I love my iPhone, but…

October 27, 2011

From John Roskam | Thursday, 27 October 2011

I love my iPhone…but Steve Jobs was no Edison. Or the guy who invented the shipping container. And how come everyone loves Jobs but hates Bill Gates?

As Robin Hanson said a few weeks ago, Jobs’ career advice in his famous 2005 Stanford speech was terrible.

And how can the guy who donated to Nancy Pelosi then also complain to Barack Obama that over-regulation is killing American business?  Cognitive dissonance was the least of Jobs’ problems according to Maureen Dowd in yesterday’s New York Times. It’s the article everyone’s talking about.

When the carbon tax passed the House of Representatives Bob Brown said ‘This today is a world-leading outcome.’ Seems no-one told the President.

Australia’s ‘world-leading outcome’ has been ignored in the 29 statements, 78 media releases, and 11 press briefings made by President Obama since the tax was passed. Maybe the Fall Gardens and Grounds Tours of the White House are more important.

I had this to say in my Australian Financial Review column last Friday about all those business leaders complaining that Tony Abbott will repeal the carbon tax – BAD LUCK! If you don’t like democracy move to Russia.

In last week’s Washington Post Anne Applebaum had one of the best takes on the Occupy ‘movement’.  Why do protesters complain about the lack of power by national governments and then call for ‘global’ solutions? And as the IPA’s Julie Novak said today in Online Opinion the protesters shouldn’t hate banks. This clever cartoon sums up Occupy Wall Street versus The Tea Party.

If you haven’t already seen it the minutes of the Occupy Melbourne General Assembly are very funny – the stuff on group hugs is hilarious.

Tomorrow in Melbourne I’m launching Entrepreneurship in the Catholic Tradition. It couldn’t come at a better time in light of the statement in support of the Occupy ‘movement’ from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (When you see ‘Justice’ and ‘Peace’ in a title be afraid.) On Monday Sam Gregg at the Acton Institute had a brilliant response in The National Review. Details of tomorrow’s launch here.

We’ve uploaded some great new videos to our Western Civilisation symposium page. Click here to watch Sally Warhaft, Peter Craven, John Carroll and many more.

The great Frank Furedi is talking on a really important topic – freedom of speech for The Centre for Independent Studies in Melbourne on 17 November and in Sydney on 15 November. RSVP here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Nanny state stomps on dead donkey

October 20, 2011

From John Roskam | Thursday, 20 October 2011

Last week we told you about the EU stopping kids from blowing up balloons.

This week there’s another example of the Nanny State gone wild. What’s the world come to when a thirteen year old can’t drive a broken ute, while towing a dead donkey with a loaded rifle in the front passenger seat?

Running a worm farm is much safer. Which is why the Australian government has a website on it. Apparently worms make great pets.

Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed was an international bestseller. His story of how what happened on Easter Island could happen to us if we don’t stop being capitalist, consumerist, corporatist etc was all the rage, from The New Yorker, The Guardian plus of course Tim Flannery, who called it ‘probably the most important book you’ll ever read’.

But – what Diamond said about Easter Island was wrong!  Which the IPA pointed out at the time.  A new book explains what really happened.  Guess what…it wasn’t climate change…This review in the Wall Street Journal in July and this week’s The Times Literary Supplement have more detail.

It’s Freedom of Speech week in America. Meanwhile in Australia a judge has decided what you will read in the Herald Sun next week.

It’s soon going to be that time of year again…when you decide what books to buy yourself for Christmas.  Max Hastings has a new book on the Second World War – All Hell Let Loose: the World at War (1939-45).  There have been many reviews of it – this one from New Statesman (yes – the New Statesman) two weeks ago is the best.

Videos from our recent Genius of Western Civilisation symposium are now online. Click here to watch speeches from Chris Berg, Andrew Roberts, Greg Melleuish and John Hirst. We’ll be uploading a new video each day for the next week – if you can’t wait till next Thursday to see them then follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to get our daily updates.

