Does ESPN show too much badminton?

April 27, 2017

From Peter Gregory | Thursday, 27 April 2017

In Canada, cutting company tax hasn’t decreased company tax revenue for the Canadian government:

The great Dr Arthur Laffer explained to an IPA audience in 2015 how lower taxes increase growth and, subsequently, tax revenue. When President Reagan did this it was called “voodoo economics“. Now that President Trump is cutting America’s corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% to kick-start growth, it’s being labelled “magic beans“. For the full story, read this editorial from Investor’s Business Daily on Tuesday.

Middlebury College was the liberal arts school where an address by Charles Murray was violently closed down by protesters in March. Who do you think the College apologised to last week? The female professor attacked by protesters? Charles Murray? Students wishing to hear Murray speak? Nup, they apologised to the rioters who shut the event down.

Here’s a fresh twist on the usual US college cultural appropriation story. Officials at America University in Washington DC told a fraternity their proposed badminton tournament fundraiser was “appropriating culture” – they just wouldn’t tell them which one…

The reason why sports network ESPN is failing and just laid off 100 people? Their programming is too political (and left wing), according to Dan McLaughlin in National Review yesterday.

I know you guys love these – AEI has updated its list of “spectacularly wrong predictions” made around the first Earth Day in 1970. My favourite is 18. (I’m sure you already knew, but Earth Day was last Saturday).

Guess which country the UN just appointed to the UN Commission on the Status of Women? Saudi Arabia of course, as reported on Andrew Bolt’s blog on Monday.

Article of the week:

Thomas E. Woods, Jr wrote this excellent review of Kevin Gutzman’s new book Thomas Jefferson, Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America on Mises Wire yesterday. Its crucial point of difference from most recent Jefferson biographies is that it focuses on his radical political philosophies and not his admittedly interesting and controversial personal life.

IPA Staff Pick:

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

This 3,300 word long piece in Current Affairs by Luke Savage last week describes how Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing has virtually unmatched cultural staying power among TV dramas. Savage says that’s because it represents Democrats as Democrats imagine themselves. He argues that’s a problem because it makes technocratic governance seem honourable and “shows everything wrong with the Democratic worldview”.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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French Dilbert makes his call

April 20, 2017

From Morgan Begg

ACTU secretary Sally McManus says that the “fair go is under attack from the wealthy and powerful“. She should check out this great chart from RMIT Professor and IPA senior fellow Sinclair Davidson produced for Catallaxy Files on Thursday:

To see the full ATO statistics for the 2014/15 financial year released this month, click here.

Does calling for an election amount to a “coup”? Apparently it does if you’re at The Guardian. This amazing article on Tuesday accuses British PM Theresa May not only of turning “democracy against itself” but pandering to the “loony Brexiteer fringe” – would that be the “fringe” that won the EU referendum? Mark Steyn said on Fox Business on Tuesday that May understands her premiership “depends on a hard Brexit.”

For all you need to know about the French presidential election, The Telegraph published this helpful explainer yesterday. Serge Galam – a French theoretical physicist who correctly predicted Brexit and Trump (the French Dilbert?) – has produced a mathematical model showing that Marine Le Pen could easily become the next French President.

What’s funnier than The Huffington Post being tricked into publishing a hoax article titled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” Seeing them defend it as “pretty standard feminist theory” before they realised it was a hoax. For the full story, click here.

This is not a hoax – students at Pomona College in California have claimed objective truth “is a myth and white supremacy“. Over in Pennsylvania, a proposed fast food restaurant at Duquesne University has been opposed by students because it would make them “feel unsafe“. But how can we believe anything they say when truth is a myth?

Article of the week:

This week’s long read is a fascinating 4,800 word article in the latest edition of the Claremont Review of Books. Charles Kesler argues that, far from being unprincipled, Trump’s agenda is actually quite similar to old school Republicans like former president Calvin Coolidge.

IPA Staff Pick:

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

Bret Easton Ellis, the author of the 1991 novel American Psycho, unloaded on the American left for its hysterical reaction to the election and its intolerance of dissent, lamenting that “liberalism used to be about freedom, and now it is about moral superiority“. The podcast provides an eloquent insider’s take on the way that incivility and identity politics, egged on by Hollywood, are eating the left alive (We even have a trigger warning: please note, the podcast contains some coarse language and drug references).

