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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

Mourning The Late Jiang Zemin?

3 hours ago

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin died at age 96 on Nov. 30, curiously just as the worst outbreak of demonstrations to happen in China since 1989 happened, probably now come to an end, as China both suppresses them, arresting some people based on phones and visual surveillance, as well as some loosening in certain locations of the zero covid policy. Jiang came to power initially in the immediate wake of Tienanman Square in 1989, reportedly pulled up the ranks by retired elders, the unofficial but powerful "Sitting Committee" of the Politburo. Someone with a record as a somewhat opportunistic technocrat, it was initially thought he would be weak, but he remained in power until 2002, and continued to hold the Chairmanship of the Military Commission until 2004, while somewhat weaker Hu

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So Much For The Iran Nuclear Deal

2 days ago

So Much For The Iran Nuclear Deal

– by Barkley Rosser @ Econospeak

 Sorry you have not seen me here for a while. My laptop on which I am able to post here was out of commission, but now has been fixed.

Well, it was not the US beating Iran in the World Cup. It is that the Europeans, especially the British, French, and Germans, have had it with Iran over the combination of their bloody attempts to suppress the ongoing demonstrations over the law that women must wear the hijab, as well as Iran’s overt supplying of Russia with drones to attack Ukraine. They have now come to oppose further negotiations with Iran over the JCPOA nuclear deal.  I do not see this changing barring major changes in the current situation.

Frankly, I think the leaders

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Economic Policy After The Midterm Elecions

2 days ago

Will economic policy change much aa a result of the midterm elecrtions? After all, the GOP has taken the House of Representatives, if only narrowly, with inflation and the economy supposedly the top issue, especially for those supporting the GOP. Will this reappearance of "divided government" have an impact on economic policy? My bottom line is probably not too much, although there is the serious possibility of some major drama and damage happening during this coming year.On the matter of having "divided government," I must note that we already have been having that, if not in the way this is usually posed. While Dems nominally controlled both the White House and Congress, although only partially so in the Senate given the need for 60 votes to win on any issue not tied to the budget and

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So Much For The Iran Nuclear Deal

3 days ago

Sorry you have not seen me here for awhile. My laptop on which I am able to post here was out of commission, but now has been fixed.Well, it was not the US beating Iran in the World Cup. It is that the Europeans, especially the British, French, and Germans, have had it with Iran over the combination of their bloody attempts to suppress the ongoing demonstrations over the law that women must wear the hijab, as well as Iran’s overt supplying of Russia with drones to attack Ukraine. They have now come to oppose further negotiations with Iran over the JCPOA nuclear deal.  I do not see this changing barring major changes in the current situation.Frankly, I think the leaders in Iran could just bend on this hijab law. Heck, it is not something in the Qur’an. But an Iranian friend of mine says

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The Humiliation Of Hu Jintao

October 31, 2022

The Humiliation Of Hu Jintao

 The recently completed onec-every-five-years Party Congress in China, which confirmed Xi Jinping for a third term as General Secretary of the party, punctuated his apparent assumption of essentially total power by humiliating his predecessor, Hu Jintao, in its final session. At the beginning, he was forced to leave the session, with two men clearly pulling on his clothing in a widely seen video to make him get up and go. It is unclear how much of this was reported to the Chinese public, but the English language Chinese media insisted that he left the meeting for health reasons.  Apparently his health is not all that great, but he was not obviously immediately ill when made to leave, and he was most clearly made to

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The Humiliation Of Hu Jintao

October 31, 2022

The recently completed onec-every-five-years Party Congress in China, which confirmed Xi Jinping for a third term as General Secretary of the party, punctuated his apparent assumption of essentially total power by humiliating his predecessor, Hu Jintao, in its final session. At the beginning, he was forced to leave the session, with two men clearly pulling on his clothing in a widely seen video to make him get up and go. It is unclear how much of this was reported to the Chinese public, but the English language Chinese media insisted that he left the meeting for health reasons.  Apparently his health is not all that great, but he was not obviously immediately ill when made to leave, and he was most clearly made to leave.So, why this humiliation? The general view is that indeed it was Xi

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Are North Korean Workers Going To Annexed Portions Of Ukraine?

