Live Blog with Dr. Michael Munger, Libertarian Candidate for Governor

Please join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a live-blog chat with Dr. Michael Munger, Libertarian candidate for governor. Dr. Munger has been fairly active at BlueNC and introduced himself here long before many Democrats found us. Whether you support his candidacy or not, tonight's chat provides us with a great opportunity to learn.

Please leave your questions for Dr. Munger on this thread.

Comments

Question for Dr. Munger

I'm thinking of starting a new political party in which term limits would be a required and legally binding commitment (not sure how that would happen, but go with me).

What is the Libertarian party's position on term limits ... and what is your personal position?

Thanks for joining us tonight. I'm having some interTube problems today, but hope to be online and plugged in for your visit.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Jumping the gun a little....

Okay, I'm jumping the gun a little....But I don't want to get TOO far behind. And if four or five more people ask questions at 7:30, I'll never catch up.

James: Term limits are one of the most interesting questions out there. The framers of the Constitution thought that the "office should seek the [wo]man, not that the man should seek the office." So they anticipated nearly everyone would be one term and out.

The Greeks used, for many local offices such as archons, basically justice of the peace officers, the "rule of the bean." White beans and black beans were used to select someone AT RANDOM, with the understanding that holding office was an obligation that rotated.

And, it seems appealing to think that the limits on interest group activities, and controls on "going native" in the flesh dens of Raleigh, would be enhanced by term limits.

But....the political science literature on this is mixed, at best. There is a result in game theory called backwards induction, and one of the key problems is the "last period problem." If I know I don't face reelection challenges in the last period, I can reward my friends, punish my enemies, and escape the lash of public rejection. This result extends to ANY determinate last period. Behavior unravels. The ideal solution, according to that approach, is an indeterminate end point, with some chance of losing elections in each period. But that would rule out term limits.

The Libertarian Party, at least in my impression, by and large supports term limits.

I myself weakly favor term limits, for three reasons.
1. The idea that service should rotate, and should BE service, not a career, is a bedrock principle of American government. You should not be able to enrich yourself in public service.
2. Term limits strengthen parties, and weaken the link between corporate contributors and long-serving incumbents. (I discuss this a little in my Senate testimony on McCain-Feingold...). Term limits would also strengthen permanent staffs, which may or may not be a good thing. Members could not develop expertise. A system with term limits would be more like the British system, where law depends on the expertise of ministries. As it stands, experienced legislators become experts in their own right, in the U.S. Still, the net effect would be to strengthen parties, and of this I am a fan.
3. We need more indignation, and incredulity, in government. People who serve multiple terms become complacent, and accepting. Term limits would shake things up.

I do worry that interest groups, and especially lobbyists, would be MORE powerful in a system with term limits, though.

How's the beach? You got a little lucky on weather, except for the waves....BIG waves.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Always glad to have guns jumped

The party I'm envisioning would offer terms limits as a competitive positioning. I'm not seeking them as a policy position, but as a partisan advantage. The whole contract on America was born in the promise of term limits, a promise so many Republicans have broken - without suffering any cost for their lack of integrity. It makes me sick.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Just want you to know

I'm lurking and reading on the blackberry. Enjoying it so far.

----insert witty remark here----coming soon----

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Now that's dedication

Robert is out on a date with his wife and he checks in to a live-blog? How amazing is that!

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

get a life

just kidding

Wake Forest won't play us anymore
Michigan last year
LSU - you are next
Go ASU!

Libertatian to real world conversion?

I enjoy hearing the ideal libertarian visions but I never hear about how the country is going to shift gears from the overdrive we've been living in for decades back to first gear, no IRS, no income taxes? We still will have a staggering national debt to pay.

How do you see the libertarian policies meshing with current reality and a Congress that can't seem to change a light bulb?

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Progressives are the true conservatives.

But....but.....

I am very specific in my platform, and issue statements, about why I think my approach addresses specific problems in manageable ways.

As a "recovering Republican," a process that, like alcoholism, you never really finish, I have to say that I don't see any immediate solution to the debt problem, or the light bulb problem.

The Bush Administration has overseen the largest tax increase in U.S. history! Because....deficits are future taxes, a basic principle of public choice economics, the brand of academic political economy I practice. And debt is the sum of future taxes owed by us, and more likely by our children. We have seen an enormous transfer of wealth, FROM our kids and THEIR kids as yet unborn, to the older generation, and to a senseless war against a country, Iraq, that posed no threat to us.

After I am elected Governor, there would still be collectors for tax revenues, public schools, public roads, and public services of all kinds. There is just no political support for eliminating these, and even trying to do so all at once would cause chaos.

Look, if you ask me how much government I want, the answer is "less." I want less government snooping into our bedrooms, telling us whom we can marry. I want less government harrassment of users of harmless drugs, most of which are less addictive than nicotine. I want less government spying on my actions, and my communications. I want less government power embodied in large corporations, and less corporate power embodied in the large agencies of government.

I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution.

Now, I think most Americans agree with that, on at least some dimensions. So, I understand that we may disagree about how far we ride the train in a Libertarian direction. But we have SO FAR to go. Sure, you may want to get off before I do. But our paths lie together for miles and miles. And we are still travelling in the WRONG direction.

Our state is going to spend near a billion dollars over the next ten years on "incentives," which are really just corporate welfare. Now, incentives are just a way of taking money from taxpayers, and giving it to corporations, for the benefit of politicians. We spend huge amounts on roads, for the benefit of the wealthy and a few politically connected developers, while rural parts of the state suffer with rotting roads and broken bridges.

Congress is NOT going to change as long as it uses earmarks, powerful committee chairman, and a deference to the military-financed corporations that run Washington.

Let me say this: Insanity is continuing to do the same thing, while expecting different results. Voting for the same old "lesser of two evils" is doing the same thing. I doubt you are going to get different results.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Libertarian policy

Dr. Munger,

Beyond all of the sideshow discussions about debates, financial disclosures, and hair styles, I thought you'd appreciate a chance to defend your basic Libertarian policy positions. So, I've taken some from the Libertarian North Carolina and national party platforms.

From the Libertarian Party of North Carolina website
web site

Business and Labor [selected item]
"We call on all levels of government to eliminate all regulations and fees that artificially increase the costs of starting and maintaining a business, or of gaining employment."

