Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Many, many years ago I regularly subscribed to the Philadelphia Inquirer. I would stare out the window hoping for it to show up in the morning, refusing to start my day until I had my fifteen minutes with it. The paper got thinner, though, and copies of it piled up unread, so I moved my subscription to an electronic one, then stopped it entirely.

When, however, a few summers back, I found myself having to explain the concept of a Sunday comic to my son, I realized that I needed the newspaper back. I've been subscribing again now for about two years. The quality of the paper has deteriorated over time: it offers less news and feels even thinner. But I liked being able to simply open up the paper today and show Sam where the MLB standings truly stood.

Reinforcing the sad truth of the Phillies' woeful season. Sam and I were shocked to see how well Atlanta is playing. 
Sports section on the day before the slowest sports day of the summer. 

When we eat breakfast together on weekend mornings, the newspapers are a nice substitute for screens.

There are two other subscriptions I invite into the home. One is The Week, which is a really good news review. Sam eagerly waits its arrival, and he was rather frustrated that it didn't show up this week (that publication takes off four weeks a year). So, he told me, he was left with The Economist, the cover of which he immediately quizzed me about.

Sam surprised me by recognizing the symbol as one Germany used in the World War I era. Then he asked me to summarize the relevant news story. My answer: the German economy is very strong, but there's a chance that the Germans save so much money it hurts the economies of countries they trade with. Sam immediately followed up: "Why?"

I decided, though, there wasn't time just then to get into the paradox of thrift and financial-account imbalances. However, if that publication piqued my son's interest, for just a little bit, about such abstract but important concepts, and if that publication's cover gives him a chance to reinforce learning about symbolism and history, then it's worth every penny of the overpriced subscription.

Sam and I do disagree about which covers tend to be better, those from The Week or those from The Economist. This sounds like a good debate to have over the years.

This cover, too, led to some schooling, but more about inside baseball than big macroeconomic things. 

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