The French Thatcher

November 24, 2016

From Morgan Begg

Australia will soon be in an even worse position on global company tax competitiveness:

We showed you a version of this graph in September, and now we’ve added the company tax reforms proposed by US President-elect Trump and UK Prime Minister May. The Australian government’s proposal to cut company tax rates to 25% in 10 years is looking even more tame.

At least we’re still ahead of France. But for how long? On Sunday, conservative François Fillon won the first round of the French Republican’s presidential primary election. Bloomberg published a profile of Fillon on Monday, describing him as “offering voters an economic-policy revolution inspired by Margaret Thatcher“.

The Labor party is attempting to collect 20,000 signatures for a petition against changes to section 18C. I think lovers of freedom can do much better. Sign the petition by Senator Cory Bernardi in support of free speech here.

You can also watch Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm’s speech in the Senate yesterday on the importance of freedom of speech, and why 18C needs to go.

The American left was repudiated at the US election, and of course this is not because of the Democrat’s alienation of working class Americans, but because of something called “fake news“. As Barton Hinkle wrote at Reason yesterday, the fuss about “fake news” is itself fake news.

The IPA’s Evan Mulholland wrote in The Spectator Australia yesterday about how he could no longer be a member of the Australian Republican Movement. I’m so glad my colleague has finally seen the light!

Rowan Callick in The Australian last Thursday wrote a fascinating piece on the nature of “Chinese democracy” – which means that only those who are sufficiently loyal to the ruling Communist Party are allowed to participate. Just see what happens when Western journalists attempt to speak to non-party candidates.

Article of the week

Mark Steyn’s brilliant article on his website last week explains how the behaviour of the US election losers endangers the very idea of representative government. Mark also has a new “nightly television extravaganza” – more information here.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Andrew Bushnell

This excellent article by the demographer and conservative Democrat Joel Kotkin at The Daily Beast on Sunday argues that Trumpism is a rejection of the “new feudalism” in which a class of technocrats preside over increasingly alienated middle and working classes. The essay clearly describes the forces shaping the ongoing global political shift, and is a strong contender for best post-election Trump think piece.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa and The Boss

November 17, 2016

From Peter Gregory

Australia is the only country out of the world’s 20 most prosperous nations to experience a drop in prosperity since 2007:

That’s one of the findings of the Legatum Prosperity Index 2016 released this month and it is due to our ‘growing protectionism, falling economic diversity, and a more inflexible labour market’. The Index measures categories such as personal freedom, the economy and business environment.

But the Index isn’t all bad news. Global prosperity is 3% higher, global prosperity inequality is falling (page 11) and Commonwealth nations are more prosperous than the global average (page 8). Full report here.

Former Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs in the Reagan administration, Chuck DeVore from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, is in Australia as a guest of the IPA. Watch him on The Bolt Report on Tuesday talking about the Trump transition team and (at 7:22) the IPA’s Criminal Justice Project:

Last week The Washington Post asked readers to share why they voted for Trump – their responses are compelling. Spiked on Monday detailed the temper tantrums over Trump taking place on American college campuses, including a ‘cry-in’ at Cornell, a ‘primal scream’ at Yale and the cancellation of exams at the University of Michigan. (This video of the primal scream is pretty funny).

As reported on Reason on Tuesday, the US Libertarian Party just became the first nationally organised party in American history, apart from the Republicans and Democrats, to reach half a million registered voters.

What do Bruce Springsteen, Rosa Parks and Lech Walesa have in common? They are all recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yesterday, President Obama’s list of the 21 new recipients of America’s highest civilian honour included Springsteen, Ellen DeGeneres and Robert De Niro.

Last week, the ruling party in Spain appeared to announce they wish to ban political memes. Lol! What kind of mature democracy censors political satire?…oh.

And CapX reported last Friday that gender-equal snow ploughing is causing chaos in Stockholm.

If you’re in Melbourne next Tuesday, the Australian Adam Smith Club is hosting free speech campaigner Peter Fenwick who will be discussing the Bill Leak case. Details here.

Article of the week

You may have noticed that many Americans are unhappy with the election of Donald Trump. Kevin Williamson in National Review on Sunday doesn’t refrain from saying ‘I told you so’ when arguing that ‘not liking the President’ may drive renewed support for limits on executive power from the left.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Scott Hargreaves

As a former staffer in the Kennett government, I can appreciate the ‘carpe diem’ theme of Victor Davis Hanson’s advice for Donald Trump in National Review on Tuesday.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Morgan was right

November 10, 2016

From James Bolt

The IPA’s Morgan Begg called the election in March (as he constantly reminds us) – as well as Dilbertcreator Scott Adams and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Here’s a demographic breakdown of Trump’s victory, and this is how each county voted:

You have to read this article by Marc Fisher in The Washington Post on how Trump’s anti-establishment politics got him elected. Here are the other two-must reads published after the election:

A lot of people are asking what Trump’s victory means for climate change – it’s probably not as bad as these EU people are saying.

