Sep 19, 2008

Re: Chicago Boyz

So my friend DP writes in an email:

Be vigilant! The financial crisis is likely another application of Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" and the crisis will likely be used by this administration to put into place further laws and bailouts that will benefit the wealthy and hurt main street. Just wanted to throw this out to the group to get your reaction.

So I react:

BUT: Let's not forget that Obama's top economic financial advisers are Chicago School boys, so if they win caveat emptor and beat up on the Dems very hard--even to the point of demonstrations and hard lobbying--during November!! (December will be too late. Get some good guys in there and make sure Robert Rubin doesn't get back in to do his black fuggle magic.)

I supply a list of the Obama economic advisers and some dots to connect. First, from the NYTimes:

The Democrats, besides talking about a broader range of subjects, also have the freshest face among the top campaign advisers — Barack Obama's lead economist, Austan Goolsbee, a 37-year-old star professor at the University of Chicago (who writes a monthly column for The New York Times). The two men met when Mr. Obama was teaching at the law school there, and they both seem to favor achieving Democratic goals through market-oriented policies. As Mr. Goolsbee has written: "Moral exhortation doesn't change people's behavior. Prices do."

And next, a list from the blog
Economists for Obama:

Jason Furman (director of economy policy)
Austan Goolsbee (senior economic policy advisor), University of Chicago tax policy expert source
Karen Kornbluh (policy director)
David Cutler, Harvard health policy expert
Jeff Liebman, Harvard welfare expert
Michael Froman, Citigroup executive
Daniel Tarullo, Georgetown law professor
David Romer, Berkeley macroeconomist
Christina Romer, Berkeley economic historian
Richard Thaler, University of Chicago behavioral finance expert

Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary source
Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary
Alan Blinder, former Vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve
Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute labor economist
James Galbraith, University of Texas macro economist

Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1979-1987
Laura Tyson, Berkeley international economist, Clinton economic adviser
Robert Reich, Berkeley public policy professor, former Secretary of Labor
Peter Henry, Stanford international economist
Gene Sperling, former White House economic adviser

and a few snide comments from The Unrepentant Marxist:

--David Cutler: Harvard economist who believes that high health costs are good for the economy
--Jeffrey Liebman: another Harvard economist and former Clinton adviser who favors privatizing social security
--Austan Goolsbee has been a columnist for and the NY Times, as well as a standup comedian. His economics are not meant as a joke, as I understand it. His columns are written very much in the same vein as fellow U. of Chicago neoclassical economist Steven Levitt's Freakonomics," examining everyday problems such as "Why you get stuck for hours at O'Hare." Most are fairly uncontroversial except for the swipe he took at Michael Moore's "Sicko", whose single-payer recommendations violate his free market principles.

And very serendipitously, I can remind him to see Bill Moyers interviewing Kevin Phillips, who wrote the book that lays out the problems: Bad Money

And finally remind him that if he looks up these folks you will see it's not quite as bad as the idiot republicans on McCain's campaign like Phil ("a nation of whiners")
Gramm, now off the team for that comment, but a sure bet to be McCain's Secretary of the Treasury (shudder).

However, these include (Rubin, Sumnmers) some of the Democrats who during the Clinton administration accelerated the pump and dump economy of the last 28 years--especially Robert Rubin--and his "Rubinomics." The only people worth their salt are Galbraith and (not on this list) Joe Stieglitz and Warren Buffet; but of these last three, Galbraith is apparently only marginally close to Obama, Buffet has become a "senior adviser" (along with Paul Volcker) and the guys at the top of the list are all "free market" koolaid drinkers, none of whom really believes in a national health care program.

As I said, caveat emptor. Especially if you plan on getting sick or breaking your hip.

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