Politicians are lining up for the tax Buffett

July 30, 2015

From James Paterson | Thursday, 30 July 2015

If politicians are genuinely concerned about the increasing ‘cost of living’ then there’s one easy fix: cut taxes. As new research from the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak shows, just one tax – income tax – takes up more of the family budget than food and other major household expenses:

And as Mikayla explained on FreedomWatch on Tuesday, politicians should also steer well clear of the “Buffett tax“.

They could also liberalise land-use regulations. Maybe then the average house in Sydney would be cheaper than one in the Hamptons.

Unreconstructed Trotskyite” Jeremy Corbyn probably won’t be the next leader of UK Labour – but he is in with a serious shot. The Spectator tries to predict how his leadership would fare. In The Telegraph on Tuesday, Oliver Cooper warned Tories not to get too excited. On the upside, Corbyn has spawned this amusing mock Twitter profile.

And speaking of socialists a heartbeat away from leading a major political party, this piece in The Atlantic yesterday explains why Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money. There’s hope for you yet, Tanya.

This is a powerful piece of research from our friends at the Cato Institute, on how capitalism is breaking down India’s discriminatory caste system.

Democrats in the US have launched a war on Uber and the sharing economy. In New York, Uber is winning – at least for now, as City Journal explains.

A new documentary, to be released in America on Friday, revives the epic TV debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. during the contentious Democratic and Republican conventions in 1968. This review in The New York Times last week argues they were the forerunner for modern talking head TV debates. Watch one of their most contentious exchanges on the Vietnam War here.

On Monday the IPA will be hosting the Melbourne launch of Greg Sheridan’s new book with Michael Kroger – RSVP here. And if you’re in Brisbane, join John Roskam for the launch there on Monday 24 August.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Battered Mars Bars…British history everyone should study

July 23, 2015

From James Bolt

Only 15 out of the 739 history subjects taught in Australian universities and tertiary institutions in 2014 covered British history. That’s the most incredible finding from the IPA’s new report The End Of History…In Australian Universities by Stephanie Forrest, Chris Berg and Hannah Pandel.

Here are three more things you need to know from the report:

  • Only 10 of the 34 universities offered subjects on the history of Britain as part of their history programs, despite Australian society being founded on British institutions.
  • But 13 out of the 34 offered film studies subjects as part of their history programs.
  • More universities offered subjects on the history of popular culture – 8 – than offered subjects on intellectual history – 6.

You can read the media release we sent out on Monday about the report here. On Saturday, the report was featured on page 3 of The Australian, and was the basis of Rowan Callick’s Inquirer article.

Ray Finkelstein has accused the IPA of viewing media regulation as “the product of either an aimless, irrational bureaucracy or meddling, expedient politicians” in his latest paper. Apparently that’s not what media regulation is. Scroll to page 965 to see the John Roskam quote that was singled out for special criticism.

Yesterday social services minister Scott Morrison spoke to the IPA about how Australia can avoid the economic crisis facing Greece. You can watch his speech here, and an excerpt from the speech is on FreedomWatch. This article in The Telegraph on Sunday warned that it is a possibility Australia should begin preparing for.

Hey readers have been obsessed with Greece over the last two weeks, but there’s one culprit for the debt problem we haven’t told you about yet: The International Olympic Committee. These photos of Greece’s abandoned Olympic venues 10 years after the games are incredible.

As the IPA’s Peter Gregory pointed out on FreedomWatch this week, state governments are also needlessly throwing taxpayer dollars at elite sporting competitions.

Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the sweeping financial market “reforms” by the Obama administration. On Monday congressman Jeb Hensarling had a great article in The Wall Street Journal explaining why Dodd-Frank has been an absolute failure.

This may be the Nanny State’s sweetest defeat. Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven, Scotland has triumphed over its local council who wanted the chip shop to take down its sign claiming to be the birthplace of the deep fried Mars Bar because it encouraged bad eating habits.

There are two great articles in the current edition of City Journal. After years of communism, Hanoi is booming through a free market revolution. And this is on the University of California’s relentless search for imaginary bias. We told you about this search in Hey a few weeks ago.

