Friday, August 09, 2013

Why the sale of the Washington Post should be celebrated

There seems to have been a lot of hand wringing on Facebook over the sale of the WaPo. According to Freakonomics:

And that, economists say, is a good thing: passing on a company to an heir generally hurts a firm. As we also discuss in the podcast, one reason to keep a business in the family is that there is an absence of reliable markets, laws, and corporate-governance codes. That is one reason why you see such high rates of family ownership in other parts of the world, especially Asia and South America.

So if you get a little weepy as you see these great family institutions passing into the hands of strangers, you can at least comfort yourself with the knowledge that our economy and political structure are relatively robust. Personally, I can’t wait to see what Bezos does with the Post. Is he the best person alive to run it? Who knows. But thinking that the best person to run any company is someone who just happens to share DNA with the company’s founder is, to my mind, a much worse bet.

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