WHAT do carbon emissions and red tape have in common? They are both unwanted by-products. Carbon emissions result from the use of energy, whereas red tape is caused by regulation. Since both of them are a kind of pollution, there is no reason we should treat them differently. [...]
Considering all evidence, perhaps being a leftie is not such a clever idea after all. That is the conclusion of a number of sociological studies. [...]
IN his masterpiece, The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek considered the follies of mistaken policies to conclude: "We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish." If only Kevin Rudd heeded this advice, his much-televised apologies for the government's insulation fiasco and other policy blunders would be more credible.
Greece's budget problems are not just a worry for this small economy at the periphery of the European Union. It is an acute embarrassment to European elites that pushed through monetary union for political reasons. If they had only listened to economic advice they would have spared their countries a costly economic adventure. [...]
The larrikin image certainly has a place in Australian popular culture, but it should not be allowed to damage our business relations or prospects. Do international managers think of Australia when deciding about business relocations or investment decisions? Or are we just an exotic holiday destination? [...]
Price increases in any other market are called inflation, but when house prices go up the market is said to be healthy. But house price increases are only shifting wealth from non-owners to owners. Rising houses prices never create wealth. In fact, they make tenants wishing to buy property worse off. [...]
The Australian government should be at the forefront of switching to publishing its research outcomes online. Our academics have nothing to lose and our universities would surely find better use for the money saved on costly journal subscriptions. [...]
Angela Merkel's confirmation as Chancellor could at first look like a sign of political continuity. But the Christian Democrats' switch of coalition partner from the Social to the Free Democrats is more than an exchange of adjectives. For Merkel and her party, this is the now-or-never chance to get serious with economic modernisation. [...]
Neo-liberalism is a far richer, more thoughtful concept than it is mostly perceived today. To those criticising neo-liberalism today, the answer may well be just that: we need more of this kind of neo-liberalism that sets a good framework for a free economy. What we would need less of is only the rhetorical abuse of neo-liberalism for political purposes.
In an email debate, David Hetherington and Oliver Hartwich discuss the coming budget, whether the Government's stimulus package is wise and sustainable, and what Treasurer Wayne Swan should drink on budget night. [...]