“We’ve cracked the ton!”

June 30, 2011

From Chris Berg | Thursday, 30 June 2011

“We’ve cracked the ton. We’re about 115 or 116 pieces of legislation through the parliament and that, I am told, is better than the averages of majority governments.” That’s Rob Oakeshott, talking over the weekend. Err – does he think that’s a good thing?  

Is Australia really better off having passed the:

I guess 2011 will be a bumper year for this IPA graph…

And you have to read it to believe it – Bob Brown’s call for a one world government! (“[I]t could be right here in Australia”). You know what they say, it’s not a conspiracy theory if it’s official party policy… (Here’s what the IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson said about Brown’s “economic xenophobia” in the Australian today.)

Here’s another saying for this week: you have to spend money in order to stop spending money! $800,000 will be spent by the Tasmanian Health Department over the next year to find $500 million in savings over the next four years. Why do they have to make these cuts? In 2008 the IPA’s Julie Novak and Sinclair Davidson explained why: Tasmania’s government spends too much and relies too much on federal government subsidies to prop up their budget. At the time they were attacked by the economist Saul Eslake. But Eslake now admits that Tasmania needs to come to grips with…you guessed it…”over-spending.”

This is a great new video on why economic freedom equals high quality of life. It’s almost had as many views as the IPA’s great Mark Steyn video we sent you last week! And here’s James Paterson in Crikey today on why the IPA is proud to stand up for individual freedom.

(John Roskam is in Longreach and Barcaldine this week, giving carbon tax town hall information sessions with Professor Ian Plimer. He tells me he’s been amazed by the response – people travelled up to two hours to attend!)

Tickets for the Vaclav Klaus tour in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne between 22 July and 1 August are still available. And the IPA’s excited to sponsor the Spectator Australia debate between Lord Nigel Lawson, Ian Plimer and Gary Johns, against John Hewson, Mark Latham and Benjamin McNeil on climate change – details here.

And David Hart – the world-expert on the great freedom-minded economist Frédéric Bastiat – is speaking in Melbourne next week. For details contact Steve Kates here.

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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The Mark Steyn video everyone’s talking about

June 23, 2011

From John Roskam | Thursday, 23 June 2011

In the 24 hours since I posted Mark Steyn’s fabulous video from the IPA’s historic Freedom of Speech in Australia event in Melbourne on Monday night it’s been watched 16,000 times. Here is it. It’s 9 very important minutes long.

Here’s the editorial in The Australian about it and here is what Paul Howes of the Australian Workers Union said. This is what Professor James Allan said.

Also on Monday night the IPA’s James Paterson left his fellow panellist on the ABC’s Q&A speechless. Here’s the 55 second highlights.

In my column in the Australian Financial Review last Friday I said West Australians funding Tasmanians was no different from the Germans bailing out the Greeks. Boris Johnson said this week the Greeks should just quit the Euro. And in The Business Spectator the CIS’s Oliver Hartwich had this interesting piece on why Greece is not all bad for Europe.

We had a great response to our David Mamet material last week. The other conservative-inclined playwright Mamet now joins is of course Tom Stoppard. Here’s Stoppard from The Times a few years ago on the meaning of 1968. And if you have the chance read Hitchens on 1968 in The City Journal back in 2008.

While the government continues to push for new taxes, new IPA polling has shown Australians want fewer taxes, not more. In fact, sixty per cent of Australians support a low tax, low regulation Special Economic Zone in Northern Australia. This has caused quite a stir! See the response from the WA government, Queensland Treasurer and Tasmanian Premier here, here and here. And the watch WA Premier Colin Barnett comment here. IPA research on Northern Australia is here, here and here.  

STOP PRESS – the IPA Review is on newsstands! This is a great piece from Julie Novak on Wisconsin and here is an article on the Biggest Loser by Louise Staley.

Bookings are now open for our President Vaclav Klaus functions in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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8 bins good, 9 bins better

June 16, 2011

This is a picture of the Nanny State.

It’s from yesterday’s Daily Mail in the UK. It shows the 9 different rubbish bins Newcastle-under-Lyme residents must use. 

It reminds me of this Penn and Teller sketch. It’s not very funny but it shows you how what they laughed about in America in 2007 has come true in Britain in 2011. This in yesterday’s Spectator on the issue is funnier.

This is the best-selling new book everyone in America is talking about – and what you’ll hear much more about – David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture. Mamet is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who wrote Glengarry Glen Ross, the script for The Verdict and the screenplay for The Untouchables.

Mamet was a ‘liberal’ (in the American sense) and then he wrote this famous piece, ‘Why I am no longer a brain dead liberal’ in 2008 in The Village Voice.

The reaction has been furious. This is the review in last week’s LA Times – and last Saturday’s Washington Post, ‘We read so you don’t have to…’ Here’s a slightly less angry review in The Wall Street Journal.

Read for yourself what Mamet says in his interview last weekend with Hugh Hewitt – it’s long (nearly 13,000 words) but worth it.

This piece by Greg Sheridan in today’s The Australian on Ross Garnaut, climate change, and democracy is devastating. If you care about any or all of these three things you must read it.

Yesterday the IPA was accused on The Punch website of being ‘sexist’ because we use the ‘gendered’ term Nanny State. At first I thought the article was a joke. The IPA’s Julie Novak assured me that it wasn’t – this is her response published today.

Our ‘Freedom of Speech in Australia’ function with Andrew Bolt in Melbourne on Monday is now BOOKED OUT. If you’ve missed out don’t worry – we’ll be putting footage up on the web. 

There are still spots for our Genius of Western Civilisation symposium next week and bookings are open for our President Vaclav Klaus functions in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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Thank goodness for those 3 people

June 14, 2011

If the 12 million Australians who file tax returns were represented as 100 people – 3 would pay 30% of all personal income tax and 60 would pay 10%. (Of those 60, 25 pay no tax at all.)

In pictures.


And people like Bernie Fraser want to make our taxes even more progressive? We already have the second most progressive tax system in the OECD as the IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson pointed out in March. The ATO released the data a few weeks ago.

Want a fact that sums up the US economy? Half of all jobs created in America last month were probably at McDonald’s. Read this in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by Harvard Professor Martin Feldstein on just how bad the US is.

Still in America… this is Christopher Hitchens yesterday on Weiner, Edwards et al. (Warning: It’s a bit rude – but funny.)

And continue laughing while you watch this 1.47 minute video ‘Obama is not a Keynesian, he’s an American!’

IPA Research Fellow Julie Novak this week published her ground-breaking analysis of how far Queensland’s financial management has fallen. Read all about it in Monday’s Courier Mail and her paper is here.

A few hours ago the Productivity Commission released its report on what other countries are doing on climate change. Basically it confirms what we already know – Australia is incurring greater costs to cut carbon dioxide emissions than the US, and China, but lesser costs than imposed in Europe. Here’s the IPA’s press release issued moments ago.

Details for President Klaus’ visit in July have now been confirmed. Book here for Perth, here for Melbourne, here for Sydney, and here for Brisbane. You would have read in Monday’s Australian that so far Julia Gillard is refusing to meet with him.

You’ll see Chris Berg in his Drum piece this week, and me in my Australian Financial Review column last week both got a bit philosophical:

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

And book here for our Freedom of Speech in Australia function with Andrew Bolt in Melbourne 20 June, and here for our Genius of Western Civilisation symposium on 24 June.

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