October 27, 2022

Are North Korean Workers Going To Annexed Portions Of Ukraine?

 Maybe. An October 21 report in NK Daily says so, with further speculation on this matter on blogs that cover North Korea. Supposedly Kim Jong Un agreed to this with V.V. Putin in their most recent meeting. The number supposedly to be around 800-1,000, with the NK Daily report saying that they have actually been selected. Russia, China, and North Korea somehow agreeing that having these workers work in Russian-occupied annexed portions of Ukraine would not violate sanctions.  

I do not know what these workers will supposedly be doing. However, supposedly they will be going in November specifically to the Donbas area. I guess we shall see more about this, a curious development.

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Are North Korean Workers Going To Annexed Portions Of Ukraine?

October 25, 2022

Maybe. An October 21 report in NK Daily says so, with further speculation on this matter on blogs that cover North Korea. Supposedly Kim Jong Un agreed to this with V.V. Putin in their most recent meeting, with the number supposedly to be around 800-1,000, with the NK Daily report saying that they have actually been selected, and with Russia, China, and North Korea somehow agreeing that having these workers work in Russian-occupied annexed portions of Ukraine would not violate sanctions.  I do not know what these workers will supposedly be doing. However, supposedly they will be going in November specifically to the Donbas area. I guess we shall see more about this, a curious development.Barkley Rosser

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If GOP Wins Either House Of Congress, Dems Must Kill the Debt Ceiling

October 22, 2022

If GOP Wins Either House Of Congress, Dems Must Kill Debt Ceiling

 If it comes to pass and especially if the GOP takes both houses, presumably Democrats will be able to kill the debt ceiling in the lame duck session. This assumes Manchin and Sinema stick with them on it, which one of them might not. As a budget matter, it can pass by reconciliation, which avoids a filibuster. It can also be passed with only 50 votes plus VP Harris in the Senate. There are several specific ways they can do it, with it not really mattering which they do, and that they are able to do it if this issue comes to pass. The chances of such happening look highly likely at least with respect to the House of Representatives, if not definite.

We have seen the GOP play

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If GOP Wins Either House Of Congress, Dems Must Kill Debt Ceiling

October 21, 2022

If that come to pass, especially if GOP takes both houses, presumably they will be able to do it in the lame duck session, assuming that Manchin and Synema stick with them on it, which one of them might not. But as a budget matter, it can pass by reconciliation, which avoids a filibuster. Can be passed with only 50 votes plus VP Harris in the Senate. There are several specific ways they can do it, with it not really mattering which they do, just that they are able to do it if this comes to pass, which looks highly likely at least with respect to the House of Representatives, if not definite.We have seen the GOP play games with the debt ceiling in the past, most damagingly in 2011, although sometimes when they have done so, they have suffered negative political feedback.  Indeed, fear of

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Iranian Demonstrations Spread to Oil Workers

October 15, 2022

Iranian Demonstrations Spread to Oil Workers

by Barkey Rosser

 The death of a Kuidish-Iranian woman not wearing a hijab to cover her hair has led to weeks of demonstrations led by mostly young women especially in the Kurdish parts of Iran.  However, they have gained the support of young men as well, despite a severe crackdown by the authorities that has now killed over 100 of the protestors. 

The latest development that marks this becoming a more serious threat to the regime is that apparently the demonstrations have spread to at least some oil workers.  The oil industry is concentrated in the Khuzestan part of Iran on the Gulf, with a substantial number of the workers ethnically Arabs and Sunni Muslims in contrast to the majority Shia

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Iranian Demonsttations Spread to Oil Workers

October 13, 2022

The death of a Kuidish-Iranian woman doe not wearing a hijab to cover her hair has led to weeks of demonstrations led by and mostly by young women especially in the Kurdish parts of Iran.  However, they have gained the support of young men as well, despite a severe crackdown by the authorities that has now killed over 100 of the protestors. The latest development that marks this becoming a more serious threat to the regime is that apparently the demonstrations have spread to at least some oil workers.  The oil industry is concentrated in the Khuzestan part of Iran on the Gulf, with a substantial number of the workers ethnically Arabs and Sunni Muslims in contrast to the majority Shia population, which both Persians and Azeris largely are, the two most populous ethnic groups in the

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Degenerate Autocrats

October 10, 2022

Degenerate Autocrats, Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

 Yesterday, I had Konstantin Sonin present a seminar at JMU, “The Degenerate Autocrat: Origins and Consequences of the Russia-Ukraine War.” Sonin is a former Vice-Rector of the Higher Economic School in Moscow who left suddenly in March due to his critical remarks about the regime. He has since been fired from the faculty there. Sonin is a Dewey Distinguished Service Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at U. of Chicago and has coauthored with Daron Acemoglu. Daron might get the Nobel on Monday.

