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A Technology Paradox

David Brooks, in his Times column today (emphasis added):

When I started covering presidential primaries, the best part was getting to know the candidates. We journalists would ride around in vans and buses with them and get an intimate look at what it’s like to endure this soul-destroying process. But the ubiquity of Web cams and tweets has ended that off-the-record culture. As the technology gets more open, the lines of political communications become more closed.

True enough, and I’m surprised that more people don’t consider this paradox. Read More »



How Much Does Campaign Spending Influence the Election? A Freakonomics Quorum

We have long argued (most recently in this Marketplace podcast) that campaign spending isn’t nearly as influential in elections as the conventional wisdom holds.

This week, with the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls in South Carolina spending lots of money (and time and effort) and everyone’s talking about “super PAC” spending, we thought it was a good occasion to air this question out further. We’ve convened a Freakonomics Quorum on the topic, soliciting replies from a few folks with expertise in the realm. Thanks to all of them for participating. Read More »



It’s Election Day: Can You Really Blame the President?

In honor of Election Day, our latest Freakonomics Radio installment on Marketplace asks a question that might make a few political heads explode: how much does the President of the United States really matter? Sure, he’s the “leader of the free world” – but how much unalloyed power does he actually have? Is he more […] Read More »