by Scott Creighton
The neoliberal Milton Friedman disciple, Austan Dean Goolsbee, has been picked as chairman of Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Goolsbee is a pure neoliberal; an insider’s insider. Not only was he a member of Skull and Bones along with George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John Kerry… but he is the ultimate neoliberal fanatic. He didn’t go to the University of Chicago’s School of Economics, but he teaches there. In fact, he was the head of their business school. His life-long loyalties to the financial and corporate elites are clear. He is a member of the “New Dem” Democratic Leadership Council, set up by globalists Bill and Hillary Clinton, to drive the Democratic party to “the center” and by that I mean far to the right of what the vast majority of what the people in this country, left and right, actually want.
And by “far to the right” I mean all the way past our current corptocracy straight into fascism… “fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy… Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong… Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement..” Wiki
The new fascist party in America is the bi-partisan Neoliberal Party; the one party that everyone knows is running both the republicans and the democrats. They are the Neocons, they are the New Dems and the DLC.
Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist known for his centrist, free-trade views… has advocated for an automated tax system, in which the I.R.S. sends taxpayers a document informing them how much they owe rather than a blank tax form…. and a senior economist for the Progressive Policy Institute and the Democratic Leadership Council.” New York Times
At a 2008 McKinsey Executive Roundtable Series in International Economics held at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Austan Goolsbee starts off his portion of the roundtable discussion thanking the members for bringing him back to CFR since he used to work there.
“Can I first say I am delighted to be back at the Council on Foreign Relations? I did actually have the privilege of working here and there is nothing like a presidential campaign to make that look like a good job.” Austan Goolsbee, 2008 CFR website
That’s an interesting discussion actually because Goolsbee lays out his support for the TARP bill, otherwise known as the banker bailout swindle that put hundreds of billions of dollars in the pockets of the wealthy banking elite and their CEOs but did nothing to help Main Street as the banks still refused to ease credit restrictions and get the economy back on the right track… like they were supposed to do with the trillions of our dollars the government gave them for wrecking the economy.
As far as Goolsbee’s DLC or “centrist” loyalties are concerned, take a look at what it means to be a member of the DLC, straight from their “about” page…
Education Reform: Meeting President Obama’s challenge to end the high school and college dropout crisis. Designing a new approach to vocational education and workforce training. Rewarding performance and reinventing accountability after No Child Left Behind. A New Agenda on Trade: Preventing protectionism, expanding markets, arming American workers to compete, and launching a new debate on trade in the post-boom era. Health Care Reform: Finding common ground on the pivotal issues that will be central to enacting a health care reform plan that works. The Hybrid Economy: Making a cap-and-trade bill a reality. Fulfilling the potential of high-speed rail. Fiscal Responsibility and Spending Reform: Reforming government all over again. Designing new tools to restore fiscal discipline. Economic Reform: Designing the new financial architecture to revitalize the private sector and restore conditions for economic growth. Reinventing 401(k)’s to make retirement secure. Tax Reform: Developing a post-partisan plan to lower rates and close loopholes. Civic Responsibility: Charting the path to universal national service. Enacting a nationwide plan to prevent partisan redistricting. DLC website
On education reform, we can clearly see what the DLC/Obama administration have done there. They privatizing the school systems just as fast as they can and they are focusing on pushing most children of poor or working class families into vocational training or “workforce” training, which is why you can find mock-up fast food chain stores and Wal-Mart training facilities in charter high schools these days. Of course, you won’t find that in the schools where the children of the elites go to school, just the poor folks.
Their “new agenda on trade” speaks for itself; protect the world from “protectionism”. In fact they are just protecting the global corporations and the banks that finance them from protectionism, at the direct cost of each and every one of us. See NAFTA and GATT for more info on that.
The “common ground” on healthcare reform meant that Big Pharma and the insurance industries got everything they wanted including the Hillary Clinton mandatory insurance purchase plan for every single American.
The “Hybrid economy” is simply the “cap-and-trade” bill… no mention of reducing pollution for that would scare off the big business donors to the DLC supported candidates and would eventually mes up the bank’s future carbon credits derivatives bubble which will again collapse the economy and justify more bailouts in the future.
One of my favorites is their idea of “civic responsibility” which clearly translates to forcing the kids of poor and working class families to serve the empire in some fashion, for next to nothing.
Goolsbee is also not one to be trusted. While he was helping with the Obama campaign, he had him feign that he was opposed to the unrestricted free market approach like NAFTA but only because it was politically expedient at the time. The vast majority of people are opposed to globalist free market ideology so that is what Obama positioned himself as. However, Goolsbee took a bit of a hit when he went to meet with the Canadians and told them Obama didn’t really mean it, it was just political positioning for the election.
At the same time, Goolsbee has been an advocate of free trade. During 2008, he took some lumps when a Canadian government memo surfaced, citing Goolsbee saying that Obama statements on scaling back the North American Free Trade Agreement amounted to “political positioning.” Obama took a hit from then-opponent Hilary Clinton, but many economists were relieved. WSJ
In fact, the globalist bankers and Wall Street moguls were relieved. So much so they dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to see that Obama was “elected”. But not before their fears that Obama would actually make good on his pledge to put the interests of the people ahead of those of the financial elites were eased. Austan Goolsbee played a big role in that. The following is from an article written for the Council on Foreign Relations in 2008
… To be sure, all Democratic candidates must face the reality that their party has gravitated towards protectionism, overt and covert, in the past decade. The number of Democrats voting for trade deals has steadily declined. The North American Free Trade Agreement was a turning point that deeply divided the party and then a succession of bilateral free trade agreements, many paltry, has steadily eroded the political capital of free-trade Democrats as they were forced repeatedly to go in to bat for trade in sceptical constituencies.
… Yet at least five reasons make Mr Obama a less disturbing prospect (disturbing to the financial elites).
First, Mrs Clinton, in an infamous interview with the Financial Times, responded to a question on support for the Doha round with the need for a pause, whereas Mr Obama has not done so. Second, whereas Mr Obama’s economist is Austan Goolsbee, a brilliant Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD at Chicago Business School and a valuable source of free-trade advice over almost a decade, Mrs Clinton’s campaign boasts of no professional economist of high repute. Instead, her trade advisers are reputed to be largely from the pro-union, anti-globalisation Economic Policy Institute and the AFL-CIO union federation. CFR website, 2008
There is no question, there is no debate. Even though people like Jon Stewart do all they can to put a kinder, gentler face on neoliberalism and it’s diciples (Stewart called Goolsbee a cross between Milton Friedman and Eliot Ness) all you have to do is look at what this economic policy has done to working Americans since 1980 or take a look at what Milton Friedman and his Chicago Boys did to Chile in 1973 after Kissinger and Nixon killed their freely elected president because he wasn’t business friendly enough.
Neoliberalism is a disease and Austan Goolsbee has a very bad case. My guess is, right after the election we will start to see the full force of the economic brick dropped on us just like what was done in Chile under the dictator Pinochet or any other “shock therapy” cases you can point out over the past several decades, like Indonesia for example, where President Obama’s parents were deeply entrenched in the Suharto neoliberalization of that country.
Filed under: Scott Creighton