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Mike Munger, Duke Professor, Libertarian Candidate for Governor, and Star of Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Videos

The Duke student newspaper has posted an excellent article about Professor Mike Munger. Munger is a good friend, the former chair of the Duke Political Science department, and an extremely well-respected scholar. In 2008, he was the Libertarian candidate for North Carolina governor, winning a respectable 2.7% of the vote.

He is also famous for cameo parts in two viral YouTube videos. He plays the limo driver in the “Fear the Boom and Bust: a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem.”

And he plays Mike, the security guard, in the sequel video, “Fight of the Century: Hayek vs. Keynes, Round 2.” 

  1. Mollie Hemingway

    I love these videos. And I’ve always wondered about their production. There’s something about this prof that reminds me of every libertarian prof I know!

  2. Butters

    Why don’t libertarians go the Rand Paul route and run in GOP primaries? You can actually win elections and don’t have to compromise on your principles.

    It’s basic game theory and common sense (if you’re truly interested in affecting an outcome). 

  3. Mendel

    I will second (or fifth?) the praise for Mike Munger and his entertaining EconTalk appearances.  He is to EconTalk what Tom Sowell is to Uncommon Knowledge: someone who can talk about any subject under the sun and be both knowledgeable and entertaining.

    But nominating a university professor as candidate for governor?  That’s straight out of the Democrat playbook (Elizabeth Warren anyone?).  No wonder the Libertarian party can’t make a splash.

  4. Ignatius J. Reilly

    Munger is always insightful, even when wrong.

    The GOP does need, in Buckley’s formulation, “transfusions of libertarianism.”   But the utilitarian thinking underneath “social liberalism, fiscal conservatism” is dangerous.  

  5. Gödel

    Knowing of Munger’s unabashed Libertarianism makes watching his turn as the security guard in “Fight of the Century” even more hysterical. Someone less likely to hero-worship Keynes and not know how “Hayek” is pronounced—or that Hayek did indeed use “high explosives” as an example—is hard to imagine!

  6. Gödel

    By the way, although it’s been said 1,000 times before: the videos are genius. Please show them to your kids. Then explain what “Shout-out to Malthus!” means.

  7. Keith
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: I love these videos. And I’ve always wondered about their production. There’s something about this prof that reminds me of every libertarian prof I know! · 2 hours ago

    Russ Roberts talks about this on one of his podcasts (Econtalk)

    Also, I believe Russ and John Papola are interviewed by Brian Lamb for Q&A:

    http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/299576-1&sa=U&ei=0aTHUJCqKIfq2AXN1IGoCA&ved=0CBwQtwIwAw&usg=AFQjCNH3DHa6Z3lWzsHLodpr81UiTxhc5w For more general info on Hayek, there is a lot of stuff on Mises.Org which you should be interested in. It’s a very good libertarian site with a lot of audio and video information and great writing.
  8. Franciscus

    I also love the videos. Along the lines of Ignatius above, there needs to be a transformation of the GOP. Like President Reagan, I believe we need to bring these ideas into to the GOP to refresh the liberty side of the party. Otherwise we will be left with Democrat party totalitarian statism. Hopefully men like professor Munger will see this logic.

  9. Owl of Minerva
    James Of England

    Franciscus: I also love the videos. Along the lines of Ignatius above, there needs to be a transformation of the GOP. Like President Reagan, I believe we need to bring these ideas into to the GOP to refresh the liberty side of the party. Otherwise we will be left with Democrat party totalitarian statism. Hopefully men like professor Munger will see this logic. · 5 hours ago

    He regularly attacks the Democrat he helped into office for being too conservative. He believes in increasing taxes on the rich. I’m not sure he’s the kind of guy Reagan wanted in office, for all his slick rap tunes. · 7 hours ago

    I’d resist the urge to put Munger on the ordinary Right v. Left axis. He’s too libertarian. Also, he’s not interested in orthodoxy. He argues positions to test them not to defend a cause of some sort.

    Also, it’s strange to have a WWRD appeal made sincerely. Who knows what Reagan would have done? Who cares? In any event, the two guys would have gotten along, but that’s not saying much about either of them. They’re both pretty personable.

  10. Ignatius J. Reilly

    Munger on Santorum: “… who I actually think is evil personified.” 

    There is no place for this.  Munger can be insightful, indeed, is often insightful.  But this is abhorrent.  Santorum was the wrong messenger with the right message.  If he is evil, Ricochet is evil.  And Ricochet ain’t.

  11. LowcountryJoe

    Kids Prefer Cheese!

  12. Franciscus

    Ok, thanks for the heads up. Redistributive tax policies don’t exactly sound libertarian, at least in the tradition of Milton Friedman.

  13. Franciscus

    But the negative income tax would be better than the mess we have now

  14. James Of England
    Franciscus: I also love the videos. Along the lines of Ignatius above, there needs to be a transformation of the GOP. Like President Reagan, I believe we need to bring these ideas into to the GOP to refresh the liberty side of the party. Otherwise we will be left with Democrat party totalitarian statism. Hopefully men like professor Munger will see this logic. · 5 hours ago

    He regularly attacks the Democrat he helped into office for being too conservative. He believes in increasing taxes on the rich. I’m not sure he’s the kind of guy Reagan wanted in office, for all his slick rap tunes.

  15. Lavaux

    Prof. Munger is very good on EconTalk, too. Check out his podcasts:

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/_featuring/mike_munger/

  16. Richard Fulmer
    Lavaux: Prof. Munger is very good on EconTalk, too. Check out his podcasts:

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/_featuring/mike_munger/ ·

    Mike Munger is my favorite EconTalk guest.  He’s personable and fun to listen to.

  17. Richard Fulmer
    If you like the Keynes/Hayek rap videos, check out Dorian Electra’s work:      I’m in Love with Friedrich Hayek      Fa$t Ca$h      Roll with the Flow
  18. Eeyore

    On having run for office: “Given how naturally narcissistic and arrogant I am, it was excellent,” he laughs. “I do have a certain superficial glibness.”

    I don’t know if he still does it, but he used to guest weekly on a local talk radio show, where he was introduced by the host as “Dr. Michael Munger – The Knower of All Things.”

  19. Todd

    Here, here on the econtalk interviews.  He’s been on over 2o times.  They never disappoint.