Saturday , June 25 2022
Home / Barkley Rosser
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

Robert Haveman, RIP

2 days ago

Robert (Bob) Haveman died on June 18, aged 85.  He had been at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1970, when I first met him, where he served as Chair of the econ dept., director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and also Director of the LaFollette Institute for Public Policy.  A very policy-oriented economist with a progressive perspective, he published widely on public finance, poverty and social policy, environmental and natural resources economics, and benefit-cost analysis, amI along other things.  He visited at many universities around the world and belonged to many international organizations, including serving as president of the International Public Finance Society. Just this spring he was made a Fellow of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis.  He was a lively

Read More »

A Deadline Passes and Stalin Is Exchanged For Peter The Great

12 days ago

A Deadline Passes And Stalin Is Exchanged For Peter The Great, Barkley Rosser, Econospeak

 I am not all that much into posting about the ups and downs of the Special Operation in Ukraine, but it seems that there has been one of those lines crossed. While it was not widely publicized, June 10 was apparently a deadline set by V.V. Putin for Russian forces to conquer Severodonetsk.  While reportedly they control a solid majority of that now mostly destroyed city, with 90% of its population having left, Ukrainians still control portions, especially an industrial zone, somewhat mimicking Mariupol, and are also bombarding Russian forces from a hillside in Lysychansk across the Siviersky Donets River. The deadline has not been met, even as much western

Read More »

A Deadline Passes And Stalin Is Exchanged For Peter The Great

13 days ago

I am not all that much into posting about the ups and downs of the Special Operation in Ukraine, but it seems that there has been one of those lines crossed. While it was not widely publicized, June 10 was apparently a deadline set by V.V. Putin for Russian forces to conquer Severodonetsk.  While reportedly they control a solid majority of that now mostly destroyed city, with 90% of its population having left, Ukrainians still control portions, especially an industrial zone, somewhat mimicking Mariuopol, and are also bombarding Russian forces from a hillside in Lyschansk across the Siviersky Donets River. The deadline has not been met, even as much western declares as it has been doing for some time now that the Russians will probably gain full control "within a few days."  Maybe.In any

Read More »

Why In The US IS D-Day Memorialized While The Battle Of Midway Is Not?

17 days ago

Why In The US IS D-Day Memorialized While The Battle Of Midway Is Not?

 Today is 6/6/22, 78 years after 6/6/44, D-Day, when American, British, and Canadian troops stormed beaches in Normandy to push the Germans out of France.  It was a dramatic landing, with many dying heroically, and depicted in several highly popular movies with famous actors in them, including The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan. While not a full-blown holiday, it was recognized today, with ceremonies in certain locations such as the World War II Memorial in Bedford, Virginia about an hour and a half drive from where I am in Harrisonburg, a town that produced a disproportionate number of men who participated in the D-Day landing, and a disproportionate number who died doing

Read More »

Why In The US IS D-Day Memorialized While The Battle Of Midway Is Not?

18 days ago

Today is 6/6/22, 78 years after 6/6/44, D-Day, when American, British, and Canadian troops stormed beaches in Normandy to push the Germans out of France.  It was a dramatic landing, with many dying heroically, and depicted in several highly popular movies with famous actors in them, including The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan. While not a full-blown holiday, it was recognized today, with ceremonies in certain locations such as the World War II Memorial in Bedford, Virginia about an hour and a half drive from where I am in Harrisonburg, a town which produced a disproportionate number of men who participated in the D-Day landing, and a disproportionate number who died doing so.OTOH, two days ago was the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the three day Battle of Midway, which has

Read More »

Biden Visits Saudi Arabia

19 days ago

Biden Kowtows To Saudi Arabia

 Apparently, President Biden will be visiting Riyadh as part of his forthcoming Middle East tour. The report on this coincides with an apparent end to negative comments about the nation’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), whom the CIA has accused of having ordered the execution and chopping up of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It must be admitted that MbS has made some progressive moves, allowing women to drive and reigning in to some extent the power of the Mutaween religious police. But he has also thrown many critics and just rivals into jail or confinement, in the case of wealthy rivals stripping them of much of their assets. A not regularly recognized fact is that MbS came to power by carrying out a coup

Read More »

Biden Kowtows To Saudi Arabia

21 days ago

Apparently President Biden will be visiting Riyadh as part of his forthcoming Middle East tour. The report on this coincides with an apparent end to negative comments about the nation’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), whom the CIA has accused of having ordered the execution and chopping up of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It must be admitted that MbS has made some progressive moves, allowing women to drive and reigning in to some extent the power of the Mutaween religious police. But he has also thrown many critics and just rivals into jail or confinement, in the case of wealthy rivals stripping them of much of their assets. A not regularly recognized fact is that MbS came to power by carrying out a coup against the former crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, with it likely he was