Anyway, his argument being longtime full autocrats become incompetent as their regimes degenerate because they increasingly appoint incompetent sycophants who give them bad information and

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An Improvement In China’s Human Rights Record In XinJiang?

October 9, 2022

An Improvement In China’s Human Rights Record In XinJiang?, Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

 On October 5, 2022, the Washington Post published a front section story, “Uyghyr crackdown eases, but Xinjiang;s scars endure,” by Eva Dou and Kate Cadell. The article documents the ongoing human rights problems and a lack of transparency in Xinjiang province in China, including ongoing use of forced labor in prisons in industrial parks, in the wake of criticism of its record in that province by the UN. The article reports it appears China is no longer sending Uyghur and Kazakh Muslim minority members to infamous “reeducation” camps.  Indeed, many of these camps are now being closed entirely. The story provides a photo of a former one, now closed, in

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Degenerate Autocrats

October 8, 2022

Yesterday I had Konstantin Sonin present a seminar at JMU on "The Degenerate Autocrat: Origins and Consequences of the Russia-Ukraine War." Sonin is a former Vice -Rector of the Higher Economic School in Moscow who had to leave suddenly in March due to his critical remarks about the regime and has since been fired from the faculty there. He is Dewey Distinguished Service Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at U. of Chicago and has coauthored with Daron Acemoglu, who might get the Nobel on Monday.Anyway, his argument is that longtime full autocrats become incompetent as their regimes degenerate because they increasingly appoint incompetent sycophants who give them bad information and do not warn them of problems with bad policy decisions they make. They accumulate these bad

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An Improvement In China’s Human Rights Record In XinJiang?

October 7, 2022

On Octobet 5, 2022, the Washington Post published a front section srtory, "Uyghyr crackdown eases, bu Xinjiang;s scars endure," by Eva Dou and Kate Cadell. While documenting ongoing human rights problems and a lack of transparency in Xinjiang province in China, including ongoing use of forced labor in prisons in industrial parks, in the wake of criticism of its record in that province by the UN, the article reports that it appears that China is no longer sending Uyghur and Kazakh Muslim minority members to infamous "reeducation" camps.  Indeed, many of these are now being closed entirely, with the story providing a photo of a former one, now closed, in Kashgar, second largest city in the province and a famous stop on the historic Silk Road.I applaud this development and hope it

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Putin Supporters In US Becoming Desperate

October 7, 2022

Putin Supporters In US Becoming Desperate

 Latest reports have after Putin annexed four oblasts in Ukraine the Ukrainian military making numerous gains in several of those and simply on a major roll that seems very unlikely to be stopped or even slowed down all that much, short of Putin using nuclear weapons. First Lyman was taken, now the last town the Russians held in Kharkiv oblast was taken. Ukrainian troops appear to be closing fast on both Kreminna and Svatavoe in Luhansk (or Lugansk) oblast, with most of northern Luhansk likely to be conquered if those two are conquered, which now looks likely very soon.

Supporters of Putin have argued that losing territory in the northeast was one thing, and they have also claimed that the Ukrainians

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Putin Supporters In US Becoming Desperate

October 4, 2022

Latest reports have after Putin annexed four oblasts in Ukraine the Ukrainian military making numerous gains in several of those and simply on a major roll that seems very unlikely to be stopped or even slowed down all that much, short of Putin using nuclear weapons. First Lyman was taken, now the last town the Russians held in Kharkiv oblast was taken. Ukrainian troops appear to be closing fast on both Kreminna and Svatavoe in Luhansk (or Lugansk) oblast, with most of northern Luhansk likely to be conquered if those two are conquered, which now looks likely very soon.Supporters of Putin have argued that losing territory in the northeast was one thing, and they have also claimed that the Ukrainians have suffered major losses in this run, although they fail to provide any evidence of

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Report From Moscow

October 2, 2022

Report From Moscow

by Barkley Rosser

 My wife, Marina, has returned from a two and a half week to Moscow to visit her 93 year old mother.  She almost got bumped from her Turkish Airlines flight out of Moscow through Istanbul, but her travel agent managed to get her back on.  Very glad she is back. Anyway, a few first hand current reports.

