Was Jane Austen really Austrian?

August 29, 2013

From James Paterson

Have you ever wondered why airlines still explain the mind-numbingly simple task of how to put on your seatbelt? The mystery has been solved.

A few weeks ago we told you Little House on the Prairie was a secret Randian-text. But was Jane Austen a closet fan of Austrian economics?

This is a great read from the Wall Street Journal on the (unsurprising) reasons why higher education is getting more and more expensive in America. But here’s something that will really shock you – academics have discovered money helps people cooperate! (Adam Smith did point this out 200 years ago.)

On the other hand this is genuinely interesting: the 40 maps that explain the world (my favourites are 2, 19, and 30).

The IPA’s Tim Wilson was on Q&A this week – watch his defence of freedom of speech in this 2 minute video.

Before Kevin Rudd called the election for 7 September and therefore cancelled the local government referendum, the IPA planned to publish a book by Julie Novak making the case against Canberra’s grab for power. We have a limited number of free copies available – click here to claim yours.

Meanwhile – I’m backing Bear Grylls in his fight with his local council. What is it with local government and banning fun?

This week IPA members are receiving the latest edition of the IPA Review. Here’s the front cover. Want a copy? Join today with our special offer and you’ll receive it in your welcome pack.

There are still a few places left for the launch of Bob Carter’s new book, Taxing Air, in Brisbane next week. Reserve your place here.

And if you haven’t seen it already, you might be interested in this 2,500 word profile of the IPA that appeared in The Sunday Age this week.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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

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The weakest thing ever

August 22, 2013

From Peter Gregory

Christine Milne wrote in The Guardian recently that she wants 90% of Australia’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2030. But as this article explains, ‘renewables’ haven’t constituted such a high proportion of energy use since before the gold rush. Who says the Greens are trying to roll back the industrial age!

(And if you’re wondering how Mark Steyn’s climate change litigation is going – read this.)

Last week there was huge interest in the possibility that Detroit might sell its art and the “surprisingly sensible” response from The New Yorker. Now we’ve got the follow-up! And it might be the weakest thing we’ve ever come across! This is the worst bit – “I apologize to the many whom my words pained.” Oh dear.

And whilst we’re on the topic of publicly-funded art, budding photographers should consider entering this competition: a day in the life of a public servant. I’d love to see a photo of these public servants in action – they’ve ordered a Swedish farmer to find his pig a girlfriend!

Who would’ve thought that the Greens would stand up for the free market? They’re trying to stop Marrickville Council from banning a community market because it competes with local retailers. But at least one local council is trying to change its ways after being roasted in Hey

The IPA is holding important events as part of our freedom of speech tour across Australia in the coming weeks. Nick Cater will be joining us in Perth on September 11 and Adelaide on September 12. And Janet Albrechtsen will be joining us in Sydney on September 24.

The IPA is also running a special offer for all new members – sign up before Friday 20 September to get your bonus free book. Visit http://join.ipa.org.au/specialoffer/ and use the code “membership”.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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

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Art is eternal

August 15, 2013

From James Paterson

Kevin Rudd once said taxpayer funded political advertising was “a cancer on democracy.” So imagine our surprise to learn government advertising just happened to be the fastest growing category in 2013:

On Friday the IPA released legal advice from former High Court Justice Ian Callinan that argues Stephen Conroy’s media laws would have been unconstitutional. You can read Simon Breheny’s analysis about why it is important here, and the coverage in The Australian here.

The art world is having conniptions at the thought the bankrupt city of Detroit might sell its art to reduce its debt (apparently doing so would “be cutting out the heart of the city”). The New Yorker’s‘Culture Desk’ offers a surprisingly sensible and definitive take on the debate.

William P. Clark, who passed away this week, was one of the most influential but low profile advisors to Ronald Reagan. Read this fascinating long interview on his central role ending Soviet communism.

Was Little House on the Prairie really Atlas Shrugged for children? This great article from the Boston Globe last week suggests it might have been.

Michael Bloomberg is at it again. Not content to regulate New Yorkers’ food choices, he now wants to make their lives as physically difficult as possible.

But surely even Mayor Bloomberg would think this directive from Northern Territory police goes too far?

If you’re in Melbourne make sure you get along to the launch of Beyond Satire by our friend Rowan Dean on Monday 2 September – details here. And on Thursday 5 September in Brisbane the IPA will help launch Bob Carter’s new book, Taxing Air – RSVP here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to forward this email to a friend | Click here to unsubscribe

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

Subscribe to Hey... what did I miss, delivered each week for free directly into your inbox.

Your teacher never said this…

August 8, 2013

From Peter Gregory

Kevin Rudd wants the facts on Australia’s debt. Here’s one for him – it’s growing faster than every other OECD country but two (those bastions of fiscal responsibility, Slovenia and Spain).

These graphs from The Washington Post are all you need to know about America’s economic “recovery”. And by the way the new owner of The Washington Post, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, hates tax. (Here is a fascinating long piece on Amazon and its founder from Forbes in 2012).

Remember when Julia Gillard said she wanted Australia to have one of the top 5 education systems in the world? On Monday, The Wall St Journal explained how they do it in South Korea – meet the $4 million rock star teacher. Imagine an Australian teacher saying, “the harder I work, the more I make!”

Lo and behold, Scotland is taking a different approach to South Korea to helping children prepare for their future. They want a social worker for every single child.

If you want to hear something really sad, this will break your heart – last month the US government killed bambi (actually, the deer’s name was Giggles) and a girl was kicked off a campsite by an armed policeman for kissing a boy.

In fact, the American state has been busy! Last month a girl was handcuffed, strip-searched and locked up for not paying a traffic infringement notice on time.

Here is some good news: the government’s ludicrous local government referendum has been put on ice (due in no small part to the IPA’s leadership and viral video on the issue).

And, as noted by our friends at The New Zealand Initiative, even though Che Guevara murdered dissidents and presided over mass book burnings, the UN have honoured his contribution to literature…of course they have.

Our friends at Cato published the IPA’s Chris Berg’s piece, ‘Why Capitalism is Awesome‘, which has since been picked up in the US by Cafe Hayek and EconLog.

Finally, if you’re in Brisbane on Thursday September 5, come along to the IPA’s launch of Bob Carter’s new book, Taxing Air: Facts and Fallacies about Climate Change. Proceedings begin at 5pm at the Hilton Brisbane, 190 Elizabeth St. Call Sarah Duncan on 03 9600 4744 to RSVP (entry is free for IPA members and $20 for non-members).

If you’ve read this edition of Hey all the way to the end you’ll see that I wrote it, not James Paterson, who is away at a conference. If you ever have any ideas for future Heys please drop me an email.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to forward this email to a friend | Click here to unsubscribe

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

 

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