I translate this, in part, as a call for repeal of all minimum wage laws, anti-discrimination laws, regulatory restrictions on retaliation/discharge for union organizing, and workplace safety and health laws. Is that your understanding as well? Do you support that position?

Transportation [quoted in full]
"The LPNC challenges state and local government to stop building new highways or other transportation systems. We propose giving private enterprise the opportunity to come up with innovative transportation solutions without government interference. Current roads should be maintained by private enterprise until such time as they can be transferred to private ownership."

I think this speaks for itself--public divestiture of all roads, streets, highways, sidewalks, airports, railways, buses, ports, and other public transit systems. Is this your position?

Zoning [quoted in part]
"The LPNC calls for the repeal of all zoning ordinances."

In other words, no land use restrictions or regulations. Locate hazardous waste facilities, hog waste lagoons, incinerators, chemical factories, etc., at any location where the land can be (or has been) bought. Is this your position?

Takings
Environment
Pollution
Taxation
[interpretation]

Both North Carolina and national Libertarian platform documents are surprisingly coy about explicitly calling for the repeal of all environmental regulations. Reading the relevant sections together, and interpreting their meaning as traditionally acknowleged by Libertarian spokespeople, however, that does seem to be the unequivocal Libertarian position. The Libertarian Party would abolish all pollution control regulations, and substitute a "property rights" based scheme in which a directly injured individual landowner would have to sue each individual polluter as the only remedy. Is this your position?

I've selected only four core Libertarian issue positions for initial inquiry, but there are other equally interesting items available for follow-up or questions from others.

Thank you.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Yeeeeeeah.

Thanks for bringing sanity back to this discussion Dan. I won't be voting for anyone from this party anytime soon.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Ouestions for the Candiate?

1.Do you favor the repeal of the private fascist Federal Reserve System and currency back by Gold and Silver reserves?

2.If you were elected Governor by a stoke of lighting and a out of work Greek Golden God, would you move State Treasure investment employee funds out of Wall Street investment firms into Gold and Silver Bullion deposits, since it appears that this country is headed for a massive econ meltdown that will make the Great depression look like a walk in park by executive order?

3. Other than those little questions on money matters! Do you have Gold and Silver stash under your bed or do you really believe the Duke endowement fund will last forever, even after Jesus returns?

PS.. Questions 1 and 2 are trick questions, 3 is just to see how really smart you are about personal affairs...Good luck and be sure to have those answers on my desk by the first thing tomorrow morning!

PS..PS..I have the answers from the Perdue campaign. They believe the Federal Reserve System is a oil and fuel division of the retail French Target chain. And the Republican candiate claims the answer to question 2 is back by his coin and stamp collection from his childhood.

My Web Site

I have gone to some lengths to specify the issues that I think are important, on my web site. And I am happy to defend my positions on those issues, and to get your thoughts on them.

The platforms of the state, and national LP are designed by committees, in a process of political compromise. I doubt if anyone in the LP agrees with every part of every plank.

But you asked four specific questions. Let me answer them.

1. No
2. No
3. No
4. No

That is, there are parts of each of those planks that is different from my own private position on those issues.

Still, as a member of the party, I am willing to represent, and to try to explain, those positions to the public. But if your question is if those statements, verbatim, are my positions, they are not. They were written by a large committee, in a process of political sausage-making that, by analogy at least, all parties go through. NO ONE PERSON, in the LP, is likely to agree fully with every word of every plank.

I have to say that it seems inefficient for a questioner to make a statement, and then say, "Is THAT your position?" "Well, how about THIS? Is THIS your position?"

Kind of like twenty questions. If you would like to know my position on an issue, why not just ask? It would save you a lot of typing....

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

I'm really enjoying this.

----insert witty remark here----coming soon----

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Lost a comment

But basically, I'm enjoying this.

----insert witty remark here----coming soon----

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

What is a Libertarian?

Dr. Munger,

My apologies for having been unable to participate in this live-blog in real time. I was tied up in a Winston-Salem City Council committee meeting until about 9 p.m. I'm posting my follow-up now, and if you have the chance to check back I will welcome your response. If not, I understand that your time is limited.

Thank you for your direct response to my post. However, in answering "no" to each of my four questions, you have essentially disavowed four of the fundamental policy premises on which capital-L Libertarianism today is based.

I asked the question in the format I did precisely for the purpose of gaining an understanding of whether you as a candidate actually represent your party on its basic policies and principles, and to hear your defense of them.

If you do not represent your party's basic policies, then why are you campaigning as a Libertarian?

If your party's chief nominees disavow its central platform statements so casually, what is the rationale for the Libertarian Party's very existence--especially as the self-declared "Party of Principle"?

The Libertarian Party is a vehicle for some of the most extreme political philosophy active in today's marketplace of ideas. I personally believe that many of its economic policies are so out of touch with human reality as to be irrelevant to serious political debate. However, that's merely an opinion, and blogs such as this represent an ideal opportunity to contest such opinions.

I had assumed that your candidacy primarily represents an effort to shift the policy debates in our state, and that you would consider my challenges to be tough but fair--and an opportunity to take that debate to the heart of the other side (an audience of progressive policy-wonks and activists).

I had anticipated that on at least two or three of the four topics I raised you would respond with some variation of "yes, that's my position--and here's why." Flat denials without exposition of how your positions differ leave us without the opportunity to examine the Libertarian approach on fundamental public policy substance.

We are left back at the point of wondering why your party should be included in debates or on the ballot, and why we should care.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Not to hijack Dr. Munger's thread...

We are left back at the point of wondering why your party should be included in debates or on the ballot, and why we should care.

Dan's comment eloquently illustrates the challenges with philosophical labels in general, and political parties in particular.

Forcing thinking human beings to endorse party platforms and submit to tests of ideological purity as a means to gain ballot access is a great way to discourage rational, concerned citizens from seeking office.

Some would argue that our nation and state would benefit from having choices beyond McBama and Percrory. Thus, it seems reasonable to welcome serious voices to the debate, and evaluate their individual philosophies, regardless of whether they are Libertarian, Green, or even Term Limited (isn't that James' new party?)

:-)

BJ

William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Just No Pleasing Some Folks!

Mr. Besse:

I am happy to try to answer questions about my positions.

