A real bill of rights that really protects your real rights

August 27, 2009

Should Australia have a bill of rights? The debate is hotting up. Today former PM John Howard explains why he thinks we shouldn’t, while lawyer Geoffrey Robertson thinks we should, because lots of other countries have bills of rights.

But what if we had a “free market” bill of rights? Rights like:

People in other countries have some of these rights – so if you follow Geoffrey Robertson’s argument we should too! (The IPA is launching its own free market bill of rights in a few weeks.)

Hey… introduced you to Tory MEP Dan Hannan a few months ago – with that famous video. Here is Dan on Reason.tv a few days ago talking about how it became an international sensation. And if you’re a real Hannan fan read how this Reason.tv video got him into more trouble.

In this exclusive IPA paper, Edmund Kirkcaldy challenges the notion that government spending helps the economy – and what a bunch of Nobel Prize winners say about it. And Tony Makin had this important oped on the failure of Keynesianism in The Australian yesterday.

Do you watch Pajamas TV? I enjoyed Bill Whittle’s video this week about health care protests in America, political correctness, and the media. (It’s not for – but I like it a lot. And if you’ve ever asked yourself what the heck is “critical theory”??? – Whittle will answer all your questions!)

In the Sunday Age, Chris Berg writes that kids aren’t consumers, their parents are. In the Australian Financial Review, I discussed the fallacy of ‘renewable’ energy targets. And Alan Moran says that we will pay the price for deficits, in the Herald Sun.

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Loads more law!

August 20, 2009

There’s been lots of media attention on the 30 pages of legislation about renewable energy targets. What if there was that much attention paid to the 3,000 pages of legislation already passed this year, or the 4,000 pages of draft legislation?

Here’s some research the IPA has just finished.

Ken Henry, the Treasury secretary, yesterday floated the idea of the states getting back the power to levy income taxes. Which is exactly what the IPA has been saying! Here’s Professor Sinclair Davidson telling the Senate Select Committee on State Government Financial Management last year about it (scroll to page 24).

And in some sad news Rose Friedman, wife and collaborator of Milton Friedman, passed away on Tuesday. The New York Times has this tribute. (This was the IPA’s tribute to Milton in 2006.)

But the freedom-loving spirit of Milton and Rose lives on. A few days ago Dan Hannan created a trans-Atlantic furore when he said on Fox News the NHS was a mistake (watch the video).

From the Nanny State files – Drew Carey has a great video at Reason.tv about banning bacon hotdogs (it’s 7 minutes long – but it’s pretty funny).

In The Australian on Tuesday the IPA’s Julie Novak demolished ‘Nudge’ theory. You’ll be hearing a lot more about ‘Nudge’ in the years ahead: The Washington Post has a good introduction.

The IPA Review with Reagan and Gorby on the cover has just hit the newsstands. It includes this article on that rare category of Australian films – those made without taxpayer assistance!

PS Don’t miss out on your tickets to The Great Books at the IPA.

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From Failed State to Nanny State

August 13, 2009

Corruption is not Queensland’s only problem. This graph is from some new research by the IPA’s Julie Novak:


A few hours ago the Senate rejected the ETS legislation. This is the letter I sent to every senator yesterday.
The Sydney Morning Herald this week looked at which MPs talk the longest. Alex Robson has calculated at the current rate ministers will end up answering around 15% fewer questions in Question Time this year than last year! (Alex’s research will be released next week.)
You’d know Freakonomics – it’s sold 3 million copies. (Here’s Chris Berg’s review.) If you’re a parent you’ll be interested in this video of how one of the authors, Professor Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago, brings up his children. 

And just what Iraq needs: a Nanny State. This is from the Washington Post last Friday.
In the Australian Financial Review I talked about the real lesson of the OzCar affair. In the Sunday Age Chris Berg wrote about the myth of green jobs, and in the Herald Sun Alan Moran analysed the impact of the ETS. 

PS – I’ve got some exciting news! To coincide with the upcoming release of 100 Great Books of Liberty published by Connor Court Publishing, the IPA is starting a fortnightly series of lunchtime lectures – ‘The Great Books at the IPA’. If you’re in Melbourne you can book here. If you don’t live within 100 kms of Melbourne don’t worry: in 2010 we’ll be taking the lectures nationwide.

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Charlize Theron & Angelina Jolie love Ayn Rand

August 6, 2009

Charlize Theron could be making a movie of Atlas Shrugged! She’s not the only Ayn Rand fan in Hollywood. According to this piece posted today there’s also Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Vince Vaughn. This now famous Wall Street Journal article talks about Rand’s relevance today.

The Auditor-General slammed how Treasury managed the OzCar scheme. No-one should be surprised.  After all the Immigration Department still thinks Australia is suffering from a critical shortage of historians, journalists, and even futures traders.

The vote on the government’s emissions trading scheme is less than a week away. Michael Kroger explains why Australia should wait.

Usually the Nanny State is about government stopping you from doing something.  So here’s a twist.  In Boroondara in Melbourne residents are being told they MUST vote on a local Indian restaurant getting a liquor licence. Voting is COMPULSORY.  If you don’t care whether beers come with the rogan josh and don’t vote you get fined $77.40.

This sort of behaviour isn’t new.  The IPA’s Richard Allsop has written this handy guide to the history of the Nanny State in the next IPA Review.

To cheer you up: ‘U.S. Government Stages Fake Coup To Wipe Out National Debt.’

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Chris Berg wrote about the failure of the broadband plan.  In ABC Unleashed, Julie Novak analysed Queensland’s corruption, and on ABC News Online, Tim Wilson defended free trade.

PS: Are you a fan of the IPA on Facebook? Now you can follow the IPA on Twitter too!

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