Comparing oranges to lawnmowers

November 13, 2014

From Peter Gregory

You know how we’re always told Australia is a low-taxing nation? Even Treasury has fallen for the line that Australia has the 5th lowest tax rate in the OECD (this is the same Treasury that brought us ‘StimulusGate‘). Sure, Australia is a low-taxing nation if you compare oranges to lawnmowers. But if you compare oranges to oranges, as the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak has in forthcoming research, Australia has higher taxes than the OECD average.

When was the last time someone described climate change policies as ‘industrial scale rent-seeking‘ on Q&A? The answer is last Monday, when the IPA’s James Paterson was on the show.

If you thought that was unusual, at the end of this clip James even gets applauded by the audience! Q&A really is the IPA’s favourite TV show – an IPA member even sent us this video of their new intro for the program.

Last Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. If you are pessimistic about the future of freedom read this post from Cato on Tuesday. Then watch this video from the Competitive Enterprise Institute from the 20th anniversary. It begins with Reagan’s famous ‘tear down this wall!’ speech. John Roskam wrote in 2009 in the IPA Review how Reagan had to fight with cautious officials to have the iconic line included. 

This excellent piece in Standpoint this month describes the end of communism as truth defeating falsehood. But it was just as much about the small things as the big things. For one Czech cab driver Mikayla Novak spoke to it meant a larger choice of yoghurt. For Boris Yeltsin, it meant frozen pudding pops.

Ever dreaded making a phone call to apologise? Check out how Reagan handled it in this recording released on Tuesday – he’s calling Margaret Thatcher to apologise for invading Grenada, a Commonwealth country, without her knowledge in 1983.

And what would Reagan say about this? A 90-year-old man in Florida who was arrested last week for feeding the homeless was arrested again a few days later for the same thing.

There are two great events in Melbourne coming up in the next couple of weeks. Connor Court Publishing and the Menzies Research Centre are launching a new book, A Better Class of Sunset: Collected Works of Christopher Pearson. Details here. And the HR Nicholls Society is holding its Annual Dinner. Details here.  

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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