I'm sorry you anticipated wrong. But I bet that happens to you a lot, so you must be used to it by now.

In each of the questions you asked, my position differs by a number of words greater than or equal to one. Again, happy to answer a question like, "what is your position on zoning, and how is it different from the Libertarian Party platform?" The question you asked, "Is this your position?" is a yes or no question, and I answered it. You never said, "If this is not your position, what IS your position?" I don't see how you can criticize someone for failing to answer questions not asked.

We should be on the ballot because 100,000 citizens of NC registered their voice, by signing the petitions. You may disagree. Then you should get the legislature to raise the number to 1,000,000 signatures, or even more. But there is a process for getting on the ballot. And we followed it.

Finally, I did answer, straightforwardly and directly, all the real questions put to me. And, I answered YOUR questions. I didn't weasel, or duck, in any way. If you ask a yes-or-no question, and I give one of those two answers...I'm doin' my best, here.

I gave very specific answers on what I would do on roads, capital punishment, education....aren't those the issues facing the state? I guess I missed the part where zoning, a local matter, is the number one issue facing the STATE government. Or number seven.

Let me close on a more respectful note. You got 12% in the Dem Lt Gov primary; that's more than double my current poll numbers. And you have been elected twice to the city council of a large, diverse city. In terms of political acumen, experience, and simple knowledge, you have achieved much, much more than I.

My goal is, literally, to participate in the debate. Not the televised debates, though that would be nice. I mean the public discussion. I want to raise issues of civil liberties, including marriage rights and ending capital punishment, in a setting where I am the ONLY VOICE advocating those positions.

If you think that that is worthless, I am willing in THIS forum to defer to your superior experience and background. But I'm not going to quit.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Sex Offender Registry & NBAF

Dr. Munger,

I've been doing a lot of reading lately on the sex offender registry, including its many flaws as well as its Constitutionality.

I have come to the conclusion that not only is the sex offender registry deeply flawed, but it is unconstitutional as well because it violates the Fifth Amendment because of the lack of due process of law. I don't see how any sane person could argue that being placed on the sex offender registry is not additional punishment -- additional punishment which is not handed down by a Judge and is absent due process of law.

What are your thoughts on the sex offender registry? What flaws, if any, do you see in it? What reforms, if any, would you like to see made to it? Are there any current ex-convicts (not specific people, but people who have been charged of a crime of a specific nature) who have been classified as "sex offenders" because their crime is considered a "sexually based offense" who should not be included on the registry (because they are seemingly a danger to no one) but presently are?

Finally, and most importantly, is the sex offender registry Constitutional?

Also, what are your thoughts on the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) that may be built in Butner? Do you support it or are you opposed to it?

Thanks in advance!

Two questions.....

Well, you asked two questions. Let me take the easier one first. The NBAF may, or not, be "necessary" for national defense. I'm skeptical. But I'm not an expert. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that at least some real experts think it is necessary, and useful.

Whether it should be located in Butner is the other problem. I have considerable experience in watching companies, and the government, try to choose sites for low level radioactive waste, and also high level waste. And the NIMBY pressures are completely overwhelming, in spite of the fact that the risks were negligible.

In the case of the NBAF, I don't know what the actual risks are. But it seems like a very populated area.

So: I actually doubt NBAF is necessary, or helpful. And I am not convinced that locating NBAF in such a populated corridor is safe. Bottom line: I'd block it, if it were up to me.

Question the harder: Sex Offender Registry. I think it is clearly a violation of individual rights. I also understand why parents and others would want the information.

The problems I see are these:

1. Too many similar names. There was an article about the "no-fly" list, where federal marshalls sometimes
have trouble getting on planes, because their names are similar to someone on the list. But at least they KNOW they are having trouble. If my name is similar to someone on an offender list, I may not know, or I may find out too late to do anything.

2. Lack of due process, both for being put on the list and for being taken off. It is very hard to get mistakes corrected. And being listed is devestating. The categorizing of "crimes" is pretty vague. Some people are actual repeat predators. Others might be like the 17 year old boy who had consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl. Does the boy have a problem? Sure. But he is not a sex offender, in the way I understand the term.

3. Double jeopardy. Having to wear this electronic scarlet "S.O." is clearly additional, nonjudicial punishment. That is a real problem from a Constitutional perspective.

But....if someone were a convicted sex offender, and bought the house next to mine...I'd want to know.

The present system is a compromise, and I don't see any realistic prospect of it being changed. So, my answer is, "I don't know."

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

organizing

How are Libertarians organizing? What are they doing to ensure an ongoing financial and volunteer infrastructure? Aren't Libertarians, in at least some sense, sort of biased against forming large organizations necessary to exercising political power?

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

You make it sound easy!

Dude! We spent a quarter million in money, and value of volunteer time, to get the stinkin' signatures!

Money and effort down a rat hole. That's the 8th time we done it. The task of Sisyphus.

As I testified, on behalf of the Green party, and working with the nice folks from ACLU (Katy and Hoppy, you are the best!), it is IMPOSSIBLE to put together an organization with political teeth, AND get those signatures.

Now, the question is what will happen next time....and that remains to be seen. If I can get county organizations in the 20 largest counties, with people who are active, then that is something for the party to take over.

Possible upside: Bob Barr is an interesting candidate who seems genuinely to have changed his mind on a number of issues. And the Ron Paul "Revolution" folks transfer their loyalties. So we get activists and infrastructure for 2010.

Downside: People do not find Barr interesting, and some Ron Paul folks are so disgruntled with the process that they stick to their "screw everyone, write in Ron Paul" mantra.

I think the upside is more likely....but....

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Man, what a dilemma

How do you stand it? I get frustrated as hell with the go-along NC Senate, but I'm not putting a giant chunk of my life on the line.

How's your legal team? It Pope's Center for Constitutional Whatever lined up to give you your day in court? What about Bob Orr? Has he reached out to you? He can't possibly give a plug nickel for Corporate McCrory ... can he?

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

I missed this question, and

I missed this question, and it's a good one.

Most of the work I have gotten is from ACLU. Bob Orr, a fine man indeed, has mostly
been working on ending corporate welfare, not helping with ballot access.

