Friday, August 31, 2018

Gary D. Libecap: The Consequences Of Land Ownership

“If a man owns a little property, that property is him.…it is part of him….in some ways he’s bigger because he owns it.”
—John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath,
Property rights are the most fundamental institution in any economy and society. They determine who makes decisions about valuable resources and who captures the economic gains from those decisions; they mold the distribution of income, wealth, and political influence; they set time horizons and investment incentives; and they define who will take part in markets. These attributes are well recognized among economists for spurring economic growth.
But economists have missed another equally important characteristic of private property rights that has long been emphasized in philosophical, legal, and historical literatures and is captured in the quote from John Steinbeck above. Individual owners are more confident, self-reliant, and entrepreneurial than non-property owners. Where access to property is widespread, politics are more stable. Owners have a stake in the existing political regime. 

GWPF Newsletter: Australian Govt Promises To Abandon Green Subsidies & Ignore Climate Targets

Climate Change Action Off The Agenda Under Morrison Government

In this newsletter:

1) Australian Govt Promises To Abandon Green Subsidies & Ignore Climate Targets To Bring Down Energy Costs
The Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2018

2) Climate Change Action Off The Agenda Under Morrison Government
The New Daily, 30 August 2018

Phil McDermott: The Bed Tax is a Bad Tax

Auckland Council has introduced a tax on properties providing online accommodation services by way of a targeted rate. This a bad tax and a bad precedent. If we think about it, the only rationale must be to raise more revenue to reduce the Council’s fiscal risk (more on that below), and to protect the accommodation sector. 

Distorting the tax system

New Zealand has a simple tax system based on general income and consumption taxes and property rates. Government has long resisted targeted taxes. Yet that is precisely what this new rate is - a bed tax. It is aimed at households supplementing their income through renting spare capacity. But the income raised in this way is already subject to income tax –Airbnb and other the peer-to-peer platforms ensure that the income earned is transparent.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Clive Bibby: The Forestry Industry - Saviour or Scourge

I have never claimed to be an authority on anything much but, just like a number of this column's readers, l have endured many experiences over a varied career that have helped to fashion some of the more informed opinions l now hold.

It is also true that my most strongly held convictions are based having had the opportunity to witness all sides of an issue, argument, event - call it what you will.

That is as it should be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: Five Policies to Improve Our Future

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we reflect on the crucial importance of a country’s public policy framework and suggest five policy changes that would transform New Zealand’s future, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Kerry McDonald outlines the impact of two decades of shocking political leadership, and our poll asks whether you would support a nation-wide referendum on the future of the Maori seats..

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

GWPF Newsletter: Angela Merkel Rejects New Climate Targets

Merkel Allies Pressure German PM To Keep Coal Plants Running For Next 30 Years

In this newsletter:

1) Angela Merkel Rejects New Climate Targets
Channel NewsAsia, 27 August 2018 

2) German Chancellor Now Opposes Climate Targets She Originally Proposed
Watts Up With That, 28 August 2018 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Brian Balfour: 7 Things I'd Do if I Wanted to Keep Poor People Poor

Spoiler: we're already doing all of these things.
If I wanted to keep poor people poor, there are several government policies I would favor. Let's count them down.
For starters, I would advocate for a robust and ever-expanding welfare state—programs like Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bob Edlin: So what have they done with our money this month? Let’s check it out…

Point of Order has been keeping an eye on how taxpayers’ money has been spent – or given away – by the Ardern Government over the past few weeks.
Ministers typically get a warm glow from announcing spending decisions, grants or the establishment of new troughs within the authority of their portfolios.
Here’s what our check of their press statements shows they have announced so far this month – 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull Ousted Over Climate Policy Fiasco

Global Surge In Coal Use Scuttling Climate Change Efforts

In this newsletter:

1) Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull Ousted Over Climate Policy Fiasco
CNN, 24 August 2018
2) Divisions Over Climate Policy That Brought Down Australia’s Turnbull
The Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

Clive Bibby: Another Unfortunate Experiment

The death recently of Warwick Rodger, the former editor of Metro magazine during a time when his magazine featured exclusive coverage of what became known as " The unfortunate experiment" is a timely reminder of what can happen when people in authority abuse their position in order to justify an unproven theory. 