Read More »

Ways Of Dying

22 days ago

Ways Of Dying

 The Economist in each issue has an obituary on its final page. The one for May 21 was of Saotome Katsumoto of Tokyo, Japan, whom I had never heard of who just died at age 90. Apparently, he had been the main person documenting details of the event that involved more people dying at a single time in a single place in world history, although the obit did not specifically point that out.  It did note that the event did involve more people dying than some related more famous events, namely the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But this event was the firebombing of the Shitamachi district of Tokyo on March 10, 1945, in which around 100,000 people died and a million were left homeless.  This did not get the attention of Hiroshima

Read More »

Ways Of Dying

24 days ago

The Economist in each issue has an obituary on its final page. The one for May 21 was of Saotome Katsumoto of Tokyo, Japan, whom I had never heard of who just died at age 90. Apparently he had been the main person documenting details of the event that involved more people dying at a single time in a single place in world history, although the obit did not specifically point that out.  It did note that the event did involve more people dying than some related more famous events, namely the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But this event was the firebombing of the Shitamachi district of Tokyo on March 10, 1945, in which around 100,000 people died and a million were left homeless.  This did not get the attention of Hiroshima and Nagasaki because it was done with conventional

Read More »

Punctuation And The Second Amendment

29 days ago

For most of American history since the Second Amendment was adopted the courts interpreted it as tying the second portion of the amendment to the first part of it. Thus the "right to bear arms" was tied to the need to establish a "well-regulated militia." The "state" was seen as individual states, and the modern national guard was seen as the descendant of this militia, especially given that the Founding Fathers supposedly did not see a permanent standing military body being something the national government would maintain.  There have been debates about what these state level militias were supposed to do, with many arguing they were a sop to southern states who wished to be able to put down slave uprisings. But they could also be used by the national government for national purposes,

Read More »

Expanding BRICS?

May 23, 2022

Expanding BRICS?

 Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping has called for the BRICS group to expand to include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The original group, suggested by the research department at Goldman Sachs in 2001 as a group to leading future world economic growth was Brazil, Russia, India, and China, who then decided to officially form a group, which then added South Africa in 2010. At about that time, this group which included the world’s two largest nations in population and the world’s largest in land area was arguably leading the world in growth as it came out of the Great Recession.  

Their collective relatively good performance at that time reflected high commodity

Read More »

Expanding BRICS?

May 23, 2022

Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping has called for the BRICS group to expand to include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The original group, suggested by the research department at Goldman Sachs in 2001 as a group to leading future world economic growth was Brazil, Russia, India, and China, who then decided to officially form a group, which then added South Africa in 2010. At about that time, this group that included the world’s two largest nations in population and the world’s largest in land area, were arguably leading the world in growth as it came out of the Great Recession.  Their collective relatively good performance at that time reflected high commodity prices, which several of them exported substantially. As those

Read More »

What Is the Worst Part of the Current Inflation?

May 18, 2022

What Is The Worst Part Of The Current Inflation

In the US we may have seen the peak of overall inflation, with the annualized CPI rate increasing at 8.3% in April, down from 8.5% in March, the highest rate of increase in 40 years. The issue has become the reported top concern of the US public, according to polling, with the hot job market apparently not offsetting the concerns that have arisen due to the emergence of this high rate of inflation.

Many factors have been involved in bringing this about: supply chain problems arising from the Covid pandemic, fiscal and monetary stimulus especially last year responding to the pandemic recession, some exercising of corporate power, the presence of more tariffs enacted in recent years, and the

Read More »

What Is The Worst Part Of The Current Inflation?

May 17, 2022

In the US we may have seen the peak of overall inflation, with the annualized CPI rate increasing at 8.3% in April, down from 8.5% in March, the highest rare of increase in 40 years. The issue has become the reported top concern of the US public, according to polling, with the hot job market apparently not offsetting the concerns that have arisen due to the emergence of this high rare of inflation.Many factors have been involved in bringing this about: supply chain problems arising from the Covid pandemic, fiscal and monetary stimulus especially last year responding to the pandemic recession, some exercising of corporate power, the presence of more tariffs enacted in recent years, and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia at the order of Putin, with this especially affecting energy and food

Read More »

The Malthusianism of Benjamin Franklin and The Abortion Issue

May 15, 2022

The Malthusianism Of Benjamin Franklin And The Abortion Issue, Econospeak, Barkley Rosser

Thomas Robert Malthus may well have been the least favorite economist of Karl Marx. Basically, Marx did not like him because he saw Malthus as blaming poverty on the poor themselves, their inevitable sinfulness that led them to constantly reproduce themselves excessively when things started to get better, thus leading to population pressing against the means of subsistence.  Malthus recognized that people could act to reduce births even while still having sex, but as an Anglican priest, he considered such actions to be “vice,” which he added to his list of war, famine, and pestilence as limits to population, with those being the first three of the Four Horses

