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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:23 PM
Original message
Obama needs to FIRE his chief Econ_*&^%$$#
The chronicles of Austan Goolsbee

Our latest installment in the riveting spectacle of "Economists Gone Wild": Austan Goolsbee, Barack Obama's chief economic advisor, now acknowledges that he did have a conversation discussing trade policy with Canadian government officials. But, he says, his comments were inaccurately portrayed in a memo written on the meeting.

The Associated Press has the memo. The key segment:

"Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign. He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans...

On NAFTA, Goolsbee suggested that Obama is less about fundamentally changing the agreement and more in favor of strengthening/clarifying language on labor mobility and environment and trying to establish these as more 'core' principles of the agreement."

(Goolsbee conceded that the sentence on labor mobility and the environment was "true and consistent.")

Again: It is highly unlikely that Goolsbee was authorized specifically by the Obama campaign to offer comfort and succor to Canadians worried about Obama's discouraging NAFTA words. But despite Goolsbee's claim that he was mis-memoed, his position obviously reflects reality, both for the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

This is a shame. Because the real nut of the issue, as Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton, pithily explains on his own blog, is not NAFTA's purported role in the loss of manufacturing jobs in Ohio, but how, going forward, the United States can best take care of those Americans who are hurt by trade.

In Rhode Island on Saturday, Obama offered his own plain, believable words on the subject, after yet again swiping at Hillary Clinton's stance on NAFTA.

"I believe in trade, and I won't stand here and here and tell you I won't stop every job from disappearing because of globalization. But I will tell you, I will be thinking about workers and not just Wall Street when I think about trade legislation."

I think Obama meant to say "will stop," not "won't stop," but no matter, his message is clear. And it touches on the critical issue: Will the next president look out for the interests of American workers? Will he or she, as Reich suggests, push for the kinds of things that can make a real difference, such as wage insurance, health insurance, expanded unemployment benefits and job training and investment in education? Everyone in Ohio and Canada knows that the Clinton and Obama campaigns are bashing NAFTA right now for symbolic reasons. The spectacle has been uninspiring, though perhaps more embarrassing for the Obama campaign, which makes such a big deal about "change" but when the goal at hand is winning Ohio, reverts to politics as usual.

Globalization is unlikely to be rolled back, and no president will get to "opt out" of it. The question for voters in Ohio is who do they believe will be most likely to get new legislation passed that helps working-class Americans, rather than abandon them.

And as for Goolsbee? The Associated Press reported that "he said he has been surprised that such a banal and trivial meeting with a low-level consulate official has created so much controversy and resulted in such an inaccurate depiction."

Get used to it, buddy.

I'm supporting Obama! But I want to hang his economic team!


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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good ole wikipedia. When will Naomi Klein way in?
Edited on Mon Mar-03-08 07:29 PM by Joanne98

Austan D. Goolsbee is an economist and is currently the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is also a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation<1>, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts<2>, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisors to the Congressional Budget Office.<3> He has been Barack Obama's economic advisor since Obama's successful U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois. He is the lead economic advisor to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign <4> and is known as a centrist.<5> He was interviewed in January 2008 about the Obama economic plan on tax cuts, deficits and trade policies.<6>

His educational degrees are: B.A. summa cum laude (economics), Yale University, 1991; M.A. (economics), Yale University, 1991; Ph.D. (economics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995. He was an Alfred Sloan Fellow (2000-02) and Fulbright scholar (2006-07).<7> <8>

Goolsbee married Robin Winters on November 1, 1997. She was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company at the time and earlier the director of business development at MTV International.<9> They have three children.

As a high school student at Milton Academy, a prestigious New England preparatory school, Goolsbee became one of the most decorated competitive speakers in the nation. In 1987, he became the first extemporaneous speaking competitor to go through an entire year of competitions placing only first. This included winning the NCFL national championship in extemporaneous speaking for the second time and winning the National Forensics League's national championship in international extemporaneous speaking as well as placing second in the nation in original oratory.

As a student at Yale he debated on the APDA circuit. In 1990 he and partner Dahlia Lithwick were runners up for National Debate Team of the Year. He and partner Jon Wertheim placed second at the national championship. In 1991, he and partner David Gray were the National Debate Team of the Year. Goolsbee finished as the 3rd best speaker at the World Debate Championships in Toronto.

He later served as coach to the M.I.T. debate team and the University of Chicago debate society.

His research focuses on the Internet, the new economy, government policy, and taxes. He currently teaches a class on economics and policy in the telecom, media and technology industries.

In April 2006, Goolsbee began writing for the Economic Scene column in the New York Times. He has also appeared in their Economic View column. Prior to that he wrote the Dismal Science column for, for which he won the 2006 Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism. He has many published papers in various peer-reviewed journals. <10>

He spoke in favor of the Latke in the 2007 The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate.

^ index _Goolsbee
^ Austan Goolsbee
^ Congressional Budget Office - Panel of Economic Advisers
^ The Advisers Are Writing Our Future New York Times, April 18, 2007.
^ Seeking Clues to Obamanomics, Deborah Solomon, Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2007
^ Obama's economic adviser on the plan, Doug Krizner interviews Austan Goolsbee, Marketplace, January 31, 2008
^ vitae.htm
^ WEDDINGS; Robin Winters and Austan Goolsbee - New York Times
^ 40 under 40, 2006Chicago Business

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. kick
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. The Great Leader knows when to willow out the Chaff from the Staff
Will he though?
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sueragingroz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. so does that mean that Obama sucks at campaign management?
omg this is going to be fun!
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blonndee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. LOL!!!
Clearly, Hillary people have no idea what campaign management is. Really.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. Disagree here. I like Goolsbee
Most of the grumbling I hear about this stems from people who don't know their ass from their elbow on economics. Protectionism isn't good for American business or American workers, and I don't think that ripping NAFTA apart is the correct way to go. Basically, I'm in favor of it.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I live in Ohio, you must live in an academic dream world...
Where everything is as you phoney numbers say they are.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Well, living in Ohio makes you automatically right
Nobody outside Ohio is entitled to have an opinion about economics. thanks for the clarification, there.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. Why?
anything other than your article's 'say-so'?

Free-market economic team

Key economic advisers include a few Washington veterans such as Michael Froman, a Citigroup executive and former chief of staff to then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the Cabinet member most closely identified with the Clinton administration's pro-free trade, business-friendly policies.

There are also several scholars from prestigious universities whose approaches are anchored in dominant market-oriented economic thought. One is Austan Goolsbee, a 38-year-old star University of Chicago Business School professor and New York Times columnist with centrist Democratic views who has argued for eliminating tax returns for many Americans with simple finances.

Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, described Obama's top economic advisers as "mainstream with a dash of creativity."

"These are people who think new thoughts -- within the mainstream, new without a capital N," said Blinder, now a professor at Princeton University.

The campaign policy team gathered around Obama is hardly a shadow Cabinet. If he wins the nomination, other Democratic policy experts who now are neutral or allied with a different candidate will gravitate toward him. If he's elected, still more will join his circle.

But the makeup of the group, and the way in which Obama deliberates with its members, offers a window onto how he might operate as president. Many of them surely would graduate to influential roles in an Obama administration. Their discussions of the broad range of issues a presidential candidate must address provide an early if imperfect drill for decision-making in the Oval Office.
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
9. Jettison Goolsbee!
I couldn't agree more.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. labor and environment will be the core principles
That's how trade agreements should be. It's unfortunate the Obama campaign didn't focus on those words because that's what's important to people.
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