Yes, in terms of living standards, in Moscow most things are operating and there are plenty of goods in the stores, although prices are high. There is a major effort to have things seem “normal,” lots of cooking shows on TV.  It is true that a lot of foreign goods are not available, although there are odd exceptions. Thus apparently French and Italian wines are available. Also, KFC is all over the place,

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Report From Moscow

September 30, 2022

My wife, Marina, has returned from a two and a half week to Moscow to visit her 93 year old mother.  She almost got bumped from her Turkish Airlines flight out of Moscow through Istanbul, but her travel agent managed to get her back on.  Very glad she is back. Anyway, a few first hand current reports.Yes, in terms of living standards, in Moscow most things are operating and there are plenty of goods in the stores, although prices are high. There is a major effort to have things seem "normal," lots of cooking shows on TV.  It is true that a lot of foreign goods are not available, although there are odd exceptions. Thus apparently French and Italian wines are available. Also, KFC is all over the place, although this would appear to be a franchise. Apparently Marriott hotels have been

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Pharoah Sanders Has Passed

September 28, 2022

Pharoah Sanders Has Passed

 One of the greatest musical performances I ever saw live was in Spring 1966, sorry have not tracked down exact date, in the University of Wisconsin-Union theater. It was a live performance of the final group of John Coltrane. None of his great quartet from “A Love Supreme” were in it, but it still completely blew my mind. 

Somehow this group had another saxophonist besides the greatest of them ever, Coltane, this guy Pharoah Sanders. He was really intense, arguably more so than Coltrane himself. Now, at age 81, Sanders has passed, one of the greatest jazz saxophonists ever. 

Apparently his original name was “Farrell.” He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. When he got to New York in the early 60s, ne nearly starved

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Pharoah Sanders Has Passed

September 27, 2022

One of the greatest musical performances I ever saw live was in Spring 1966, sorry have not tracked down exact date, in the University of Wisconsin-Union theater. It was a live performance of the final group of John Coltrane. None of his great quartet from "A Love Supreme" were in it, but it still completely blew my mind. Somehow this group had another saxophonist besides the greatest of them ever, Coltane, this guy Pharoah Sanders. He was really intense, arguably more so than Coltrane himself. Now, at age 81, Sanders has passed, one of the greatest jazz saxophonists ever. Apparently his original name was "Farrell." He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. When he got to New York in the early 60s, ne nearly starved initially. Eventually he got in to various groups such as Albert Ayler,

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Tom Schelling Is Rolling Over In His Grave

September 25, 2022

Tom Schelling Is Rolling Over In His Grave, Econospeak

By Barkley Rosser

 Thomas Schelling got his Nobel Prize in economics for saving the world from global thermonuclear war in the 20th century, when many thought it was inevitable. Rival nuclear game theorist, John von Neumann, said to bomb the Soviets as soon as possible, like, tomorrow, preferably before noon 

Schelling won the debate in real time, being an advisor on “Dr. Strangelove…” bringing about as a result of that the installation of the “red phone,” for immediate and direct communications on such matters between the then USSR and the US. I suspect that phone still exists in some form, bur I do not know

What Tom got his visit to Stockholm for, which I told him in person he would

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Tom Schelling Is Rolling Over In His Grave

September 24, 2022

Thomas Schelling got his Nobel Prize in economics for saving the world from global thermonuclear war in the 20th century, when many thought it was inevitable. Rival nuclear game theorist, John von Neumann, said to bomb the Soviets as soon as possible, like, tomorrow, preferably before noon Schelling won the debate in real time, being an advisor on "Dr. Strangelove…" bringing about as a result of that the installation of the "red phone," for immediate and direct communications on such matters between the then USSR and the US. I suspect that phone still exists in some form, bur I do not knowWhat Tom got his visit to Stockholm for, which I told him in person he would get before he got it, (yeah, really), was his formulation of how to find a socially beneficial game theoretic solution when