Read More »

The Malthusianism Of Benjamin Franklin And The Abortion Issue

May 14, 2022

Thomas Robert Malthus may well have been the least favorite economist of Karl Marx. Basically Marx did not like him because he saw Malthus as blaming poverty on the poor themselves, their inevitable sinfulness that led them to constantly reproduce themselves excessively when things started to get better, thus leading to population pressing against the means of subsistence.  Malthus recognized that people could act to reduce births even while still having sex, but as an Anglican priest, he considered such actions to be "vice," which he added to his list of war, famine, and pestilence as limits to population, with those being the first three of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse, the fourth being death.However, in a more extended discussion of Malthus in the second volume of his Theories of

Read More »

The Passing Of Axel Leijonhufvud

May 11, 2022

The Passing Of Axel Leijonhufvud

 On May 5, Swedish economist Axel Leijonhufvud died at age 88. I only met him once when he attended a seminar I gave in Trento, Italy a decade ago. I always admired his work and felt lots of sympathy with it, and I think he liked what I had to say at least in my seminar that day.  He was someone who stood outside of orthodoxy while not being clearly tied to any particular school of economic thought.  However, he did manage to be respected by many economists, including even by some that to me his views look like they should not like him all that much, such as some of the rational expectations of new classical economists like Thomas Sargent.

It may be that I am also someone being taken in by a clever economist who

Read More »

The Passing Of Axel Leijonhufvud

May 10, 2022

On May 5, Swedish economist Axel Leijonhufvud died at age 88. I only met him once when he attended a seminar I gave in Trento, Italy a decade ago. I always admired his work and felt lots of sympathy with it, and I think he liked what I had to say at least in my seminar that day.  He was someone who stood outside of orthodoxy while not being clearly tied to any particular school of economic thought.  However, he did manage to be respected by many economists, including even by some that to me his views look like they should not like him all that much, such as some of the rational expectations new classical economists like Thomas Sargent.It may be that I am also someone being taken in by a clever economist who could make himself look like he agreed with one.  Thus, I see many of his most

Read More »

Major Economic Confusion

May 3, 2022

Major Economic Confusion

 Anybody confused by recent economic reports is not alone. The BEA has just reported a totally unexpected decline in real GDP for the first quarter of a 1.4% annual rate.  At the same time layoffs have reached a half century low and employment continues to rise.  How can we have an apparently beginning recession with the hottest job market in decades?

Probably this has to do with the sources of the reported decline, which may yet get revised upwards.  Consumption and investment have continued to grow.  There is a small decline of government with the end of the stimulus and a small decline in exports, half of that being in petroleum products that tend to have not lots of labor input.  There is s somewhat larger decline in

Read More »

Major Economic Confusion

April 30, 2022

Anybody confused by recent economic reports is not alone. The BEA has just reported a totally unexpected decline in real GDP for the first quarter of a 1.4% annual rate.  At the same time layoffs have reached a half century low and employment continues to rise.  How can we have an apparently beginning recession with the hottest job market in decades?Probably this has to do with the sources of the reported decline, which may yet get revised upwards.  Consumption and investment have continued to grow.  There is a small decline of government with the end of the stimulus and a small decline in exports, half of that being in petroleum products that tend to have not lots of labor input.  There is s somewhat larger decline in inventories, which does not necessarily imply a job loss.  Indeed,

Read More »

You’re Fired! No, I quit!

April 30, 2022

You’re Fired! No, I quit!

 So, Russia has stopped selling natural gas to Bulgaria and Poland because they refuse to pay for it in rubles, but they both say that they do not want Russian natural gas anyway!

Barkley Rosser

Tags: Russian natural gas

Read More »

You’re Fired! No, I quit!

April 28, 2022

So, Russia has stopped selling natural gas to Bulgaria and Poland because they refuse to pay for it in rubles, but they both say that they do not want Russian natural gas anyway!Barkley Rosser

Read More »

Happy Earth Day!

April 24, 2022

(Dan here….late to Angry Bear from Econospeak)

by Barkley Rosser

Happy Earth Day!

