Here’s a letter to The American Conservative (HT Craig Kohtz):
Pat Buchanan repeats his familiar litany against free trade and immigration (“Whose Country Is It, Anyway?” Sept. 19). That litany boils down to a simple formula: the U.S. economy declines as American consumers gain better access to lower-priced goods and services, and as American producers gain better access to lower-cost means of production.
In short, competition creates poverty, while monopoly creates wealth.
Economists have repeatedly and utterly debunked such claims for the alleged marvels of monopoly power. I’ll not here repeat any such debunking. Instead, I merely highlight one internal inconsistency in Mr. Buchanan’s own arguments.
He frequently asserts that 19th-century America’s policy of relatively high tariffs, along with its impressive economic growth, proves that protectionism promotes prosperity. End of story; full stop; no further analysis is necessary. Fact A’s simultaneous existence with fact B proves that A caused B.
Well, 19th-century America also had open immigration. So Mr. Buchanan ought to join the ranks of those of us who support a return to that policy. After all, according to the tenets of his own epistemology, the mere fact that booming 19th-century America had open immigration proves that open immigration promotes – or at least doesn’t hamper – vibrant economic growth.
Donald J. Boudreaux
UPDATE: And, in fact, the evidence does seem to indicate that open immigration- unlike protectionism – played a significant role in promoting economic growth in the latter half of 19th-century America.
… is from page 133 of economic historian Stuart Bruchey’s 1988 book The Wealth of the Nation: An Economic History of the United States:
In my view, there is something to be said for the suggestion that the main attention of the Congress during the years 1888-1890 was fixed on the tariff, that discussion of trusts was frequently interwined with it, and that since some opponents of the tariff had raised the cry that the tariff was the “mother of the trusts,” Congress enacted an antitrust bill to weaken opposition to the tariff.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (11:41 am)
I’m told there are two more boats here, or nearly, with some 100 people on board. Soon to be confirmed.
So that’s another day of misery for Julia Gillard.
(Thanks to the reader who knows who he is.)
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor confirms:
Overnight, Australian authorities have gone to the assistance of one vessel in international waters and Border Protection Command has intercepted another vessel inside Australia’s contiguous zone.
The vessel assisted was reported to be in an area approximately 100 nautical miles north of Christmas Island in the Indonesian search and rescue region… Initial indications suggest there are 66 passengers and two crew on board.
Additionally HMAS Albany, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted a suspected irregular entry vessel north east of Christmas Island early this morning....Initial indications suggest there are 60 passengers and three crew on board.
Iranians have worked out that there’s a catch-22 that means they can stay if they just touch our shore, and that includes the trouble-makers:
...the Gillard Government has been urged to take a stronger stand against failed Iranian asylum seekers, many of whom are thought to be causing much of the unrest in the nation’s detention camps.
The West Australian understands the Government has been told by senior officials that it must rethink its approach to handling the growing number of problem detainees in the camps, with authorities warning someone could soon be killed unless a firmer line is taken....It is feared that police responding to rioting and unrest may eventually be left with no choice but to use lethal force to protect their colleagues....
And authorities strongly suspect some of the Iranians denied refugee status have military backgrounds, given the group drills they have been observed performing in exercise yards.
More Iranians have made their way to Australia this year by boat than any other nationality, with 950 asylum seekers arriving. People from Afghanistan come a close second…
Many of these Iranians are now on the “negative pathway” for their visa assessment, meaning they will probably be denied a refugee visa.
Julia Gillard says the latest boats show that Tony Abbott should pass her amendments to rescue her Malaysian solution, and that any boats to come are his responsibility.
Question: so whose responsibility are these two boats?
Rob Oakeshott offers a deal to get Gillard’s fix to the Malaysian deal through the House of Representatives - but not the Senate, unless the Greens or Coalition switch:
NSW independent Rob Oakeshott will move an amendment to the Government’s bill which would entrench in law the regional co-operation strategy - managed by the United High Commission for Refugees - to deal with asylum seekers.
