Don’t mess with Dilbert

March 23, 2017

From James Bolt

The more free markets save lives, the more sceptical people become:

That graph borrows from this CapX article last week, ‘5 Graphs That Will Change Your Mind About Poverty.’ This video by PragerU from last week presented by Arthur Brooks is also fantastic, showing how government welfare programs don’t reduce poverty rates.

Malcolm Turnbull’s 18C announcement on Tuesday is an important step towards restoring freedom of speech in Australia – but the issue is not resolved. As Morgan Begg wrote in The Spectator Australia yesterday, “the only way to guarantee section 18C doesn’t infringe on freedom of speech is to repeal 18C entirely.” And today in Online Opinion medical doctor Michael Keane says 18C is worded so poorly that even Stan Grant could have breached it.

Watch our video from November last year presented by Simon Breheny on how the case against the late, great Bill Leak shows why 18C must be repealed:

And it could get even worse. The Australian this morning reported that Labor is planning to extend the reach of litigation based on 18C to complaints based on gender, disability or age. This is a reboot of the Gillard government’s failed Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 – read our factsheet from then here about why these ideas are so dangerous.

Since its rise to prominence, we’ve been sending you links from the hit blog Dilbert. Here’s a masterclass in Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ analysis of the persuasive power of language. First read this 3,600 word profile of Adams in Bloomberg from Wednesday – and then read the 16 pieces of fake news from the Bloomberg article that Scott Adams’ identifies at his blog. My favourite is number 13.

This week’s long read is this 3,700 word article from Jon Baskin in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s about how the Claremont Review of Books became the intellectual home of Trumpism after the famous “Flight 93 Election” essay in September 2016 by Publius Decius Mus.

By now I expect every single reader of Hey to be a subscriber to The Young IPA Podcast, which I host along with Peter Gregory. Crikey said it’s a must listen if you want to be “overwhelmed by smugness“. Crikey are always good for a pull quote. If you want to see me be “actually a decent performer” catch me in Improv Against Humanity at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from April 10.

Article of the week:

Dan Hannan in The Washington Examiner from Monday on how American politics has become a sporting match, with people blindly barracking for their side.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Matthew Lesh

Last week in London I attended a debate which pitted conservative luminary and leading Brexiteer Michael Gove against economist Jonathan Portes, on the appropriate role of experts in the public sphere. The feisty and entertaining discussion brought to light the importance of scepticism, debate, and questioning simplistic appeals to authority.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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The real scandal is drinking light beers

March 16, 2017

From Morgan Begg

Australia lost a great champion for freedom on Friday. The IPA’s Simon Breheny was proud to call Bill Leak a friend, and heard the tragic news as he was about to go to air on Sky News:

To see why Bill Leak was such a treasure, read the final speech he gave last Wednesday which shows one of Australia’s greatest artists at his very best. And here are three essential items about Bill to read, watch and listen to:

This is the state of debate in Australia: Coopers Premium Light beer featured in a Bible Society video of a discussion on the definition of marriage, and social justice warriors went into overdrive. We can’t even show you the video because Coopers and the Bible Society took it down.

As John Slater explained in The Spectator yesterday this perfectly highlights the “ugly authoritarianism” underlying the so-called tolerant left. Although it’s hard to have any sympathy for Coopers after they released this pathetic apology video that Andrew Hastie MP called a “craven capitulation“.

New ACTU secretary Sally McManus doesn’t “think there’s a problem” breaking laws she believes are unjust. Does that mean McManus believes that employers should be able to pay below the minimum wage if a boss thinks it’s unjust?

Activists are travelling to India to confront Gautam Adani’s outrageous efforts to buy our coal and ship it to his country to provide electricity to homes, factories and offices. Environmentalists are fond of using section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to delay major projects like the Adani mine. The IPA’s Daniel Wild explains why it must be repealed in this new IPA video released today:

You know you have a red tape problem when you can’t even count how many regulatory agencies there are. A report published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute this week finds there could be as many as 443 in the US federal government. The IPA’s Mikayla Novak estimated in May 2016 that there are 497 entities involved in designing or enforcing Australian federal regulations.

The IPA is now on iTunes! The Young IPA Podcast, hosted by fellow Hey writers Peter Gregory and James Bolt, was launched two weeks ago: I was the guest on episode 1, discussing 18C, legal rights and my favourite Simpsons episodes. Episode 2 released on Friday featured the IPA’s Evan Mulholland to talk about feminist traffic lights, stormtroopers and the ABC. The podcast is also on Soundcloud.

Article of the week:

Nate Silver might be a part of the progressive bubble, but at least he knows there is one. In this piece published on Friday at FiveThirtyEight, Silver explains how the progressive media bubble underestimated the chances of Trump and Brexit.

