The Official Website of Josh Gillespie

Saved by the Professor

*The following was my opening monologue to start my internet radio show “Gillespie” airing Tuesdays at 7pm on  In case you miss the show I will be posting these here every Wednesday following the Tuesday show.*

Professor Goolsbee to the rescue! Certainly that’s what the Obama administration would have us feel after appointing University of Chicago Professor Austan Goolsbee to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Professor Goolsbee will replace Professor Christina “Eight Percent” Romer, who left with her tail between her legs after the failure of her highly touted stimulus plan. And yes, I too was shocked to see yet another Chicago crony added to the administration. It’s as if there’s only one city in all of America.

Upon hearing this news, I wasn’t sure what was more surprising; that President Obama named yet another professor with zero private sector experience to this vitally important position, or that we almost immediately heard the deceleration of need for another $50 billion in stimulus spending.  Because, when at first you don’t succeed, spend and spend again?

Friends, I’m certainly not biased against college professors. As a proud Purdue grad and husband of a Princeton grad, education is something we take very seriously in the Gillespie home. Like most parents, my wife and I have dreams for our children which include the hope that they will seek whatever higher education might be required for them to achieve their own career goals. My intent is not to belittle either those who dedicate themselves to teaching others or the very idea of higher education.

But one idea that I will belittle is the concept that yet another far-left college professor whose entire life has been spent on a college campus without spending a single day observing whether his theories have any practical application will be the next one to spend us into prosperity. This administration would have us believe that merely replacing one academic with another who has the exact same liberal views as his predecessor is the solution for the very problem that Obama himself has worsened.

I’m curious as to how much Goolsbee’s views differ from the far-left stances which have become synonymous with this administration. At first glance we might feel slightly more comfortable knowing that he taught at The University of Chicago, an institution made famous by the late Dr. Milton Friedman as well as a number of other preeminent economists who research and teach from the Austrian School of economics. Sadly, we should take no comfort from the fact that Professor Goolsbee taught at the University of Chicago as he actually teaches in the business school and is not a member of it’s esteemed economics department.

Goolsbee has also spent his academic career arguing that cutting taxes doesn’t increase tax revenue despite the remarkable amount of evidence we have to the contrary, all the way back to the  Democratic administration John F. Kennedy. This tells me that Professor Goolsbee, in stark contrast with accepted academic practice, actually begins his inquiries with a desired outcome in mind and then searches for snippets of data that might fit his own narrative. How convenient. He he was also doing leading work on the Internet when e-commerce was still in its infancy and wrote a leading paper on taxes and the Web. One would be forgiven for wondering when we’ll see the first national internet sales tax implemented.

There’s a famous line from Albert Einstein that goes “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results ”.

That being the case, I’m forced to wonder who exactly is “insane” according to that time-tested definition? Is it a president who scorns the private sector that he successfully avoided his entire life? Is it the latest in a line of liberal professors who’s theories have never gained traction beyond a legion of Marxist intellectuals? Or, perhaps it’s the millions of Americans who believe that intentions equal results, and Congress can grant prosperity by fiat combined with lavish and complex 2,000 page bills twice a year.

Regardless, as we’ve discussed in previous episodes of Gillespie as well as over on, we conservatives know the way to turn this bloated ship around. And while The White House dispatches yet another liberal academic in a vain attempt to transform unproven theories into a magical recovery, we can point to the lessons of history as our evidence that conservative principles are truly the only proven way to fix this mess.

Hmmm…., fact versus theory. Proven results versus overheated and hollow rhetoric. Seems like we’re back to comparing the failed theory of liberalism with the proven success that is conservatism. I can only pray that perhaps we’ve reached the tipping point in proving that liberalism is in fact little more than a tragic failure. 2012 can’t get here soon enough.

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