And, Bob Orr is SO TIRED of Pat McCrory's hokey "I called travelling on Michael Jordan...BECAUSE HE TRAVELLED!" that
I think Bob is ready to hit Pat with a stick.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Barr! Paul! Mike in the future?

Possible upside: Bob Barr is an interesting candidate who seems genuinely to have changed his mind on a number of issues. And the Ron Paul "Revolution" folks transfer their loyalties. So we get activists and infrastructure for 2010.*Mike

In 2010, Bob Barr will be begging to get into the defunk Republican party or what is left of it. And the Paul activists will have their own independent political party by then.

Downside: People do not find Barr interesting, and some Ron Paul folks are so disgruntled with the process that they stick to their "screw everyone, write in Ron Paul" mantra*Mike

You don't knock 20,000 thousand Paul fans who hock the family gas money to march on Washington last Saturday and call them a mantra.

That is not a way to win the fans who think somewhat how you think!

1. Rule one in Gladiator politics! Win the fans! And the rest is easy.

America is obviously a lot more than what we see on TV or read in N&O blogs or WRAL about debates.

http://www.wearechange.org/uploaded_images/ronpaulmarch1,jpg-755454.jpg

Republican Party to be "defunk" in 2010

Max wrote:

In 2010, Bob Barr will be begging to get into the defunk Republican party or what is left of it.

Verily, Max, I say unto you, as I sit here listening to James Brown:

The Republican Party has never had any funk to lose.

Now get down with your bad self.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

What a funky party?

Republican Party to be "defunk" in 2010

Max wrote:

"In 2010, Bob Barr will be begging to get into the defunk Republican party or what is left of it."

Verily, Max, I say unto you, as I sit here listening to James Brown:

The Republican Party has never had any funk to lose.

Now get down with your bad self.* Branden

Branden! What I meant to say was that the Republican party was Funk in 2010 along with America citizens. As to James Brown, let his body cool while his trust-estate lawyers try to hold off 34 ex wives their 200 children over what is left about him getting down with the ladies.

As Jake said in the Blue Brothers Movie, "I see the light Brother Brown even with my shades"

A James Brown theme for the GOP

Too funky in here
Gimme some air
Too funky in here, yeah, ow
Gimme some air

Open up the window, man

(Too funky in here)
Say it again
(Too funky in here)
Gimme some air

Bass needs a little waterin' down, ooh ah
Guitar could use a little cooler sound, huh, eh
I need a little air freshener under the drums, huh
Open up the window, let out some

Hmm, okay, well, the second verse needs to be adapted a bit to work for politics.

I leave that an exercise for my fellow BlueNCers who have their asses shakin' to the funky, funky sound.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Have you thought about going negative?

Back in the primary wars on the Democratic side of the street, the campaign was negative and petty. Perdue had the good sense (or maybe good political instincts) to go positive, but it was late in the game.

Conventional wisdom says going negative is one way for "behind" candidates to garner attention.

You seem to be having trouble getting attention. Whatchagonnado?

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Dog Bites Man

I can see the headlines: "Libertarian unhappy with government! Criticizes other candidates' positions!"

Clearly, I am between a rock and hard place. In order to be credible, I have to specify what I would do, what Libertarians are FOR. Everybody knows what Libertarians are against.

Unfortunately, I have an obvious issue: democracy. Even people who wouldn't vote for me support inclusion in the debates, and ballot reform for other "third" parties such as the Greens. And, as a political scientist who has published a lot on that subject, I have automatic credibility, and rightly so. I can speak on the topic of parties, and political competition, with real authority.

I sincerely hope it comes down to being able to talk about issues, and to have enough cash to go negative. But there's a long way to go to get there.

That's why I appreciate this chance to talk about issues. You guys are great!

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Would you veto the current budget if you were governor?

How's that for specific?

:)

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Absolutely! Mistah Budget,

Absolutely! Mistah Budget, he dead. (with apologies to Joseph Conrad)

1. Too much debt, and too much of THAT using "COPs," or Certificates of Participation. We still have a good bond rating (a credit to Richard Moore, I should add, whatever else you think of him), but it could go away fast.
2. Too many earmarks, and raiding the highway fund for pet projects
3. Not enough money spent on rural roads, bridges, and water projects
4. Too much money spent on education bureaucracy, not enough on reducing class sizes and improving
buses and roofs in the poorer counties. No effort to settle Leandro, STILL, even the Leandro kid has finished
GRAD SCHOOL!

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Heart of Darkness references

make me miss college ...

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Aside from the standard,

"trimming the size of government and restoring civil liberties" issues, what do you think are the most critical issues for North Carolina (in particular)?

And since I consider the environment to be my most critical issue, what are your positions on: new coal plants, offshore drilling, renewable energy, water use, etc.?

Below is a press release.

Below is a press release. The short answer: Our best hope for alternative energy development is HIGH gas prices. Artificial subsidies to oil companies, and to consumers for that matter, just keep us addicted to oil.

I don't see any reason NC should be FIRST, or only, state to allow offshore drilling. But I would allow drilling, and new refineries.

Same with electricity/coal-fired plants: require serious scrubbers, and charge the price to consumers, inducing them to conserve and increasing their support for alternative energy, making it PROFITABLE.

*************
RALEIGH (July 9) – Dr. Mike Munger, Libertarian candidate for governor released his position on off-shore drilling for oil and natural gas today.

“The proposals I see coming from both the Democrats and Republicans are half-measures and stop-gaps,” Dr. Munger said. “And the sudden support for off-shore drilling by Mayor Pat McCrory and others, is a cheap gimmick. It will have no effect on the price of oil, and will do nothing to affect the prices that NC consumers pay for gas at the pump.”

Dr. Munger has a PhD in economics and experience working in regulatory policy at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. He holds a current joint appointment in Duke’s Economics Department. He believes that only comprehensive energy reform will work to solve the nation’s energy security problems, and help consumers in our state.

“It’s an election year, which means that it is silly season for politicians. The supporters of new drilling are promising miracles, and the opponents are predicting disaster. They are both exaggerating for their own political purposes,” Dr. Munger said.

Dr. Munger’s proposed comprehensive solution would require broad cooperation at the federal and state level. The key points are:

1. End tariffs on ethanol imports.

2. Allow drilling and new exploration for high-yield sources of oil and natural gas on Federal lands and offshore in all U.S. waters.

