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Barkley Rosser

Barkley Rosser

I remember how loud it was. I was a young Economics undergraduate, and most professors didn’t really slam points home the way Dr. Rosser did. He would bang on the table and throw things around the classroom. Not for the faint of heart, but he definitely kept my attention and made me smile. It is hard to not smile around J. Barkley Rosser, especially when he gets going on economic theory. The passion comes through and encourages you to come along with it in a truly contagious way. After meeting him, it is as if you can just tell that anybody who knows that much and has that much to say deserves your attention.

Articles by Barkley Rosser

Global Polls

5 days ago

Global Polls

OK, so I think the nations surveyed are biased, but I have now seen two polls with roughly similar polls.  

So Pew, with a larger base and solid credibility has that among foreign nations polls in their nations data set showed an improvement in favorability rating for the POTUS have gone from 17% to 75% give or take a few percents. OTOH, the attitude towards the US among whichever nations Pew polled had the attitude towards the US only rising from 34% to 62%.  Most commentary has this as foreigners now fear that either Trump himself or some clone of his might well become POTUs in the not too far distant future.

In the meantime, I wish the best to the current POTUS on his current trip abroad.

Barkley Rosser

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Global Polls

6 days ago

OK, so I think the nations surveyed are biased, but I have now seen two polls with roughly similar polls.  So Pew, with a larger base and solid credibility has that among foreign nations polls in their nations data set showed an improvement in favorability rating for the POTUS have gone from 17% to 75% give or take a few percents. OTOH, the attitude towards the US among whichever nations Pew polled had the attitude towards the US only rising from 34% to 62%.  Most commentary has this as foreigners now fear that either Trump himself or some clone of his might well become POTUs in the not too far distant future.In the meantime, I wish the best to the current POTUS on his current trip abroad.Barkley Rosser

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Treasury Secretary Yellen Achieves A Victory

8 days ago

Treasury Secretary Yellen Achieves A Victory

 This is her getting the G-7 finance ministers to agree to a minimum 15% corporate tax. It is easy to sneer at this. Some of the nations involved may not pass it. There are many problems with details, such as whether the tax would be on gross or net income.  There are a lot of nations not in on this agreement, including especially large China.

But currently many large corporations are paying zero anywhere, with this reflecting their ability to shift earnings around from nation to nation.  Frankly, although I have long been a fan of Janet Yellen’s I really did not expect this plan to go anywhere.  There would simply be too much international opposition. But she has pulled off at least the quite

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Treasury Secretary Yellen Achieves A Victory

9 days ago

This is her getting the G-7 finance ministers to agree to a minimum 15% corporate tax. It is easy to sneer at this. Some of the nations involved may not pass it. There are many problems with details, such as whether the tax would be on gross or net income.  There are a lot of nations not in on this agreement, including especially large China.But currently many large corporations are paying zero anywhere, with this reflecting their ability to shift earnings around from nation to nation.  Frankly, although I have long been a fan of Janet Yellen’s I really did nor expect this plan to go anywhere.  There would simply be too much international opposition. But she has pulled off at least the quite significant agreement, supported by President Biden. So I would like to recognize this

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The War On Anthony Fauci

11 days ago

This title may seem a bit over the top, but for those not paying attention to the Trump media bubble they may not realize how completely out of control and over the top this has become.  It is topped off by Trump himself going after Dr. Anthony Fauci big time in his speech to the NC GOP earlier this evening for having urged people to wear masks and for supposedly covering up the supposed lab source of the coronavirus in Wuhan. But this follows what has become an almost all the time attack on Fox, Newsmax, and OAN on nearly all their shows, with people now claiming that Dr. Fauci (along with Obama) actively encouraged and aided the development of Covid-19 in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He is personally guilty for every person dead in the US as well as every job lost due to the

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My Latest Book

13 days ago

My Latest Book

Heck, I might as well brag here when I have the opportunity, and I do.  

So, just a couple of days ago my latest book came out from Springer Nature.  It is called Foundations and Applications of Complexity Economics.  I am not going to go on about it or its contents other than to note that I have published on this general topic before on numerous occasions, with my last book out on it a decade ago in 2011, also from Springer.  

