So, I am Barkley Rosser, aka firstname.lastname@example.org, here, I guess, my email address. Those of you who are fans of the predecessor of this blog, Maxspeak, You Listen! of the sainted Max Sawicky, who will shut it down tomorrow on Labor Day (the irony!!!), you may remember that I am one of the old co-bloggers there. So, to the extent this is a sort of continuation of that, I would like to say hello to everybody and also a "welcome aboard" to the new co-bloggers, some of whom seem to be wanting to be "cool" bloggers with phoney identities. I am not going to object to that, although I am sort of mystified at tenured full professors doing it. But, so be it.
One observation I shall make is that several of the new co-bloggers are from a well known progressive list, PEN-L, which has long been run by michael perelman, who is co-blogging here openly under his own name, unlike at least a couple of his regulars that I have been told are here, but are hiding under monikers. I and Max were also longtime regulars over there, although I drifted over to the blogosphere some time ago, except for the hes list, which is more academic. PEN-L has long been a high quality list, so if this becomes a sort of semi-PEN-L blog, well, worse could happen, even while we will miss Max. (Will you be keeping PEN-L up, michael?).
For those who do not know michael, I will note that he is a professor at Fresno in CA and the author of many interesting books. He is an iconoclast, even though there is an "econoclast" here. Michael achieved some greater degree of celebrity earlier this year when was quoted in the "hip heterodoxy" article by Christopher Hayes in The Nation that set off a major storm throughout much of the econoblogosphere. He was the one who declared to Hayes as they watched the suits come out of the reception for Milton Friedman's Free to Choose, while standing outside the EPI reception where Max also made a mention in the article, that the neoclassicals (in their suits) are "a mafia," with "neoclassical mafia" becoming a headline for a bunch of the related postings. Anyway, it will be a pleasure to be co-blogging with the ever effervescent and knowledgeable Michael P.
Regarding my own perspectives, I note that in 1984 I was a sub-adviser to the George McGovern campaign. No, this was not the 1972 campaign when he was the Dem nominee with Bill Clinton and all kinds of DLCers coming out of there. This was when he ran as the "conscience" of the Dems, with the major candidates being Walter Mondale (who got the nomination, only to lose 49 states to Reagan), Gary Hart, and Jesse Jackson. I crafted his proposal to cut the DOD budget by $63 billion, which he touted in Iowa. After he came in a surprising third there, he dropped out of the race.
One oddity of me is that I have some libertarian impulses, left over from a libertarian phase in my youth, which weakened when I realized after reading Barry Goldwater's _Conscience of a Conservative_ that there might be conflicts between property rights and human rights (in the context of the civil rights movement). I realized that unlike Barry, I would take the human rights over the property rights. However, I have a kind of (late) Millian position, that liberty is the default assumption, and that one must argue for why it should not hold, although I am a lot easier to convince on those exceptions than I was in my youth and a lot more open to the existence of social collectivities and all that. I also am probably the only one here who might defend free trade from time to time (probably my major difference with old Max), although this leads to things like my biggest criticism of NAFTA being that it was unequal in favor of the US corn industry against the Mexican one because of the subsidies issue, with many thousands of poor Mexicans being thrown off their ejido farms, thus depressing wages in Mexico.
However, I do not generally post on that issue. Expect more out of me on the upcoming war whoop that Cheney and the neocons are reported by Juan Cole and badger at arablinks to be about to assault us with this month, not to mention housing, financial markets, and a lot of other odd stuff. (Those of you who have been around maxspeak already have a pretty good idea what to expect from me).
Oh yes, and in some ways I am sort of conservative, that is in the sense of not wanting to change certain things. So, I am notorious for piggishly opposing in strenuous terms any changes to the social security system of the US. I recognize that some proposed changes might be progressive, for example lifting or eliminating the cap on income for taxation. However, I view opening the door to any change as opening the door to all kinds of other changes that will be lousy: privatizations, lousy indexing, and so and so forth. All the better to fight to get the public educated about how hysterically off the wall the official projections are and to get ready to fight any "reforms" that a future Dem prez might feel inclined to push to show how "responsible" he or she is.
And, for the record, I am a Professor of Economics at James Madison University. I have not seen where one can put a link to one's url, but mine is http://cob.jmu.edu/rosserjb, for what it is worth. A bunch of papers there on all kinds of stuff.