Do androids dream of electric tax forms?

February 23, 2017

From Peter Gregory

Public sector wages have increased more than private sector wages in 8 out of 9 quarters since December 2014:

Would that pass the pub test? In November the IPA’s Aaron Lane wrote that the demands of the public sector unions certainly wouldn’t in a SMH piece the National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union described as…wait for it…”dodgy“.

Today the Fair Work Commission reduced penalty rates – read what Aaron said about the move on News.com.au.

The two pieces you need to read about the Georges River College controversy this week are the IPA’s Dr Bella d’Abrera in The Daily Telegraph and Kevin Donnelly in The Australian, both on Tuesday.

(If you haven’t yet read Kevin Donnelly’s The Culture of Freedom – a monograph published by the IPA for our Foundations of Western Civilisation Program – copies can be purchased here.)

In light of these events, Michael Novak’s 1995 article about the danger of identity politics trumping our common humanity is more important than ever. Sadly, the great American Catholic social philosopher died on Friday. His journey to becoming one of the world’s foremost advocates of the moral case for economic freedom was outlined by William Grimes in this excellent New York Times obituary on Sunday.

Speaking of the moral case for economic freedom, Australia has remained 5th on the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom (despite the growth in public sector wages), released this week.

Last week, the US Congress launched an inquiry into the explosive allegations that world leaders were misled on climate data by America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As reported on Watts Up With That?, yesterday Professor Judith Curry released this important 30 page essay on the flawed computer modelling on which climate predictions are made.

On Monday, Bill Gates said of robots that replace human workers, “you’d think we’d tax the robot at a similar level“. Clearly Bill Gates has been listening to the ALP talk of a Warren Buffett tax this week.

This issue has divided the IPA office. The wonderfully fat English footballer forced to resign for eating a pie while his semi-professional Sutton United played Arsenal in the FA Cup because doing so breached gambling rules. The Guardian’s excellent football section has published pieces for and against. I am against – let the man eat.

Article of the week

On Friday, Bryan Curtis at The Ringer wrote this excellent long 3,400 piece entitled ‘Sportswriting has become a liberal profession – here’s how it happened‘. Is nowhere safe? Is the future just a football boot stamping on a human face – forever?

IPA Staff Pick:

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

In National Review on Friday former IPA guest George Weigel penned a fascinating insight into Michael Novak’s exceptional personal qualities.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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

Subscribe to Hey... what did I miss, delivered each week for free directly into your inbox.


Subscribe in your RSS reader