3. End domestic ethanol subsidies, which waste both energy and money.

4. Allow the increasing price of gasoline and oil to do its job, by encouraging consumers to conserve, and rewarding oil companies for finding new reserves.

5. Allow the immediate development of new domestic refining capacity and cracking facilities, which has been held up for more than a decade by short-run political gamesmanship.

“The key is to recognize that the increased price of oil and gas will solve this problem for us, if we let it,” according to Dr. Munger. “Oil companies with develop new reserves, and new refining capacity. Consumers will choose more fuel-efficient cars, and heating options. Alternative fuels and energy sources will become competitive, and will be developed rapidly in the marketplace.”

As for the current proposals by both Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory, “They will have no effect, and in fact they are not even making any real effort” to solve the problem,” said Dr. Munger.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

And let the markets deal with

the impending humanitarian disaster caused by climate change. I know, I know, someone needs to pay the real costs of our addiction to burning carbon. I guess it'll be those brown people living at one foot above sea level all around the world.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

We may disagree about a matter of fact....

And that question of fact is this: will people respond faster to high prices, thereby reducing their carbon footprints, or to moral suasion, saying "pretty please, won't you reduce your carbon footprint?"

I think you have good cause to be skeptical about markets not handling pollution well.

All I am saying is, let's get prices right so that market incentives work FOR reducing emissions. Right now, we are subsidizing emissions because people are not paying the full cost of their activities.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

I get your point and I agree with one part

you have good cause to be skeptical about markets not handling pollution well.

Free-market pricing might indeed crush consumption, but the sticky problem of long-term environmental degradation is impossible to price for ... especially since we can't even agree on the root cause.

It's tempting to throw up my hands and let the markets do their magic . . . except that sometimes it's black magic. I just don't see how you ever get to people paying the full cost when that cost is hidden 30 years out.

Velly intellesting.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

I'm kind of late getting back to this,

but I'm a little confused by your answer on off-shore drilling. On one hand you say:

“And the sudden support for off-shore drilling by Mayor Pat McCrory and others, is a cheap gimmick. It will have no effect on the price of oil, and will do nothing to affect the prices that NC consumers pay for gas at the pump.”

which can also construe that you mean (because the price won't change) that off-shore drilling won't have a tangible effect on supply. I agree with this, by the way, but I'm at a loss why you would also say:

Allow drilling and new exploration for high-yield sources of oil and natural gas on Federal lands and offshore in all U.S. waters.

If you believe these actions won't produce any results (increase supply to lower prices and/or get us off foreign oil), then why allow them? You can't honestly believe there will be no adverse impact to the environment from these operations, so I have to conclude this stems from the standard Libertarian aversion to government regulating business/industry, and placing faith in the market "getting mad" at big oil if they screw up our environment, causing them to lose business.

As I covered in a previous diary here, there are some serious potential environmental impacts we could encounter drilling for oil off our shores here in North Carolina. When I say "we" I'm also including the little critters that inhabit the ocean floor miles off-shore, because they haven't quite developed the ability to blog for themselves yet.

To say, "It won't make a difference but go ahead and do it anyway", represents (to me) a stunning and mind-boggling disregard for the environment, and it perfectly defines one of my biggest fears about Libertarian leadership, if it ever successfully comes to pass.

Long run: Less dependence

The McCrory position is, "drill off the coast of NC!"

There isn't any oil there. And I don't see why NC should go unilaterally and put its
beaches at risk. Though, to be fair, the risks are pretty minimal. Hurricane Katrina, with all its fury, caused very little damage to oil rigs off the coast.

My point is that if drilling is allowed, and they drill where the oil is, NC doesn't bear a disproportionate share of the burden.

I think the reason to allow drilling is NOT that it will cause prices to go down.

Rather, it will allow us, in five years or so, to have a smaller proportion of our oil coming from countries, such as Nigeria or Venezuela, or Saudi Arabia, that have very problematic political systems.

By that time, the high price of oil will have had its salubrious effect on demand.

So, I don't claim new drilling will have no effect. It will; it will help.

But it won't affect oil prices, or gas prices, right away, and that is how it is being pitched.

I really appreciate the chance to try out these arguments in a skeptical but not hostile forum. You people didn't have to open up the comments to my views, but you did, and I appreciate it.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Stop listening to the JLF and Heritage

Hurricane Katrina, with all its fury, caused very little damage to oil rigs off the coast.

Over 100 drilling platforms were lost during Katrina & Rita. Not temporarily disabled or slightly damaged, they were fricking lost. Forgetting (for the moment) about the environmental impact of all those rigs scattered across the sea floor, that means we'd have to drill for probably ten years just to break even with the cost of losing them.

I'm glad you're here to talk with us, Mike. But tossing out right-wing talking points like that, especially the ones that are amazingly inaccurate, ain't doing much to impress (me).

Er . . . . that wasn't a right-wing talking point

Platforms were lost, but we're not talking about spilled oil. I'm against drilling offshore, but I'm not in favor of exaggerating damages that didn't occur. Doing so discredits your argument.

I know me some Louisiana. The state is hurting, badly, but don't use the argument that the hurricanes in Louisiana were disasterous vis-a-vis oil rigs when they weren't. You want to preserve your point by being careful with your arguments and evidence.

The truth might, might, might be somewhere in between

I spent some time on this today and found that a lot of oil was spilled, 7+ million barrels, but that most of it was on land due to damaged refineries and storage facilities.

Oil rigs were banged up, 100+ damaged or destroyed, but that the oil spilled from those rigs amounted to about 5500 barrels.

So I guess it's a question of degree. I have not found any articles citing significant coastal damage from the 5500 barrels.

Some sources are here and here.

Both sources contain links to a US Minerals Management report that has the original data.

Person County Democrats

Read what he wrote again:

Hurricane Katrina, with all its fury, caused very little damage to oil rigs off the coast.

And here's what actually happened:

In all, Katrina destroyed 46 offshore platforms and Rita 69, the Minerals Management Service reported. Fifty-two platforms were damaged by the two storms.

Costs to the industry of the damage by Katrina and Rita have been offset by the increase in prices that resulted from the disruption of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas supplies. The region is the largest domestic source of oil and gas for the U.S.