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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The Conversation agrees with the IPA

April 13, 2017

From Peter Gregory

Red tape is stifling Australian entrepreneurship. Since 2004, Australia’s population over the age of 15 has grown 22%, yet the number of new businesses opening has dropped 5%:

That graph is from analysis of ABS data undertaken by the IPA’s Daniel Wild (The ABS data on population is here, and the new business figures are here, here, here, and here).

In a free society, the content broadcast on television and radio stations shouldn’t be investigated by government agencies. Yet that is what the Australian Communications and Media Authority has done 1,777 times in the last decade. That’s why Daniel Wild called for the abolition of the ACMA in the IPA’s Parliamentary Research Brief sent to all federal and state parliamentarians last Friday.

Would you believe me if I told you Nature and The Conversation published three studies supporting IPA positions this week? Here they are:

But don’t get too complacent. As reported in The Washington Free Beacon on Monday a book called Communism for kids has just been published by MIT Press.

Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special has been released – here is a teaser. David Marcus in The Federalist on Tuesday explains why progressives are outraged and why Chappelle is so much funnier than John Oliver.

Flemming Rose was the Danish newspaper editor who in 2005 published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, sparking an explosive global backlash. Nick Gillespie’s 3,500 word interview with Rose on freedom of speech and tolerance, from the May edition of Reason magazine, is engrossing.

Article of the week:

All British Conservative leaders live in Margaret Thatcher’s shadow. Stephen Glover in this month’s Standpoint makes a forensic 3,500 word comparison of the upbringing, philosophy and character of Thatcher and the current British Prime Minister Theresa May.

IPA Staff Pick:

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

In The Guardian on Tuesday, ex-Conservative, UKIP and now independent MP Douglas Carswell writes that Britain requires a credible opposition – one that recognises that the global backlash against elites is in large part a repudiation of kleptocratic corporatism that undermines free markets.

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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Let’s get the crossbenchers some Pepsi

April 6, 2017

From James Bolt

Last week, the government’s proposed reforms of section 18C were blocked in the Senate. If you want to know which Senators are to blame, here they are.

This image has now been seen by 110,000 people on social media.

Do you want another sign of how bad free speech is in Australia? Ayaan Hirsi Ali can’t tour Australia because of security concerns. Mark Steyn wrote this brilliant post on his blog on Monday on why the cancellation shows the marketplace of ideas “is shrinking fast”. Gillian Triggs must be thrilled it’s shrinking: last week she said that “sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home“.

If only Charles Murray had a Pepsi on hand. If you can stomach it, you have to watch every excruciating second of Pepsi’s terrible ad. Hilariously, the ad they cultivated to appeal to Twitter slacktivists was pulled after pressure from… Twitter slacktivists.

Article 50 has been triggered, and Brexit has begun. Here are the 29 charts that explain why Brexit happened. Former IPA guest Frank Furedi wrote this great article in Spiked on how ordinary people no longer defer to the elites in order to form opinions.

A crushing blow for Western progressives this week – a new poll found two out of three Cubans are crying out for more free markets. I wonder why. On Tuesday, Reason published this great article by Marian Tupy on how socialist governments inevitably slide into dictatorship.

Laguna Hills High School in California has removed all mirrors in female bathrooms and replaced them with the messages “you are beautiful” and “you’re doing better than you think!” Personally, I think receiving compliments on my appearance from a stranger in a public bathroom is more disconcerting than a mirror.

This week’s long read is a fascinating 9,500 word article from The New Yorker on Silicon Valley’s quest to make death optional.

There are still tickets available to our event with the IPA’s CD Kemp Fellow Andrew Shearer in Adelaide on 11 April. Andrew Shearer will be speaking on securing Australian freedom and values. Andrew is also a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC and was formerly National Security Adviser to Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott.

Article of the week:

Andy Puzder, the former CEO of CKE Restaurants – a large restaurant conglomerate in the US, wrote this insightful article in the Wall Street Journal on why the minimum wage should actually just be called the Robot Employment Act.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Dr Bella d’Abrera

Recently I’ve recently been researching the decline of European history subjects available to university students, building on the IPA’s 2015 report “The End of History… in Australian Universities“. It led me to this wonderful article by Daniel Pipes on his blog where he notes that what is happening in Australia is not unique – it is a phenomenon felt all over the world.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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