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In Transition

Friday, November 14, 2008

Austan D. Goolsbee

Current Job: Economics professor, University of Chicago.

Credentials: Member of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee; research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research; former special consultant for Internet policy for the Justice Department's antitrust division; former faculty research fellow for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

What he offers: Expertise about the new economy and the Internet, as well as taxes and government policy. He also has a relationship with Barack Obama that dates to 2004, when he was called upon to provide economic advice to the then-Senate candidate.

Vetting: Goolsbee came under fire in March for a disputed memo that said he assured Canadian consulate officials that Obama's statements "that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy." Goolsbee has denied that formulation.

Quote: "When you set up a market-based health system, allowing insurance companies to pick and choose who and what they will cover, you give them overwhelming incentives to dump, deny, avoid and neglect the sick people. And when you operate the system mainly through employers (as we do), you impose intense costs on U.S. industry and you ensure that the pool of people without insurance tends to include the unhealthiest, costliest cases around," he wrote on the Web site Slate in 2007, adding: "This is a problem at the core of our health care woes."

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