The Government will support the amendment and expects it will also get the backing of other cross benchers such as Tony Windsor, Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (10:45 am)
An important skirmish in the cultural war:
Police have issued several on-the-spot fines since the ban came into effect in April but these are the first court-issued fines, with the women vowing to appeal their case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights…
(Thanks to reader Frank.)
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (10:32 am)
This picture of President Barack Obama and other leaders at the Open Government Partnership event at the United Nations says an awful lot about Obama. I suspect the President of Mongolia could explain it best.
(Thanks to reader Terry.)
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (10:19 am)
The European Commission Joint Research Centre says all that cutting of carbon dioxide isn’t achieving much:
Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the main cause of global warming – increased by 45 % between 1990 and 2010, and reached an all-time high of 33 billion tonnes in 2010. Increased energy efficiency, nuclear energy and the growing contribution of renewable energy are not compensating for the globally increasing demand for power and transport, which is strongest in developing countries.
It’s odd that this explosion of emissions over the past 20 years hasn’t caused a huge rise in temperature over the past decade:
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (10:16 am)
Does Al Gore inflate his ratings figures like he inflates global warming alarms?
It was called ‘24 Hours of Reality’, but Al Gore’s latest climate change campaign appears to have come up against a very inconvenient truth.
The former vice president had said that his day-long online marathon of talks on the environment on Thursday had been watched by as many as 8.6million people.
But it has now been claimed that the number of people logging on for the highly publicised presentations that were streamed around the world was closer to 17,000 people.
(Thanks to reader Craig.)
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (10:01 am)
Less snow at Spencer’s Creek tells Anthony Sharwood that man is warming the globe:
OK, so this isn’t scientific, but who cares?
But as someone who has not missed an Australian snow season as either visitor or resort employee for 31 years now, the rate of snow decline just feels wrong… In short, and to paraphrase the movie The Castle, “it’s the vibe”.
And it’s also the vibe to say no one has been scaremongering, other than the scaremongers:
Now, no one’s saying the snow is going to disappear entirely this century, as predicted by a 2003 CSIRO report with a distinctly doomsday tone. But slowly, it’s going.
(Thanks to reader Mark.)
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (09:44 am)
This sliming of Sophie Mirabella seems to me rather vindictive. It strikes me as an attempt by her former lover’s family to use a public shaming to get from her what they might not get from court action.
Naturally, the Leftist Age devotes huge space to it that they have refused to give to another politician’s relationship to a past lover - a relationship involving a lot more money and far more questionable judgements.
But, of course, Julia Gillard is of the Left - and has more power to punish.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (09:15 am)
Bravo to the West for turning their back to evil, but how alarming that such a man leads a once-great nation:
THE United States has led a mass walkout of the UN General Assembly as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched an outspoken attack on Western nations. The Iranian leader again cast doubt on the origins of the Holocaust and the September 11, 2001 attacks and criticised the United States for killing Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden rather than bringing him to trial.
European countries use the Holocaust as an excuse to pay “ransom to the Zionists,” he said. The “diabolical” aims of the West are the cause of wars and the financial crisis, Ahmadinejad stormed.
In a repeat of walkouts at the United Nations and other international events in recent years, a US diplomat monitoring the speech in the UN General Assembly left halfway through the 20-minute discourse.
The 27 European Union nations then followed in a coordinated protest move.
“Mr Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories,” said US mission spokesman Mark Kornblau.
And, of course, he’s a Truther:
The Iranian leader accused the US of using the “mysterious” September 11 attacks as a “pretext” to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (09:03 am)
Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson says Julia Gillard is so incompetent that she probably even leaked yesterday’s story about Kevin Rudd’s travel expenses:
How is it possible that Labor could get to a point where it was out-rednecking the Coalition on refugees?… Now Labor brings in legislation that nobody wants into a parliament certain to reject it. .: it is almost as if the government wants to keep feeling the pain of failure....