The 18C case against three former students of QUT for writing a Facebook post three years ago was thrown out on Friday. The IPA was in the courtroom when this was announced – watch our Facebook Live video we filmed immediately following the verdict. As John Roskam wrote in our media release, in this case – the process is the punishment.

The IPA have been telling people about how the QUT case demonstrates that 18C erodes our legal rights since the story broke – watch our video we released in June explaining the case.

The next major 18C case is the one against Bill Leak. Today, a Galaxy Research poll commissioned by the IPA found that 64% of Australians disapproved of the Human Rights Commission investigating a cartoon.

On last Thursday, we released our new video with Simon Breheny and Janet Albrechtsen explaining the Bill Leak case and what it means for freedom of speech.

A new study has found that enforcing classroom discipline produces better academic outcomes and a stronger work ethic. This was reported in both the Sydney Morning Herald and the education journal Duh.

Tim Harford – author of the popular book The Undercover Economist – has launched a new podcast on the 50 things that made the modern economy what it is today. Episode 1 – The Diesel engine.

This week’s long read is this 3,000 word article from the latest edition of City Journal on how the current unpopularity of capitalism is not due to the effects of free markets, but government interference in free markets.

Article of the week

A new report from the WWF found that wild animal numbers are rising in wealthy countries but falling in poorer ones. The great Matt Ridley in The Times on Monday explains why the best way to help animal conservation is through economic development.

IPA Staff Pick

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

Something I enjoyed reading as the votes were coming in was Quadrant Online editor Roger Franklin’s coverage direct from Washington DC. He saw the writing on the wall (or the signs on the lawn) that Pennsylvania was going to fall into the Trump column.

The other piece is from Joel Kotkin in City Journal, which provides a succinct explanation for why Trump won – that the American people voted “no” to oligarchy and the ruling elite.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Lucky Bill Leak didn’t draw a cartoon of a canoe

November 3, 2016

From Morgan Begg

The case against cartoonist Bill Leak shows everything that’s wrong with section 18C. Watch the IPA’s new video about the case:

18c IPA Video

The Australian featured two excellent pieces on the Leak case and 18C on Wednesday: IPA board member Janet Albrechtsen on the “cult of taking offence” stifling freedom of expression, and Indigenous commentator Kerryn Pholi wrote how insulting it is that public servants need to deal with offensive pictures on her behalf, and that 18C was an “unjust, spiteful, wasteful and foolish” law.

Australia’s debt is $30.9billion more than was forecast by the government in late 2015. That’s from the Parliamentary Budget Office’s National Fiscal Outlook, published on Wednesday, which estimated that net debt will surge to $428.5 billion – or 22.6% of GDP – by 2018-19:

IPA Graph

Time published on Monday an article that literally everyone else would be too embarrassed to publish: The argument that the FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton is “an attack on women“. As Victor Davis Hanson explained at National Review on Tuesday, the Clintons have brought this on themselves with their Aristotelian greed and lust for power.

By this time next week, the US will have elected a new President: In March, I agreed with Dilbert creator Scott Adams who said Trump would win – and I stand by it. On Wednesday, Adams scored the two campaigns for their persuasion techniques, concluding Trump will win “in a landslide”.

Have we finally hit peak campus stupidity? A professor at the University of Victoria in Canada claimed that canoes are racist and can be a symbol of genocide. At the University of Redlands in California, student efforts to hold a funeral for Halloween as a protest against political correctness were blocked because other students could find the event triggering. So, no chance for a funeral for the funeral then?

Check out this hilarious list of headlines from the past decade about the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predictions of major hurricane seasons – none of which came true. It’s just another example of fear-mongering, as Jennifer Marohasy writes in this article at her blog about “remodelled” CSIRO/BoM data.

With data manipulation like this going on, is it any wonder that a recent UN poll of people around the world found that climate change was the least of their concerns? If you want to contribute to us talking about the facts of climate change, you can donate to the IPA’s upcoming book, Climate Change: The Facts 2017, featuring contributions from Clive James, Matt Ridley and Bjørn Lomborg.

Canadian climatologist Dr Tim Ball and author of the new book The Biggest Deception in History will be speaking at the Australian Environment Foundation’s inaugural Robert Carter Commemorative Lecture at CQ Functions, 113 Queen St, Melbourne, at 5:30pm for 6pm on 9 November. The entry fee is $25 and is payable at the door.

Article of the week

If “populism” is the new credo of the Republican Party in the US, what does that even mean? Joseph Salerno’s article at Mises Wire is an important reminder that populism is not an ideology, but for libertarians should be celebrated, as an effective strategy for rolling back the welfare state.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Andrew Bushnell

The High Court is enormously powerful, yet it receives little scrutiny and its members would be unknown to most Australians. With Chief Justice Robert French due to retire early next year, it is time for the Government to consider his replacement – and a good start would be to consider the work of originalist US Supreme Court judge, Clarence Thomas, whose commitment to the cause of liberty has not wavered over 25 years on the bench.

In October, Justice Thomas sat down with Bill Kristol to reflect on the US Supreme Court and his approach to the law:

IPA Video

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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