Apache, the second-largest producer in the Gulf's shallow waters, followed the third-quarter hurricanes with record net income in the fourth quarter. For all of 2005, the three largest U.S. oil companies -- Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron and ConocoPhillips -- earned more than $63 billion combined.

How cute is that? Billions in damage to the platforms, supplies seriously disrupted, and they post 63 billion in profits. From you and me. ;(

Little value, substantial risk

Keep in mind that the Gulf oil platforms are in the shallow waters of the continental shelf. The areas proposed for exploration off the North Carolina coast are on the continental slope--deeper and in a far higher-energy marine environment. This is a clean and undisturbed area now. Why guarantee additional disturbance (the drilling process itself) and create an undetermined but real risk of severe damage (in the event of serious spills)?

Proponents of oilshore drilling give these answers:
(a) To reduce the price of gas.
(b) To reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Dr. Munger acknowledges that lifting the ban on Atlantic coast offshore drilling will have no short-term impact on the cost of gas or other petroleum products. However, in doing so he still dramatically understates the likely time frame for bringing to market any petroleum found off our coast--5 years instead of the more accurate 10 to 20 years. Further, he suggests or implies that offshore drilling here would eventually have a notable effect on gasoline prices and supply. That's highly unlikely given the small total of potential reserves here in comparison to the world production market.

Here is the most important reason not to drop barriers to additional offshore drilling: It perpetuates the problem. Our problem is less our dependence on "foreign" oil than it is our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels, period.

Additional offshore drilling in the environmentally sensitive zones off the Atlantic coast does nothing to alter supply in any significant way, but it does bolster the public illusion that business as usual in energy policy will fix our problems.

Aggressive development of efficiency and renewable energy resources is the solution. We need to hammer that point home at every opportunity.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Again, the point is

that when you are making an argument, do not leave yourself vulnerable to the accusation that you're stretching the truth. It weakens an argument that is strong on its own. Relatively speaking the damage done to and by oil rigs in Louisiana was slight. If you try to suggest it was greater or graver than it was, you lose ground when people get a handle on the facts. Why do that?

As Dan Besse points out, there are major differences, geologically, between NC and Louisiana. His more important point, which is where I think the pro-drillers lose, is that by resorting to the same old strategies for getting by we lose that much time and energy and resources that should be dedicated toward development of alternatives.

It's very discouraging. If people are still clutching at straws to deny global warming, what chance do we have for effecting a significant change in the way people think about our energy resources?

Geez but it's discouraging. The wake up call will be a few decades too late.

We're just going to have to disagree

about this. While losing "only" 116 platforms represents less than 4% of those that were in the storm's path, people still need to know about those 116 platforms. It's not stretching the truth, it's the truth. Stretching the truth is to claim only minor damage was done, because that leaves the average person assuming very little happened.

Which is (probably) why somewhere around 75% of the people in this country think off-shore drilling is a good idea. Hell, until I started doing research for my recent diary about this subject, I had no idea so many platforms were destroyed. It was definitely a wtf? moment.

Something is missing from this conversation.

WE need to recognize the frequency of hurricanes that hit NC's coast. Even though the east coast has never been hit by a category 5 hurricane, NC(26) is second only to Florida(35) in the number of direct hit hurricanes that made landfall from 1900 to 1998.
[edit to add data source link]

I'll admit, I don't know Louisiana, but I've been off the coast of NC in bad weather. I've been on blue water in other places in bad weather. It's guaranteed ... if there are oil rigs off our coast, with every hurricane hit there will be damage done to those oil rigs. Often that damage will be minor, but sometimes it will be major and sometimes rigs will sink and sometimes oil will spill. Those are the facts. We can argue about whether those costs are worth it, but those costs will come. We're not risking those costs by drilling off our coast, we're guaranteeing that we will have them and we will pay them. The only question is how frequently and how much -- and how much is too much.

I usually try to stay away from slippery slope arguments, but since we seem to have determined that the major oil spills caused by Katrina and Rita came from refinery and storage facilities, where will the oil tapped by rigs along the VA, NC, SC and FL coasts go to be refined and processed? By the time we see a drop of oil 10-20 years hence, the cost of shipping it around the Florida peninsula will be exorbitant. As soon as the first platform taps oil, I lay odds we'll start hearing the drumbeat to build refineries along the east coast, too. You think we'll be able to pawn them all off on poor little SC?

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

The other begged question.

You've identified the next undropped shoe in this chain. Already, of course, the Bush Administration has proposed weakening the environmental review process for new refineries. Perhaps Wilmington or Morehead City would like a new one?

Economic Libertarianism would certainly join the Bushies in calling for environmental regulation to get out of the way.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Lots of people droolin'

over the possibility of turnin' No' Carlina into Texas. Thar's money to be made, boy. Don't you git it?

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

I may be new to the state...

...but I do know one thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can not sit back and allow Texan infiltration, beef indoctrination, tomato-sauce subversion and the international mesquite conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious hickory-smoked pork.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Official welcome!

You've been here often enough that you seem like an old friend. But let me take a moment to officially welcome you to BlueNC.

I'm at the beach - there are four of us here - and everybody has their chair pulled up to the virtual hearth to listen in.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Dr. Munger, glad you could join us

I had a friend email me a question.

He wants to know that if you hadn't been able to get on the ballot, which candidate would you support - Bev or Pat?



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

That friend wasn't me

but it's a great question.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Just pretend I have a grasp of the English language

I don't even understand that question.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

First answer....

A parable: Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory are standing on a bridge.

Suddenly, the bridge collapses into the water, with a great crash!

Who was rescued?

Answer: The People of North Carolina

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Heh.

There's your money quote for the mainstream media in tomorrow's newspaper. Oh wait. The mainstream media aren't paying attention.

Nevermind.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Second answer: Normally, I'd

Second answer:

Normally, I'd say something about how I like the Democrat because the D's are socially liberal, just like me.

And something about how I like the Republican because the R's favor smaller government, just like me.

But...it's not true here. I really don't know who I'd vote for. As far as I can tell, Bev Perdue wants to keep the death penalty fresh and hot, so she can execute gay couples. And Pat McCrory...he oversaw HUGE involuntary annexations by Charlotte, and sponsored lots of intrusive new taxes on small business so he could pay off corporations with "incentives."

