The Resurrection of Austan Goolsbee

Back from the abyss to become the third in what appears to be a long line of questionable Obama appointees is one Austan Goolsbee. That's right the same Austan Goolsbee from Canada/NAFTA-gate as TPM’s Greg Sargent pointed out in a piece penned yesterday entitled "Austan Goolsbee Lives!"

Austan resurfaced in a confenece call yesterday as Obama's chief surrogate on economics or as Greg Sargent put it:

"And so, today on a conference call today with reporters, Goolsbee was front and center as a chief surrogate for Obama, who's  battling it out with John McCain today over their competing economic plans."

This move has prompted a lot of us on the right to wonder aloud what Karl at Protein Wisdom asked Yesterday:

"I wonder who else Obama has disappeared only temporarily…"

I wonder who indeed... Karl went on to say:

Ironically, Austan is back just in time to be asked about his spirited defense of the subprime lending practices that Obama has been railing against out on the campaign trail.  The media will ask him about it, won’t they?

This is a disturbing trend coming from the Obama camp and Obama himself... not only are his past relationships enough to give one pause, do to so many of them being radicals who are clearly anti-American, but currently his inability to recognize his appointees for the baggage they carry shows a complete lack of good judgment, experience,  and a political naivety unfit to hold the highest office in the land.

Cross posted from The Minority Report

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"...radicals who are clearly anti-American..."

If you think that this is an even vaguely accurate description of Goolsbee -- a very respected economist at the very non-liberal University of Chicago business school -- then you quite simply have no clue what you're talking about.

Here, for example, is surely-not-a-liberal George Will on the man:

closing line: " Goolsbee no doubt has lots of dubious ideas -- he is, after all, a Democrat -- about how government can creatively fiddle with the market's allocation of wealth and opportunity. But he seems to be the sort of person -- amiable, empirical and reasonable -- you would want at the elbow of a Democratic president, if such there must be." 


Reading comprehension is your friend... should try it sometime!

"non-liberal University of Chicago business school?"

Having gone to Purdue, a school where I was graced with the pedagoguery of several Marxist professors of Sociology and Criminology who graduated from "The Chicago School of Social Sciences", I just had to check this one out.  My search took me to several fascinating locations such as New School for Social Research which listed the University of Chicago School of Economics as one of the "New Economics" schools.  So here's what's "New" about it:

The New School for Social Research fosters the highest standards of scholarly inquiry while addressing issues of major political, cultural, and economic concern. Students attracted to the master's and doctoral programs here are intellectually curious, highly motivated, and commited to effecting positive change in their chosen fields.

That sounds somewhat familiar - well at least it's very changey.  Now as to the UC School of Business, we have this:

The "Chicago School" is perhaps one of the better known American "schools" of economics.   In its strictest sense, the "Chicago School"  refers to the approach of the members of the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago over the past century.  In a looser sense, the term "Chicago School" is associated with a particular brand of economics which adheres strictly to Neoclassical price theory in its economic analysis, "free market" libertarianism in much of its policy work and a methodology which is relatively averse to too much mathematical formalism and willing to forego careful general equilibrium reasoning in favor of more results-oriented partial equilibrium analysis.  In recent years, the "Chicago School" has  been associated with "economic imperialism", i.e. the application of economic reasoning to areas traditionally considered the prerogative of other fields such as political science, legal theory, history and sociology.  

The term "Chicago School" of  "fill-in-the-blank" has been associated with extreme liberalism since I was a student in the mid-20th century.  Sorry Philosopher, but I think that the facts seem to support Foley's assertion.  Plus Goolsbee is just a common garden variety political hack who's advising Obama to say one thing while asking the Canadians not to pay any attention to the Man Behind the Curtain.  But at least he's amiable, empirical and reasonable hack.  How progressive!