REASON Profile: Joe Cobb


When Joe Cobb says his major avocational commitment is to political activity he means it. His proposal for the Anti-inflation Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ("I regard this proposal as the most basic legislative attack upon the interventionist state philosophy that libertarians can propose, short of total anarchism: to guarantee the right to trade, abolish federal taxation, and freeze the supply of Federal Reserve notes…") has the active support of the Illinois Libertarian Party (of which Cobb is General Secretary) and is likely to be introduced in Congress next session. Meanwhile, Cobb is employed as the Chief Budget and Fiscal Officer of the Industrial Commission of Illinois ("it gives me an opportunity to learn a trade, to pay my rent, to keep active in the political arena, and to recover my lifetime tax payments in advance") and hopes to use his experience with government management to dismantle the bureaucracy and cut programs when (and if) libertarians are elected.

Cobb first became interested in libertarian issues in his teens and became interested in "economics as a political science—a rational approach to policy-making when based upon a fundamental commitment to private property rights and freedom of individual choice." He received his A.B. in economics in 1966 from the University of Chicago, and is currently a part-time M.B.A. student at the University of Chicago Business School. Cobb favors an educationalist as well as a political approach to social change: he is a former editor of NEW INDIVIDUALIST REVIEW and has published articals in REASON, NEW GUARD, INDIVIDUALIST, L.A. FREE PRESS, LIBERTARIAN FORUM, and various newsletters.

His other interests include traveling, skiing, horseback riding, and folk dancing, and he plans to take up flying or skydiving before he's 35. His favorite authors include Mises (SOCIALISM), Friedman (CAPITALISM AND FREEDOM, PRICE THEORY), Hayek (CONSTITUTION OF LIBERTY), Bastiat (THE LAW), Mill (ON LIBERTY), Phillip Roth, Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.