The best resource to end poverty

May 26, 2016

From Matthew Lesh

Coal is the best resource we have to end poverty and bring electricity to the 1.3 billion people in the world without power. As the IPA’s Hannah Pandel reveals in a new video released by the IPA this week:

The IPA’s Brett Hogan calculated Australian coal could provide 82 million Indians with access to electricity. Indeed, Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute told the IPA in his important 2014 speechthat coal is the best resource we have to enable human flourishing.

Both US presidential candidates are under the pump this week. Charles Murray has slammed establishment Republicans who refuse to criticise Donald Trump. Meanwhile, a State Department report released today blasted Hillary Clinton for her dodgy email practices.

It’s no wonder America is screaming out for another option. One poll gives Mitt Romney 22 per cent of the national vote as a third party candidate, and the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson is at 10 per cent. That’s ten times higher than Libertarians have ever polled.

We’ve all heard of safe spaces from opinions, but now we’re seeing safe spaces from bad grades.Students at the prestigious Oberlin College are calling for low grades to be abolished, and exams to be replaced with “conversations”. However, be careful making a joke about these kids: you could fall foul of a college Bias Response Teams.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has been caught employing three low paid au pairs for his family farm. We always knew he supported the Nanny State! The IPA’s Sinclair Davidson congratulated Di Natale for his entrepreneurialism. Maybe he’s read the IPA’s Aaron Lane and Mikayla Novak’s 2014 submission to the Fair Work Commission criticising Australia’s high minimum wage.

The recent discussion about the price of milk and the plight of dairy farmers has ignored the disastrous consequences of government regulation of the water market. This insightful analysis by agriculturalist Johnny Kahlbetzer on On Line Opinion today reveals the reality that farmers face.

Two French music festivals have cancelled performances by Eagles of Death Metal, the band whose Paris show last November turned into a bloodbath at the hands of terrorists. Brendan O’Neill points out how the cancellations are a victory for Isis.

The Huffington Post tweeted a photo to prove how diverse the organisation is. Turns out they’re not that diverse at all – check out the hilarious responses.

Last week we told you about how Facebook has suppressed conservative news. In response, Mark Zuckerberg has hosted conservative leaders at Facebook HQ. Milo Yiannopoulos, of Breitbart, who boycotted the meeting has slammed the “cuckservatives” for attending the public relations stunt. Tom Giovanetti wrote on RealClearPolitics that the whole furore is just the market working.

If you’re in Sydney, young and believe in freedom, come along to our IPA Young members event at the Hotel CBD on June 26 to hear Senator James Paterson, NSW finance minister Dominic Perrottet and entrepreneur Jonathan Hoyle speak.

Op-ed of the week

In an enlightening Wall Street Journal article on Saturday, Deirdre N. McCloskey argues that the West became prosperous because of the liberation of ordinary people to pursue their dreams of economic advancement.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: John Roskam.

PayPal founder and libertarian Peter Thiel gave this brilliant commencement speech at Hamilton College in New York on Sunday. He discussed digital currency, Shakespeare, Einstein and the heritage of the West. And he told the audience don’t treat every day like it’s your last, act like you will live forever – and so will cherish the people around you.

You can read the transcript here, or watch the 11 minute speech here:

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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I’m sending my kids to UNE

May 19, 2016

From Morgan Begg

Freedom of speech is under threat at Australian universities – here’s what we found:

The IPA’s Free Speech on Campus Audit 2016 – covered in The Australian yesterday ($) – found that only one Australian university respects free speech (kudos to the University of New England).

You can see where your university ranked on the full list published here.

Two wins for common sense this week: a hypocritical campaign in the US to oppose naming a law school after one of the most important American jurists ever – the late Justice Scalia – has been unanimously rejected. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has committed to addressing Facebook’s left-wing bias.

Still think Hillary Clinton is the inevitable President? As Andrew Napolitano noted at Reason last Thursday, a perfect storm of legal trouble is circling the Democrat’s campaign. On top of that, she is still being regularly defeated by a septuagenarian socialist, while a Time piece notes how she bizarrely plans to win by being boring.

In a stunning about-face, JK Rowling this week staunchly defended Donald Trump’s right to free speech, after earlier describing him as worse than Voldemort.

The Atlantic this week published a fascinating account of just how dire the situation is in socialist Venezuela. If you know any Bernie Sanders fans, send them that article and also this CapX piece explaining how Latvia is soaring after embracing the free market.

The long read for this week is this 4,200 word essay at City Journal about the “best war documentary ever shown on television” – 1973’s classic World at War.

Last week, the IPA reached 500 Young members. To mark the occasion, we are sending every Young member a copy of George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm. An excellent post on Don Aitkin’s blog about how the cowardice of British publishers delayed its publication is well worth reading.

Quadrant Online published an interview with the IPA’s Chris Berg about his latest book, The Libertarian Alternative, as well as freedom, over-regulation and the need for limited government.

Op-ed of the week

At CapX on Monday, the excellent Matt Ridley – a guest of the IPA in 2013 – highlighted how much better off British science would be outside of the EU.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Chris Berg.

Published in April, Tyler Beck Goodspeed’s Legislating Instability explains how Adam Smith was wrong to blame Scotland’s 1772 financial crisis on the lack of banking regulation. You can read a summary at Cato here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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The secret industry drowning the Australian economy

May 12, 2016

What’s the largest industry in Australia? You guessed it: red tape.

