If the names Christina Romer, Harvard President (former) Larry Summers, Melody Barnes, and David Romer don’t mean anything to you now, perhaps they will soon. President-elect Obama has appointed these individuals to some very important positions. Christina Romer— sometimes (mistakenly?) referred to in print as Christine Romer— is particularly of interest since her position as the chair/director of Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors entails providing economic analysis and advice to the president , reports Jeanne Sahadi of CNN Money.
Christina Romer, Chair/Director: Council of Economic Advisors
This educated professor who has been teaching economics for the University of California at Berkeley has specialized knowledge in The Great Depression– both its causes and the (re)solutions, historically. With the economic crisis we’re currently facing consistently being compared to said era, this seems like an appropriate choice. Obama has called her an independent whose expertise is respected by those of both major political parties. She has also been the co-director for the group known as NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research), who determine definitively when a United States “recession” officially begins or ends.
David Romer, her husband, is another macroeconomist from Berkeley. He and Christina both worked as economic advisers in the Obama campaign, reports Right Pundits.
Despite her widely esteemed grasp on economics, this does not stop some from criticizing the selection of Romer. At Right Pundits, commenters lament at how “another liberal”, no matter how educated, somehow will not understand how most of us are living financially. This is followed by implications that the Democrats who’ve “taken over” Congress (supposedly since 2006) are responsible for the middle class economic struggle we find ourselves in now.
If you have any doubts as to Ms. Romer’s understanding of the situation or qualifications, I invite you to look over some examples of her work. On the Berkeley website, you’ll find numerous papers of hers on the subject of economics, including her most recent from this month titled, “A Narrative Analysis of Postwar Tax Changes”. You decide if just “another liberal” understands the situations with which we are all struggling.
Lawrence Summers, Director: National Economic Council
Obama has selected Summers (a.k.a. Larry), former president of Harvard as the director of the National Economic Council, reports Sahadi. His job will revolve around economic policy-making and -advice for the president. He had served two years as Treasury Secretary for the Clinton administration. Obama feels Larry has been a voice for income inequality.
Melody Barnes, Director: Domestic Policy Council
Part of our economic recovery will involve healthcare reform, which Barnes will work with. She has done previous work with helping middle class families and was chief counsel to Ted Kennedy.
According to Sahadi, Obama said of his economic team today, “I’ve sought leaders who could offer both sound judgment and fresh thinking, both a depth of experience and a wealth of bold, new ideas, and most of all who share my fundamental belief that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street.”
Jeanne Sahadi, Obama names his economic dream team, CNN Money
Beth Shaw, Christina Romer is Council of Economic Advisers Chairman, Right Pundits
Christina Romer, University of Califonia- Berkeley- Economics