Anyway, it feels good to actually get those hard copies in your hands of something you worked on for a long time, and I am not one of those people who just knocks off books in a couple of weeks or months while riding on airplanes or whatever.  They have all taken years of work, even revisions for new

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My Latest Book

13 days ago

Heck, I might as well brag here when I have the opportunity, and I do.  So, just a couple of days ago my latest book came out from Springer Nature.  It is called Foundations and Applications of Complexity Economics.  I am not going to go on about it or its contents other than to note that I have published on this general topic before on numerous occasions, with my last book out on it a decade ago in 2011, also from Springer.  Anyway, it feels good to actually get those hard copies in your hands of something you worked on for a long time, and I am not one of those people who just knocks off books in a couple of weeks or months while riding on airplanes or whatever.  They have all taken years of work, even revisions for new additions, and this one took a few as well. But now it is over.

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Do Languages Get Simpler When They Get More Complicated?

15 days ago

Do Languages Get Simpler When They Get More Complicated?

 Oh, a minor diversion from the usual political economy stuff that goes up here.  

This is triggered by an article in last week’s The Economist on the nearly dead San language, Nluu.  It has only two living fully fluent speakers alive, both in their 80s.  The San languages are among the world’s most ancient, although arguably reflecting a simpler world than the one we live in, although certainly with many complications we know nothing of.  But the point that caught my attention was that it has 45 distinct click sounds, along with 114 basic sound units. It is one of only three languages in the world (all of them San) that have something called the double lip-full kiss click, whatever that

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The Trumpification of Xi Jinping

17 days ago

The Trumpification of Xi Jinping

 The Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) has achieved great outcomes over the last several decades, especially after the late Deng Xiaoping took effective control of the nation from Maoist holdovers.  He set a model of indirect and collective leadership in contrast with Mao Zedong who ruled nearly absolutely for nearly three decades, while building and enforcing a cult of personality dedicated to himself. Of the top three positions in the nation, he held only one: Chair of the Military Commission, making him Commander-in-Chief. But he was never General Secretary of the Party (with his exact position there unclear), and his highest position in the actual government never above Vice Prime Minister, which he did not

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Do Languages Get Simpler When They Get More Complicated?

17 days ago

Oh, a minor diversion from the usual political economy stuff that goes up here.  This is triggered by an article in last week’s The Economist on the nearly dead San language, Nluu.  It has only two living fully fluent speakers alive, both in their 80s.  The San languages are among the world’s most ancient, although arguably reflecting a simpler world than the one we live in, although certainly with many complications we know nothing of.  But the point that caught my attention was that it has 45 distinct click sounds, along with 114 basic sound units. It is one of only three languages in the world (all of them San) that have something called the double lip-full kiss click, whatever that is. I only know that if one sees an exclamation point that means some sort of click. So probably the

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The Trumpification of Xi Jinping

19 days ago

The Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) has achieved great outcomes over the last several decades, especially after the late Deng Xiaoping took effective control of the nation from Maoist holdovers.  He set a model of indirect and collective leadership in contrast with Mao Zedong who ruled nearly absolutely for nearly three decades, while building and enforcing a cult of personality dedicated to himself. Of the top three positions in the nation, he held only one: Chair of the Military Commission, making him Commander-in-Chief. But he was never General Secretary of the Party (with his exact position there unclear), and his highest position in the actual government never above Vice Prime Minister, which he did not remain in all that long.The system went through various changes in the 1980s,

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Larry Summers Doubles Down On His Inflation Prediction

19 days ago

Larry Summers Doubles Down On His Inflation Prediction

 But somehow becomes vaguer about exactly how this is going to happen and show up, but he wants the Fed to stop it in its track, goshdarnit.  This is in a column appearing in the Washington Post, May 25, “The inflation risk is real.”

