Senators who don’t think we should have a budget surplus by 2020

Need a surplus

Posted in Budget, Economics and economy | 22 Comments

Spot the 18c violation

MIRIAM MARGOLYES: People don’t like Jews. It’s not comfortable to say that and it’s not comfortable to hear it but I believe it to be true. After the holocaust, it was not fashionable or possible to be anti-Semitic because of the horrors that Jews experienced during the holocaust. But because of the actions of the State of Israel and the appalling treatment of the Israelis towards the Palestinians, and the settlements that have been built in contravention of the United Nations rulings and the support that has been given by American Jews and Australian Jews to what is going on in Israel, anti-Semitism has again reared its horrific, ugly head and anti-Semitism is as unacceptable as anti-Muslim feeling.

That was broadcast on our ABC last Monday.

Posted in Freedom of speech, Hypocrisy of progressives | 86 Comments

Is this appropriate for the Fair Work Commission?

A little bird tells me that anti-Abbott government posters are stuck to the cupboards in the kitchen of the Presidential floor down at the Fair Work Commission.  (The FWC building is that very shmick one on the south-west corner of Exhibition St and Flinders Lane.)

Now perhaps we can assume that none of the Presidential members condescend to enter the kitchen, but it seems to me that it is completely inappropriate that this regulator should have these posters displayed.

After all, the FWC is supposed to be our ”independent umpire.”

Mind you, the President, Iain Ross, has form when it comes to this sort of thing.  When he was a presidential member of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, he attended an anti-WorkChoices rally, standing side by side with Bill Shorten, then national secretary of the AWU.  In other words, Ross was attending a rally protesting a law that he was given the privileged position of administering.

What do you think?

Here is the ACTU poster:

Our rights at work are again under attack from the Abbott Government and employers.

Just last month, it became even clearer that the full-scale Productivity Commission inquiry into our rights at work could deliver cuts to penalty rates, the abolition of the minimum wage, bring back unfair individual contracts and swing even more power to the employers.

The time to stand up and fight back is now.

Let’s march together with thousands of our neighbours, workmates, friends and families at a national rally on Wednesday, 4 March. Register your attendance now.

We can’t stand by while the Abbott Government destroys our living standards by:

  • cutting wages, conditions and our rights at work,
  • slashing Medicare and hiking up the cost to see a doctor,
  • introducing $100,000 university degrees,
  • cutting the ABC and our public services,
  • cutting the pension and superannuation,
  • implementing harsh changes to unemployment benefits, and
  • cutting community services that support our most vulnerable.

If you have had enough and want to stand up for an Australia where seeing a doctor or going to university isn’t dependent on how big your bank balance is, where you have a secure job with a decent wage and where we don’t leave the next generation with less rights than we had, then join us on 4 March.

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Chris Snowdon on Plain Packaging

… confiscation of property in the name of propaganda …

Posted in Take Nanny down | 1 Comment

How to acquire a house

A question from Q&A:

Do you believe it’s fair that younger Australians who are struggling to – there are younger Australians who are struggling to afford a home, while wealthy retirees are living in multimillion-dollar homes and claiming a pension? I’m not saying that these pensioners should have to leave their homes but why should I be effectively subsidising somebody else’s inheritance when, instead of claiming a pension, they could reverse mortgage their home?

Well that is one way to get a house. Urge government to starve out the current owners, or evict them at bayonet point.

I’m wondering why these “younger Australians” don’t get jobs, work hard, save their money, buy something small, and trade their way up like everyone used to do in the old days?

Posted in Libertarians don't live by argument alone | 151 Comments

David Leyonhjelm on taxation

Posted in Taxation | 8 Comments

M. Stanton Evans has died at 80

I had known he was very ill, but M. Stanton Evans has passed away. This is from the obituary posted by Steve Hayward at Powerline which were Hayward’s own comments:

We gather tonight in a “let us now praise famous men” mode, but it is a mode distinctly uncongenial to our guest of honor.

So rather than dwell on the usual things, I thought I’d share a few of the items Stan typically leaves off his CV that were crucial and formative to many of his students and protégés.

Start with his lifestyle, as liberals would call it, or, as Stan’s mother would have said, his vices. Winston Churchill once dismissed the socialist Ramsay McDonald, who was a pacifist, a vegetarian, a non-smoker, and, worst of all, a teetotaler, by saying that McDonald had all of the virtues he abhorred and none of the vices he admired.

