Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In Profile the Economics Professor Who Defeated Eric Cantor

This is from an April profile at Breitbart before Brat's victory against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor:
David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, is hoping to play the role of David to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Goliath in this June's Republican primary in Virginia's 7th Congressional District. But he's got his work cut out for him.

Although when he jumped in the race he said was hoping for financial backing from top players in the conservative world, that hasn't panned out yet. Brat has just $50,000 cash on hand, he said in an interview, a pittance compared to the $1.9 million Cantor had in the bank at the end of 2013. 
...Brat himself remains optimistic. “Every grassroots organization I know of in the district, from Tea Parties to libertarians to constitutionalists, is behind me,” he told Breitbart News.

A libertarian-leaning economist of the Chicago school, Brat is working to paint Cantor as compromised by “crony capitalism.”

The United States has been successful economically, Brat said, because "everyone is treated equally under the law." But under the policies of the last few years, “we're ruining it.”

He also hit Cantor for attending a tropical summit this past weekend organized by a group working to destroy the Tea Party.

"The way you win is if your opponent goes on the record…at Amelia Island meeting with George Soros financed groups and PACs, and they're stripping conservatives off state and local committee," Brat said. "Then all of a sudden you have a race….The problem is no one hears about this."

In response to Brat's comments on a variety of topics that came up in his interview, Ray Allen, Cantor's top political hand in Virginia, was unsparing in his criticism.

"The professor does not understand how the Republican party of Virginia works," he told Breitbart News on Friday.

"The overwhelming vast majority of Republicans in the 7th district support Eric Cantor. The professor supports excluding active duty military personnel from voting in Republican nominations contests. Eric Cantor supports welcoming active duty military into our party's nomination process,” Allen said.

A native of Alma, Michigan, Brat attended Hope College, obtained a Masters in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and has a Phd. in economics from American University...

 As a professional economist, Brat says "the Austrians are pure theory with no data. I like them.  The Road to Serfdom [by Hayek] is on the money." But Brat does not consider himself a proponent of the Austrian school. "If you had to peg me, I'm close to the Milton Friedman, Chicago School," he told Breitbart News.

RW note: It is good to see someone as powerful as Cantor knocked off his perch, but Brat appears to be a mixed bag. As a Chicago school economist, he has a problem with Austrian school methodology.  Indeed, he takes a swipe at the "pure theory" perspective of Austrians in the Brietbat profile. Further, as a member of the Chicago school, he is likely to be a meddler, in favor of various government interventions such as school vouchers versus  getting government out of the education business completely. And it should be never forgotten that Chicago school dean, Milton Friedman, was responsible for designing the evil withholding tax.

And notice that Brat references Hayek and not Ludwig von Mises or Murray Rothbard, usually an important tell that you are dealing with someone who is more of a government technician rather than someone who puts the shrinking of government as the first and only worthy goal.

(ht Robert Blumen)


  1. Fed-Gov Wants You Big, Bigger, & Biggest

    Published on Jun 11, 2014

    The US Government, and Global Oligarchy, actively discourages individual innovators and small dynamic corporations from emerging. The existence of large-only-entities works to stifle variety, destroy innovation. Large-only-entities also provides a necessary mechanism of control on the part of the oligarcy as any dissent is quashed.

  2. I'm fine with booting out any incumbents. Even if the new guy isn't any better. Hell, even if he's worse...

  3. First rule for a victorious office holder after winning an election: sell out your base.


    His campaign manager was a 23 year old Ron Paul and lew Rockwell supporter!

    1. Yeah, looks like it, but I doubt that this guy Brat is going to carry on Ron Paul's work.

  5. His essay, "God and Advanced Mammon — Can Theological Types Handle Usury" suggests he understands the hypocrisy of "meddling" as you put it. It's written to a Seminary audience but worth finding on Scribd to get a clear sense of how he thinks through conservative / Libertarian (and Progressive) issues... (Scribd link:

  6. Regardless of Brat's shortcomings, this win was huge. It was a clear indictment and win for the Brutalist, Hoppeian position on immigration, against the open borders corporate cronies. Brat won this election by hammering Cantor on immigration and corporatism.

  7. This guy might not be perfect but he sounds like a vast improvement.

  8. Brat just took down one of the worst in the republican party. He deserves the benefit of the doubt for that feat alone.