Well, he does start out by saying that the economic recovery from the pandemic is a good thing, as is of course the the receeding of the pandemic itself, with the US doing well compared to “other industrial countries.”  The fiscal and monetary policies supporting this have so far been a good thing, blah blah blah.  But now we must change course, especially the Fed, which Summers is still ticked off about not being appointed Chair of instead of Janet Yellen back

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Larry Summers Doubles Down On His Inflation Prediction

21 days ago

But somehow becomes vaguer about exactly how this is going to happen and show up, but he wants the Fed to stop it in its track, goshdarnit.  This is in a column appearing in the Washington Post, May 25, "The inflation risk is real."Well, he does start out by saying that the economic recovery from the pandemic is a good thing, as is of course the the receeding of the pandemic itself, with the US doing well compared to "other industrial countries."  The fiscal and monetary policies supporting this have so far been a good thing, blah blah blah.  But now we must change course, especially the Fed, which Summers is still ticked off about not being appointed Chair of instead of Janet Yellen back when (both of his parents worked for the Philadelphia Fed, so, obviously he should have been put in

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Bibi Gets To Stay In Office (For Now)

23 days ago

Bibi Gets To Stay In Office (For Now)

 With the welcome cease fire in Israel-Palestine, it looks like Bibi Netanyahu has achieved his near term goal of remaining prime minister of Israel, thus not only remaining power but also out of jail, with barely anybody noticing that he has done this.  His rival, Yair Lapid, who was invited by President Reuvan Rivlin to form a government, was hoping to cut a deal with the Israeli-Arab members of the Knesset, but that is now out of the question, so Bibi gets to stay in office.  There will probably need to be another election.

And while there is officially a cease fire, this has not kept the Israeli security forces from further attacking people in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, which triggered the outbreak of

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Bibi Gets To Stay In Office (For Now)

25 days ago

With the welcome cease fire in Israel-Palestine, it looks like Bibi Netanyahu has achieved his near term goal of remaining prime minister of Israel, thus not only remaining power but also out of jail, with barely anybody noticing that he has done this.  His rival, Yair Lapid, who was invited by President Reuvan Rivlin to form a government, was hoping to cut a deal with the Israeli-Arab members of the Knesset, but that is now out of the question, so Bibi gets to stay in office.  There will probably need to be another election.And while there is officially a cease fire, this has not kept the Israeli security forces from further attacking people in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, which triggered the outbreak of this short war initially.Barkley Rosser

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The Public Reappearance Of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

29 days ago

The Public Reappearance Of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

 Sigh, so much that is so obvious, and so much that is not, but so much that is so sad, especially as there seems to be little real prospect of any serious improvement or settlement on the underlying issues.  Indeed, it is probably the case we did not see anything happen for a good 7 years because from the Palestinian side things looked so hopeless in the face of ongoing Israeli expansion of settlements in the Occupied West Bank and increasing suppression of their rights, with more and more political figures on various sides declaring that the Two-State Solution was dead, so fuggedaboudit. With Bibi Netanyahu managing to get full control of the GOP line on things Israeli, and getting most

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The Public Reappearance Of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

May 16, 2021

Sigh, so much that is so obvious, and so much that is not, but so much that is so sad, especially as there seems to be little real prospect of any serious improvement or settlement on the underlying issues.  Indeed, it is probably the case we did not see anything happen for a good 7 years because from the Palestinian side things looked so hopeless in the face of ongoing Israeli expansion of settlements in the Occupied West Bank and increasing suppression of their rights, with more and more political figures on various sides declaring that the Two-State Solution was dead, so fuggedaboudit. With Bibi Netanyahu managing to get full control of the GOP line on things Israeli, and getting most of what he wanted from this while Trump was president, including a US embassy move to Jerusalem and

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The Death of Dick Day

May 8, 2021

The Death of Dick Day

I learned a few days ago that Richard (Dick) Hollis Day died about a month ago.  There is no obit yet, so I do not have exact dates of birth or death, but communicating with an old mutual friend who knows his oldest son, apparently he succumbed to dementia and related problems that had him declining over the last several years at his home in Cambria, California.  He was born in 1933, but not sure of exact date, so he was either 87 or 88.  

