Friday, November 21, 2008

Affirmative Action by Obama?

News here.

Megan McArdle is beside herself
I take nothing away from Professor Rouse. But she's a labor economist with a heavy, heavy specialty in returns to education. Goolsbee, by contrast, focuses on taxation and capital formation. Right now, I'd say the latter is our bigger concern.

More to the point, the worst financial crisis in seventy years is really not the time to see if you can brighten up the CEA offices with a nice, decorative matched set of X chromosomes. Goolsbee has been advising Obama since the beginning; presumably, this is some sort of testimony to the esteem in which Obama holds his competence. Throwing him overboard now makes this look like less of a "plus factor" and more like Obama is much less concerned with competence than painting a pretty picture for voters. Given the stakes, that's more than a little irresponsible.
Why Goolsbee is good: He blew the whistle on Obama's anti-NAFTA primary campaign in Ohio as mostly political posturing.

His reward: Addition of Jason Furman as another of Obama's economic advisors and face to the media, pushing Goolsbee out of the limelight.

1. This is just a rumour with no conformation from hard sources. Must be taken with more than a pinch of salt.

2. The CEA has 3 members. Goolsbee may well be nominated to the council as a member if not chair.
This story is way too premature to make any hard inferences.

Update, November 24, 2008:

It is Christina Romer.

Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution.

Romer on taxes:

1. Tax increase reduces economic output. Yay! 2. Tax cuts now, do not reduce public spending and lead to tax increases in the future. Noooo!

Hat Tip: Hit and Run.

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