Climate alarmism in C major

May 18, 2017

Dear Hey readers,

This is the last edition of Hey that will be uploaded to this blog. From now all, new editions of Hey will be uploaded to our new website: https://www.ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/hey-what-did-i-miss.

For any queries, please contact myself at [email protected]

Kind regards

Peter Gregory

From Morgan Begg

Dilbert gets it:

Not only are Australia’s 5 major banks to be hit with a new $6.2bn tax, which Simon Breheny said “every single one of us is going to have to pay for“, they have been told they must sign non-disclosure agreements before the government will hand over any details. John Roskam told The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday it was “an abrogation of the rule of law” and “an embarrassment”.

It’s not hard to imagine how the UK Conservative Party have a 20-point lead in the polls, when the Labour campaign director is literally a Stalinist who in 2003 stood in solidarity with the North Korean regime. But conservatives must not get complacent – Robert Colvile wrote in an important article on CapX on Tuesday that the soul of the British Conservatives is on the line at the June election.

You have to admire their persistence – writers at left-wing website Salon are still publishing articles about the long promised “end of Trump“. It’s been a big build up – they hit this theme in January 2017, October 2016, July 2016, June 2016, and September 2015. Conrad Black nailed the unhinged mendacity of Democrats and the elite media in The New York Sun on Tuesday.

Did you think An Inconvenient Truth needed show tunes? The Hoover Institution’s Dr Henry Miller explained in The Wall Street Journal on Friday how US government funded science research led to $700,000 being spent on a climate change musical. The great Matt Ridley wrote in this week’s Spectator about the need to stop the green posturing and invest in energy sources that actually work.

To read what else Matt Ridley has to say about the facts of climate change, pre-order the IPA’s upcoming book, Climate Change: The Facts 2017.

Tune into The Young IPA Podcast tomorrow to hear an interview with Senator James Paterson to discuss his time in the Senate, the future of liberalism, and the national debt. Subscribe here.

Article of the week:

Barton Swaim dissects the war between Trump and the “expertocracy” in this excellent 2,600 word article in the upcoming edition of The Weekly Standard.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Brett Hogan

My pick this week is this article from Melbourne Business School marketing professor Mark Ritson on Heineken’s new 4 minute “Worlds Apart” advertisement. While the ad has been described by the Huffington Post as “a beautiful blend of beer and politics“, Ritson argues it highlights how modern marketers are more interested in talking about cultural issues than they are in selling products.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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Next the NYT will ask Hollywood why Trump won

May 11, 2017

From Peter Gregory

Taxes are up, spending is up, debt is growing – as John Roskam said, “this is a Labor budget delivered by a Coalition government“. This graph shows Commonwealth tax will reach 23.7% of GDP by 2021:

And this graph shows interest payments on Commonwealth government debt will reach $1.7bn per month by 2021:

Minutes after the budget lock-up broke on Tuesday, the IPA’s Daniel Wild told the Sydney Morning Herald that the budget doesn’t “fix the deep structural problems with our national economy and finances“. Also on Tuesday night, the IPA’s Simon Breheny gave his analysis in this Facebook Live video:

For more budget analysis, we’ll be chatting with Daniel on The Young IPA Podcast tomorrow, subscribe here.

In Spiked on Monday Brendan O’Neill wrote that “old politics is on life support” as a result of Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French election, and that those who think the result represented the political class re-asserting itself are “delusional”.

Remember in March when the BBC reported that vanishing Arctic ice was causing smog in Beijing? This week, Christopher Booker pointed out in The Sunday Telegraph that for April, Arctic ice was as far advanced as at any point in the last 13 years. I wonder if the BBC will report this with as much enthusiasm?

If you wanted to know why political elites still don’t get Brexit, look no further. For $6,000 you can book a spot on the New York Times’Brexit means Brexit‘ UK tour which promises to answer, “did voters really know what they were voting for?” Unfortunately, the tour only visits locations in London…which voted to Remain.

No, this is not from The Conversation – an academic from the University of Auckland studying the effect of “neoliberalism” on urban planning has found that increased supply of land and houses reduces property affordability. I guess the laws of supply and demand must be wrong.

Article of the week:

“Progressives claim to love science, but what they truly love is power” wrote Kevin D. Williamson in National Review on Saturday on the tension between the left’s two professed loves of science and postmodern identity politics.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Darcy Allen

The great American economist William J. Baumol passed away last week at the age of 95. You can read the obituary published by the Mises Institute here. His 1990 article ‘Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive‘ in the Journal of Political Economy basically explains the whole world.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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Sadly you can eat what you like around your hunger strike

May 4, 2017

From James Bolt

In 1971 there were 57 pages of federal environmental legislation. In 2016, there was an astonishing 4,669 pages.

