The science is settled, climate change is a religion

February 26, 2015

From Peter Gregory

I hope you’re not looking for a job. The ACCI National Red Tape Survey released yesterday reported that regulation has prevented almost half of the businesses surveyed from expanding. And 72.6% of businesses said the regulatory burden had increased in the last year:

 

It’s about to get worse. The government confirmed today it was investigating compulsory country of origin graphics for imported food products. Hopefully, they don’t include McDonald’s cheeseburgers which contain ingredients from six different countries! Has no-one in the government watched I, Pencil

Ever heard the one about how freedom of speech is a niche issue? Not according to ordinary Australians. A new poll by British pollsters Ipsos MORI found that Australians believe freedom of speech is the human right most under threat in Australia today. Read the IPA’s media release here

And on Tuesday, the IPA’s Simon Breheny appeared on ABC News Breakfast arguing Australia was “going backwards” on free speech. Read the IPA’s media release here

What a week it’s been for the green movement! Rajendra Pachauri quit as chair of the IPCC and admitted in his astonishing resignation letter that climate change was his religion. That’s what you want to hear from the (ex) head of the most powerful scientific body in the world! It’s fair to say that former IPA guest Donna Laframboise took a pretty dim view of Pachauri in this blog post from Tuesday. 

Then, the leader of the Greens in the UK Natalie Bennett turned the awkward scale up to 11 with this stuttering interview. In her defence, it’s hardly out of character for the Greens to not know or care how much their programs cost.

How annoying are the Oscars? I love being lectured on the state of the world by people who are good(ish) at acting. This piece from Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist on Monday will make you feel better.  

And this in The Atlantic last week will make you angry – how local governments in the US are cracking down on neighbours sharing books with each other. 

The father of Reaganomics and inventor of the Laffer Curve is coming to Australia next month. In 1999 Time Magazine named Art Laffer one of ‘The Century’s Greatest Minds’. On March 18 in Melbourne, the IPA and ACCI are hosting Art. Click here to watch a video on how the Laffer Curve was created, here to read a Washington Post piece on its impact and here to book your ticket.

And there are some exciting programs coming up. The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is holding the Foundations of Liberty and Free Market Economics program in semester 1 of 2015. Details here. And the Centre for Independent Studies is holding Liberty and Society Student Conferences in May and July. Details here

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Don’t be so censustive

February 19, 2015

From James Bolt

Economic freedom is making the world a more equal place:

That graph comes from The Visual History of World Poverty project from Our World in Data.

The Heritage Foundation released these charts last week showing that the world is improving because of economic freedom. Countries that promote economic freedom see higher prosperity, falling poverty rates and environmental improvement.

IPA Senior Research Fellow Dr Mikayla Novak wrote about this phenomenon in the IPA Review last year. For example, in 1976 it would take an employee on average earnings 195 hours of work to acquire enough money to buy a TV. In 2013, it would take that employee just 10 hours.

This morning, The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Abbott government was considering abolishing the census. By 12.22pm The Guardian had already found a light rail enthusiast to blame the IPA and our friends at the Centre for Independent Studies for the decision, thanks to our influence over the Abbott government. We’re flattered that everything The Guardian doesn’t like is apparently the fault of free market think tanks, but sadly for them the SMH updated their story at 1.30pm to reveal it was in fact the ABS’ idea.

The IPA is delighted to announce the relaunch of FreedomWatch. Here are the best articles from FreedomWatch this week:

Last week in The Washington Post, former Republican Senator Bob Packwood detailed in this fascinating piece how he and others in the Reagan administration were able to cut taxes so dramatically.

Meanwhile, Dan Hannan has this piece on Tuesday in CapX on why tax avoiders should be praised for bringing to light how needlessly complicated progressive taxation is.

Yesterday, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson spoke to the National Press Club for the first time. You’ll love what he has to say on section 18C. You can watch his speech here or read the transcript here.

The cricket World Cup is now in full swing, and let’s hope we see some team-play out there for a change! As this new academic paper shows, cricketers are among the most guilty sportsmen for putting individual glory over what is best for the team.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Imagine if the ABC was ten times bigger

February 12, 2015

From James Paterson

Treasurer Joe Hockey warned yesterday that the Commonwealth Government may “never get back to surplus.” This graph from the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak shows why that is a big problem:

This financial year Australians will pay $10.8 billion in interest on Commonwealth debt. That’s equal to:

Hipsters in San Francisco are learning the hard way that increasing the minimum wage is not a cost-free exercise. How many more independent bookstores closing will it take? (They obviously missed Mikayla’s article in The Canberra Times on Saturday which explained why minimum wage hikes hurt the poorest the most).

Wiltshire Police in the UK are definitely not Charlie. This week we learned they demanded a newsagent hand over a list of names of people who’d ordered the commemorative edition of Charlie Hebdo for the purposes of “community cohesion”. Don’t miss Mark Steyn’s brilliant take on Monday.

And you’ll be relieved to know that restoring freedom of speech doesn’t contravene Australia’s international human rights obligations, as Simon Breheny explained in this media release yesterday.

Meanwhile, in the UK Telegraph on Saturday, Christopher Booker had this very important piece on the scandal of “adjusted” official temperature records.

Spare a thought for our friends at The Washington Post, who on Tuesday were forced to grudgingly admit that Texas, under Republican Rick Perry’s leadership, has been responsible for about one third of all new jobs in America.

This is an interesting article from The New York Times on why Rand Paul has a much better shot at the Republican Party nomination for President than his dad did.

This is a terrific long review from the February edition of The New Criterion of a new book which argues that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has been unfairly maligned by the left.

Great news – the IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts 2014 is now also available to purchase as an e-book in Kindle, Kobo and Nook formats.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Hostility is overrated

February 5, 2015

From Peter Gregory

Who said a hostile Senate was a bad thing? Last year the parliament passed the fewest pages of legislation since 2002! In fact, as IPA research shows, the 4,607 of pages of Commonwealth legislation passed in 2014 was a 43% reduction since 2012:

(Still a lot more than the 49 page constitution that created Australia as explained by the IPA’s Chris Berg in this short video.)

Of course, Australians living under the burden of all those pages of regulations can become quite frustrated. But this absolutely magnificent response to an Advertising Standards Board ruling by a business owner last Wednesday makes it almost worthwhile. Scroll down until the end for all the best bits – if it’s not the highlight of your afternoon, you can have your money back.

Last Friday, IPA Executive Director John Roskam and the IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson were panellists at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance ‘Lessons from the Victorian Election’ forum. If you missed out, the full video of the event is here.

On Tuesday, the IPA’s James Paterson was on The Project talking about why Australian political leaders keep getting the chop (James is on from the 5:30 mark). And James was in The Wall Street Journal ($) yesterday talking about the same issue.

The best thing about the Super Bowl (which was on Monday) is the ads. Here are the ten best ads according to CBC. My favourite is the Liam Neeson one. And here are the three worst ads from The Federalist (there is some crossover on the best and worst lists!).

And in keeping with the Super Bowl theme, your long piece this week is this 8,000 word article by Mark Leibovich in The New York Times on how Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stays at the top at the age of 37.

How much freedom is there in the world? On Tuesday, Reason had this interesting new take on the spread of freedom globally. And last week in CapX Dan Hannan wrote about the moral case for the market.

Have you ever complained about Hollywood’s boundless leftism? This piece by Roger L. Simon in January’s City Journal says that the success of American Sniper may change all that.

And the IPA has created a new Young members category of membership. Any Young member who joins before March 27 will go into the draw for lunch with Andrew Bolt and John Roskam. Details here.

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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