I think Churchill would have approved of Stan; he has all the right bad habits. . .

Stan is the only person I’ve ever known who can take Socratic irony and actually make it ironic.

Stan is, for example, a fan of America’s Founding Fathers, but does them one better: he’s not so sure that taxation with representation is such a hot idea, either.

Then there was the time in 1968, when he signed on to the McCarthy for President campaign. That lasted about 48 hours, until he discovered that the candidate was Eugene McCarthy.

I have wondered exactly where Stan got the idea to found the National Journalism Center. Back in 1970, William F. Buckley told Playboy magazine that the biggest problem facing the conservative movement was a scarcity of good writers and journalists. Stan’s founding of the NJC helped address that gap, but I don’t think he got the idea from Buckley’s Playboy interview because we all know Stan only buys Playboy for the pictures. . .

The National Journalism Center should be regarded as more than just a training ground for conservative journalists. It represents an apostolic succession of sorts, and is the kind of legacy that lasts longer and goes deeper than the printed word, whose ink will fade, whose pixels will disappear when the hard drive crashes. The larger world does not appreciate the extent to which a cadre of Stan Evans-influenced journalists would be different from writers who emerge from the name-brand journalism schools—and not just ideologically different. For one thing, we can drink more, which is saying a lot in the world of ink-stained wretches.

There was no by-the-numbers didactic instruction in Stan’s method at the NJC. Instead, his method consisted of practicing Yogi Berra epistemology, which the great Yogi summarized with his aphorism that “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

You could not help but absorb Stan’s approach to good journalism and quality writing, just by being around him, and watching how he went about his craft. I like to think Stan had a good eye for talent; after all, he invited into his realm, 30 years ago, lowlifes like myself, John Fund, and Martin Morse Wooster, and many worse after us. I tried to talk them into an NJC karaoke act here tonight, but apparently this would violate several DC laws related to animal cruelty. . .

Stan may not exactly want to lay claim to all of his apostles. But we lay claim to him. In fact, if it wasn’t for Stan and the NJC, I might well have made the dreadful mistake of getting a real job out of college. . .

His Blacklisted by History was a revelation which you should read before going on to Diana West’s American Betrayal. They will change the way you read the news, if nothing else.

Posted in Cultural Issues, Freedom of speech | 3 Comments

Just another tax on students

From The Daily Telegraph:

THE federal government has floated a secret plan with Senate crossbenchers to fine universities who overcharge students as a sweetener to get support for its stalled deregulation plans.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that at least two Senate crossbench members have been approached about Education Minister Chris Pyne’s plan, which would seek to impose a tax — of up to 20 per cent — on the amount any university overcharged for a degree.

So how is this going to work?

The government will borrow money at the long-term government bond rate to make an interest free loan to students who will then pay lots of money to universities who will then pay fines to government for overcharging students – who still get to pay the loan back including the overcharged fees. Sounds like a mechanism to record “borrowing” as “revenue” in the budget. Makes the budget look better but the taxpayers still pick up the cost of debt.

Posted in Budget, Education | 30 Comments

Wednesday Forum: March 4, 2015

Posted in Open Forum | 656 Comments

Helping Aussie battlers break into the Sydney housing market

Today I have made an order under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) for Golden Fast Foods Pty Ltd (Golden Fast Foods), to divest the established residential property at 63-67 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, in Sydney.

The house – known as ‘Villa del Mare’ – was purchased for $39 million in November 2014.

The property was bought illegally by Golden Fast Foods, which is ultimately owned by Evergrande Real Estate Group, a large company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, via a string of shelf companies including in Australia, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

Under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act (1975) foreign investors must notify the Treasurer through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing residential real estate.

Golden Fast Foods is a foreign-owned company which failed to notify FIRB of its intended purchase.

Under Australia’s foreign investment policy, foreign investment should increase Australia’s housing stock. Non-resident foreign nationals cannot buy established dwellings as homes or investments.

I made this order following advice from the Australian Government Solicitor that the purchase breached the Act. Under the Divestment Order I have issued today, the company now has 90 days to dispose of the property or the matter may be referred to the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions.

We welcome all foreign investment that is not contrary to our national interest.

Today’s action follows the announcement I made last week in relation to strengthening the enforcement of existing regulations on foreign investment in residential real estate.

That’s Joe Hockey confirming that Australia is open for business.

Posted in Economics and economy, Federal Politics | 184 Comments