Economist Editor-in-Chief Comes Down Hard on California

Yesterday, as part Stanford University’s Payne Distinguished Leadership series, Economist editor-in-chief John Micklethwait (pictured) spoke to a packed house at the Bechtel Conference Center.

Per a report in student newspaper The Stanford Daily, he did not disappoint. The self-described “paranoid optimist,” who suggested at one point that “journalists are the prostitutes of the political world,” had this to say about the Golden State:

Micklethwait further remarked that “governments have become too large and cumbersome and need modernizing.” He said the two places that really matter in this global debate are California and Britain.

Speaking about California, Micklethwait said “in no place in the world is there such a gap between the sophistication in the private sector and the dysfunction in the public sector.”

During his long, distinguished tenure with the Economist, which began in 1987, Micklethwait has helped set up the LA bureau and served as the publication’s media correspondent. He was also, last year, voted editor of the year by the British Society of Magazine Editors.