Henry Ford, the American automobile manufacturer, once said that “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system for, if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.
Indeed, if there’s one thing central bankers have been successful at, it’s using obfuscation and jargon so the public finds it difficult to understand what exactly it is they do.
Even when experts try and figure out what central bankers do, a range of legal barriers prevent a complete accounting of their activities. When former Congressman Ron Paul tried to audit the US Federal Reserve System a few years ago, for example, he faced opposition from a range of economists and politicians intent on preserving the Fed’s secrecy.
In Australia, the opaqueness of the Reserve Bank’s discretion doesn’t seem to trouble many people. But it should, because the RBA wields a significant power that influences the level of prices in the economy and consequently affects our hip pocket. The inflation it creates hurts the poor – and if more people knew the RBA was the culprit behind rising prices, and that much of the erosion in purchasing power we have seen over the past 100 years was unnecessary, there is little doubt that there would be protests on the streets.
The RBA’s aversion to scrutiny can be seen in the way that it shies away from the media spotlight, preferring instead to stage-manage the appearances of its officials in carefully scripted testimonies before parliamentary committees. The agency also enjoys significant exemptions from freedom of information legislation, and furthermore, doesn’t provide reasons for its decisions in a way that allows the public hold individual board members accountable for their views (one can contrast this to the Bank of Japan where individual board members’ votes are recorded). Read more »
New Zealanders of average incomes should migrate to Australia. Okay this is a somewhat provocative statement but vast numbers of Kiwis make this exact decision. And why not? Not only will they typically enjoy higher incomes in Australia they will also pay less income tax. Even if they earn exactly the same equivalent income as what they earned in New Zealand they will find that Australia has a much less onerous income tax system. How much less onerous? Lets have a look.
The three tables below do an income tax comparison. For simplicity we can ignored the medicare levy in Australia and the ACC levy in New Zealand as they both modest and roughly the same.
The first and last table show the Australian and New Zealand tax rates respectively. The middle table is the Australian tax rates in New Zealand equivalent currency. The tables assume that an income of NZ$1 in New Zealand is equivalent to A$0.80 in Australia.
The chart below shows in New Zealand dollars the tax taken for various incomes under the two alternate income tax codes. Clearly the Australian income tax code is far more favourable for people of modest income.
The comparison is for tax rates in the 2012/13 financial year. If the New Zealand government wants New Zealand citizens to stay in New Zealand then it ought to reduce the tax rates at the lower end of the income range.
After the ALS Friedman conference in Sydney, Tom Palmer is going to be doing a lightning tour of Australia speaking in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
In Brisbane, Tom has agreed to speak at a Friedman dinner, which we are going to hold at 7pm on Friday the 12th of April back at Elio’s restaurant in Carina. I know it’s a bit out of the way for the north-side people, but the owner has always treated us well and I think the food is great. The price is $35 for all you can eat and an evening with Tom Palmer and a few dozen of Brisbane’s best & brightest freedom lovers.
When — 7pm, Friday 12 April
Where — Elio’s restaurant, 119 Winstanley St, Carina
Who — Tom Palmer & a few dozen freedom lovers
Why — to hear one of America’s best liberty advocates & have fun
Cost — $35 each for all you can eat & think
Please RSVP to John Humphreys either by e-mailing email@example.com or calling/texting 0404 044561 or messaging through facebook. Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible to ensure you’re spot. The facebook event page is: https://www.facebook.com/events/585452104817059/
About the speaker
Tom Palmer is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. and is the Executive Vice President at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Tom has travelled the world promoting free markets and liberty for decades, including smuggling books by authors like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek into the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s. Palmer is the author of many of his own books and his most recent, After the Welfare State, is being distributed around the world through student groups. He has a PhD from Oxford University in political science.
Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.
He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009, and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism, published in 2011.
Tom Palmer was also one of the original plaintiffs in Parker v. District of Columbia, which enshrined the right of DC Residents to own a handgun in their home.
I’d like to point out that the Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom – a premier forum for libertarian ideas – has a new website and facebook page. Do check it out and sign up to the mailing list to stay up-to-date!
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Australian Libertarian Society, in partnership with the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, the Institute for Public Affairs, and the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, are proud to announce the draft schedule for our first libertarian conference, hosted at the Sydney City RSL on 6/7 April 2013.
Saturday 6 April
9:00am: The Moral & Historical Case for Freedom, Dr. Tom Palmer
9:50am: Why voting doesn’t work, Dr Eric Crampton
10:30am: Morning Tea
11:00am: The Nanny State – Panel Discussion with Dr Eric Crampton, Cass Wilkinson, James Morrow, Dr Michael Keane & Tim Wilson
1:30: Libertarians in Politics – Panel Discussion with The Hon Dr Peter Phelps (LIB), Cass Wilkinson (ALP), Cr Clinton Mead (LDP), and David Russell AM QC.
3:00: Afternoon Tea
3:30 Rethinking Externalities, Professor Sinclair Davidson
4:20: How big government helps big business, Dr Charles Richardson
7:30pm: Dinner at Bar Luca with Keynote Speaker Dr Tom Palmer
Sunday 7 April
9:00am: Free Speech, Chris Berg
9:50am: Free Banking, Dr Ben O’Neill
10:30am: Morning Tea
11:00am: Practical Policy Idea – Speakers include Adam Creighton, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, Jennifer Buckingham, Dr Stephen Kirchner & Terje Petersen.
1:30: Radical Policy Ideas – Speakers include Dr Jeremy Shearmur, Brad Taylor, Sukrit Sahblok, Dr Michael Keane & Mark Hornshaw
3:00: Afternoon Tea
3:30 The Myth of Market Failure in New Technology, Science, Innovation Professor Jason Potts
4:20: Civil Society, Dr. Tom Palmer