The IPA is hosting the launch of Greg Sheridan’s new book in Brisbane on Tuesday 28 July. 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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I was a eurosceptic before it was cool

July 16, 2015

From Peter Gregory

No, the Greek agreement is not a coup and if you think it is, you’re an idiot. That was the brilliant headline from this op-ed from James Kirkup in the British Telegraph on Monday. (The opening sentence of the piece isn’t bad either).

Brendan O’Neill in The Spectator is underwhelmed by the sudden popularity of euroscepticism. This article from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph yesterday is nearly as good as the one we told you about in Hey last week.

On Tuesday, IPA Research Fellow Patrick Hannaford and Deputy Executive Director James Paterson released important new research on how union control of the ALP is a handbrake for policy reform. Read their piece in today’s Daily Telegraph. Here are three things you need to know from the report:

Here in Australia, the debate about the public broadcaster has gone as far as the government boycotting a late night talk show. In the UK, the Cameron government is trying to shut down the BBC. Daniel Craig, J.K. Rowling and Sir David Attenborough have taken time off from achieving world peace to write to the PM to save programs like The Voice, Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off.

This will not help the BBC’s cause. Read in Tuesday’s Spectator about the documentary the BBC doesn’t want you to see.

Researchers at the University of Northumbria are predicting a mini-ice age in the 2030s. Not to worry though – this academic journal is calling for submissions for a special issue on ‘Post-Anthropocentric Creativity‘. The first paragraph is amazing.

On Tuesday, John Howard delivered the 2015 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies in London. You can watch the 1 hr 9 min video here. Skip to 22:03 to hear about the need to reassert cultural self-belief in the West and 39:23 to hear Howard’s views on the EU.

On Wednesday 22 July the IPA is delighted to be hosting Social Services Minister Scott Morrison for a morning tea in Melbourne. For more details and to book, click here. The IPA is also delighted to be holding the Melbourne launch of Greg Sheridan’s new book, with special guest Michael Kroger, on Monday 3 August – book here.

And in Melbourne on Friday 31 July, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is holding Friedman Legacy Day 2015 featuring the IPA’s Chris Berg and Professor Sinclair Davidson. 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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Thatcher and Friedman would hate to say they told you so

July 9, 2015

From James Paterson

The best article you’ll read this week on the Greek crisis is by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph on Tuesday. If you used to think the Euro was a good idea, this will fix it.

If only someone had warned them. Like Margaret Thatcher. Or Milton Friedman.

This speech, by UKIP leader Nigel Farage direct to Greek PM Alexis Tsipras in the EU parliament on Wednesday, deserves the 98,439 YouTube views it has generated in the 24 hours since it went live.

How did Greece get here? It probably didn’t help that public servants continued to be paid after being convicted of murder. This new book has many more examples of the systematic failure of the Greek state, even before the crisis. Read this review of The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins in The New York Times last week.

Australia is not as far away from Greece’s predicament as we should be. A new report from the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak, released on Friday, shows the federal government misspent much of the $266 billion in new debt it racked up since the global financial crisis. Download the full report here, and read Mikayla’s article in The Canberra Times on Tuesday on why our debt levels are already unsustainable.

Former IPA guest Matt Ridley recorded this must-listen one-hour podcast on Monday last week on being a ‘lukewarmer’ on climate change. He’s talking to Russ Roberts from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University as part of the excellent EconTalk series.

Next time someone tells you that not charging GST on some online overseas purchases is to blame for the woes of the Australian retail industry, show them this chart from The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

The IPA is delighted to be hosting Social Services Minister Scott Morrison for a morning tea in Melbourne on Wednesday 22 July. For more details and to book, click here. On Monday 3 August the IPA is very pleased to be holding the Melbourne launch of Greg Sheridan’s new book, with special guest Michael Kroger – book here.

And you can still book for the IPA’s nation-wide Magna Carta tour in Rockhampton, Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. Full details and bookings here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to unsubscribe

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

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