That’s the key finding from our new report The $176 Billion Tax On Our Prosperity from the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak, which was featured in The Australian ($) yesterday:

Our report also found that:

The most ridiculous case of red tape this week came from Tennessee, where The Daily Signal discovered that it takes 300 hours of training to obtain a licence to wash people’s hair.

Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. Paul Johnson will be voting for him. PJ O’Rourke will vote for Clinton – you read that right. Brendan O’Neill had a fantastic article this week in Spiked on how Trump’s success is a result of the hollowing out of democracy and the rise of the anti-political movement.

The IPA’s Brett Hogan wrote in the Australian Financial Review that the government’s superannuation changes would be retrospective.

We may have hit peak global warming stupidity. University of Melbourne professor Ghassan Hage presented his magnum opus to MIT on Monday – ‘Is Islamophobia Accelerating Global Warming?’.

The article sweeping America this week was the New York Times’ fascinating 9,700 word feature on Ben Rhodes, the one-time aspiring novelist who became one of Obama’s chief foreign policy advisers. People are shocked at his arrogance and the way he manipulated the media throughout the Iran deal negotiations.

Standpoint this week published a revealing article on how students across Britain are fighting back against campus censorship. We have told you many times how free speech is dying at universities across the world, but maybe the tide is turning…

If you’re in Brisbane and under 26, come to hear the IPA’s Simon Breheny and Matthew Lesh talk about free speech at QUT at our IPA Young members drinks next Thursday. RSVP to Sarah Wilson at [email protected].

Op-ed of the week

In The Telegraph last Thursday, Bjørn Lomborg argued that there are clear positives in global warming – especially for the world’s poor – but discussion is suppressed because it doesn’t support climate policy goals.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Morgan Begg.

In April, The Spectator hosted a debate that asked “Should Britain leave the EU?” By far, the highlight was this rousing speech from Dan Hannan – a guest of the IPA in 2012 – who slammed the EU as an undemocratic, stagnant customs union:

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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What’s more disappointing: the budget or Donald Trump?

May 5, 2016

From Morgan Begg

The failure to cut spending in Tuesday’s budget is leading us down the path of “European-style economics“, as John Roskam said in an email to IPA members on Tuesday night.

Immediately following the budget lock-up, the IPA’s Mikayla Novak asked, “if not now to fix the budget, when?

The IPA’s Brett Hogan also slammed the government for using superannuation taxes to control runaway spending, saying it “sends a message to everybody that their investments may be safer elsewhere”. Speaking of runaway spending:

At least the sky isn’t falling in – unless you’re the UK-based Global Challenges Foundation and you think people are five times more likely to die in an apocalypse than in a car. The American Enterprise Institute should take note for the next time they collect the most spectacularly wrong predictions by environmentalists.

Breaking news – the anti-discrimination case against Archbishop Julian Porteous has today been dropped. John Roskam wrote in the Australian Financial Review last October why the case being allowed to go this far is so dangerous to freedom of speech.

Who would have guessed that Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee? Well, Heyreaders may recall I noted nine weeks ago that Trump wouldn’t just be the nominee, but would be elected president in November. If you ignored my endorsement of Scott Adams’ prescient blog –dilbert.com.au – then, check out his post on Tuesday on how Clinton is already getting “persuasion” wrong.

If you liked that Leicester City won the Premier League this week, read this from FiveThirtyEight. If not, read this from The Spectator. Or if, like me, you didn’t know Leicester had a soccer team, you should revisit Ann Coulter’s column from the last World Cup on why soccer is such a terrible sport.

Last week, a PC mob disrupted a US college forum which asked whether political correctness had gone too far. Well, question answered. It’s a shame these campus radicals weren’t present to hear – of all people – former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s address to the University of Michigan on why bowing to “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” is such a terrible mistake.

The Cato Institute’s Johan Norberg explored Adam Smith’s ideas on morality and economics in this fascinating new two-part documentary: Who was the real Adam Smith?

In the April edition of Standpoint, Nick Cohen had an excellent article on what a lefty and ridiculously overrated novelist John le Carré is.

The long read for this week is this 5,000 word essay by former WA supreme court judge Nicholas Hasluck on how judge-made law is incompatible with the rule of law, which appeared in the May edition of Quadrant.

Australia might be about to get its own Boaty McBoatface. Environment minister Greg Hunt announced that there will be a public campaign to name a new ice-breaking vessel. We’re throwing our support behind Ice Ice Breaky.

Struggling for reading material for your child? Check out Mother Owl’s Kids Guide to Climate Change, which was dedicated to our dear friend the late Professor Bob Carter.

Chris Berg’s latest book, The Libertarian Alternative, was released this week. You can read anexcerpt that was published in the The Weekend Australian. You can order a copy for yourself here.

Op-ed of the week

In The Times on Monday, the excellent Matt Ridley condemned the many attempts to stifle free speech in the climate change debate.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Nick Jarman.

At 432 pages, The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson might seem intimidating, but it is a digestible crash course in the financial history of the world, from the Spanish conquistadors to the GFC.

Part one of the BBC’s six part documentary from 2008 based on the book can be seen here:

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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