Now that I think about it, I'll stick with my bridge answer.

(Hey, James, maybe you're right! This going negative stuff is pretty fun!)

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

I can see the headlines now

"Munger advocates death by bridge"

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Know your audience

Good thing Prof. Munger is running for governor of North Carolina, then, and not Minnesota.

/grumpy gus

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Let's do some role play

It's your first day in office. There are no Libertarians in the General Assembly. What do you do? What is the balance of power like? How do you bring the two major parties together to work for your vision?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Ah, an easy one!

First hour: I issue an executive order placing an immediate moratorium on capital punishment in the state.

Second hour: I commute the sentences of everyone on death row to life in prison without parole.

Third hour: I announce a new task force, composed of development experts and economists, headed by NC State's Mike Walden, to look at ways to improve the attractiveness of North Carolina for new jobs. We would focus on the big three: improved education, at both primary/secondary and community college level; improved infrastructure in highways/utilities, and improved regulation/paperwork burdens for small businesses.

Fourth hour: I announce a new task force, composed of city planners and experts on road construction, to make recommendations for the use of the Highway Trust Fund. I would work to depoliticize road construction, using something like the Federal Base Closing Commission, to make recommendations about roads. And then I would publicize every instance where the legislature deviates from the expert recommendations. I actually think that lots of folks in the legislature would welcome the chance to be able to do the right thing, releived of political pressure to bring home the asphalt bacon.

On your larger question: I was Director of MPA at UNC-Chapel Hill for years. I have contacts in city and county government in many parts of the state. Sure, I would have a hard time with the legislature. But I am the executive, not the head of the legislature.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Might not be the head of the legislature

but you gotta be able to work with them or we have four years of head meeting wall in a rather violent manner....



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Working Together

Betsy, I have been chair of Duke's Political Science Department for nearly a decade.

Three terms, unanimously chosen on both reelections.

Now, Duke's Poli Sci folks are HARDLY a hotbed of Libertarianism.

But I trusted people to follow their own views, and we worked out compromises.

As the famed Presidential scholar,
Richard Neustadt, put it: The power of the executive is the power to persuade. The job of the executive is to lead by persuading.

I would consider any bill that I vetoed to be a failure of MY persuasive powers. And so I would hope
to work out compromises that would work for the people of the state, not "count coup" for a radical agenda.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

an hour?

It would take an hour to issue an executive order?

Wake Forest won't play us anymore
Michigan last year
LSU - you are next
Go ASU!

Piece o' cake!

The orders are already written, in advance.

After that, it's all xeroxing.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

And then there's this

Any role of the governor of North Carolina in helping the state recover from almost certain disaster?

I fear we're simply all going to swallow a very bitter pill.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

bad

Economists have predicted 11 of the last 7 seven recessions.

Still....yes, this is pretty bad. Our state is NOT in bad shape, because it has
been relatively well-managed financially, until about the last five years. We have some
wiggle room, and our unemployment rate is not as bad as some places.

But...yes, this is pretty bad.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Do you believe in true rainy-day funds?

Not sure if you are coming back to answer. But, it seems to me that every family who has been through hard times realizes they need to keep something in reserve in case of the next bad time. Governments don't seem to get that. They either cut taxes or raise spending when flush and then flush services and raise taxes when times get hard. Any thoughts on a rainy day fund so that programs don't have to fluctuate so much?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

No Credit for Frugality

Well, *I* favor rainy day funds, sure.

But imagine that your "rainy day" fund was a communal bank account. More than a hundred people can write checks on that account.

And anything YOU put in, I can write a check on for my own....district.

People understand the need for rainy day funds. But *politicians* know the value of spending money. And if one politician DOES back off from the trough, and say, "Wait, we should save this," some other politician or interest group will just grab the spot at the trough. It would take strong PARTY leadership to discipline the GA enough to have a rainy day fund, and we have NO party leadership, only a cartel.

NC's government has, until recently, been pretty frugal and responsible. But that's all gone now.

There's another reason for a rainy day fund. State spending should be countercyclical: increase spending when the economy is sinking, and decrease when it is growing.

But tax revenues SHRINK in a recession. Without a rainy day fund, state expenditures are PRO-cyclical, exacerbating the amplitude of swings in aggregate economic activity.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

"increase spending when the economy is sinking"

As in the New Deal?

Does that mean more taxes when economy is sinking? Just curious.

I think you are right that it would be hard to manage. The law would have to be written in mathematics with formulas that laid out when the money could be spent and when it would have to be saved and that it could only be spent above the average amount spent...etc. Maybe an education rainy day fund that would supplement teacher salaries when the economy was stagnant. Local workers, not enough to invest, results in local spending, increases revenue of local businesses.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

First...I haven't had a chance to read everything above

I'm sorry if this is repetitive, but your whole bridge scenario caused this to pop into my head.....

A bridge collapse is not so far-fetched in this state. Our infrastructure - roads, bridges, etc are in a poor state of repair. Many of our bridges are flat out dangerous to travel across. This isn't limited to rural areas. What do we do and how do we pay for it?

Also.....water. I understand that the water/sewer issue is more county/local, but what can we do as a state? What would you do as governor?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Oh...and if it is repetitive I completely accept

a response along the lines of "once you finish reading the above comments you will have the answers to these questions." I don't like having to repeat myself and don't expect you to rehash something you've already posted.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

On roads: BOY are you ever

On roads: BOY are you ever right. Above, I described using something like the Federal Base-Closing Commission to make choices for roads, and make it less political.

On water: I did this forum at Duke. And it was very interesting. You can see the video, with about 20 minutes of commentary and description of what my water policies would be.
click here

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Thank you for joining us Dr. Munger

We appreciate your comments and wish you luck in the election. Look forward to seeing you around here again soon.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Five minutes

I told Dr. Munger that the summer has been slow, but I really appreciate both him and all you eager questioners for joining us tonight. It's been a whirlwind hour with some seriously good sound-bites sprinkled in along the way.

Thank you Dr. Munger. We wish you well - and I personally really hope the debates get opened for your participation.

You're a good guy.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

Mike

Thanks to ALL of you!

I'm getting REALLY bad lag on my internet connection, so I'm sorry my answers were so slow.

Feel free to email me at munger@duke.edu

I'll try to answer questions, or consider critiques.

