World class economy, first class prices

No doubt the Australian economy has performed well in the past decades. But for Australian consumers to benefit from this development, government needs to step out of the way and stop needlessly inflating prices. [...]

Incentives are life and death

If there was one word to sum up the whole body of economic theory, it would have to be ‘incentives.’ People act on incentives. As William Stanley Jevons (1835–82), one of the founding fathers of neoclassical economics, put it, the whole economy is ‘a calculus of pleasure and pain.’ Greece is playing out a most macabre application of incentives. [...]

Occupy what?

The Occupy Wall Street movement has polarised public opinion: Either you regard the protestors as the new political avant-garde or as just plain silly. Either you believe they have a serious message or you think they are a bunch of nutters. But what if the truth is a bit more nuanced than that? Perhaps the nutters have a point? [...]

A growing opportunity for Australia

When Kevin Rudd declared his support for the idea of a ‘Big Australia,’ it became one of the final nails in the coffin of his leadership. No wonder Julia Gillard’s first announcement as Prime Minister was to distance herself from it in favour of a so-called ‘sustainable Australia,’ whatever that may be. [...]

Patently absurd

Patents, far from protecting technological progress, have become a tool for blocking innovation. With modern patent laws, only James Watt and his heirs would have been able to construct steam engines, only the Benz family would produce cars, and only Wright Brothers Ltd. would build planes. [...]

Ingredients for successful integration

Instead of fearing migration, Australia should expand it with a rigorous screening and selection process through the points-based visa system. This is one Australian story worth repeating. [...]

Curing insanity with madness

The decline of manufacturing in Britain is a serious issue that has been encouraged by government intervention. To use another government intervention to reverse this development is trying to cure insanity with madness. [...]

Stepping in for the PM

On Monday, The Centre for Independent Studies did something that the Australian government did not deem necessary: We provided a very warm welcome to Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic. [...]

No free speech free zones

Open societies need a free exchange of ideas, however unpleasant and offensive they may be to some. Freedom of speech is empty and meaningless if you may only say what other people like to hear. [...]