IPA Staff Pick:

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

We all know the left dominate academia, and now we have new evidence to prove it. Noah Carl at the Adam Smith Institute finds in a 23-page paper that while 50% of the British public supports parties on the right, only 12% of academics do the same. Carl also offers an explanation for why this happens, and what can be done to fix it.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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But 100% of Hey is true

March 9, 2017

From Peter Gregory

The UN said last week that free markets undermine “the realization of housing as a human right“. Really? Here’s how freer markets have worked out for the world’s slum dwellers since 1990:

Why has the IPA’s Evan Mulholland been quoted in media outlets in New York, Washington, Canada, Malaysia, the UK, Ireland and, the Czech Republic this week? Is it free speech? Free markets? Climate change? No – it’s the Committee for Melbourne’s crusade to end the oppression of women, one traffic light at a time. Here is Evan on Ten News on Tuesday:

Evan wrote that “using pedestrian signals to virtue signal is utter nonsense” in The Spectator Australia yesterday.

Last week, after being prevented from giving an address at Middlebury College in the US by protesting students, conservative American sociologist Charles Murray was surrounded and attacked as he left the venue. A female professor accompanying Murray was hospitalised. Three things you must read about this attack on free speech:

This just sums up the problem with American college elites. They are less worried that attackers like those above resemble fascists, than that someone dressing up as a Star Wars stormtrooper for a party, might be a closet Nazi.

Your long piece this week is actually a long listen – a 30 min discussion with John Roskam, Paul Kelly and Nick Cater on whether or not conservatism is in crisis on Tom Switzer’s Between the Lines on Radio National.

And a couple of terrific articles for when you’ve backed yourself into a corner in a political discussion at the pub – “Half of scientific studies are false” in Vox last week and “What do economists actually know?” by Russ Roberts in NewCo Shift on Friday.

Article of the week:

This excellent piece on Reason from Elizabeth Nolan Brown discusses a study from the University of Southern Mississippi that has found what we have long suspected – those expressing moral outrage are often doing so for self-serving reasons.

IPA Staff Pick:

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

I found this experiment intriguing – last week researchers in New York re-staged the US presidential debates with a female playing Donald Trump and a male playing Hillary Clinton. To their great surprise, this caused the largely progressive audience to support Trump and reject Clinton.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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

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La La Land should have campaigned in the Rust Belt

March 2, 2017

From James Bolt | Thursday, 2 March 2017

Don’t reform section 18C – just get rid of it, as Simon Breheny said on ABC News 24 on Tuesday:

You can watch the IPA’s reaction to the Parliamentary Committee’s report on 18C on Facebook Live, and you can read our 140 page submission. Simon Breheny was also in the Daily Telegraph today saying that despite the committee’s report “the case for repeal grows stronger every day.”

It’s funny how your taxes are spent telling you that you don’t care about freedom of speech, as the IPA’s Morgan Begg explained on The Spectator Australia on Wednesday.

Protecting our rights might not be in vogue, but the IPA will continue to promote all our fundamental freedoms. IPA research this week found that there are now 307 breaches of fundamental legal rights in federal legislation:

That’s from the IPA’s Legal Rights Audit 2016, which you can read here.

Tyler Cowen, author of the great blog Marginal Revolution, has a new book out – The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest For The American Dream. David French in National Review called it “one of the most important reads of the new year.”

But did La La Land win the popular vote? Here’s the behind-the-scenes story of how Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway awarded Best Picture to the wrong film. Although, if you’re into conspiracy theories I think Conan O’Brien’s has weight to it. Still, Scott Shackford on Reason says libertarians should be happy Moonlight won.

By now everyone has watched the putrid ad for the federal Department of Finance that cost taxpayers $40,000. Mumbrella has this excellent shot-by-shot analysis of just how bad it is.

Reason editor Nick Gillespie and potentially the next US Libertarian Party presidential candidate Austin Peterson are among the speakers for the can’t-miss 2017 Friedman Conference run by our friends at the Australian Libertarian Society and Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. Tickets here. To get warmed up, read this great article from Nick Gillespie last month on how libertarians should feel about the Trump administration.

Article of the week

This week we have two ‘Articles of the week’. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has told people to avoid bus stops to protect themselves from air pollution – tough call if you catch the bus to work.

London’s air pollution is a crisis. You have to read Matt Ridley in The Times on how the EU is deliberately making air pollution worse and James Delingpole in The Spectator on why environmentalists now owe him an apology.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Professor Jason Potts

In this classic libertarian defence of unrestricted wealth creation “How to Make Wealth” Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator (which has funded and incubated almost 1,500 start-ups, including Airbnb, Reddit and Dropbox), explains why start-ups are such a powerful mechanism for advancing human society.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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