I really, REALLY appreciate the opportunity.

Mike

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

You're welcome

It's not you . . . the site just got waaaaayyyyyyyy slooooowwwwwwww. Not sure what's going on, but thank you for your patience and good cheer.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

That was fun. I expect Mike's participation in the debates would

make those more fun too.

I got a reply from Bev's communication director Mr. Kochman about including Mike in the debates but my spam filter swallowed it I think. I'll ask him to send it again since I added him to my address book it should come through OK or else I will call him.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Second loftT's assessment

Echoing the sentiments of many before me: the lege is so owned by corporate interests it makes my head hurt. Having you in the guber debate would be excellent.

Seriously, I hate the off shore drilling thing Dr. Munger, but other than that, these are some hard answers to great questions here that, for the most part, make me wish to god you'd switch to Dem and run for the Senate and get your ass to the lege and get on with "... for the good of North Carolina."

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Sorry I couldn't make it

I was really looking forward to this, but we had a meltdown at work*, and I got called on to help fight the fire. So it was long, long day.

Dan Besse did a great job of drilling to the point I would have tried to make, and I'm pretty sure he did a vastly better job than I would have.

Prof. Munger may be a recovering Republican, but I'm a recovering Libertarian.

The excerpts from LP platforms that Dan quoted are why I said to Betsy and Max in another thread: "Every Libertarian is Murray N. Rothbard until he or she proves otherwise."

Anyway, from my humble perspective, Dan Besse wins the thread.

The question(s) I'd have asked Prof. Munger would be:

Pretend for a moment that this is not a left-progressive blog, but a right-conservative one. What is the case you'd make to us for supporting your candidacy? As bad as the GOP can be, what are they doing that is preferable to those damn Democrats? In what ways has economic conservatism suffered under recent GOP leadership, and how would you restore its vitality in state politics?

* Metaphorically. I don't work with nuclear reactors. The film badge being totally black means I'm okay, right?

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

So what you're saying is...

Dan Besse for Governor?

Nope

No, because I am stingy with my endorsements (and since nobody knows who I am, they don't matter, and no one seeks them).

But that's no knock on Dan. The contributions he's made here that I have seen invariably seem knowledgeable and relentlessly professional. Wikipedia says he came in last in the four-way race for the lieutenant governor's primary. That's a damn shame; he's gobs more impressive than just about any other Democratic candidate for office I've seen on BlueNC.

I'd have to know more about Dan Besse, and Michael Munger, before "endorsing" either one of them. But they both seem well above the norm for state, and even national, politics—so I hope they don't depart the stage soon.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Breaking: MSM cover the Munger live-blog and campaign!!!

NOT.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

And Bev will leave it up to the hosts

to decide who gets to participate in democracy. Sad.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Honestly, I'm wondering something

I was talking to one of my friends earlier today and telling her about Dan Besse's smackdown and she asked a good question: "What was a libertarian doing on BlueNC?"

And I think she's right. This is a progressive blog. And while the owners can legally do what they want with it, I'd much rather be hearing from Democrats here, instead of people whose dream would be to get rid of the New Deal.

Munger seems like a cool guy, and I know that James likes him, but he had the opportunity to run for the nomination of a party that is taken seriously and occasionally wins elections. Instead, he chose a fringe party that has never in its history convinced the public to let it exercise any influence at all over public policy by any means.

If you're going to make it an issue of equal rights to Democracy, fine. I'm throwing my hat in the race and expect to be taken seriously. I want to be included in debates too, even though I don't have a snowball's chance of winning, or even forcing a viable candidate to adopt a position.

My take is, he's not credible. His message has been rejected time and time again. He has no governing experience of any kind. He has near-zero support. There really isn't any reason for the networks or other candidates to take his campaign seriously. Or us, for that matter.

Whatcha mean, Jake?

Don't you want to be challenged? Don't you want to hear from people with whom you disagree, and from whom you might be challenged? Why wouldn't you welcome hearing a dissenting point of view from an intelligent person?

I don't agree with Munger and I'm not fan of libertarians, but I am always glad to hear/read intelligent points from the other side of any given issue. It stimulates thought, which either helps me solidify my positions or even, on occasion, causes me to change my mind about a given point.

I find it more interesting and useful to hear intelligent arguments from someone with whom I disagree than I do points from someone with whom I'm in perfect agreement. Sure, it's nice to be reinforced from time to time, but on a progressive blog, we get plenty of that.

I'm glad that James and Betsy and the others who manage this blog have made people like Mike Munger feel welcome, and I hope he'll continue to drop in and offer his opinions.

Libertarian

It's not that I like Munger - I don't even know him. It's more that he's smart and has interesting ideas, many of which have little to do with the Libertarian Party. And some Libertarian positions are more progressive than some progressive positions. Not many, but some. I like the freedom to find and explore good ideas no matter where the come from.

You seem like a smart guy, too. If you had gotten on the ballot for governor by collecting 70K+ signatures, I'd gladly have you on BlueNC to talk about your campaign. In fact, I tried to get Bob Orr on several times during the Republican primary - for the same reasons: smart and intellectually interesting. I didn't try to get Bill Graham or Fred Smith because neither of them seemed to have anything noteworthy to say whatsoever.

As you correctly observed, this is generally a progressive blog - though we do appear to have our challenges 'splaining what that means. But we're not a Democratic Party blog by any stretch, especially given the state of the Democratic Party here in North Carolina. And I personally am not a Democrat.

We've had more than a dozen (I think) Democratic candidates over the past year live-blogging at BlueNC. I'm not aware that we've ever turned anyone down who wanted a chance to engage our readers.

Thanks for the comment.

J

PS If you know Pat McCrory, please tell him we'd be interested in hearing what he has to say as well. That would be fun.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

JS Mill

As John Stuart Mill put it, "(S)He who knows only his own view, knows little enough of that."

True, James didn't invite Fred Smith to come on. But I am pretty confident that if Fred Smith had wanted to come on, and hear your thoughts, James would have said, "Come on down."

This is a forum. Not a propaganda machine.

Finally, if you thought the stuff Dan Besse wrote was a smackdown, you really DO need to get out more!

I learned a lot from the conversation, and appreciate the consideration extended me. Best to all...

Mike Munger

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger