do not read the opinions of the pundits, except to ridicule them...MORE...LINK