Articles by Justin Campbell

Corporations don’t have views on same sex marriage, people do

After the news that Australia will proceed with a postal plebiscite on same sex marriage, Qantas, a long time supporter of the issue, was the first corporation to officially come out for the ‘Yes’ side. Qantas is one company on a very long list of large companies listed on the Marriage Equality website. Other companies include Telstra, Vodafone, AirBNB, the big four banks, IBM and PWC just to name a few; but, do corporations really hold views on issues of public importance or are they just the views of the executives employed to run those companies?

The economist Milton Friedman wrote in 1970 for the New York Times Magazine, “The discussions of the “social responsibilities of business” are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor. What does it mean to say that “business” has responsibilities? Only people have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this Read the rest

Australia’s deindustrialisation

High energy prices are causing Australia to deindustrialise. Last week the Australian reported that mining giant Glencore’s chief Peter Freyberg called for the abolishment of the renewable energy target, stating, “If heavy industry is to continue operating in Australia, it will have to be exempted as it is currently bearing the brunt of the crisis given the high percentage of energy within its overall cost structure,” Over the last Australia’s energy prices have gone from being one the cheapest in world to one the highest. This is unfortunate since many of Australia’s competitive export industries are dependent on cheap energy.

At present Australia has a renewable energy target (RET)  of 24% to be achieved by 2025. The recent Finkel report recommended this be increased to 42% by 2030. Australia generates 14% of its electricity through renewable energy and already consumers have seen energy prices increase dramatically. This has has Read the rest

Won’t somebody please think of the children!

Most of us have memories of walking to school. It was a small step towards independence on the long journey toward becoming an adult. We had to prove to our parents that we were capable of crossing the street properly, that we knew what to do in the event of stranger danger, and that we could be trusted to actually go to school. Along the way in early spring, many of us dodged swooping magpies, and yet we survived having grown from the experience. That experience is denied to today’s children.

It may come as a surprise to many, but in Queensland children are now banned from walking to school unaccompanied. Section 364a of Queensland’s criminal code states under the title “Leaving a child under 12 unattended”:

  1. A person who, having the lawful care or charge of achild under 12 years, leaves the child for an unreasonable time without making
Read the rest

It’s time for Labor voters to pay for their fair share

It now looks like that Labor and the Greens will support a tax increase for people earning above $85,000 a year, rejecting the Government’s proposed universal increase of the medicare levy from 2% to 2.5% Once again, those who voted for big government are nowhere to be seen when the bill arrives. All those people who gave a Gonski and said, “We’ve have an obligation to fully fund the NDIS” have gonskied.

The great 19th century French economist Frédéric Bastiat said that, “The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.” As it turns out all the people who vote Labor, the Greens, Nick Xenophon or Jacqui Lambie don’t like paying taxes. How odd. It’s almost as if these people want the state to steal from others and transfer their income to them. It’s always Labor who talk about people paying … Read the rest

The great renewable energy swindle

Throughout history there have been some great swindles. There’s been Perth Mint swindle, the original Ponzi scheme and now there’s the Renewable Energy Target where billions of dollars are effectively transferred from low and middle income households, to high income households in the form of energy subsidies.

The difficulty with the Renewable Energy Target is that few people understand it, and the people who do are usually the one’s making money off it. It’s a classic case of diffused costs and distributed benefits. The average person simply doesn’t have the incentive to understand the RET in any detail; by the time the average person discovers the true impact of the policy their electricity bill has already skyrocketed and it’s too late.

After all, who doesn’t like renewable energy? It’s clean, it’s green and it’s saving the planet. What’s not to like? Surely, there’s nothing wrong with having a target? Few Read the rest

Should Australia subsidise clean coal?

In the last week clean coal has been back in the news with energy minister Josh Frydenberg looking to Japan as an example for Australia. Since the Fukushima disaster Japan has replaced most of its nuclear capacity with new clean coal/ low emissions technology. With much of Australia’s existing power infrastructure due for replace, its large coal reserves and the relative infant state of renewable energy technologies clean coal seems like the perfect solution to Australia’s energy problems. But, is clean coal just a pipedream? Should Australia be subsidising it?

Australia has set the goal of reducing its emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. Since the repeal of the unpopular carbon tax Australia’s primary method of achieving these reductions has been a 23.5% renewable energy target by 2020. In addition to this various State governments have set even more ambitious RETs such as Queensland 50% target … Read the rest

Brexit hero: Daniel Hannan lunches with Libertyworks

LibertyWorks members caught up with Daniel Hannan when he briefly stopped over in Brisbane as part of a two week visit to Australia.  Hannan was a key member of the official Brexit leave campaign and is the author of ‘Why Vote Leave’. He also has worked as a Journalist for the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. In addition to his role in Brexit Daniel Hannan has used the power of the internet to spread the positive message of liberty and free trade to a global audience. He continues to be an articulate and ethical defence of liberty.

LibertyWorks members had the opportunity to ask Hannan about his thoughts on Brexit, the future for global trade the relation between Brexit and the election of Trump. From his answers it was obvious that he is passionate about the cause of global trade and the moral argument for it. He rightly pointed out … Read the rest

Queensland Government drops 1am lock out laws

Justin Campbell discusses the Queensland Government’s back down on 1am lockout laws.
Today Annastacia Palaszczuk MP announced that Queensland will not go ahead with a scheduled 1am lock out, instead choosing to introduce mandatory scanning of ids.

LibertyWorks congratulates Keep Queensland Open and No Curfew on a successful campaign. Lockout laws are collective punishment for the crimes a few. People have the right to enjoy a night out with their friends with government interference.

The recent resignation of Mike Baird should be a warning to all governments of the consequences of pursuing heavy handed nanny state policies.

 … Read the rest

You’re not selfish for wanting to keep what’s yours

Often in political discourse those who argue for fiscal restraint are accused of being selfish. Don’t support higher taxes? Stop being so greedy. Don’t think public money should be spent subsidising other people’s lifestyle choices? ‘Well you’re selfish!’ they squeal. But, what if those who talk the most about compassion and fairness are actually the selfish ones? What if their arguments about fairness are nothing more than a disguise for their own self interest? Is it selfish to keep what’s yours?

For many of us these attitudes go back to the lessons we learnt as a child. As children we were taught to share with others. The concept of sharing can be divided into two broad categories, the first is voluntary, where one child voluntarily shares his toys with another child. The classic example is letting the other child have equal time on the Playstation. The second kind of sharing … Read the rest