Economic Freedom

Energy Policy: the meat grinder of the poor

The outstanding success of the South Australian government of giving their people the highest power prices in the world is going to be replicated around the country.

Even as the whole nation is looking on in amazement as Jay Weatherill continues to display his incompetence and make his government a global laughing stock, other state governments are looking at imitating his policies. This is a bit like watching your friend walk down an alley, getting mugged and saying, ‘this looks fine’ and wandering down after them.

In Queensland the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced in July that Queensland would follow the lead of South Australia and Victoria thereby guaranteeing that the state would join them in the ranks of the highest power bills in the world. To quote from the Brisbane Times:

“Queensland will have zero net emissions by 2050, under a plan to drive down carbon pollution announced Read the rest

The unforgivable stupidity of the anti-banking “libertarians”

At LibertyWorks we are lucky enough to have two noted economists on our advisory board: Dr John Humphreys President of the Australian Libertarian Society (ALS), Deputy Director of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance (ATA), and a Justice of the Peace in QLD; and Darren Brady Nelson an Austrian school economist, conservative libertarian and currently the economic policy adviser to Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts. We recently published an article by Darren Nelson on fractional reserve banking that he describes as ‘legalised counterfeiting’. Dr Humphreys has a different view.

At the recent Mises Seminar in Sydney there was a speech by Chris Leithner that explicitly called for the banning of fractional reserve (FR) banking. Leithner and other Australian libertarians (including Michael Conaghan & Benjamin Marks from Liberty Australia) follow the lead of some American libertarians (Walter Block, HH Hoppe, JG Hulsmann — BHH) and argue that FR-banking is fraud and should … Read the rest

Big banks and government need each other

On 16 February 2017 the Senate established the Select Committee on Lending to Primary Production Customers to inquire and report on the regulation and practices of financial institutions in relation to primary production industries. This Rural Banking Inquiry is chaired by Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party. The Select Committee is currently scheduled to report by 18 October 2017 and submissions are accepted throughout. The Terms of Reference  specify the scope of the enquiry as follows:

“… to inquire into and report on the regulation and practices of financial institutions in relation to primary production industries, including agriculture, fisheries and forestry, with particular reference to:

  1. the lending, and foreclosure and default practices, including constructive and non-monetary default processes;
  2. the roles of other service providers to, and agents of, financial institutions, including valuers and insolvency practitioners, and the impact of these services;
  3. the appropriateness of loan
Read the rest

The Fakel Report: Finkel’s Fake Economics 2.0

This is a sequel to my article from last week entitled The Fakel Report: Finkel’s Fake Economics. Since then there have been media reports that the Turnbull ‘flip-flop’ Government is already having second thoughts about the one-and-only solid reform recommendation from the Finkel Review, that is the so called “technology neutral” Clean Energy Target (CET). This is not surprising given that only when ‘hell freezes over’ will a CET result in “lower residential and industrial electricity prices”. It is unclear, however, if they are also backing off a new federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 42 per cent in 2030.

There are a plethora of problems with the Finkel Final Report, one of the main ones being the thinly-veiled worldview fuelling this Report, that is the all-too-predictable one of climate change alarmism (including wind and solar fetish) combined with favouring government central control over competitive market freedom. … Read the rest

The Fakel Report: Finkel’s Fake Economics

LibertyWorks board member and Austrian Economist, Darren Nelson, picks apart this month’s fake news; the economic policy and global warming response recommendations made by non-climate scientist and non-economist Dr Alan Finkel.

The 200-plus page Final Report released last week Friday by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel should be renamed the Fakel Report. This is because the pseudo-analysis within it is based on Fake Economics. This is not surprising given that Dr Finkel is not an economist, nor are any of the other four members of the Review Panel. This was certainly not made any better by only around 1% of the 390 written submissions in any way questioning climate change alarmism and/or favouring sound economics. And this is in the very important context of Dr Finkel’s surprisingly honest admission in Senate Estimates last month that the impacts from Australia’s alarmist policy efforts to ‘tackle’ climate change will be … Read the rest

The Rising ‘Cost-of-Living’: Why Is It So?

Economist and LibertyWorks advisory board member, Darren Brady Nelson, expands on his previous contribution explaining the Rising Cost Living.

My recent LibertyWorks piece entitled “The Rising ‘Cost-of-Living’ is a Government Phenomenon” asserted that the drivers of the high and rising cost-of-living in Australia are all the plethora of government interventions that, not only increasingly skew the balance of ‘freedom versus control’ away from freedom, but also necessarily raise costs and prices and thus reduce growth and jobs. Key amongst these government drivers are tax, regulation and money. And key amongst the negative impacts are in energy, housing and utilities.

This piece is a prequel of sorts. It is based on my recent speech at the fifth annual Friedman Conference in Sydney Australia. It attempts to answer the question of “why is it so?” by stepping through the logic of why ‘free markets’ are economically and 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


Economist and LibertyWorks advisory board member, Darren Brady Nelson, has a few piercing comments on last night’s budget.

The former Republican President Ronald Reagan used to pejoratively refer to the Democrats in the 1980s as “tax-and-spend liberals” with a lower-case “l”. Last night Treasurer Scott Morrison in his 2017-18 Budget speech clearly earned the moniker for himself and the Turnbull Government of “tax-and-spend Liberals” with an upper-case “L”.

On the tax side of the ‘tax-and-spend’ ledger, there was a recycling of the “enterprise tax plan” which one can barely call a real tax cut with a straight face. The rest of the Budget’s tax initiatives were tax increases semi-disguised using such language as “levy” or 1984 double-speak as “reversing” and “reversal” of “savings”. Levies, for instance, were mentioned ten times. And not mentioned, of course, as removals or decreases.

On the spending side of the ‘tax-and-spend’ ledger, a … Read the rest

The Greens Energy Policy is Eco-Marxism

Do you live in Queensland?
Do you suffer from high power bills?
Never fear, The Greens are here!

Like a knight in shining green armour, they’re riding over the energy landscape on a policy steed to save you ‘up to’ $370 per year. This is great because viewing my power bill every quarter the first thing I think to myself is, ‘what would The Greens do about this’? Yes indeed, when it comes to economic management The Greens are the first people society looks to for answers.
In April they launched their energy retailing policy for Queensland called Power for the People. For those interested in seeing the videos promoting the policy you can see them here. Michael Berkman, the candidate for Maiwar and Amy MacMahon the candidate for South Brisbane, feature in the videos which give a basic outline of the ‘problem’ with energy retailers and their ‘solution’ … Read the rest