Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog.
David Leyonjhelm speaking on free speech in the Senate yesterday.
Dan Mitchell on the war on drugs, specifically laws on money laundering, and the cost of laws and regulations which don’t achieve their purpose. Dan’s Thanksgiving special, a Keynesian turkey from the OECD. In pursuit of more growth!
Is the OECD now recommending corporate tax rate reductions? A flat tax? Entitlement reform? Elimination of wasteful departments, agencies, and programs? A spending cap?
Don’t be silly. This is the OECD. Some of the professional economists are sensible and competent, but major policy initiatives almost always are determined by the high-level hacks who crank out proposals designed to give cover to politicians that want ever-more taxes and spending.
So when the bureaucrats in Paris suggest “a stronger fiscal policy response,” they’re actually advocating for more government. Which is exactly what they did back in February. And what they’ve been repetitively doing all during the Obama Administration. I’m not joking.
George Orwell’s description of the sandal-wearing class, or sandalistas as Gerard Henderson calls them. In his 1937 book The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell defended “the ordinary, decent person” against “the intellectual book-trained socialist”. He wrote that the latter:
… type is drawn, to begin with, entirely from the middle class, and from a rootless town-bred section of that middle class at that. … It includes … the foaming denouncers of the bourgeoisie, and the more-water-in-your-beer reformers of whom [George Bernard] Shaw is the prototype, and the astute young social-literary climbers … and all that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking towards the smell of “progress” like flies to a dead cat.
A great column from Don Aitkin. A nice analysis of the obsession of the progressive left with their favorite things.
One of my favourite columnists (no names needed — I’m not pursuing individuals) has written to suggest that we are likely to see the rise of a fascist dictatorship in the US…
But what caught my eye especially in the column was the following. “The challenge [at a meeting in the USA about health-care]…was to develop a public health manifesto in the period before the swearing-in of the American President-elect. In reality, such agendas should be supported by all international organisations and all people of good social conscience who are concerned about divisiveness, inequity, misogyny, ignorance, hate, racism, marginalisation and persecution of minorities.” Why on earth, in reality, should the rest of the world support an American health manifesto? There is a thumpingly large assumption in all this, if you think about it, which is that these concerns are superior to everything else. And they can’t be, for everyone. Other Americans have other concerns about jobs, about schooling, about retirement, about falling living standards, about immigration — about all sort of things.
So I ask again: why did the columnist think all people of good social conscience in Australia should be supporting the development of a public health manifesto in the USA? The answer, I think, is that he and all right-thinking people — those who see themselves as progressive, who see the world as full of problems that need to be solved tomorrow, who listen to and watch the ABC and read the ‘better newspapers’, and so on — see these as the real issues in today’s society. Other things, like defence, jobs, poor transport, the size of the debt, access to water for irrigation, suicides in regional areas, the creeping strangulation by red tape in many parts of our life — these aren’t the real issues, and they are boring too, unless they are connected to the real issues, which are those the columnist listed above. Moreover, there is an assumption that all these issues are solvable, by government action and a groundswell of popular support. But they’re not.
Think about it. Take divisiveness. What exactly are we talking about here? It’s a new word, though the Latin root is part of a lot of English words. Even the Internet dictionaries make it only the noun version of divisive, and bring in notions of discord and unrest. I don’t know what the columnist had in mind. I wasn’t cheering for Tony Abbott’s Team Australia, when it came out, but he was presumably asking us to not be divisive. I might be concerned about it if I knew what it applied to. If it means reacting to immigrants, or Jews, or Muslims, or soccer fans, then it’s been about for a long time. How governments can stop it I don’t know. What it has to do with a public health manifesto isn’t clear either.
Getting straight on the difference between free trade, internationalisation and globalism.
At a time when most scientists think that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch – the anthropocene – characterised by the influence of a single species (ours) on the major biogeochemical cycles, perhaps we should consider a new terminology? So, welcome to the ‘trumpocene‘ where the future depends not on the decisions of a single species, but on a single member of that species: Donald Trump. Unless, of course, this new chapter turns out to be just a sub-period of the anthropocene (a ‘stage’ as the geologists have it). In which case, it will be better to talk of the ‘trumpenian“.
Higher education. Are we producing too many PhDs?
Books and culture. All kinds of specials and academic remainders from Clouston and Hall. What are the mosques up to? Disappointed people throwing up over Trump in London, and some literary commentary as well in the London Review of Books. The gruesome origin of the classic fairy tales.
Once upon a time, long before Gus Gus and Prince Charming, fairy tales were brimming with murder and torture. True love’s kiss and happily ever afters were child’s play for the writers that came before Walt Disney. Giambattista Basile, Hans Christian Andersen, J.M. Barrie and the Grimm Brothers much preferred a haunting tale over a romantic one, but a few of their most harrowing details have been lost in translation. Do you know Cinderella’s wicked secret? How did Sleeping Beauty really wake up, and what’s the price for the Little Mermaid’s legs? What happened to Snow White’s evil queen? Do you know why Peter Pan’s Lost Boys never grew up? Keep reading to find out…
Around the traps, what the usual suspects are up to. Mark Steyn . Spiked? . The Spectator, the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, The Institute for Public Affairs IPA. The Centre for Independent Studies. The Sydney Institute. And Jo Nova.