Dick was somebody I think underappreciated by the economics profession who in my view played an important role on several fronts, both intellectually and in other ways. I shall note a prominent one of the latter being that he was he founding editor in 1981 of the Journal of Economic

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The Death of Dick Day

May 7, 2021

I learned a few days ago that Richard (Dick) Hollis Day died about a month ago.  There is no obit yet, so I do not have exact dates of birth or death, but communicating with an old mutual friend who knows his oldest son, apparently he succumbed to dementia and related problems that had him declining over the last several years at his home in Cambria, California.  He was born in 1933, but not sure of exact date, so he was either 87 or 88.  Dick was somebody I think underappreciated by the economics profession who in my view played an important role on several fronts, both intellectually and in other ways. I shall note a prominent one of the latter being that he was he founding editor in 1981 of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (JEBO), with me replacing him in that position

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A Recent Correlation Regarding Political “Leadership” And The Coronavirus

May 6, 2021

A Recent Correlation Regarding Political “Leadership” And The Coronavirus

 The recent correlation I have noticed, with others commenting on it also, is that some of the most prominent nations with the most rapidly rising rates of coronavirus infections are led by somewhat authoritarian leaders who have recently dismissed the threat of it and engaged in policies that may have encouraged its spread.  The most dramatic examples are India, Brazil, and the Philippines.  

Last year India did not do too badly. It had only one wave, which was pretty well controlled by vigorous lockdown policies that sent many migrant workers from cities to villages. Increasingly authoritarian Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, he who is imposing Hindutva on the

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A Recent Correlation Regarding Political “Leadership” And The Coronavirus

May 3, 2021

The recent correlation I have noticed, with others commenting on it also, is that some of the most prominent nations with the most rapidly rising rates of coronavirus infections are led by somewhat authoritarian leaders who have recently dismissed the threat of it and engaged in policies that may have encouraged its spread.  The most dramatic examples are India, Brazil, and the Philippines.  Last year India did not do too badly. It had only one wave, which was pretty well controlled by vigorous lockdown policies that sent many migrant workers from cities to villages. Increasingly authoritarian Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, he who is imposing Hindutva on the nation and suppressing various dissident voices. This apparent success led to a lot of complacency, with this marked by Modi

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So Much For May Day

May 3, 2021

So Much For May Day

 Today is May Day. An ancient point of the Gaelic calendar marking spring, it was long marked by pagan fertility celebrations and rites, dancing around May poles and the like, with many variations on this in different countries. The day became associated with the worker’s movement in 1886 when in Chicago a movement for the 8-hour work day involved many demonstrations and strikes and ultimately a riot in Haymarket Square in Chicago that culminated in a bombing and a massacre (with both police and workers killed), followed by trials and executions of various anarchists and activists. The actual date if the massacre was on May 4, but May1 became associated with the event, and it spread to become the leading International Worker’s

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So Much For May Day

May 2, 2021

Today is May Day. An ancient point of the Gaelic calendar marking spring, it was long marked by pagan fertility celebrations and rites, dancing around May poles and the like, with many variations on this in different countries. The day became associated with the worker’s movement in 1886 when in Chicago a movement for the 8-hour work day involved many demonstrations and strikes and ultimately a riot in Haymarket Square in Chicago that culminated in a bombing and a massacre (with both police and workers killed), followed by trials and executions of various anarchists and activists. The actual date if the massacre was on May 4, but May1 became associated with the event, and it spread to become the leading International Worker’s Day, despite competition from rivals such as Labor Day in

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Robert Mundell And Supply Side Economics

April 29, 2021

Robert Mundell And Supply Side Economics

 The death of Nobel Prize winner Robert A. Mundell at age 88 has brought forth much discussion about his work and legacy.  Most of this discussion, such as several columns by Paul Krugman, have commented favorably on the work for which he was officially given the prize, several papers he wrote in the late 1950s and early 1960s while he was at the IMF.  These papers, drawing on the experience of his native Canada at the time as a nation with a floating exchange rate and open to capital flows with the neighboring and domineering US at a time when most major economies had fixed exchange rates, laid the foundation for the now textbook Mundell-Fleming model of international open macroeconomics, A crucial insight

