Ban sarcasm? What a great idea

March 31, 2016

From James Bolt | Thursday, 31 March 2016

Mark Steyn’s speech to the IPA’s Gala Dinner in February becomes more relevant every day. The full 40 minute speech is now online, watch it here.

What would Mark say about this? Today, the IPA was in the Daily Telegraph about intellectual censorship at Australian universities. Here is everything you need to know about it on FreedomWatch.

But of course, the big story about censorship in Australian universities this week is how the University of New South Wales now forces students to say Australia was ‘invaded’ – the IPA was featured in theDaily Telegraph’s front page story about it.

Are we any different to America’s colleges? Last week, students at Emory University in Atlanta started mass protests after someone wrote “Trump 2016” in chalk on the pavement. Imagine what would have happened back in the day if anyone wrote a sign in support of John Howard? Oh wait,that happened.

As The Atlantic said last week, protests like that are exactly what created Trump.

The announcement yesterday by Malcolm Turnbull of plans to give state governments income tax powers is exactly what should happen – it’s number 7 on the IPA’s 2012 list of 75 radical ideas to transform Australia. Fairfax’s Peter Martin has a good explanation of what’s at stake. The IPA’s Brett Hogan explained why this is a good idea on PM with Mark Colvin on ABC Radio National yesterday. In 2015, Dr Peter Hendy – now Assistant Minister for Finance – explained in the IPA Review why this is an important reform.

This week, The Age ran a long story about how Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, believes Trump could be the next President. Yes, we told you about that in Hey four weeks ago. Standpoint’s 3,500-word cover story this month asks what the rise of Trump says about our political culture.

Everyone in the UK is talking about Matthew Parris’ article slamming Boris Johnson for becoming the face of Brexit. Iain Martin in CapX on Saturday explained why this is not the end of Boris Johnson, and why he’ll one day become the leader of the UK Conservative Party.

Students For Liberty, an international network of pro-liberty students, has released an e-bookA Future for Millenials, about why there should be no government. OK, they don’t say that – but it is still a must read for all our libertarian subscribers.

What I’m listening to this week – John Roskam

We’ve told you about the wonderful EconTalk before, one of the most popular podcasts in the world. It’s run by Russell Roberts out of Stanford University, and has had guests like Christopher Hitchens, Deirdre McCloskey and Don Boudreaux. One of my favourites is this one from February this year with Matt Ridley on his new book The Evolution of Everything.

 Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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But will the government know if you can braid hair?

March 24, 2016

From Morgan Begg

Last week, the Turnbull government said it cut red tape in 2015. Well, sort of…:

At least Nebraska’s on the right track: the government there just abolished regulations requiring 2,100 hours of training to obtain a hair-braiding licence.

Our right to privacy is now less important than the bureaucracy having “a richer and dynamic statistical picture of Australia”. The ABS revealed that it will now be keeping the names and addresses it collects in this year’s census. This means the government will now keep a record of things like your religion and ethnic background.

Back in 1979, John Howard had the right idea: as Treasurer, Howard convinced the cabinet to reject an identical proposal. 

Two weeks ago in Hey we told you about the IPA’s submission to the ABC editorial review of business coverage. We could add this from 7.30 on Monday:

LEIGH SALES: So why are you now…backing negative gearing, which is a government intervention that distorts the market?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: That is – that is so wrong, Leigh. I’m sorry to…

SALES: It’s a government policy, it’s not free market.

TURNBULL: No – (laughs) Negative gearing is – is income tax 101. It’s not a tax concession at all. 

Turnbull is right, and Leigh Sales has no idea.

Earth Hour was on Saturday (yep, they still do that). John Slater in Spiked ponders the dangerous narcissism of setting aside a day for turning our back on mankind’s greatest creation

The IPA’s Dr Jennifer Marohasy appeared on the Alan Jones Breakfast Show and Sky News with Alan Jones and Graham Richardson to discuss the disastrous effects the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is having on food production and country towns.

What’s the deal with rich celebrity chefs wanting to make food more expensive for poor people? After months of campaigning, Jamie Oliver’s sugar tax has been adopted by the UK government. Read more on Conservative Home here. In 2008 the IPA wrote about “food miles“, pushed by the likes of Gordon Ramsay.

Unfortunately, this 10,000 word piece was once again the most read article on The Atlantic website this week: ‘What ISIS really wants‘.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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

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The dangers of mispronouncing cucumber

March 17, 2016

From Peter Gregory

Victorian Senator James Paterson gave his maiden speech yesterday at 5pm in the Senate chamber. As you know, until two weeks ago James was Deputy Executive Director at the IPA.

