Articles by Llew Cross

How restricted trade hurts people

Trade is the great bringer of peace. Frederic Bastiat once said that “If goods don’t cross borders, armies will”. Restricting trade is one of the greatest acts of self-harm the state inflicts on its people.

The nature of trade is often misunderstood. Nations don’t trade with other nations. Rather, individuals in some nations trade with individuals in other nations. It may seem trifling, but it makes great deal of difference to who bears the cost of damaging trade policies.

There are many ways in which governments all over the world restrict free trade between their citizens and those of foreign countries. Most obvious is tariff barriers. These are portrayed as forcing foreign suppliers to pay a premium to supply goods locally, which consequently makes the foreign supplier more uncompetitive in the local market, saving local jobs. But this could not be further from the truth. The cost of the tariff … Read the rest

Why individualism trumps collectivism

The debate between individualism and collectivism is complex, even without the ad hominem attacks, common straw man arguments and what seems to be deliberate misunderstanding of the principles that often come into play when these ideas are discussed.

Let’s start with definitions for the record.

Individualism is a doctrine that posits that the interests of the individual are or ought to be ethically paramount. It is also the conception that all values, rights, and duties originate in individuals.

Collectivism on the other hand is the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it. It is also a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution.

Individualism is a far more desirable moral and ethical framework to collectivism. It supports the rights of every individual to do as they please to advance their life. It doesn’t require sacrifice from any one person Read the rest

Can our old-school universities keep up?

One day when we look back through history and try to work out what happened to the universities, we may very well be looking hard at the current decade. At present the tertiary education system is not meeting the needs of students adequately. Complaints about the prohibitively high costs of tuition, overpaid vice-chancellors and senior managers, underemployment of students with certain degrees, the rejection of open intellectual inquiry, and the culture of promoting diversity of external characteristics rather than ideas, all point to a future decline in patronage of universities.

Some universities are trying to stay relevant and cater to the needs of students by differentiating their product from their competitor’s. The University of Melbourne and The University of Western Australia have both structured their degrees in a similar fashion to US schools. General undergraduate degrees precede a postgraduate specialist degree designed to separate you from the pack. The University Read the rest