Monday, June 9, 2008

New Obama Economic Policy Director and Advisers

Obama has named Jason Furman as his economic policy director.

Jason is a natural pick for the job: an excellent economist and dedicated wonk with lots of campaign and policy experience.

What's interesting in the announcement is that on the list of advisers the campaign will draw on, Jason mentions not only Larry Summers and Alan Blinder but also two who are on the more progressive end of the liberal econosphere: Jared Bernstein and James Galbraith. Jared and Jamie are two of my favorite economic policy thinkers, and it's great to see that they may have some role in the Obama administration.

I've updated and spruced up our list of Economists for Obama to include these new recruits.

Update: courtesy of Talking Points Memo, here's the audio from today's media conference call with Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee.

1 comment:

MattYoung said...

This needs a comment.

Looking up Jason's work to find his "theory". I settled on a debate he had recently about what kind of stimulus the stimulus checks created. I think Jason was mis-informed.

The stimulus checks were nothing more than the Fed and the legislature teaming up to distribute liquidity risk during a market failure, nothing more. It is only stimulus if the liquidity has a better Pareto arrangement after the rearrangement, but the point being that Ben and Bush both went into Pareto mode because the business cycle slowdown halted normal linear markets.

Here is a common sense definition of stimulus. Stimulus is when the government decides to build a bridge because labor is cheap and bridge building is labor intensive.

However that definition applies to all businesses, and Keynes contributed nothing to theory that tells us that government obeys different economic laws, in fact, government suffers that same economic laws as everyone else.