Alan Krueger nominated to chair the CEA

by on August 29, 2011 at 7:22 am in Current Affairs, Economics | Permalink

Here is one article.  Here are previous MR mentions of Alan Krueger.  Hat tip goes to Greg Mankiw, and we should all agree with Greg that this is good news.  Here is Krueger on occupational licensing.

1 Danny August 29, 2011 at 7:55 am

I would be happy that we have an economist in the white house that actually understands the minimum wage. But it seems like Obama hasn’t listened to any of the other excellent economists that he has put in those positions, so this will likely be another disappointment.

2 Jeff August 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Agreed. Economic policy thus far can be summarized as “the opposite of what Christina Romer thinks.”

3 Mike Moore August 29, 2011 at 11:26 am

Good news? For whom? Perhaps it is good news for the unions and those favoring government intervention in the market process, e.g. higher minimum wage, etc., but for businesses awaiting reassurance that new rounds of regulations and interventions, it’s just more of the same old same old.

4 AndrewL August 29, 2011 at 11:53 am

Cash for Clunkers as an example of good policy? What?

5 Gabe August 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm

love it…Tyler Cowen cheering on clash for clunkers…with libertarians like this who needs statist?

6 Beefcake the Mighty August 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm


7 Tyler Cowen August 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Mood affiliation minus for you guys!

8 AndrewL August 30, 2011 at 8:07 am

Doesn’t Mood affiliation go both ways? Your post does not indicate what you actually like/dislike about Krueger unless you agree with everything in the articles you linked to. In that case I think my point is perfectly non-mood affiliated:

9 Mike Moore August 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm

“If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Krueger, a labor economist, is likely to provide a voice inside the administration for more-aggressive government action to bring down unemployment and, particularly, to address long-term joblessness.”

The White House is evidently making a big deal about Krueger being a “labor economist.” Wasn’t Marx what we would call a “labor economist”?

10 bunker brown August 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I think this guy is useless. Most of the unemployed that I know are either lazy, stupid or unmotivated. And obese. Don’t forget obese.

11 Pat MacAuley August 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I am encouraged that Obama has nominated a labor economist instead of a Macro-type. I’m hoping Krueger will focus heavily on unemployment instead of the GDP numbers or on the Dow-Jones Average. One of the saddest aspects of this recession is the huge number of unemployed Americans and the slow growth in jobs. I’m hoping Kreuger will recommend more production-oriented measures such as CCC-type jobs, ending Asian currency manipulation, training health workers, expelling illegal immigrants, ending tax benefits for overseas investment, challenging the VAT discrimination against US exports, etc.

12 Dhanson August 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

CCC jobs are a chimera – this is the age of specialization and the leverage of knowledge. You can’t create jobs by handing out shovels and pickaxes like you could in the 1930’s. Even among categories like “carpenters” or “construction workers”, there is narrow specialization. You can’t put a bunch of unemployed homebuilders to work on a road crew.

Ending Asian currency manipulation – How, exactly?

Training Health Workers – to do what? Is there evidence that they need more training? Why is this a better use of money than whatever use it was put to before it was taxed out of the private economy?

Expelling illegal immigrants – this will never happen. There are too many, they are too entrenched in society and the workforce, and doing so would alienate a powerful voting bloc. Repeat: this will never happen.

Ending tax benefits for overseas production: Any distortionary taxes should go, but every one of those exemptions has a constituency and a rationale. it’s easy to say they should all be ended, but actually doing so is another matter.

Challenging the VAT discrimination: The best way to do that would be to lower the corporate tax rate, and regain the revenue through a VAT in the United States. Then you’d level the playing field. Short of doing that, how exactly are you going to challenge other country’s use of a VAT? Tariffs? Are we abandoning free trade now?

The problem with hiring a labor economist like Krueger is that he’s unlikely to advocate the things that would actually help job creation: the removal of regulations, returning the minimum wage to the 2007 level, policies that focus on stability rather than ‘hope and change’, Fixing the entitlement system so that people feel more secure about their retirement, etc.

God save us from more interventionists who think they can ‘fix’ the job market by just hiring smarters guys to hold the clipboards and tell everyone else what to do.

13 TallDave August 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

On the plus side, he won’t argue terrorism is created by poverty. So, there’s that.

14 TallDave August 30, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Uh oh, he favors institutional racism (the “good” kind, not the “bad” kind).

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