Friday, September 10, 2010

New CEA Head on EPJ's Unrequited Emails List

President Barack Obama has chosen Austan Goolsbee as the new head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Goolsbee was the senior economic advisor to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Following Obama's election, Goolsbee declared that the White House economic team would be all inclusive so that the President would receive a broad spectrum of views on the economy. After it became clear no Austrian economists were to be included in the President's "all inclusive" team, I sent him this email in December 2008:

From: Robert Wenzel

Dear Dr. Goolsbee,

Congratulations on being named to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

I note that in this video you hail President-elect Obama for his willingness to put differing views before him:

Your exact words are "It's very Obama in that he doesn't try to shunt out other views...he wants to bring people with different views to the table."

This struck me, since I have also noted that President-elect Obama has not put anyone on his many economic advisory groups, the CEA, the NEC, and the group that you will be a member of, the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, that represent the thinking of the Austrian School of economics.

I find this curious since as President-elect Obama has said, we are in a severe downturn in the economy. As you know, one of the areas of study for which the Austrian School is known is their business cycle theory. And their views do seem to differ from the views of members he has appointed to his advisory groups.

And, as you know, the late Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek won the Nobel Prize for his thought in Business Cycle Theory. Indeed, I was pleased to note on a visit to the University of Chicago, where you are the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, that at the University's Gleacher Center, Professor Hayek is honored with the display of his photograph as a Nobel Prize winner and his affiliation with the University of Chicago is noted.

Perhaps there is something I am missing as to why not even one Austrian has been named to the Obama team, if so I would greatly appreciate if you could enlighten me as to what I am missing.

Or perhaps, President-elect Obama is simply not familiar with the Austrian School, and if that is the case, I wonder if it would be possible for you to bring to his attention the fact that as you say, "he wants to bring people with different views to the table" and that he may have missed bringing to the discussion economists from the respected Austrian School, who have unique insights in many areas of economics, but especially in business cycle theory.


Robert Wenzel
Editor & Publisher
Goolsbee has not yet responded to my email.
Goolbee replaces Christina Romer as chair of the CEA. A White House news conference is planned for 1100am EST on Friday.

Goolsbee is a graduate of Yale (and received his PhD from MIT) and a member of Yale's elitist secret society, Skull & Bones.

Goolsbee has appeared on the Jon Stewart Show and the Colbert Report. Mainstream D.C. media loves this guy.Even George Will has called him, "amiable, empirical and reasonable." In 2009, he was voted The Funniest Celebrity in Washington.

He'll fit right in with the Obama White House. He believes the negative incentive caused by higher taxes is exaggerated, and believes government should be more involved in promoting college education. He believes the GI Bill was prolific in stimulating propaganda  human capital.

So expect lots of jokes and interventionist ideas but he will have no clue when it comes to responding to questions about the business cycle.

In July 2009, he said on The Colbert Report, "In one year, the economy is going to be in a very happy place.":

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Austan Goolsbee
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Bottom Line: This guy is about advancing the Obama regime and nothing else.


  1. Wenzel,

    Shhhhh! Shhhh! We're all in our "happy place" in this economy, please stop trying to distract us with reality.


  3. I guess he had a little irrational exuberance during the interview when he stated that we'll be in a good spot one year July 2009. This kind of demonstrates how the President's team totally underestimated economic conditions in 2009. It must really stink to go from academia where you can more or less be honest with what you beleive and understand, then go being a member of a political team where you have to intellectually defend politically motivated fiscal policy.

  4. Unrequited love is the scourge of the Austrians. It all started with Menger. I take it as a badge of honor.

  5. And the guy has been promoted:

    Btw, this inspired me to make a post in my spanish blog: