Fasten Your Seatbelts

By Rebecca Rolfes

Austan Goolsbee won the Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest in 2009. He stresses that there are no funny economists and that economics itself is not funny, so it is easy to be humorous by comparison.

Goolsbee contrasts life as an academic with his early months working in the White House when there were "a lot of nights sleeping under the desk and Tic Tacs for dinner." He describes what it is like for an academic to arrive for a first stint in a public policy arena.

He was on a very bumpy flight. The plane was shaking and bouncing, oxygen masks dropped down, people screamed. The plane finally landed safely, but the teenager next to him had been remarkably calm through the whole thing. Goolsbee said to the young man, "Some flight, huh?" And the teenager said, "This was my first flight. I thought it was always like that."

"That's what Washington was like," Goolsbee said.


Last Updated 1/16/14