Austan Goolsbee, the president’s chairman of the council of economic advisors in testimony before the congress actually said that the new “healthcare” law would create jobs. (I put “healthcare” in quotes because it is not about healthcare, it is about insurance. Actually it most likely will degrade healthcare.) This proves that a requirement to being in high places in the administration is a willingness to lie. It was amazing that when Goolsbee uttered this nonsense that the House members on the committee did not break out in derisive laughter. This was especially true when the two small business owners testified to the contrary. One said that the healthcare law would cost him $7,000 more per employee and if he kept his employees at the same level, would bankrupt him. The second owner said that it would cost him less not to provide insurance but to pay the fine. What was equally amazing is no one on the house panel accused either Goolsbee or the businessmen as lying. No one did. In two previous blogs I lamented about poor Christina Romer having to endorse positions that her own research had refuted and to knowingly lie with a smile. However, I cannot write about “poor” Austan Goolsbee because he has been shamelessly lying with a smile the past two years. One could excuse Romer because she is on the Cal-Berkeley faculty. However, Goolsbee is on the University of Chicago faculty! I know we have dumbed down our universities. There is a study out that finds that the longer students are in college, the worse they perform on basic skills tests (math, science, geography, politics, and English). Not surprisingly, the greatest diminution in skills were in the toney private schools like the University of Chicago. So the university that gave us Milton Friedman, Irving Fisher, George Stigler, Frank Knight, Ronald Coase, Robert Fogel, Gary Becker, Richard Posner, Bob Lucas, Gene Fama and Friedrich von Hayek now gives us Austan Goolsbee. Talk about dumbing down.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com