Freedom wins Olympic gold

August 11, 2016

From Matthew Lesh

Economic freedom doesn’t just enable human flourishing, it also skyrockets Olympic medal tallies. Here are the results so far from Rio:

Tuesday night’s Census, after 5 years of planning and $470 million taxpayer dollars, was a catastrophe – the ABS has blamed a “denial of service attack”, a claim which lacks evidence and was preventable with proper planning.

There are also serious privacy problems – the ABS is keeping our names and addresses for four years, as the IPA’s Chris Berg explained back in May and the IPA’s Simon Breheny said on Sky News on Monday. Additionally the ABS is using a so-called “statistical linkage key” to track you, indefinitely – which is absurdly easy for other people to figure out. Mine is ES2AT020919931, generate yours here.

Flemming Rose – publisher of the controversial Muhammad cartoons in 2005 – referred to Chris Berg’s 2012 book In Defence of Freedom of Speech: From Ancient Greece to Andrew Bolt in his speech after winning the Cato Institute’s prestigious Milton Friedman Award. Read his speech in the latest Cato Policy Report.

Rose agreed with Chris that the “marketplace of ideas” metaphor allows for too many exceptions – I concurred on FreedomWatch just last month when Waleed Aly used the marketplace metaphor to argue in favour of 18C.

Thomas Piketty got a lot of attention for his book about inequality in 2013, despite being wrong. An IMF paper released this month has found that there’s “no empirical evidence” for Piketty’s theory – in fact, inequality fell in three-quarters of the countries an IMF economist studied.

Former New Zealand MP Jamie Whyte in CapX on Tuesday argued against the movement to make climate change scepticism a criminal offence, saying that it threatens the success of science and human progress. Meanwhile, Bjørn Lomborg features in a PragerU video discussing how alarmists ignore that most climate data is actually more encouraging than expected.

We couldn’t make this up – PETA is seriously lobbying for Tasmania’s Eggs and Bacon Bay to be renamed to a “compassionate and healthy name“. Roger Kimball explored in the Wall Street Journalon Monday the left’s weird obsession with renaming things – from the French Revolution to college campuses today.

ReasonTV have released a fantastic documentary last Wednesday on how an underground team ofBrazilian libertarian filmmakers were instrumental in impeaching their failed left-wing populist president.

Did Keynesian economist Paul Krugman actually create Donald Trump? Karol Markowicz explains inThe Daily Beast why the left’s vicious attacks on all Republicans has made criticism of Trump less effective.

Tickets are selling fast for the IPA’s upcoming events with Brendan O’Neill in Sydney (16 August),Brisbane (17 August), Gold Coast (18 August) and Canberra (24 August) – RSVP today.

Op-ed of the week

The great Matt Ridley writes in The Times on Monday that people are too anti-new, shying away from innovation and emerging technologies that are the source of virtually all prosperity.

IPA Staff Pick

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

Incompetence isn’t the biggest problem with the ABS – it’s very existence is a threat to liberty. Murray Rothbard’s essay, Statistics: Achilles’ Heel of Government, first published in 1961, describes how statistics are the eyes and ears of interventionists, politicians and bureaucrats. As Rothbard says, remove these organs and “the whole threat of government intervention is almost completely eliminated.”

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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