Now dinosaurs need trigger warnings

June 25, 2015

From Peter Gregory

Here are the 3 most important points from ‘The life saving potential of coal‘ – a new report released by the IPA’s Brett Hogan this week:

  • Increasing the supply of Australian coal to India to 120 million tonnes annually could allow 82 million people to access a cheap and reliable source of electricity.
  • At least 300 million people in India have no access to electricity and around 815 million people rely on burning wood, crop leftovers and dung for cooking.
  • Globally over 4 million people die each year from household air pollution caused by these primitive sources of energy.

You can read Brett’s op-ed about the report in The Australian from Monday here. This is my piece in The Hindu Business Line from last month on how cutting corruption will help India’s poor.

This week is Victorian public sector week! I’m sure you’re all going to the ‘Meet the Secretaries‘ event tomorrow afternoon – it’s free! (Well, not really free, your taxes are paying for it, but you know what I mean).

Of course, every week is public sector week. As the IPA’s Mikayla Novak’s research shows, in 2014 there were more Victorian public servants than during the disastrous Cain-Kirner era:

This is an extraordinary development in the US – the IPA’s Simon Breheny writes in FreedomWatch about the new US law to protect the “unusually sensitive“.

We’ve all been at the pub when someone’s been banging on about how Scandinavia’s re-distributive policies are something we should aspire to. In future, hand them a copy of this – a new publication from the Institute of Economic Affairs released on Tuesday about why Scandinavia’s success has nothing to do with the welfare state.

From Breitbart also on Tuesday – guess which dinosaur in Jurassic World is being labelled racist?

This is awesome – meet the 7 and 8-year-old sisters that found a loophole to re-open their lemonade stand after Texas police shut it down.

John Roskam is speaking at the launch of Connor Court Publishing’s new book The Bandar-Log: A Labor Story of the 1950s by Alan Reid. It’s on next Monday and Sam Lipski is also speaking – details here.

The IPA’s Darcy Allen will be speaking at the Australia and New Zealand Students for Liberty Conference at RMIT in July. 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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Maybe the Greens just want to get to know us better

June 18, 2015

From James Paterson

Yesterday in the Senate the Greens tried and failed to initiate an inquiry into…the mining industry, the IPA and “climate science deniers”. I thought the Greens were supposed to be against McCarthyism?


You can read the full terms of reference for Senator Larissa Waters’ unsuccessful inquiry here.

Pope Francis’ papal encyclical on climate change will be officially released tonight Australian time. A leaked draft has already appeared online in Italian on Monday. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie isn’t waiting for the full text to call on Tony Abbott to fall into line. Presumably Wilkie also wants the Prime Minister to line up with the Pope on other issues. Father James Grant, a Catholic Priest and Adjunct Fellow at the IPA, issued this media release yesterday explaining why the encyclical simply represents the Pope’s personal opinion on climate change and is not binding for Catholics.

The document that laid the foundations for the rule of law, parliamentary democracy and our personal liberties, the Magna Carta, celebrated its 800th anniversary on Monday. Visit the IPA’s special new website explaining its enduring importance.

The IPA’s new book by Chris Berg and John Roskam, Magna Carta: The Tax Revolt That Gave Us Liberty, is now available. Download your copy on Kindle today, or place a pre-order for your hard copy here.

Chris and John will hit the road in July to begin the IPA’s national tour of public events about the Magna Carta. On Monday 27 July they will be in Rockhampton, on Tuesday 28 July they will be in Brisbane and on Wednesday 29 July they will be in Sydney. Dates for events in Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth will be announced shortly.

Thank God the Magna Carta isn’t being written today. If it was, it would include massive new regulation of the internet – at least according to the ABC. On FreedomWatch the IPA’s Peter Gregory explains why that is such a terrible idea.

But then again if Shakespeare was alive and writing today, maybe he wouldn’t have English teachers describing him as a “long-dead, British guy“.

Set aside 33 minutes to watch this brilliant speech by Mark Steyn at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change in Washington DC last week. The IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts 2014 features.

The Labor Party is worried Tony Abbott has too much of your money to spend, and is asking for tax-deductible donations to reduce federal government revenue. We agree. The federal government does spend too much of your money. But unlike donations to the ALP, a tax-deductible donation to the IPA’s End of Financial Year Appeal won’t be spent campaigning for bigger government.

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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So… the most qualified person shouldn’t get the job?

June 11, 2015

From James Bolt

The Chief Scientist of Australia thinks every student should study maths and science. But as the IPA’s John Roskam and Hannah Pandel wrote in the AFR on Tuesday, doing so would come at the cost of literacy:

Here are the three reasons why making maths and science compulsory is a bad idea:

  • As John and Hannah point out, half of year 4 students in Australia are taught science by teachers who do not feel ‘well-prepared’.
  • A report by Dr Brian Moon from Edith Cowan University found that the literacy skills of some teacher graduates were ‘below the ability level of the students they will be hired to teach’.
  • As this fascinating report from the New Zealand Initiative shows, 38% of qualified primary school teachers in New Zealand couldn’t answer correctly what 7/18 + 1/9 is.

