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Austan Goolsbee: European Financial Situation “a Bad Monty Python Skit”

September 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Economics

Goolsbee was on ABC’s “This Week” and pantomimed the European finance ministers who perpetually talk about taking action, but never do.

The central example of inaction mentioned was that Greece has yet to lay off a single government employee. This example was put forth by conservative George Will (studied economics at Oxford), yet was refuted by none. I found this striking. Not even progressive (Russian history and literature major) Chrystia Freeland qualified his statement.

Am I the only one surprised that no one on an ABC political panel stepped up to refute the notion that Greece primarily has a spending problem. Isn’t the real issue that the tax rates aren’t progressive enough? Surely Chrystia is aware that there are Greeks who own yachts(?)

The skit Goolsbee refers to is below — both as video and text.

Right! This calls for immediate discussion!

REG: Right. Now, uh, item four: attainment of world supremacy within the next five years. Uh, Francis, you’ve been doing some work on this.

FRANCIS: Yeah. Thank you, Reg. Well, quite frankly, siblings, I think five years is optimistic, unless we can smash the Roman empire within the next twelve months.

REG: Twelve months?

FRANCIS: Yeah, twelve months. And, let’s face it. As empires go, this is the big one, so we’ve got to get up off our arses and stop just talking about it!

COMMANDOS: Hear! Hear!

LORETTA: I agree. It’s action that counts, not words, and we need action now.

COMMANDOS: Hear! Hear!

REG: You’re right. We could sit around here all day talking, passing resolutions, making clever speeches. It’s not going to shift one Roman soldier!

FRANCIS: So, let’s just stop gabbing on about it. It’s completely pointless and it’s getting us nowhere!


LORETTA: I agree. This is a complete waste of time. [bam]

JUDITH: They’ve arrested Brian!

REG: What?


JUDITH: They’ve dragged him off! They’re going to crucify him!

REG: Right! This calls for immediate discussion!

COMMANDO #1: Yeah.

JUDITH: What?!

COMMANDO #2: Immediate.

COMMANDO #1: Right.

LORETTA: New motion?

REG: Completely new motion, eh, that, ah– that there be, ah, immediate action–

FRANCIS: Ah, once the vote has been taken.

REG: Well, obviously once the vote’s been taken. You can’t act another resolution till you’ve voted on it…

JUDITH: Reg, for God’s sake, let’s go now!

REG: Yeah. Yeah.

JUDITH: Please!

REG: Right. Right.


REG: In the– in the light of fresh information from, ahh, sibling Judith–

LORETTA: Ah, not so fast, Reg.

JUDITH: Reg, for God’s sake, it’s perfectly simple. All you’ve got to do is to go out of that door now, and try to stop the Romans’ nailing him up! It’s happening, Reg! Something’s actually happening, Reg! Can’t you understand?! Ohhh! [slam]

REG: Hm. Hm.

FRANCIS: Oh, dear.

REG: Hello. Another little ego trip for the feminists.


FRANCIS: [whistling]

REG: Oh, sorry, Loretta. Ahh, oh, read that back, would you?


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