Dave Brat: A True Expert on 'Economic Justice'

The House of Representatives of the United States will very likely swear in this fall a former Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) economics professor, Dr. David Alan Brat -- or Dave Brat, as he prefers to be called.

In a stunning upset whose shock waves have yet to be fully felt or understood, Brat handily defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Evidently taken aback by this unexpected and unprecedented outcome, Cantor failed to include the obvious in his concession speech: “I congratulate my opponent and promise to work to elect him in the fall.” Let’s hope Mr. Cantor does that soon. Americans don’t like sore losers.

According to the home page of R-MC’s Economics/Business Department, which Dr. Brat joined in 1996, he taught the following courses:

  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory.
  • Public Finance.
  • International Economic Development.
  • Economic Justice.

The last of these is especially telling. Here is the course description:

An historical examination of the major conceptions of economic justice primarily in the Western world. Major ethical schools of thought include the Socratic/Platonic/Aristotelian, the Judeo-Christian, and the Enlightenment school of Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill and Marx. Finally, contemporary moral theorists such as John Rawls and Robert Nozick will be used to compare/contrast this legacy of ethical thought with the orthodox models of economic thought, as represented in the writings of economists such as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, and Milton Friedman.

Note the fair and balanced approach in the source material: Major ancient, modern, and contemporary figures are covered, philosophers as well as economists. A left-leaning professor would probably skip (or use purely as a foil) Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Mill, Nozick, Adam Smith, and Milton Friedman and focus on Rousseau, Marx, Rawls, and J.M. Keynes. After all, students  must be encouraged to vote “progressive,” no?

Democrats never tire of reminding Americans that their party “owns” economic justice, while the GOP is the party of the rich. Total nonsense, of course, but it helped elect Obama twice. My point: The GOP would do well to enlist the highly competent services of Dr. Brat to draft a simple and effective counter. It’s not too late to make a difference this fall to help elect more Republicans to the House and the Senate. 

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