April 2, 2020

If the government pays citizens who are not working, and refunds businesses who employ people who have nothing to do, this is not transferring wealth. For no wealth has been created. So where is the money coming from? It is not coming from taxes. Our taxes have already been spent. In fact, our governments always spend more than they tax; that it what deficit budgets are. Just when we thought the government would balance the budget and produce a surplus, they are spending without limit. Money they don`t have. So where is it coming from?

Wealth derives from productive work. We specialize in what...

March 29, 2020

For the time being there are lots of things we cannot spend our money on. What will we do with the money we save?   

In response to the threat of mass contagion from the coronavirus, the government has closed many businesses.

They have exhorted us to keep our distance from each other. Where we do congregate, we are being asked to keep a metre and a half apart. For hygiene reasons, payment by credit card is preferred to cash. Visits to the elderly have been curtailed. Workers are being encouraged to work from home where possible.

Air travel is banned. Hotels, bars and restaurants are shut. C...

February 10, 2020

When the Auditor General released a scathing report on the allocation of $100million in sports grants, we all understood that funds had been allocated to advantage political interests.

The problem is not new, and its extent is staggering. Over $6.8billion is provided annually by the government in the form of grants. So many grants. So many opportunities for corruption. A cynic might think that grants are devised primarily to create a mechanism for local members to ingratiate themselves with their electorate.

What fools we are!  Our politicians are using our money to buy our votes. 

Whil...

August 10, 2018

                       

Kenneth Haynes' enquiry into the finance industry has exposed troubling ethical behaviour among those we expected should know better.

But the problems are not confined to senior executives in large corporations. As my recent talks to Rotary clubs explained, this unethical behaviour is wide spread.

Here, in the text from those talks, I sheet home the blame to bad parenting and an adolescent unwillingness to take responsibility for our own actions.

The Decline of Civi...

February 21, 2018

I read Dennis Glover’s The Last Man in Europe. Then I read Orwell's 1984 again. Then I re-read The Last Man in Europe. I appreciated it more the second time. A recent reading of 1984 puts The Last Man in Europe in context. Glover has written a masterpiece. Whilst telling the story of Orwell’s life, he details the experiences that moulded his thoughts and refreshes the messages of 1984.

The Hate speeches come from his experience hearing Oswald Mosley address a political rally. The traitor, Goldstein, is created from something he noted during the Spanish Civil War – “Nin was liquidated altho...

December 18, 2017

The high turnout and overwhelmingly positive result of Australia’s voluntary postal plebiscite on same sex marriage enabled our parliament to enact marriage equality laws with public approval. The people had spoken, and the support was clearer than if politicians had made the decision alone.  The parliament erupted with joy when the legislation passed.

However, there were concerns about the impact of the SSM bill on religious freedom. These persist. Attempts to modify the SSM bill to protect freedom of speech and religious beliefs got little support and amendments to the bill were voted down. O...

December 1, 2017

John Gapper, in an opinion piece, in The Australian Financial Review on Friday, 1 December 2017, “Facebook’s fight for the common good”,quotes extensively from Garrett Hardin, whom he describes as an ecologist and philosopher.

Unfortunately, Hardin’s discredited theories are hardly a sound basis for developing an understanding of the problems of community standards facing Facebook.

In 1968, microbiologist Garrett Hardin, a University of California professor whose specialty was population control, wrote a paper in Science entitled The Tragedy of the Commons in which he argued that community owner...

November 2, 2017

In the spirit of the famous Harvester case, ACTU secretary Sally McManus is proposing an overhaul of the national minimum wage to better account for the reasonable needs of an average sized family. The ACTU wants a “living wage” that takes into account the cost of renting a two-bedroom flat in a working-class suburb of Sydney or Melbourne, the cost of providing a balanced diet for a family of four, the cost of running a car, as well as electricity, gas, and childcare, with a little over to be able to take the family out for a meal or to a footy match. The aim is to fix the minimum wage at 60%...

October 4, 2017

I have developed a seminar to explain libertarian philosophy to a lay audience. The course draws on the work of Locke, Smith, Mises, Hayek, Nozick, Rothbard, et al. and themes from my book The Fragility of Freedom.

Our wonderful, free and prosperous society is being threatened by ideologies, from within and without, that compromise the reasons for its success.

If we are to succeed in our battle with competing ideologies, then we need to acquire an appreciation of the legacy of our Western Civilization and be determined to live up to its ideals.

Libertarian philosophy is based on the concept...

September 4, 2017

I think we should give credit to GetUp! for having the courage to withdraw its support from the petition seeking the deregistration of Dr Pansy Lai for her views on same sex marriage.

The issue at stake here is tolerance in a pluralist society.

I am confident that our society will be able tolerate loving relationships between homosexuals being called marriage.

At the same time, we must respect the rights of those who hold a traditional view of marriage. It would be intolerable to deny them the right to practice medicine, or law, or teaching because of their views.

Formerly, many societies shared c...

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