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). Continue reading
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!
As editor of Australia’s only journal dedicated to advancing research in “Austrian” free-market economics and libertarian political philosophy, I invite you to browse the articles from the first issue, available for free online.
Physical copies can be ordered from Amazon for only $8. Please do contribute an article for the second edition.
‘The Economics Policies of Hong Kong… in Australia?’ – Sydney – City Extra, Shop E4, East Podium. Oct 21 @ 7pm
‘Mises Dinner’ – Melbourne – Queensberry Hotel, 593 Swanston St (cnr Queensberry St) Carlton. Oct 17 @ 6:30 PM
More details at la.org.au/meetups
Neville Kennard was one of the patron saints of Australian libertarianism and free-market economics.
As Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote, “Nev was… extremely well read, immensely curious and always full of ideas and plans. He was a hard-core Rothbardian, an uncompromising anarcho-capitalist, and a formidable intellectual fighter”.
To honour his memory, Liberty Australia has decided to hold an essay competition to be called the Neville Kennard Memorial Prize.
Who can enter?
Any Australian resident under the age of 30.
Private property rights, free enterprise and capitalism will lead to the ruination of our planet. We need the government to control the rapacious profit motive in order to save the Earth. Discuss.
Essays should be a maximum of 1500 words. Footnotes are not essential, but if you do decide to include them, they will not be included in the wordcount.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive an expenses paid trip to the Mises Seminar 2012 in Sydney held during December 1-2, and dinner with keynote speaker, Dr Walter Block (pictured right). Honorable Mentions will receive a copy of the 4-Disc Mises Seminar 2011 DVD. Both the Grand Prize Winner and Honorable Mentions may see their contributions featured in one of Liberty Australia’s publications, such as The Journal of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom, or published on the front page of our website.
The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm, November 15, 2012. Please email submissions to …
- Submitted essays must be your original creation!
- You may submit only one entry.
- Essays should be no longer than 1500 words (not including footnotes)
- Submission of writing constitutes your agreement to the Essay Contest Terms & Conditions.
- Entries should be in English.
Award winners will be announced via Liberty Australia’s official newsletter.
With many thanks to Kennards Self Storage and other donors.
I would like to cordially invite all readers to a libertarian meeting. Also attending will be David Sharp, a lawyer practicing at the Victorian Bar in Melbourne. In 1983 he was the Founding President of the Australian Adam Smith Club and has continued to play an active role in its activities since. He is the author of Economic Simplicities and writes for economics.org.au
Day/Time: August 31 at 7pm.
Venue: The Clare, 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton.
RSVP: Facebook or Meetup.