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Austan Goolsbee: From Washington’s Funniest Celebrity To CEA Chair…

September 10th, 2010 · 4 Comments

(Is that a step up or a step down? I can’t decide.)

It’s official: Austan Goolsbee will succeed Christina Romer as chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Now, I’ve mentioned before that Romer has a decent sense of humor, but Goolsbee takes it one step further- after all, he *was* crowned Washington’s Funniest Celebrity. (Why do I feel like there wasn’t much competition there?) Behold:

(Sidenote: I am amazed that I found that, since I think the video has been removed from most other sites.) Austan knows his stuff- he was my friend’s roommate in school, and if that isn’t a ringing endorsement I don’t know what is- and he’s clearly a good sport, which is a necessary quality for dealing with Larry Summers. 🙂 I particularly like that he is among the group of economists that is willing to go on The Daily Show and such in order to try to explain why understanding economics is important. (Let’s face it- the audiences of shows like the Nightly Business Report and such are already bought in hook, line and sinker.)

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Austan Goolsbee
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Here’s one from August 2009:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Austan Goolsbee
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

He’s even been on the Colbert Report:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Austan Goolsbee
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

If you watch the above clips, it is pretty clear that Goolsbee exhibits Keynesian tendencies, and I know how some of you lovelies out there feel about that. But let’s give him a chance- it’ll be entertaining if nothing else.

Tags: Policy

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephan // Sep 11, 2010 at 5:18 am

    “Goolsbee exhibits Keynesian tendencies.” Sounds good to me. Good choice.

  • 2 Amarsir // Sep 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I would expect nothing less than a Keynesian, and thus I think it would be redundant to criticize him for it. It seems only fair to agree or disagree with his position as policies are debated rather than preemptively dismiss him just because I tend to ultimately disagree with the school.

    Setting that aside, I worry a little that when an economist does media rounds, particularly of the Daily Show and Colbert Report ilk, that they are primarily representing a political agenda rather than the field of study. Keynesians and Austrians can agree on 98% of economics principles but it’s the 2% that gets all the attention – from either side. And my concern is that the desire to win political battles over the disagreed area will take precedence over teaching the underlying facts on which we all agree. (And of course that’s true for anyone, not just Goolsbee.)

  • 3 Galen // Sep 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    While no doubt a very smart guy, he seems to suffer from the same wishful thinking syndrome as the rest of the Obama economists – on July 15, 2009 he said “we’re going to fix it, and in one year from now we’re going to be in a very happy place” (1:30 into the Colbert video)

    I doubt many in the country would use that term to describe our current economic situation.

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