A lot of Australia’s problems in education could be solved by updating the archaic industrial relations regime constraining teachers, as the IPA’s report ‘Freedom to teach‘ argued in December. 

Everyone is talking about housing affordability this week. In November last year, the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak argued the real solution to the housing affordability crisis was liberalising land regulation

Monday will be the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Last week, we announced a new book by Chris Berg and John Roskam – Magna Carta: The Tax Revolt that gave us Liberty. Also last week, Spiked hosted a discussion of the Magna Carta’s relevance today with former IPA guest Dr Frank Furedi. 

The IPA’s Chris Berg had this piece in The Drum on Tuesday on why the Magna Carta is actually about tax. Tim Wilson said in The Australian that Magna Carta reminded us that governments should be ‘restrained‘ ($) by the rule of law.

We are delighted to welcome Janet Albrechtsen to the Institute of Public Affairs’ board of directors. You can read the email Janet sent to all IPA members this morning after her appointment on our Facebook page.

If Jerry Seinfeld is the most offensive person in the room, there’s something wrong with the room. Last week Seinfeld said he won’t perform in colleges again due to the political correctness of the students. Chris Rock said the same thing last year.

It’s no wonder they’re too scared. The University of California released this tool to help recognise ‘microaggressions‘. It turns out if you believe ‘the most qualified person should get the job’ you actually believe ‘people of color are lazy and/or incompetent.’

The IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts 2014 is now the 74th best selling book on Amazon overall and the number one best selling book on the environment. You can still order your copy here

Mark Steyn filled in for Rush Limbaugh on his show this week, and brought up the book. Mark Steyn has a new book coming out that is sure to challenge Climate Change: The Facts 2014 on the Amazon charts.

The IPA is delighted to be supporting our friends at the Menzies Research Centre as they host the launch of Christopher Pyne’s new book A Letter to my Children. It will be launched by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and you can book 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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The government wants to get inside the minds of chickens

June 4, 2015

From Peter Gregory

Magna Carta set the foundation for Australia’s parliamentary democracy. On 15 June 2015, its 800th anniversary, the IPA is releasing a new book – Magna Carta: The Tax Revolt that gave us Liberty by Chris Berg and John Roskam.

If you can’t wait until then, here are the best 3 articles on Magna Carta at the moment:

And here are the pick of Magna Carta events coming up around the country:

  • ‘Magna Carta: Celebrating 800 years of Law and Liberty’, The Centre for Independent Studies, June 15, Sydney. Details here.
  • Tasmanian Parliament Magna Carta celebrations, June 16, Hobart. Details here.
  • ‘Magna Carta: How relevant to Australia and human rights?’, June 15, Canberra. Details here. (This one features Gillian Triggs!)

But was it worth it? What have the heirs of Runnymede done this week?

The ACCC are forcing free range chickens to go outside – even though, as ex-vet Senator David Leyonhjelm informed them, a quarter of chickens don’t like going outside! Click here and scroll down to the bottom of page 98 to read this incredible exchange.

This is the same ACCC that have nothing better to do than print “Do not knock” stickers as John Roskam wrote in the AFR in 2013.

ASIC plans on criminalising culture as Simon Breheny wrote in The Australian Financial Review today. This is the same ASIC that was censoring Australian websites as Chris Berg wrote in The Drum in 2013.

Meet Bernie Sanders. He’s a socialist who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He thinks some people are poor because some other people use 23 types of deodorant. So that’s good. If you, like me, get bailed up by this argument at parties, the Foundation for Economic Education has provided this 3-step guide to responding.

If that reminds you of the times you’re the only IPA member in the room, you’ll enjoy our latest meme – that awkward moment when you realise you’re the only one in the room NOT an IPA member.

You can chalk up another victory for the IPA. A day after my scathing FreedomWatch post about FIFA, Sepp Blatter resigned. You’re welcome. Dan Hannan said Blatter was a typical Davos Man in CapX on Monday.

Last month we told you how the ABC reported that reading bedtime stories to children entrenches inequality. Last week, The Guardian reported that erasers teach children to be ashamed of failure.

The NBA finals start tomorrow with Australians on both teams. The WSJ said on Monday that every team in the NBA needs an Australian.

For some long reading this week, Chris Berg has a fascinating 21-page journal article on the history of classical liberal thought in the Australian economics profession in the latest edition of Econ Journal Watch.

The University of Notre Dame and the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation are holding a 1-day conference called ‘Freedom to Choose: God and the Market’ on Friday 17th July in Fremantle. Details and booking 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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