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Dean Baker (b. 1958) is a New Keynesian economist and columnist who identifies as progressive. After leaving Bucknell, he co-founded the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
He became known for his deconstruction of the Dubya plan to partially
pawn off privatize Social Security to Wall Street. Now he is most famous for being one of the first economists to predict the housing bubble, all the way back in 2002, and the ensuing recession. Baker contends that it was easy to predict simply by looking at the rate housing prices were rising over inflation, which was unprecedented in the 100+ years these numbers have been tracked.
On the issues
Dean tends to advocate for basic social democratic reform, but only during recessions, and with a lot of reservations. His reservations with government spending make it so he is often the conservative in debates about public policy, often implying that government spending is inherently more corrupt than private sector spending in a capitalist economy. One example is his consistent advocacy against single payer health insurance, claiming it is unaffordable and unworkable, particularly in comparison to private sector non-profit insurers.
Policies he advocates include financial reform, debt restructuring, keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as public entities, copyright and patent reform, and a voluntary, government-run pension program in addition to Social Security. He also runs the Beat the Press blog, where he rips on economic ignorance, innumeracy, and Wall Street lobbyists and shills in the media.
- CEPR homepage
- Beat the Press blog (Warning: Unlike Baker, some the other bloggers on CEPR are full-moonbats, to the point of being Hugo Chavez fanboys despite being economists.)
- Conservative Nanny State, one of his books he made available online for free.