Colbert Gets the Goolsbee Bump

I just caught this (with a Tivo-induced lag) — Austan Goolsbee on Monday’s Colbert Report:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Austan Goolsbee
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Stephen Colbert in Iraq

Here’s the highlight reel:

– Clear evidence of Austan’s growing political savvy: Following Colbert’s assertion that the Canadian prime minister is a madman — “I have no comment.”

– Best analogy: Following Colbert’s claim that Obama was too keen to nationalize GM — “Your house is on fire … the guy runs in, takes your kid out, saves their life. Now is not the time to accuse them of kidnapping.”

– Words that may haunt him: “A year from now, we’re going to be in a very happy place.”

– And the interview concludes with Austan giving Stephen Colbert a noogie!


I liked him. I'd add to the haunting words the fact that the administration is trying to avoid boom/bust cycles...hmmm. That would be something novel. Normally, in complex systems, artificial constructs that dampen volatility cause worse problems down the line. Fire suppression is a good example. I'll be interested to see how that all works out.


Goolsbee's used the analogy of someone pulling your kids out of a fire before. It's pure rhetorical fluff. It assumes it's own conclusion and draws a comparison that no one who questions the wisdom of GM's nationalization believes is valid.


Colbert gives the bumps. Not the other way around.


Do I have to send GM to college? I hope it doesn't move back into my house. I really don't have the room.


I agree with #2. That analogy is completely ridiculous. It's more like someone saving your three kids and keeping two of them, except that the stakes aren't human life, but rather an inefficient use of resources.


I'd say it's like child services tieing you up, setting your kid on fire, then taking him away because you allowed him to be set on fire.

Governments save us from the problems they create, then use that as precedent to create more problems. This analogy is very telling, because it's a literal example of the attitude a growing government requires us to take: short-range emergency fear of things allegedly only they can handle, without looking at why the problem's there or what the long-term consequences are.


Another analogy: It's like a guy running into your burning house to save an outdated refrigerator that you had planned on replacing anyway, because it used way too much energy and didn't really do its job well. And all the while you're yelling at him to stop, I don't need you to save it, just let it burn.

And then the guy sends you a massive bill for his services.

flowa powa

thought colbert would have asked what kinda weird name is goolsbee


Jake @ #7, that burning refrigerator analogy is perfect. Its funny and sad at the same time. Good work.

Kyle Ransom

Very funny post