Monday, November 14, 2005

Do corporations maximize profit?

Tyler Cowen links approvingly to this Mickey Kaus piece:
Are you impressed that TimesSelect has attracted "approximately" 135,000 paying customers?** At $45 a head (halfway between the introductory price and the regular price) that's $6.1 million. Bigger than Arianna! But if someone--say, Richard Mellon Scaife--had come along a year ago and offered the NYT $6.1 million to radically limit the reach of its (largely) liberal columnists, would the paper have taken the deal? ... P.S.: And is the future subscriber trajectory really up, up, up, as the Times' columnists fade as personalities on the Web and get replaced by other, freer popular writers? ...
But the Mellon Scaife comparison presumes that the Times exists to maximize its ideological power. Perhaps it's maximizing profit. Not that Tyler Cowen needs to be told what corporations do.

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