ART – the non-alcoholic version

June 17, 2010

Everyone’s talking about how Nanny State activists got hold of Winston Churchill’s cigar.

(What next? Will Kevin Rudd’s internet filter shut down this website?) We thought we’d give the Nanny State activists a bit of help.

Next they’ll be on to Harry Potter. Oh – they already are! This is from The New York Times last year – does Hogwarts have a drinking problem?

As you start preparing your tax return think about the things you paid for a few months ago:

And who can forget… $250,000 so a highway in New South Wales can have its own website.

The great economic historian Angus Maddison died a few months ago. He compiled the monumental The World Economy: a millenial perspective. The OECD has this excellent website about it. His marvellous statistics collection (available free online) on population and GDP all the way from the Year 1 to 2008 is here (scroll down to ‘Historical Statistics’).

And why does this matter?  In 1892 Australia had the highest per capita GDP in the world.  What happened?  Tax and tariffs.

And from the Nanny State files: a council in the UK is fining dog owners for having leashes – that are too long! In the ABC’s The Drum on Tuesday, the IPA’s Chris Berg wrote about how Australia could be further down the Nanny State path than we realise. And on the 7:30 Report Chris said that the government wouldn’t be able to ban internet gambling, no matter how hard they tried.

The new IPA Review is out next week – with Slavoj Zizek on the cover. If you haven’t heard of him yet you will – he’s the next Noam Chomsky – Chris Berg explains.

Here’s what IPA staff have been talking about this week: In The Australian Financial Review on Friday, I wrote that TV ads won’t help Rudd. In the Sunday Age, Chris Berg wrote about big government conservatism. In Monday’s Australian Alan Moran wrote that privatisation is good, and in Saturday’s Herald Sun he said electricity companies need competition. In The Australian Financial Review yesterday Sinclair Davidson explained Kevin Rudd’s economic policy shambles and on The Drum he said Treasury is giving bad advice.

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