Recoiling from fusillades directed by Hilary Clinton’s campaign and those media pundits with a keen bullshit-o-meter, Barack Obama’s campaign began backpedaling as fast as it could. Now that Texas and Ohio’s primaries have been handily conquered by Clinton’s campaign, it seems Barack didn’t backpedal fast enough.
It has been widely reported that Obama’s chief economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, reassured Canadian diplomats the comment in Obama’s recent speech before the Texas and Ohio primaries concerning NAFTA was just rhetoric and political posturing , not to be confused with actual policy change prognostications.
Well daaaaa! When a car salesman lies to you, he’s just selling , when a lawyer lies to you, he’s just fighting for his client , and when a politician lies to you it’s just rhetoric.
Not so well schooled or educated of the proper etiquette to label such white-collar transgressions, I just call these guys liars. I guess that’s why I work in a machine shop instead of an office!
Since Democratic politicians can only advance their agendas by subjugating measured analysis of societal concerns and promote the emotional and hyperbolic sort of rhetoric that makes people’s blood boil, I thought it might be interesting to learn more about Obama’s chief economic adviser.
Economics is the science of understanding why people act the way they do, and how political policies effect people’s actions and hence affect the movement of goods and services throughout an economy.
Austan Goolsbee is an economist by training, and has excellent credentials with a degree from Yale and a Doctorate from MIT. He certainly knows his science shows it is difficult to reconcile most Democratic ideas with successful economic policy. So how can he be a Democrat?
Among his notable accomplishments, Goolsbee is a prolific columnist and has opined on health care, Michael Moore, taxes, and Milton Friedman among other subjects.
Some of his writings are informative, but some are clearly flavored by the Democratic rhetoric he must undoubtedly endure to keep his post as the most liberal presidential candidate’s chief economic advisor.
Two reports by Goolsbee screamed at me with propaganda:
The first report is thirty pages long and right up front acknowledges the Executives studied make up a small sample, but that this sample can account for as much as 20% of the aggregate change of wage and salary income. That still leaves 80%.
Furthermore, the study is no prognosticator of how that other 80% is going to react to tax increases, making the whole exercise unimportant if the idea is to suggest we can raise taxes without hurting the economy.
Executives of large corporations, unlike the owners of small businesses, do not have the versatility in their policy initiatives to make broad and sweeping strategy changes just to affect their personal income. Therefore, any conclusions the report draws are erroneous.
For the Super-Rich, Too Much Is Never Enough is clearly a propaganda piece which makes ridiculous assertions and antagonizes the class-warfare debate with dishonest argument.
The piece makes this preposterous statement:
Mr. Ellison’s net worth last year was around $16 billion. And it will probably be much bigger when the list comes out in a few weeks. With $16 billion and a 10 percent rate of return, Mr. Ellison would need to spend more than $30 million a week simply to keep from accumulating more money than he already has, to say nothing of trying to spend down the $16 billion itself.
For a well educated economist to make such a hyperbolic statement can be viewed only as disingenuous. For starters, just try to get a guaranteed rate of return of ten percent on any amount of money, let alone $16 billion. It involves risk.
Ellison’s net worth is held mostly in stock, it may pay dividends, but it cannot earn interest unless it is converted to cash (of which the government will take taxes), deposited in a bank and loaned out. FDIC only insures accounts for $100,000.00, so keeping that kind of cash in a bank could be far riskier than keeping the asset as stock.
Goolsbee goes on to lament Ellison’s expenditure of 100 million dollars on a private residence, adding in the negative and dishonest comment that it only takes three weeks to earn that money on interest paid on his fortune.
In 1999 Forbes Magazine rated Bill Gates net worth at 90 billion. At ten percent annual return, Mr. Gates should preside over a fortune of 212 billion dollars today, but it is only 56 billion.
The theme of Goolsbee’s New York Times piece is that wealthy people are greedy hoarders, as if to suggest there is some point where businessmen should cease to make good monetary decisions and squander their fortunes.
Just the title, For the Super-Rich, Too Much Is Never Enough, says something nefarious about Goolsbee’s intention, and that it was published in the New York Times ought to say something about his political agenda.
For someone making 200k a year, why do they want to make 300k a year? For someone making 50k, why do they want 100K? When you amass a million dollars in savings, somehow you shouldn’t endeavor to amass two million?!?
Goolsbee never explores or seems to anticipate any positive side effect which takes place upon the creation and accumulation of wealth in the form of job creation, development of new technologies, or more tax revenue, etc. He lauds Warren Buffet’s donation of his fortune to charity suggesting that others who don’t do the same are somehow malevolent. (I had a few words about Buffet’s donation to charity myself Dear Mr Buffet,)
Goolsbee finishes the piece with the weak and disappointing conclusion it isn’t for the reasons that everyone else saves money… and the ridiculous a bit like having enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world reaffirming there are clandestine and wicked aspirations possessed by rich people.
Goolsbee’s reasoning is absurd and the piece is sophomoric at best. What should we expect from a man with a graduate degree from Yale and a PHD from MIT; I guess if he is Barack Obama’s chief economic advisor, not much.
Recognizing Goolsbee is not a complete idiot, we can only conclude this piece is just political posturing and Goolsbee has subjugated his analytical skills to stay in good grace with that most liberal presidential candidate.
Perhaps Mr. Goolsbee has not betrayed his science, perhaps he really does know things like preventing free trade will hurt our nation wholly, and perhaps his little article about the super rich isn’t his accurate and sincere analysis of wealthy people, It’s just rhetoric.
Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo