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I think we're lucky that Obama came from Chicago, because when he started casting about for economic advisors, he had a rich vein of stellar, market-oriented economists to mine. From the beginning, one of the most prominent of these has been Austan Goolsbee, a brilliant, pragmatic behavioral economist, although he has receded into the background a bit since the end of the primaries.

My efforts to read the tea leaves of Obamanomics brought me to this podcast by Megan McArdle (on whom I have a bit of a crush.) McArdle is a former student of Goolsbee's, and supported Obama primarily because of Goolsbee's influence. Megan is a bit squishier on taxes than I am, which is probably why she was able to gin up more "enthusiasm" for Obama than I could (if "enthusiasm" is indeed the correct word here, which it probably isn't.) In short, I think it says something for Obama that both Goolsbee and McArdle would be supportive of his candidacy.

The interview is a bit dated by now, but still worth a listen. They spoke of the current financial collapse in a way that was almost prescient. To hear Goolsbee express his unqualified support for the capital markets, and for commonsense, minimalistic but effective regulation, especially in this context, is very reassuring.

Goolsbee then goes on to make the most compelling and convincing case I have ever heard about the growing problem of income inequality. When he comes to the solution, he is somewhat less convincing, however. Here he simply avers that greater investment in education is without a doubt the panacea for this problem. Perhaps in a lengthier format he could convince me of this, but he doesn't do much in this interview to support this contention, nor does he explain why our current levels of education funding, already among the highest in the world, have proved so inadequate. But whatever.

Unfortunately, Goolsbee is downright lame when talking about the pharmaceutical companies. When Megan expresses her concern that cracking down on Big Pharma could have a deleterious impact on R&D, Goolsbee responds dismissively with cheap sophistry. I guess even a brilliant economist can still have that empirical, quantifiable logic trumped by ideology when he's not careful.

Still, though, I found the interview to be more comforting than not overall. Megan herself is now disappointed by rumors that Goolsbee himself may not find a prominent position in the administration. That does seem unfortunate, but hopefully whatever drew Obama to Goolsbee in the first place is a positive sign -- as, I believe, is Obama's appointment of Tim Geithner to Treasury. We shall see.


So far, his economic team, especially Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, both ardent free traders and market-oriented economists, look like very sound choices.

I mostlyremember Goolsbee for trying to clear up the "NAFTA flap" in February of 2008, with that memo leaking out about an Obama administration possibly seeking to unilaterally re-write NAFTA.....Goolsbee made it clear that there was nothing serious about that....just a nod to the protctionist moonbats at places like MoveOn and the D-Kos.

Right about now, this incoming administration is looking a lot MORE like Bill Clinton's and a lot LESS like you'd have expected from, say, Al Gore.

I'm actually pretty happy at that prospect. Almost ecstatic actually.

Although, to be honest about it, how much more Keynesian can you get than what we have now?!

Over the past two years, Bush, who has only done TWO non-Keynesian economic things in his entire administration (the across the board income tax rate cuts AND the Cap Gains cut, which both INCREASED tax revenues)...aside from that, he's been as Keynesian as his father was.

He COULD HAVE eliminated the AMT, but made sure it never again came up with a GOP Congress, signalling to them that it would be vetoed.

He COULD HAVE supported cutting federal spending, as the Gingrich Congress successfully did....but that too never happened, nor was it at all encouraged. In fact, federal spending, especially non-military federal spending skyrocketed under Bush.

And just as the Supply Sider Clinton cooperated better and far more more effectively with the Supply Side Gingrich Congress, Bush has cooperated far more effectively with the very Keynesian Pelosi-Reid Congress since 2007....and ironically enough, the economy has imploded SINCE 2007!

So, how much more of this current Keynesian road can we stand to go down?

But the fact that Obama has tabbed so many market-oriented, pro-Free Trade people for his economic team is promising.

Now there's talk of his letting the Bush across the board income tax rate cuts to stay through 2011...and they're thinking of keeping Robert Gates onboard as well.

I have no problem with ANY of those moves.

I just wonder if the MoveOn and D-Kos folks feel at all....betrayed?

Randi Rhodes lurves Austin Goolsbee too, B. You're gettin' soft in yer old age. :)

there are a lot of obamanomics but we have known that for a lot time. And the liberal illuminati have made him into the hero of our country which makes it even worse. We'll see what happens.

Dream on, liar, Bush was the man all of you "supply sider" "free traders" wanted. He did everything Wall St. asked. He deregulated, he allowed huge monopolistic mergers, he eliminated tax after tax and send corporate welfare to an all-time high.

Bush was YOUR DAY in the sun. Bush was Supply Side/Free Trade, and you only run from it now because it is such an obvious disaster, LOL.

It's over. Greed is NOT good. Supply side does NOT work. Unlimited hording of wealth is a DISASTER.

Time to reinstate the 90% tax rate on the hording plutocrats and bring the country back to Clinton prosperity.

Hi all. If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.
I am from Slovenia and too poorly know English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Author imitrex sumatriptan is an antimigraine medicine."

Thank you so much for your future answers :D. Dane.

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