Yes, today is the 53rd Earth Day.  I participated in the first one when it was held in Madison, Wisconsin on April 22, 1970, just as the environmental movement was really getting going.  There were observances elsewhere around the US, but Madison had pride of place as the person most responsible for getting Earth Day going was then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was also one of the first senators to oppose the Vietnam War.  Those were the days. While we face an increasing problem of mounting global warming and cutbacks of environmental regulations and enforcement in various areas, much has been achieved, with substantial reductions of various kinds of

Read More »

Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2022

Happy Earth Day!Yes, today is the 53rd Earth Day.  I participated in the first one, when it was held in Madison, Wisconsin on April 22, 1970, just as the environmental movement was really getting going.  There were observances elsewhere around the US, but Madison had pride of place as the person most responsible for getting Earth Day going was then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was also one of the first senators to oppose the Vietnam War.  Those were the days. While we face an increasing problem of mounting global warming and cutbacks of environmental regulations and enforcement in various areas, much has been achieved, with substantial reductions of various kinds of pollution around the world in the slightly more than half a century since Earth Day began to be celebrated.  There

Read More »

Asymmetric Whining

April 12, 2022

Asymmetric Whining

 This is not news, but yet again we see the old phenomenon of people whining a lot when something gets worse but then saying nothing when it gets better.  The latest example of that involves gasoline prices.  They were rising and got into the range of near-real highs seen in times like 2008, 1981, and 1918.  But now they have slid backward, down in the neighborhood of 20 cents per gallon where I am.  Crude prices are down as well, with WTI having gotten near $120 per barrel it is now below #100 per barrel again.  But am I hearing anybody cheer or say, “Wow! That’s great!” No.  Of course, it can be said that the prices are still pretty high, and still way above where they were a year or two ago. But the crickets going on with this

Read More »

Asymmetric Whining

April 9, 2022

This is not news, but yet again we see the old phenomenon of people whining a lot when something gets worse but then saying nothing when it gets better.  The latest example of that involves gasoline prices.  They were rising and got into the range of near real highs seen in times like 2008, 1981, and 1918.  But now they have slid backwards, down in the neighborhood of 20 cents per gallon where I am.  Crude prices are down as well, with WTI having gotten near $120 per barrel it is now below #100 per barrel again.  But am I hearing anybody cheer or say, "Wow! That’s great!" No.  Of course it can be said that the prices are still pretty high, and still way above where they were a year or two ago. But the crickets going on with this are noticeable. Oh, there was the interview Donald Trump

Read More »

The Passing of Alain Parguez

April 7, 2022

I have just learned from Louis-Philippe Rochon that Alain Parguez has died.  He was a French economist long based at the University of Besancon before he retired some years ago.  He was long perhspa the main leader of the "circuitist" school of monetary economics, a distinctively French approach that never really caught on in the US, although it has had adherents in Canada.  It is a sort of kissing cousin of the MMT approach, but with more of a Marxist bent to it.  Ironically for a quasi-Marxist I was told by somebody, not Alain himself, that apparently he had pretty serious aristocratic ancestry.He used to fairly regularly attend the Eastern Economic Association meetings, and I also encountered him in France as well on several occasions, where I used to spend more time than I do

Read More »

Conventional Macroeconomics Rears Its Head

March 31, 2022

Conventional Macroeconomics Rears Its Head

 It is always annoying to have to admit one has been wrong.  But I was among those who a year ago or so was going along with those who argued inflation was transitory and the rate would probably come down later in the year.  The annoying Larry Summers, along with the somewhat less annoying Olivier Blanchard, prominently argued the contrary, hauling out old-fashioned conventional macroeconomic arguments why this might be the case, replete with implicit Phillips Curves and the like.  A major focus was the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fiscal stimulus and its large budget deficits aimed to help pull the US economy further out of the pandemic recession, but hopefully without stimulating

Read More »

Conventional Macroeconomics Rears Its Head

March 30, 2022

It is always annoying to have to admit one has been wrong.  But I was among those who a year ago or so was going along with those who argued inflation was transitory and the rate would probably come down later in the year.  The annoying Larry Summers, along with the somewhat less annoying Olivier Blanchard, prominently argued the contrary, hauling out old-fashioned conventional macroeconomic arguments why this might be the case, replete with implicit Phillips Curves and the like.  A major focus was the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fiscal stimulus and its large budget deficits aimed to help pull the US economy further out of the pandemic recession, but hopefully without stimulating inflation.  As it turns out, the critics were right, and while the economy has grown

Read More »

Why War Might Go On Longer

March 24, 2022

Why War Might Go On Longer

 An unfortunate reason the current war in Ukraine might go on longer than it should (with the should here being that it should never have happened in the first place, and the sooner it stops the better, with the onus here clearly on V.V. Putin to stop it as he started it without any justification), is that wartime leaders get a puff in their popularity at least for awhile and are let off the hook on domestic problems.  From the outside it may look that V.V. Putin is indeed in trouble with much of the world denouncing his Ukraine invasion and imposing economic sanctions on Russia. But with his total control of the media, reports have his poll results up some, despite various prominent figures expressing opposition, with

Read More »