Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is Barack Obama "Too University Of Chicago?"

That was a question asked on MSNBC’s Hardball by Chris Matthews earlier this year. I guess that since Obama taught law at the University Of Chicago and he liked talking to all the other professors there (including economists), that makes him some kind of egghead. Since I got my BA at U of C, there may be some truth to this.

So the University Of Chicago alumni magazine had an article about this. You can read it at

Elemental Obama

Here are a couple of exerpts:

"One thing is unmistakable, though: the University of Chicago is where he has drawn many crucial members of his political team. Graduate School of Business professor Austan Goolsbee is a key economic strategist."

"Many of Obama’s economic ideas, however, can be traced to Chicago. Cass Sunstein, who’s starting a new job at Harvard University this fall (he’ll maintain a visiting position at Chicago), makes the case: “Though he’s not a dogmatic follower of Milton Friedman, Obama is someone who is fully appreciative of the virtues of markets and how regulation can be counterproductive.” Sunstein points to specific proposals that originated with Chicago thinkers, including resonances from Nudge, the 2008 book on “libertarian paternalism” that Sunstein coauthored with GSB economist Richard Thaler. On health care: “It’s noteworthy,” Sunstein says, “that his approach is not a mandate; he didn’t want to coerce any adult to buy health insurance.” On the housing mortgage crisis: “His policies are oriented toward transparency and disclosure—measures that are market-improving rather than market-eliminating.” Climate change: “His solution is a market system that allows trading in greenhouse-gas emissions rights, and an auction to buy those rights.” Many Chicago economists, however, find more merit in McCain’s economic plan."


Anonymous said...

Great blog!

Former student, Barclay Stewart

Cyril Morong said...


Thanks. I recognize your name. When did you take a class from me? Is there a picture of you anywhere on line? It is so hard put a face to every name from the past. You can email it to me (if you have one) at

Let me know what you are up to. Still in San Antonio?


Cyril Morong said...


Did you wear a Cardinals hat and take both macro and micro?