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  • Writer's pictureJohn Ikerd

A time to blog

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

For years, people have encouraged me to blog and to make better use of my Facebook page and website. Admittedly, these are all logical means of promoting my books and speaking activities and of sharing my ideas with a wider audience. I have resisted because I was busy writing and speaking and didn’t think I had time for anything else. After all, I am “retired.” Also, I didn’t want my credibility to be tarnished by perceptions that I was just trying to sell books or generate speaking fees. I make so little money from royalties and honorariums it didn’t seem worth the risk of being viewed as a huckster. I am still busy with writing and speaking commitments. However, I eventually concluded the prospective benefits from more effective use of the Internet are worth the time, energy, and credibility risks.

I want to use this blog on this new website primarily to share ideas. I receive quite a few email and telephone requests for information, opinions, and comments of various issues related to agricultural and economic sustainability. I wouldn’t take much additional time to post the key points of my responses on my blog, which could also be posted on my Facebook page. I often glean ideas from other speakers and participants at the various venues where I speak. Some of these ideas are worth sharing in a blog piece, even if I don’t have ready use for them elsewhere. Sometimes I read a new book or come across an article that I feel is worthy of sharing through excerpts or a brief review. Sometimes, I just like to explain something in writing to make it clearer in my mind. So, why not share these thoughts?

Yes, I would also like to sell more of my books. I feel that the ideas in my older books are even more relevant today than when the books were written. The question of whether “sustainable capitalism” is an oxymoron seems even more relevant today than when I explained the concept in my 2004 book, “Sustainable Capitalism.” At a recent international conference the keynote speaker called for an approach to science that could stand the test of human experience and common sense. I made a similar call in my 2007 book, “A Return to Common Sense.”  At a time when virtually every corporation and government agency claims to be supporting sustainability, I reveal the fallacies of such claims in my 2012 book, “The Essentials of Economic Sustainability.”

I spent my 30 year academic career as an agricultural economist and worked extensively with farmers and others in rural communities on issues related to sustainable agriculture during the latter half of that career. I have written two books related to agricultural sustainability, both of which are collections of short essays related to agricultural sustainability. “Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture” and “Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People through Agriculture” were both published in 2008. While many of the ideas in these essays seemed radical at the time, they seem far more plausible and relevant with the dramatic rise of organic farming and local, community-based food systems.

My book “A Revolution of the Middle – and The Pursuit of Happiness” could not be more timely or relevant than with an upcoming presidential campaign. A bitter campaign pitting political Left and Right threatens to rip the social fabric of America asunder. Only a revolution of the middle can reestablish the consent of the governed and return American to the pursuit of happiness rather than unbridled wealth. This book is now available on Amazon Kindle and is also available on Amazon Audio-books and I-Tunes.  All of my other books also are now available in Kindle or e-books formats as well as in paperback.

I will continue to use my University of Missouri website as the repository for papers presented at conferences, lists of publications, and other materials of a scholarly nature. I value my Professor Emeritus status with the University of Missouri and feel it is mutually beneficial for me and the University. I just feel more freedom to express my personal opinions in a blog on my personal website – which the University has neither the obligation to approve nor responsibility to refute.

So, these are my reasons for starting a new blog on a new personal website. In future blog pieces I will stick with sharing ideas and opinions. Having grown up milking cows every morning and night, I don’t want to commit myself to a specific schedule. I will at least try to post something of substance every couple of weeks with shorter comments posted more frequently. I will provide opportunities for comment on my posts but reserve the right to respond only when and if I have time or feel it is constructive to do so.

All the best,

John Ikerd

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