That’s from our new report The Growth of Federal Environmental Law 1971 to 2016, authored by Morgan Begg. The Australian covered it on its front page on Saturday:

Red tape costs Australia $176 billion every year. Today the IPA’s Daniel Wild published his report on how Australia needs a Trump-style ‘one in, two out’ rule on red tape. If we had that rule since the Coalition formed government in 2013, there would be 107,885 fewer pages of red tape. Read The Australian‘s coverage of our report here.

Gillian Triggs, who last month said “sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table“, on Tuesday received Liberty Victoria’s Voltaire Award for her commitment to freedom of speech. As Morgan Begg said in The Spectator Australia today, “by awarding a free speech prize to Triggs, Liberty Victoria not only makes a mockery of Voltaire, but also of themselves.”

Pulitzer Prize winning and former WSJ journalist Bret Stephens’ first article for the New York Times on Friday argued that people have a right to be sceptical of climate change without being called “deplorables.” I think a few readers missed the point – some New York Times subscribers threatened to boycott the paper for publishing it. MIT Professor Richard Lindzen’s speech from last week on how disconnected the climate debate has come from facts is a must read.

Listen to this 4 minute debacle of an answer from Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott on British radio from Tuesday on the UK Labour Party’s law enforcement policy. I made it 41 seconds in the first time I heard it. In this month’s edition of Standpoint, the magazine’s founder Daniel Johnson says Theresa May’s call for a snap general election is “a stroke of genius.”

Last week doctoral students at Yale staged a hunger strike, with one key difference – they can eat when they get hungry. The college’s Young Republican club had a classic response.

This is absurd. In Oregon, Mats Jarlstrom used mathematical equations to argue to the government that the state’s yellow lights should last longer before cutting to red. He was promptly hit with a $500 fine for the “practice of engineering” without a license.

In Melbourne 12-14 May you can help prove to regulators that regulations cannot keep up with technology. Register now to take place in a regulatory hackathon to use blockchain to get around regulations that clog up Australia’s electricity markets.

Article of the week:

Jeffrey A. Tucker posted this important 3,500 word article on the Foundation for Economic Education blog on Monday on how Pope Francis’ criticism of libertarianism ignores the long history of libertarianism in the Catholic Church itself.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Scott Hargreaves

My pick this week is this 4,000 word article from Areo Magazine by Helen Pluckrose on how post-modern French intellectuals ruined the West. Written by a defender of traditional scientific method it perhaps gives too much credit to the coherence of what Roger Scruton called the “Parisian nonsense machine”, but it does map out the pernicious effects of the assault on reason.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Does ESPN show too much badminton?

April 27, 2017

From Peter Gregory | Thursday, 27 April 2017

In Canada, cutting company tax hasn’t decreased company tax revenue for the Canadian government:

The great Dr Arthur Laffer explained to an IPA audience in 2015 how lower taxes increase growth and, subsequently, tax revenue. When President Reagan did this it was called “voodoo economics“. Now that President Trump is cutting America’s corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% to kick-start growth, it’s being labelled “magic beans“. For the full story, read this editorial from Investor’s Business Daily on Tuesday.

Middlebury College was the liberal arts school where an address by Charles Murray was violently closed down by protesters in March. Who do you think the College apologised to last week? The female professor attacked by protesters? Charles Murray? Students wishing to hear Murray speak? Nup, they apologised to the rioters who shut the event down.

Here’s a fresh twist on the usual US college cultural appropriation story. Officials at America University in Washington DC told a fraternity their proposed badminton tournament fundraiser was “appropriating culture” – they just wouldn’t tell them which one…

The reason why sports network ESPN is failing and just laid off 100 people? Their programming is too political (and left wing), according to Dan McLaughlin in National Review yesterday.

I know you guys love these – AEI has updated its list of “spectacularly wrong predictions” made around the first Earth Day in 1970. My favourite is 18. (I’m sure you already knew, but Earth Day was last Saturday).

Guess which country the UN just appointed to the UN Commission on the Status of Women? Saudi Arabia of course, as reported on Andrew Bolt’s blog on Monday.

Article of the week:

Thomas E. Woods, Jr wrote this excellent review of Kevin Gutzman’s new book Thomas Jefferson, Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America on Mises Wire yesterday. Its crucial point of difference from most recent Jefferson biographies is that it focuses on his radical political philosophies and not his admittedly interesting and controversial personal life.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Scott Hargreaves

This 3,300 word long piece in Current Affairs by Luke Savage last week describes how Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing has virtually unmatched cultural staying power among TV dramas. Savage says that’s because it represents Democrats as Democrats imagine themselves. He argues that’s a problem because it makes technocratic governance seem honourable and “shows everything wrong with the Democratic worldview”.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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