Pope Francis doesn’t shop at Wal-Mart

November 28, 2013

From James Paterson

The federal government is apparently encountering difficulty reducing the size of the public service. Here’s a handy starting point. (You’ll probably never again hear the IPA say that all regulators should be like the ATO. But…):

Pope Francis confirmed on Tuesday that he isn’t a big fan of free markets. The National Review points out a few flaws in his argument. Coming from Argentina, he should know better.

If Pope Francis really cares about the poor, he should be celebrating how free markets create poverty-busting businesses like Wal-Mart.

Daniel Hannan’s important new book, Inventing Freedom, is now available. Watch Dan speak about the ideas behind the book to the Heritage Foundation on Friday in Washington D.C. Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher’s biographer, wrote this marvellous review of the book for The Telegraph on Sunday.

What’s going on in our schools? Parents are getting arrested for picking their children up. Kids are being labelled for life for not attending certain classes. Lunch boxes are being inspected for nutritional value. And apparently students now think proper grammar is racist.

But this is just awful – police Taser a man for trying to rescue his stepson from a fire.

Can you guess the richest suburbs in America? The answer might surprise you (but shouldn’t).

In the April 2012 IPA Review we listed the top 20 pro-freedom films you must see. When we re-do the list we’ll have to add The Hunger Games, as John Tamny explained in Forbes this week.

Some people (cc: Human Rights Commission) have difficulty working out the difference between a human right and nice things they think people should have (like broadband). Peter Phelps helps explain.

If you’re in Perth next Friday 6 December make sure you go to the launch of Turning Left or Right: Values in modern politics, co-edited by the IPA’s Tim Wilson. And the IPA is hosting free speech briefings in Canberra on Tuesday 10 December and Melbourne on Thursday 12 December.

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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Finally something useful from The Economist

November 21, 2013

From John Roskam

The IMF has just come out and said the Australian government must cut spending.

This new analysis by the IPA’s Julie Novak explains the problem.

It’s the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address. Last year in Hey we gave you the PowerPoint version.

Today we’re giving you the hilarious Onion version.

I also laughed when I read the Business Spectator last Friday – apparently Joe Hockey should copy Ireland’s approach to debt! Funny how the article didn’t explain what Ireland actually did to get their debt under control. I can’t see Hockey cutting school teachers’ pay by 20% (as we told you about in Hey last year) or – gasp – MPs’ pay!

If you think what the ABC has done to Australian/Indonesian relations is bad…what the BBC wants to do is much worse.

When The Economist magazine isn’t endorsing the re-election of Kevin Rudd, occasionally they can do something useful like this graphic from the other week on how hopeless Europe’s economy is.

As you start to ponder your Christmas reading here’s two books you should read – and one you shouldn’t.

The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture – Liberty vs Authority in American Film and TV that came out last year was reviewed in The Wall Street Journal. (The South Park episode about the evils of megacorporations providing higher quality products at lower prices is here).

Seeing like a State – How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed is a few years old (1998) but brilliant – this is Reason’s review of it.

Its author James C. Scott has in the latest London Review of Books done a great 3,900 word review on the book you shouldn’t read – Jared Diamond’s new work on what we can learn from hunter-gatherers – not much.

Diamond is a bit of a crank – as the IPA explained when he visited Australia in 2005.

The Q and A session with Matt Ridley and Bjorn Lomborg at the IPA’s CD Kemp Lecture is now available online. Talking of climate change the IPA’s Tim Wilson is in Warsaw right now. Here’shis op-ed on Tuesday in The Australian Financial Review on what’s happening – which is nothing.

If you’re in Brisbane on Monday, the Economic Society of Australia, Griffith University, and the Australian Libertarian Society are hosting Professor Deirdre McCloskey from the University of Chicago. And next Wednesday in Sydney she is delivering the CIS John Bonython lecture.

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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Don’t say the G word

November 15, 2013

From James Paterson

I know you would have been sad not to receive Hey yesterday. We saved it for today so that we could send you this magnificent 36-minute oration by Matt Ridley at the IPA’s 2013 C.D Kemp Lecture last night.

If you think Paul Keating was an even better prime minister than Gough Whitlam you won’t want to read John Roskam’s column in the Financial Review today. Miranda Devine is also devastating on the War Memorial Council’s decision to commemorate Paul Keating.

Australia’s annual minimum wage for a 38 hour week is US$33,355. Canada is US$22,766 for a 44 hour week. New Zealand is US$23,000 for a 40 hour week. And guess what it is in America? US$15,000 for a 40 hour week. On Monday in an important speech Maurice Newman explained why these figures are unsustainable.

Lucky Nicola Roxon never thought of this: a US District Attorney tried to ban being referred to as “the government” in court because…it’s derogatory. (They have a point). Meanwhile this is an excellent article by Brendan O’Neill on the sorry state of freedom of speech in the UK.

Banning Trans Fats is the latest fad for Nanny Staters. But who’s responsible for the popularity of Trans Fats in the first place? You guessed it: Nanny Staters.

If you needed any more convincing that local councils waste your rates, check out this program to enhance ‘food security‘ from the metropolitan-based Darebin Council in Melbourne.

This is a fascinating piece in Vanity Fair last week on Barack Obama’s lonely presidency. And you’ll love ‘Confessions of a Quantitative Easer’ from The Wall Street Journal on Monday.

And finally, here are two great events you might like to attend: the HR Nicholls Society Annual Dinner with Leigh Clifford in Melbourne on 5 December and ‘The Three Wise Men of Australian Economics’ debate hosted by Thought Broker in Sydney on 21 November.

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 craziest EU law ever

November 7, 2013

From James Paterson

In the US this morning everyone is talking about Chris Christie’s big re-election as governor of New Jersey. But this fascinating extract from a brand new book on the 2012 election explains why he’ll probably never end up in the White House – and why Mitt Romney did not pick him as his running mate.

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK is two weeks away. Reason puts his legacy in context with this tough piece. And The Daily Beast points out two other great men died that day – C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley.

Former prime minister John Howard delivered a very important speech in London on Wednesday to the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the shifting politics of climate change. You’ll also enjoy this terrific speech to the IPA in December 2007 by the chairman of the foundation, Lord Nigel Lawson.

This is a really interesting article by one of the world’s most astute economic commentators, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in yesterday’s Telegraph on why China needs a dose of Sino-Thatcherism.

This is a big call – but I reckon this is easily the craziest EU law ever. Hint: it’s supposed to promote ‘tolerance’. No prizes for guessing which way Dan Hannan will vote when it comes to the floor of the parliament.

The last two legs of our national freedom of speech tour are coming up: we’ll be in Canberra with The Australian’s Nick Cater on Tuesday 10 December and in Melbourne with The Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Devine on Thursday 12 December.

Don’t miss Miranda’s incredible column this week on how unions undermined Australia’s war efforts in the 1940s, or Nick’s hard-hitting article on Nanny State paternalists.

Only paternalists would dream up ways to thwart charity BBQs, as ACT government bureaucrats are now doing. And whatever you do don’t even think about laughing at this Halloween costume, or you’ll be in big trouble.

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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