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Robert Mundell And Supply Side Economics

April 27, 2021

The death of Nobel Prize winner Robert A. Mundell at age 88 has brought forth much discussion about his work and legacy.  Most of this discussion, such as several columns by Paul Krugman, have commented favorably on the work for which he was officially given the prize, several papers he wrote in the late 1950s and early 1960s while he was at the IMF.  These papers, drawing on the experience of his native Canada at the time as a nation with a floating exchange rate and open to capital flows with the neighboring and domineering US at a time when most major economies had fixed exchange rates, laid the foundation for the now textbook Mundell-Fleming model of international open macroeconomics, A crucial insight now universally accepted was of the "impossible trinity" that a nation cannot

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Bellwether Bullard versus Sirenic Summers

April 23, 2021

Bellwether Bullard versus Sirenic Summers

 So this is about the now getting to be passe topic of what will happen to inflation this year, with Larry Summers having gone out of his way to make a lot of noise in criticizing the expansionary fiscal policy partly passed but partly still under consideration in Congress as threatening a possible outbreak of 60s-70s style inflation at an entrenched much higher rate than we are seeing now.  He has put the probability of that at about a third, but considers this to be high enough to call for the Biden fiscal policy to be cut back in order to avoid that one third chance of a serious increase in the rate of entrenched inflation.

This forecast has not been accepted by the leading economic policymakers,

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Where’s The Beef?

April 22, 2021

Where’s The Beef?

 Well, as we increasingly understand how environmentally damaging producing beef is, quite aside from lots of other issues, the proper issue should probably be, “nowhere.”  But back in the early 1980s a fast food outlet, Wendy’s (I originally said Arby’s) ran an ad with this line that indicated that the beef was at their outlet while their competitors just did not have the real beef, what all potential customers really wanted.  Wendy’s has never been all super successful although somewhat so, but many considered this to be an effective ad that appealed to lots of people.

So during the campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 1984 when “New Democrat” Gary Hart took the lead in polls with his appeal to high tech

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Bellwether Bullard versus Sirenic Summers

April 22, 2021

So this is about the now getting to be passe topic of what will happen to inflation this year, with Larry Summers having gone out of his way to make a lot of noise in criticizing the expansionary fiscal policy partly passed but partly still under consideration in Congress as threatening a possible outbreak of 60s-70s style inflation at an entrenched much higher rate than we are seeing now.  He has put the probability of that at about a third, but considers this to be high enough to call for the Biden fiscal policy to be cut back in order to avoid that one third chance of a serious increase in the rate of entrenched inflation.This forecast has not been accepted by the leading economic policymakers, notably Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell, as well as the various

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Where’s The Beef?

April 21, 2021

Well, as we increasingly understand how environmentally damaging producing beef is, quite aside from lots of other issues, the proper issue should probably be, "nowhere."  But back in the early 1980s a fast food outlet, Wendy’s (I originally said Arby’s) ran an ad with this line that indicated that the beef was at their outlet while their competitors just did not have the real beef, what all potential customers really wanted.  Wendy’s has never been all super successful although somewhat so, but many considered this to be an effective ad that appealed to lots of people.So during the campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 1984 when "New Democrat" Gary Hart took the lead in polls with his appeal to high tech and a certain sleek cool, his chief rival Walter Mondale threw

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Keeping Fingers Crossed As US Commits To Removing Military From Afghanistan

April 15, 2021

Keeping Fingers Crossed As US Commits To Removing Military From Afghanistan

 Yes, President Biden has bitten the bullet to remove US troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack that triggered our initial entry into that nation for our longest war.  Of course, we shall not quite be fully out as not only will there still be some Marines guarding the embassy in Kabul, but probably covert CIA forces will continue to operate and drone bombing will probably continue and possibly even continue the expansion that has been going on for some time, with over 7000 bombs dropped on the nation by the US in 2019 according to Juan Cole.  But, hey, still looking good.

Needless to say many are upset and whining and worrying.  David Ignatius

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