All of this happens in the week that Newspoll comes out and says Labor’s primary vote is down to 26 per cent… Leadership speculation is inevitable in this climate of confusion and desperation. Kevin Rudd is the name on every journalist’s lips…
Rudd, of course, is doing nothing to dampen down this speculation and no doubt he will be emboldened by that stupid leak to The Daily Telegraph. If the Prime Minister or her office had workshopped for a month to find the most ham-fisted, clumsy way to leak a damaging story on Rudd’s largesse on his overseas trips, they couldn’t have been silly enough to come up with this. This one had the PM’s fingerprints all over it…
Rudd always had some supporters and the prospect of losing 40 seats has seen that support base grow from about 10 to somewhere in the early 20s.
(UPDATE: On Sky News, Richardson backs off his allegation, accusing Gillard of no more than stupidity in having her office commit to writing a rebuke best done over the phone.)
Talking about finding ways to aggravate Kevin Rudd:
Mr Rudd’s proposal to attend the red-carpet G’Day USA event in New York and Los Angeles was submitted in November last year, only two months after he was appointed Foreign Minister. But it was met with a brick wall from Ms Gillard…
Ms Gillard sent Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson instead to rub shoulders with Australian and international stars and models such as Jess Hart and Rachael Taylor and John Travolta…
A written response by the Prime Minister two weeks ago to a Coalition Senate question on notice revealed ... “A number of ministers, including the Foreign Minister proposed to attend an Australian tourism promotion event and undertake related meetings in the US in January 2011...It was decided the Minister for Tourism should attend.”
Mr Rudd’s office yesterday said even if it had been approved, he would not have been able to attend because of the Queensland floods.
It was, of course, financially prudent to send only one minister to this glorified junket. It was not politically prudent to have Rudd now made to look like a grasper put in his box by Gillard - even though Gillard was quite right to try to stem his jet-setting ways.
The Coalition has created a lot of mischief - successfully - by betraylng a confidence and peddling hotly contested rumors:
A FEDERAL Labor backbencher has outed herself as the MP Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was referring to while rumours circulated in Canberra that foreign minister Kevin Rudd was calling colleagues to test support for a leadership challenge…
However, NT Labor Senator Trish Crossin has vehemently denied Mr Rudd spoke to her this week about a return to the ALP leadership, saying the call actually took place three or four weeks ago.
Senator Crossin said the former prime minister talked about an Aboriginal football team, of which he is the patron…
CLP Senator Nigel Scullion, also from the NT, revealed himself as a witness to the conversation, which he said happened on Tuesday.
“We had a broad ranging conversation as one does over a couple of bottles of wine and as part of that conversation there was an indication that the person she’d been speaking to when I came into the room was in fact Kevin Rudd, who talked about whether he was going to run or not run,” Senator Scullion told the Nine Network.
“And she said ‘Well, I think he’s a bit reluctant to do those sort of things but he appears only to have ... he’s only nine votes short or something.”
Rudd denies he’s ringing MPs, and I suspect he’d indeed be circumspect:
Mr Rudd, who is in New York for UN meetings, yesterday categorically ruled out angling to retake the Labor leadership, amid rumours he was testing party numbers to unseat Ms Gillard.
The Foreign Minister said yesterday that claims he had been talking to Labor colleagues about a possible leadership challenge were incorrect…
On Wednesday, Coalition MPs were spreading rumours that Mr Rudd, who has recently ended a two-month convalescence from heart surgery, had been “working the phones” from New York. It is understood Mr Rudd has not been canvassing support, but several MPs previously hopeful of a Gillard recovery have confirmed they believe she will be unable to recover from her long period of poor polling, particularly while Mr Abbott confounds progress on the asylum-seeker issue. It is understood several MPs are promoting Mr Rudd among their colleagues.
But Dennis Shanahan is certain:
It has begun. The destabilisation of Julia Gillard’s leadership is under way, there is no knowing where it will end or what the result will be, but be in no doubt - it has begun.
Phillip Coorey hears much the same:
During the last fortnight of Parliament, MPs, especially those in marginal seats, say they have been approached by colleagues loyal to Mr Rudd and told that they would lose their seats if there was not a change.
‘’I was told ‘if you want to keep your seat, you need to change’,’’ one MP told the Herald…
‘’The atmosphere is despairing but the speculation is low key,’’ said one MP who believes change to be inevitable but not soon. ‘’It will happen, the question is when.’’