In November the IPA will welcome George Weigel, the biographer of Pope John Paul II to Australia. We’re hosting a free lunch for IPA members ($30 for non-members) on Tuesday 15 November at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. Email Rachel Leigh at rleigh@ipa.org.au for further details and to reserve your place. Weigel had this fascinating article on the ABC’s Religion and Ethics portal recently. On 28 October we’re helping to launch Father Anthony Percy’s Entrepreneurship in the Catholic Tradition with Connor Court Publishing. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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You’ll never guess what the EU is banning now!

October 13, 2011

From John Roskam | Thursday, 13 October 2011

I love it when millionaires demand the rest of us pay more tax. Now merchant banker Mark Carnegie wants the top 15% of taxpayers to pay 15% more tax – which is basically anyone earning $80,000 or more. (Average Australian earnings are $69,000 per year.)

 

(We borrowed the idea for this graph from the Heritage Foundation who did the same for America a few days ago.) Janet Albrechtsen had a great takedown of Carnegie’s idea in The Australian yesterday.

Here’s probably our best Nanny State story EVER! The European Union wants to ban kids blowing up balloons. It’s so stupid there’s nothing more to say.

I’m sure you know the carbon tax passed the House of Representatives yesterday. Try the IPA carbon tax calculator here to find out how much more you’ll pay for electricity.

You can watch the IPA’s Professor Bob Carter discuss climate science on The Bolt Report on Sunday here. And Senator Ron Boswell recently delivered this important speech at the IPA on the costs of the carbon tax and renewable energy targets.

If you want to know why we should be ‘sceptical’ about claims of environmental vandalism read Jennifer Marohasy from Monday’s Online Opinion about the real story of chemicals and the Great Barrier Reef.

All they’re talking about in the United States this week is the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the Sunday Age Chris Berg explained why comparisons with the Arab uprisings are ridiculous. Here’s a pretty funny video shot by Reason of the protestors, in their own words.

The latest economics Nobel prize winners deserved it: Ed Glaeser on Bloomberg on Tuesday says Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims “Saved Macroeconomics After Keynes.”

And in Newsweek on Monday historian Niall Ferguson explained why Steve Jobs could have only succeeded in a free country like America.

If you’re in Sydney, you should try to get to Thought Broker’s ‘Battle of The Think Tanks’ featuring the IPA’s Tim Wilson and the CIS’ Oliver Hartwich against speakers from Per Capita and the Centre for Policy Development. It’s on Saturday 12 November – details here.

And the IPA is growing and hiring. If you’ve ever thought it would be fun to work at the IPA (or know someone who would like to) we’re looking for a brilliant person to work with John Lloyd in our new Work Reform and Productivity Unit.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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When the government bets your money – and loses…

October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs died today. The co-founder of Apple, who put computers on the desks of millions, was one of the greatest entrepreneurs the world has ever seen. Here and here are some great pieces showing how he made his money selling people products they really wanted, at prices they could afford. We talked about Apple becoming the biggest IT company in the world in Hey… in September last year.

Ponder this graph from America.

 

Maybe its because a couple of the President’s bets haven’t paid off lately. Like his half a billion dollar bet on a now famous renewable energy company called Solyndra. Here’s what the White House said about it in this one minute video from May 2010. Here’s what Chris Berg said about it in The Sunday Age last week. Here’s what Utah Senator Mike Lee said about it on Tuesday. I said this about renewable energy companies back in 2009.

Arnie loved Solyndra too. Michael Lewis has this great piece on the dream that once was California in the November Vanity Fair. And in the October edition there was of course ‘The Convictions of Conrad Black’ which was good reading.

Last week I told you how we wanted to publish a statement in support of freedom of speech. It appeared yesterday in The Australian. Over 1200 donated to it. This is the latest on what the IPA has said about freedom of speech.

And you thought there were no libertarians in Hollywood? You were wrong! Janine Turner was the star of Northern Exposure. And here’s her great piece in the Washington Examiner on how actors hate capitalism.

The full BBC serialization of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate with Kenneth Branagh is now online.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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