The addition of Jason Furman to Barack Obama’s economic team has gotten some attention. Furman was John Kerry’s economics spokesguy in 2004, but more to the point he’s about as centrist as centrist Democrats come, thinks Wal-Mart is swell, and is a protege of Bob Rubin. So I figure it’s worth mentioning that, during the conference call with reporters that Furman and Obama veteran Austan Goolsbee did Monday, Furman said that one of his jobs would be doing outreach to the likes of “Robert Reich, Jared Bernstein, and Paul Volcker.”
Those were, interestingly enough, the only three names he mentioned. Reich is of course the former Clinton Labor Secretary, Paul Krugman bete noire, sometime fabulist, and moderate critic of unfettered capitalism. Bernstein is the meticulous chronicler of declining middle-class living standards at the labor-friendly Economic Policy Institute. And Paul Volcker used to run this thing called the Federal Reserve, where he–depending on your perspective–either killed off the Dread Beast Inflation or threw millions of Americans out of their jobs to make bond investors happy.
The only common thread I can think of between these three men is that they don’t like George Bush. So yeah, maybe that is the gist of Barack Obama’s economic platform.