His speech was exactly what Australia’s parliament needed to hear – free markets and free ideas lead to human flourishing. Here are my three favourite quotes:

He also explained what free markets have done:

The Hansard transcript of James’ speech is here.

Yesterday the government released its Annual Red Tape Reduction Report – this media release from the IPA’s Darcy Allen explains how the $3 billion reduction in red tape the government reported is only a drop in the ocean.

This article from The Atlantic last year was the third most popular article on The Atlantic website this week – 30 Trump supporters giving their reasons for voting Trump. In the AFR on Friday John Roskam argued that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are political soulmates.

We haven’t had a crazy Conversation piece for a while, but they’re back with a classic: Australia needs a women’s budget. I assume that means a budget Margaret Thatcher would be proud of. John Roskam’s piece in the AFR in 2011 tells the story of the time Thatcher was relieved she was only asked to name two economists who supported her economic policies.

The Telegraph reported last Friday that a four year-old in Britain who mispronounced the word ‘cucumber’ was referred to police and social services. And Reason on Sunday reported US school administrators banned swastikas from a high school production of Mel Brooks’ anti-Nazi satire, The Producers.

Some long reading this week – a 5,000 word piece in Standpoint on the controversy surrounding Cecil Rhodes and the buildings named after him.

The IPA is growing! If you wish to work for Australia’s loudest voice for freedom (or know anyone fantastic who does) click here.

Tickets are available for the 2016 Annual Friedman Conference held by the Australian Libertarian Society. By entering the code ‘IPA’, IPA members are entitled to a 15% discount. IPA members under 30 can get a 30% discount by entering the code ‘IPA-C’ (this offer is limited to 20 people). Book now!

The Samuel Griffiths Society’s next annual conference will be in Adelaide from 12-14 August. Speakers, details and bookings here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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In defence of eyeball tattoos

March 10, 2016

From James Bolt | Thursday, 10 March 2016

2015 was not a great year for the cause of small government.

That chart is from ‘Legal Rights and Regulatory Burden Statement 2015’, a forthcoming research paper from the IPA’s Simon Breheny and Morgan Begg which updates our 2015 research.

But limited government won’t be on the back foot for long! James Paterson is joining the Senate. We’re sad to see him go, but we know he’ll be a terrific Senator. Read the message James sent to all IPA members on what he’ll miss about working here.

James certainly left his mark on public debate in his time at the IPA. Watch two of his best moments on Q&A: His spirited defence of free speech in 2013, and his classic takedown of a carbon tax advocate in 2011.

Our submission to the ABC editorial review, authored by Brett Hogan, finds that the ABC is biased against business. Blow me down with a feather. As Brett says in this Guardian article about the submission, “full credit to the ABC, by the way, for asking us to comment”.

Andrew Hastie is the MP for Canning in Western Australia. And an IPA member. Read Andrew’s piece in The Sunday Times in Perth on what George Orwell, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln have to say about freedom of speech in Australia.

And in that vein – this is a wonderful piece by Sam Gregg at the Acton Institute about what Alexander Hamilton would have to say about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Two students are being impeached from student government in the US for attending a party where someone else was wearing a “tiny sombrero”. The Atlantic has a complete summary of just how bad the situation is for free speech in American colleges.

So how to get my generation back on track? The IPA’s new Generation Liberty program has this guide to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the world’s most important 7 free market economists.

Nancy Reagan passed away this week at the age of 94. Read this eulogy from Lou Cannon, who knew her for nearly 50 years and is the author of five books about Ronald Reagan.

NSW MP Peter Phelps made headlines ($) yesterday for making the simple point that government shouldn’t stop people from doing stupid things like getting eyeball tattoos, or…well, I probably can’t print the rest of the speech here.

Roger Scruton’s latest book is called Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left. Read Steve Kates’ review of the book in the latest edition of Quadrant. Roger Scruton was our guest in 2014, watch his speech on the place of liberty and democracy in Western Civilisation here.

Tickets are now available for the always fantastic 2016 Annual Friedman Conference held by our friends at the Australian Libertarian Society. The all-star speaking list includes North Korean dissident and escapee Yeonmi Park, the IPA’s Sinclair Davidson, Hannah Pandel, Chris Berg and Tom Switzer, and our friend Tim Wilson. Book now!

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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