igital content and the new New Economy
The “digital revolution” appeared to have died when the “technology bubble popped,” says Paul Krugman in The New York Times. But it turns out that some of the theories of “the ‘90s technology gurus” just took a little time to reach fruition. One of these, from 1994, is the idea that when creative content—books, music, movies—becomes digital, it is disseminated so easily that businesses will have to sell it “cheaply, or even give it away.” Record labels discovered this, newspapers are struggling to, and book publishers are next. “Bit by bit, everything that can be digitized will be digitized,” and “we’ll have to find business and economic models that take this reality into account.”
The rational gas price point
The market is finding a way to “wean us off oil,” says Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post, and it turns out that “the price point is $4.” When gas is at $3 a gallon, “Americans just grin and bear it, suck it up,” and “keep driving like crazy.” At $4, they “become rational creatures,” driving less, buying smaller cars, and taking the bus. “So now we know.” The change in habits, while stunning, is “utterly predictable.” What happens at $6 gas, as Goldman Sachs predicts we’ll pay next year? Knowing the “utter futility” of the suggestion, if we want to reduce demand, bring down oil prices, and also benefit “the American consumer and the American economy,” let’s hike gas taxes and keep the extra $2 a gallon here.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to take the perfect profile picture for online dating, according to science
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi dismantles another ObamaCare myth
- The one simple thing that can make you much more impressive
Subscribe to the Week