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How To Dismantle An Empire

September 15, 2022

How To Dismantle An Empire

 My late mother seriously admired the now late Queen Elizabeth II. Not only was she a conservative Anglophiliac with overwhelming British ancestry (all the “nations” of the UK) who had tea in the afternoon at the proper British time in more or less the proper British way, there was also the matter that the queen bore a son her heir only seven months after my mother had me. I was raised to see Charles as a   a sort of cohort.

Indeed, i came to view him with great sympathy, although in later years he would come to be highly embarrassing in many ways well and widely known. But in 1958, the second time I was in UK, on arriving I saw tabloids with front page stories about some ridiculous matter involving Charles, I think it

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How To Dismantle An Empire

September 13, 2022

My late mother seriously admired the now late Queen Elizabeth II. Not only was she a conservative Anglophiliac with overwhelming British ancestry (all the "nations" of the UK) who had tea in the afternoon at the proper British time in more or less the proper British way, there was also the matter that the queen bore a son her heir only seven months after my mother had me. I was raised to see Charles as a   a sort of cohort.Indeed, i came to view him with great sympathy, although in later years he would come to be highly embarrassing in many ways well and widely known. But in 1958, the second time I was in UK, on arriving I saw tabloids with front page stories about some ridiculous matter involving Charles, I think it was about him playing games in streets uncontrolled, or something like

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Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?

September 10, 2022

“Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?,” Econospeak

 It (Iran Nuclear Deal) keeps looking like it might, but then no obstacles have appeared yet. President Biden promised to undo what I have long argued was the worst foreign policy mistake made by Donald Trump. He should have just done it right after he took office, but he made a bunch of extra demands and the negotiations went nowhere. Then the moderate Rouhani government was replaced by the hardline Raisi one, something some of us like me forecasted would happen if he listened to these people who thought he should make demand about missiles and foreign groups. None of this is going anywhere.

Anyway, there have been fresh rumors of a nearly done deal, but it seems to be stalled out

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Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?

September 8, 2022

It keeps looking like it might, but then ne obstacles seem to appear. President Biden promised to undo what I have long argued was the worst foreign policy mistake made by Donald Trump. He should have just done it right after he took office, but he made a bunch of extra demands and the negotiations went nowhere. Then the moderate Rouhani government was replaced by the hardline Raisi one, something some of us like me forecasted would happen if he listened to these people who thought he should make demand about missiles and foreign groups, none of this going anywhere.Anyway, there have been fresh rumors of a nearly done deal, but it seems to be stalled out now on two items.  One is US demanding Iran let IAEA inspect some sites. The other is Iran demanding Biden promise no future president

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Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

September 3, 2022

Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

 Mikhail Sergeivich Gorbachev died on the same day as our daughter Sasha’s 33rd birthday. Sasha herself noted that if it were not for him she probably would not exist. It was ultimately Gorbachev who decided that the USSR would obey the Helsinki Accords rules on letting people get married and so on April 4, 1987 let my wife Marina leave Moscow for the US, the top story on CNN that evening. For that we are personally grateful to him and respect him, despite other things he did that one may not support.

Some people do not support, him, only 8% of the Russian population according to a poll taken in 2017. President Putin has announced that he will not receive a state funeral, perhaps justifiable given that the

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Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

September 1, 2022

Mikhail Sergeivich Gorbachev died on the same day as our daughter Sasha’s 33rd birthday. Sasha herself noted that if it were not for him she probably would not exist. It was ultimately Gorbachev who decided that the USSR would obey the Helsinki Accords rules on letting people get married and so on April 4, 1987 let my wife Marina leave Moscow for the US, the top story on CNN that evening. For that we are personally grateful to him and respect him, despite other things he did that one may not support.Some people do not support, him, only 8% of the Russian population according to a poll taken in 2017. President Putin has announced that he will not receive a state funeral, perhaps justifiable given that the USSR no longer exists, although Putin has regularly claimed to possess the powers

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