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Yearly Archives: 2017
CAN THE EUROPEAN UNION SURVIVE? – Michael James was President of the Club from 1998 to 1999. He lectured in politics at La Trobe University from 1974 to 1988. He edited Policy for the CIS from 1989 to 1993, and was the founding editor of Agenda for the ANU from 1994 to 1998.
Despite Brexit and the emergence of Eurosceptic political parties across Europe, the EU continues to pursue its project to build a bureaucratic super-state marked by heavy uniform regulation and lack of accountability.
The October edition of Laissez Faire (#122) is out
- Tribute to Club Founder David Sharp
- Citizenship and Accountability
- Re-calibration and Climate Change
- invite to the October Dinner – The Inaugural David Sharp Address – Dr Michael James on ‘Can the European Union survive’
Alan Oxley on
The Threat of Protectionism – Human Error
What’s wrong with protectionism? How about “managed trade”? How protectionist is Trump? What does China’s “One Belt One Road” imply? What are the implications of Brexit? How will this affect the rest of Asia & Australia? What effect are minor parties having in Australia? Alan Oxley will cover this and more at the dinner.
Alan Oxley is Chairman of the APEC Studies Centre at RMIT University and Managing Director of ITS Global, a consultancy which advises on trade, investment and sustainability. He was a former Ambassador to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the predecessor of the World Trade Organization. He is a regular commentator in the media and has published two books – The Challenge of Free Trade and Seize the Future. He is also Chairman of World Growth, a free market NGO.
The July edition of Laissez Faire (#121) is out
- No such thing as a Free Education
- John Stuart Mill – Champion of Liberty
- Gloves off-on Climate Change
- invite to the August Dinner – Alan Oxley on ‘The Threat of Protectionism’
The July Dinner of the Australian Adam Smith Club
Richard Morgan on
“Adam Smith and the Real World Economy”
Tuesday the 11th of July, 2017 at Boheme Restaurant Bar, 368 Bridge Road, Richmond.
Richard Morgan has a long interest in the work and philosophy of Adam Smith – his book “Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis – The relevance of Adam Smith on morality and free markets” (Connor Court 2009), was a very clear insight into the lessons to be drawn from the master. This address goes further and looks at the world of Trump and modern China.
The June 2017 Laissez Faire Newsletter is out –
- July Dinner – Richard Morgan on “Adam Smith – and his Real World Economics”
- New Booking Regime – TryBooking !
- What happens in WA – post election
DEMOCRACY’S FATAL FLAW
Democracy is widely regarded as the epitome of good government. Its virtues are lauded by politicians and prelates, journalists and judges, academics and scholars of many and varied backgrounds. As Winston Churchill, with typical wit, observed, “Democracy is the worst form of government, save for all the others”. Not everyone however would agree. Democracy and the critics thereof have existed since earliest times. Plato wrote unfavourably of democracy and foresaw the eventual fate of all democracies as tyranny or mob rule. Hans Herman Hoppe, whilst not advocating monarchy, suggests in his book, “Democracy the God that Failed”, that it was superior to democracy, against which he directs much criticism. The definition of democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner, is sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin, clearly suggesting that he did not favour it. Perhaps Franklin had in mind the threat of democracy when, on leaving the American Constitutional Convention he was asked what form of government the new USA was to have, he responded, “a republic, if you can keep it”.
In his preference for a republic and his opposition to democracy, Franklin was not alone amongst the American Founding Fathers. The second President, John Adams, asserted “Democracy never lasts long. It (more…)
Perth has doubled its population to 2 million in the last 30 years, but it hasn’t changed much. The same old families still rule the roost and anyone from across the Nullarbor Plain is known as an ‘Eastern Stater’ or ‘someone from over there.’
The propagandists for the recently defunct Liberal government will say it was a matter of ‘time,’ as in Gough Whitlam’s ‘It’s Time’ campaign of 1972. This is not true. It was a matter of the monumental stupidity of the government.
I worked in mineral exploration during the last mining boom in WA in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Then it was mainly nickel the explorers sought. This time it was mainly, though not entirely, iron ore. This time, the resource was already there, thanks to the foresight of Sir Charles Court, former Liberal Premier of WA. They just had to dig up the rocks and put the iron ore on a ship to China. For years, the iron ore mines were marginal propositions supplying mainly the Japanese market. When the China boom began, the miners, mainly BHP and Rio, and later Fortescue, were ready.
Now, I wish to make this clear. The iron ore boom was the most stupendous boom in a century. WA had seen nothing like it since the gold rush at the turn of the 20th century. With the assurance of riches never seen before, Colin Barnett’s government began a massive spending spree: new hospitals (plural), a new football stadium, which neither the Dockers nor the Eagles has as yet called ‘home’ and Elizabeth Quay. Elizabeth Quay scaled new heights of idiocy. Contractors dug a huge hole in the Esplanade, on the Swan River, and eventually, after years of effort, filled it with water. The net result? More passengers take the ferry to South Perth. Not really worth
I don’t need to remind readers that the ‘climate change’ scam has been scientifically refuted. When predictions based on scientific theory fail to materialize it is usually the end of the theory. But zombie like, the idea of imminent (but always far enough into the future not to be immediately apparent) climate change catastrophe has a life of its own and no number of facts or reality checks seem able to put a stake through it heart.
There is a psychology involved here. It takes enormous integrity of character to disagree with the underlying beliefs of all your peer groups. Most people ‘won’t go there’. I have often heard people avoid confronting the failure of the catastrophic climate change theory, by claiming that eliminating fossil fuels and using renewable (i.e. unreliable) energy is somehow a good thing anyway. Depending on their sophistication, they will waffle on about saving the planet from carbon pollution (without distinguishing carbon dioxide from real pollution) or peak oil or reliance on OPEC. Of course, nuclear power, which produces no greenhouse gasses, will never be contemplated as a replacement to fossil fuel generated energy. But that’s another story.
The Adam Smith Club will host a meeting on Tuesday the 18th of April, 2017 at Bohéme Restaurant Bar, 368 Bridge Road, Richmond.
Alan Moran has been a prominent writer on regulatory matters for thirty years. He was the inaugural head of the Australian government’s regulatory review office and researched the issues in “think tanks”. Working outside and within the Victorian Government, he was a major participant in the disaggregation of that state’s monopoly electricity business into a dozen independent parts and in the creation of what later became the National Electricity Market.
Dr Moran has written many books and articles on the interface between climate change, energy and economic well-being. These include editing and contributing to the 2015 best seller, Climate Change: The Facts. His latest book is Climate Change: Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era. Dr Moran will address the Club on both his book and more specifically the causes and consequences of the closure of the Hazelwood power station. (BYO candles in case of post-Hazelwood blackout.)