Obama the Pragmatist

My friend Libby brought this one to my attention and it's a goodie -

The Audicity of Data by Noam Barack Obama's surprisingly non-ideological policy shop"

He outlines both the economic advisers (who study behavior) as well as foreign advisors (mostly proteges of Lee Hamilton). It's a very exciting piece.

Here's a little taste:
For their part, the Obama wonks tend to be inductive--working piecemeal from a series of real-world observations. One typical Goolsbee brainchild is something called an automatic tax return. The idea is that, if you had no tax deductions or freelance income the previous year, the IRS would send you a tax return that was already filled out. As long as you accepted the government's accounting, you could just sign it and mail it back. Goolsbee estimates this small innovation could save hundreds of millions of man-hours spent filling out tax forms, and billions of dollars in tax-preparation fees.
It's not long and worth the full read and further elaborates on Obama's advisers.

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