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (07:18 am)
But I’m sure the Government’s costings on the carbon dioxide tax’s effect on the entire economy are more accurate:
Working parents will typically be charged at least $20 a week more for childcare from January, despite federal government calculations that the quality reforms would cost parents 57 cents a week, rising to $8.67 a week by 2014.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (07:04 am)
A NEW history curriculum must be delayed because it is insulting to indigenous people and in need of critical improvements, the National Sorry Day Committee says.
The committee says the curriculum does not include enough study of the stolen generations and the effects of colonisation…
Perhaps more indeed should be taught about tne National Sorry Day - including the committee promoting it. For instance, children should know that a co-patron of the committee, Lowitja O’Donoghue, claimed to have been stolen as a child when she was not. We should also teach children that so hard is it to discuss the truth about our past that the entire nation held a sorry day for Aboriginal children stolen from their parents for racist reasons, even though no one has yet been able to name even 10 such cases.
Teach this, too, about an industry of victimhood:
Even the then Bracks Government’s Stolen Generations Taskforce, chaired by Aboriginal spokesman Jim Berg, conceded there had been “no formal policy for removing children” from Aboriginal parents in the state. Indeed, while the Taskforce could find 36 organisations helping the state’s “stolen generations”, it could not find one truly stolen child, even though it ran advertisements pleading for them to come forward.
That is the true message of Sorry Day.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (06:58 am)
Another failure for the two women:
CHRISTINE Nixon’s book, ‘Fair Cop’, has failed to make the bestsellers list, despite extensive media coverage and promotional events across the country.
The latest Nielsen BookScan figures show 4300 copies of Ms Nixon’s memoir have sold since Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched the book on August 3.
Actually, it’s also a flop for a third woman, Melbourne University Press head Louise Adler, who seems to commission books by the truckload - perhaps more than is wise.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (06:52 am)
Does anyone really know if the West is sinking or just bouncing?
INVESTORS have staged a global flight from risk that sent US stocks plummeting and 10-year Treasury yields to 1940s levels, after a gloomy outlook by the Federal Reserve renewed fears of a global economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 391.01 points, or 3.51 per cent, to 10,733.83, as investors barrelled out of stocks and into “safe” assets like the US dollar, which surged.
The vulnerable Australian dollar had dropped to US97.62 cents by 6.20am AEST… The local currency has fallen about 12 per cent since its post-float peak of $US1.1081, touched on July 27.
In response to the steep fall on Wall Street, the Australian share price index futures contract fell 71 points, suggesting the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 will decline about 1.8 per cent in early trade.
The US blue-chip measure fell more than 500 points in late trading, averting its lowest close in a year with a late-session lift....
A weak reading on manufacturing in China contributed to the slowdown fears. Adding to the grim mood was a lack of appreciable progress in containing Europe’s debt crisis, which has weighed on markets for months.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (06:49 am)
Labor senator Doug Cameron on ABC Radio’s The World Today on September 2:WE should stop making asylum-seekers the problem and vilifying asylum-seekers. It’s not their problem that the only way they can get here is through people-smugglers.
Mark Latham in The Australian Financial Review yesterday.
NORMALLY, when families are killed, as many were on the cliffs of Christmas Island last December and in scores of other boatpeople drownings, it is regarded as a problem. Not for Cameron, however. He sees no problem in asylum-seekers bypassing United Nations processing centres and paying people-smugglers large amounts of money to sail to Australia. Apparently he is untroubled by the use of ramshackle vessels for this task. Cameron and his colleagues must be incredibly, indeed barbarically, stubborn not to abandon the left-wing shibboleth of onshore processing.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 23, 11 (05:57 am)
Different NSW Government, same old stuff:
A STATE government minister was accused of a gay sex act in public but police will not take the matter further because the people who first made the allegation declined to make a complaint.
Premier Barry O’Farrell’s office said the minister was “ready to roll” with lawyers and mount defamation action if he was named. He denied the allegation, first aired on Channel 9.
But the consolation is that this is an unproven allegation about conduct that the complainants themselves thought not worth investigating anyway.