Free speech on campus is [Censored]

February 16, 2017

From Morgan Begg

Each Australian will owe approximately $23,500 in Commonwealth gross debt per person by 2020:

As reported in The Australian yesterday, Australia’s gross public debt is set to explode to more than $600 billion within the next three years.

The state of free speech at universities in the UK is getting worse. That’s the finding from Spiked’s2017 Free Speech University Rankings, which found 63.5% of UK universities are ranked ‘Red’ for actively banning speakers, materials and ideas. We could only aspire to those numbers: a similar study by the IPA’s Matthew Lesh in 2016 found 79% of Australian universities carried the same Red ranking.

In a fit of panic about Trump’s election victory, progressives are finally bothering to read George Orwell’s 1984, sending it to the top of bestseller lists. They’re in for a shock – as Brendan O’Neill explained on Reason on Friday – the novel’s dystopian regime resembles not the Trump presidency, but the Left’s own PC authoritarianism.

Taxi drivers in Melbourne blockaded the Bolte Bridge on Monday because they think a $453m compensation package for legalising Uber isn’t enough. As the IPA’s Darcy Allen explained in the Herald Sun on Wednesday, the taxi industry has been receiving compensation for decades from governments banning their competition and letting them charge monopoly prices.

If you think energy security isn’t an important issue, just read what Emma Godfrey from Mylor said about why she was “nervous about buying bulk meat” following multiple blackouts in South Australia.

With the closure of the massive Hazelwood power station next month, the Australian Energy Market Operator says the system will be under even greater strain. This is why the IPA on Friday published ‘5 reasons to abolish the RET‘ – the first in a series of Parliamentary Research Briefs that will be sent directly to politicians each fortnight.

Dan Hannan, a chief architect of Brexit, was the special guest on Tom Switzer’s Behind the Lines last Thursday night, on how Brexit was won and what lies ahead for Europe and the UK.

If you were planning on donating to support Alex Wood’s legal defence costs from the 18C case against him and other QUT students last year, you’re too late! In just 11 days, Alex reached his goal of $54,300 – thanks to everyone that contributed. And if you’re not one of the 100,000 people that has already watched the IPA’s video about the QUT case, click here.

Article of the week:

Arthur Brooks, the President of the American Enterprise Institute, penned this thoughtful 4,300 word essay for the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs on the ‘dignity deficit‘. Brooks explains how LBJ’s ‘War on Poverty’ crushed the dignity of work and created a crisis of hopelessness across America, particularly in those areas that most recently voted for Trump in huge numbers.

IPA Staff Pick:

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

I’ve been reading the terrific and thought-provoking book by Nick Spencer, The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped our Values. Reserve Bank board member Ian Harper wrote an excellent review for ICAST on Wednesday, while The Economist also – surprisingly – has a good review of the book from November (This is a welcome change from the standard fare offered by The Economist. Former federal ALP MP Bob Catley explained at The Spectator in January why he doesn’t bother reading the magazine anymore).

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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