Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

The Explainer: Goolsbee White-Boards the Job Numbers

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 19 2010

Professor Goolsbee has upped his game in this, the White House's second installment in its nascent White House White Board online video series.

Goolsbee, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, explains in his dulcet Texas tone what the economic numbers show about American job loss and job growth. "You've probably been hearing a lot of back and forth on the economy, and it can be hard to sift through," says Goolsbee by way of soothing introduction. "So what I wanted to do today on the white board is take a step back and just talk about where we've been over the last three years in the U.S. economy." In his last go-round at the dry erase board, on the Bush tax cuts, Goolsbee's performance was marred by the fact that it was difficult for the average viewer to keep straight what the blue and red bubbles were supposed to represent. This time, everything's tidy and clearly labeled, and Goolsbee shows a performer's knack for walking the viewer through the material -- Recovery Act, tax cuts, other legislative moves made by Obama -- slowly but with a surety of purpose.

The version of the job chart first posted on Speaker Pelosi's blog back in February

This White House White Board series is yet another attempt by the White House to use new media to shape the debate, and the question remains, who's watching? Is it worth the bother in this heated pre-mid-term election season? Goolsbee's first attempt has been viewed through YouTube about 47,000 times since it launched three weeks ago, but that number is misleading; the White House uses a custom video player to host the video on its site, and offers folks the chance to use it, too. This is a new product, and as such, the White House is tweaking it. For one thing, at four minutes this video is twice as long as the first, and feels less rushed.

One other note, on the subject matter of Goolsbee's lesson. The White House, here, has spotted a good idea and run with it. This job loss and job growth bar chart Goolsbee is making use of to show the impact of the Obama administration's economic policies is nearly identical to one that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office created and slapped up on its "The Gavel" blog back in February, right down to the use of red to mark the Bush years and blue to indicate the Obama ones. Since then, the humble job chart has taken on a life of its own, popping up as everything from printable fliers and Twitter avatars from Organizing for America to, now, the centerpiece of a White House explainer video. (See "Making Sure Everyone in America Has Seen that Pelosi Jobs Chart.") Democratic Washington is energetically engaging in a bit of free-culture-esque reusing and remixing.

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality and Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Positive Sums

How Teachout won some wealthy districts while Cuomo won some poor ones; DailyKos's explosive traffic growth; using Facebook for voter targeting; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Emergence

Evaluating the Teachout-Wu challenge; net neutrality defenders invoke an "internet slowdown"; NYC's first CTO; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

De Blasio Names Minerva Tantoco First New York City CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Minerva Tantoco as first New York City CTO Tuesday night in an announcement that was greeted with applause and cheers at the September meeting of the New York Tech Meet-Up. In his remarks, De Blasio said her task would be to develop a coordinated strategy for technology and innovation as it affects the city as a whole and the role of technology in all aspects of civic life from the economy and schools to civic participation, leading to a "redemocratization of society." He called Tantoco the perfect fit for the position as a somebody who is "great with technology, has a lot of experience, abiltiy and energy and ability to create from scratch and is a true New Yorker." GO

First POST: Fusion Politics

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. GO

More