While this country is indebted to Warwick Rodger, Sandra Coney and others for exposing this rotten episode in our nation's history, it is worth reflecting on whether we have actually learned much from the experience.

Given the freedom given to the Greens as part of an agreement to ensure the Government survives, it would appear that from a political perspective at least, the trifling with people's lives that chacterised Hubert Green's activities is no longer the sea anchor halting any further abuse that we had hoped for.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: Claiming Back Our Rights

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the importance of speaking freely and we ask why research in New Zealand is being increasingly stifled by race-based politics, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Bob Edlin exposes the possibility that all research undertaken in this country will need to comply with the Treaty of Waitangi, and our poll asks whether the Treaty of Waitangi should be included in the new National Research Charter that is being developed for New Zealand.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Frank Newman: Unlocking leasehold land

This week, a bouquet for the Napier City Council (NCC). It has decided to sell it's industrial leasehold land. It is doing so because of its concerns the leasehold land is holding back development. Those concerns are not unique to Napier. They apply to most provincial cities, including Whangarei.

Most of the ground leases around the country are legacy properties created by local councils or state owned organisation in days long ago, usually through land reclamation.

The NCC owns 74 leasehold properties, worth about $34 million. That portfolio generates about $1.6m a year in rental income a year.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Nicholas Kerr: Socialism’s apologists ignore Venezuela’s human tragedy

Supporters of socialism have taken to suggesting that the human tragedy unfolding in Venezuela has nothing to do with socialism, rather it’s the result of the dictatorships of former President Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro. In their view, dictatorships lead to the deprivation we’re witnessing, not socialism. They’re confusing types of government and economic theories.

Dictatorships or authoritarian regimes don’t always lead to economic misery. We only have to look to Venezuela’s south to see that’s true. Chile was under a dictatorship for 17 years, yet President Pinochet pursued free market economic policies that, in spite of the (inexcusable) tyranny and unchecked power, lifted huge numbers of Chileans out of poverty, the exact opposite of what is taking place under Maduro.

Viv Forbes: Drought Proofing a Dry Continent

Earth is a blue watery planet.

70% of its surface is covered by oceans of salt water, some of which are extremely deep. These oceans contain about 97% of Earth’s water. Another 2% is locked up in snow, ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% of Earth’s surface water in inland seas, lakes, rivers and dams. We have plenty of water, but not much to drink.

In addition to these vast surface water supplies, water vapour is the fourth most abundant gas in the atmosphere, after nitrogen (76%), oxygen (21%) and Argon (1%). Moisture in the atmosphere varies from almost zero over deserts and ice caps up to 4% over the wet tropics. (Carbon dioxide is a miniscule 0.04%).

GWPF Newsletter: Aussie Climate Wars Escalate As Rebels Challenge Turnbull

Brazil: Presidential Frontrunner Promises To Quit Paris Climate Deal

In this newsletter:

1) Aussie Climate Wars Escalate As Rebels Challenge Turnbull
The Australian, 15 August 2018 
2) Climate Wars 2.0 Threatening To Engulf Australia’s Green Prime Minister
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, 15 August 2018 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Karl du Fresne: I'm a bit happier now than I was a few weeks ago

So where are we, after a month of fervid debate about freedom of speech?

Call me a pollyanna, but I reckon we’re in a slightly better place than before.

I didn’t feel so optimistic when Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were barred from speaking in Auckland Council-owned venues, and even less so when the owners of the Powerstation in Ponsonby were intimidated into reneging on an earlier agreement to host the Canadians.

Lindsay Mitchell: Not naming fathers a "rort"

MSD Minister Carmel Sepuloni, and Green Party MP Jan Logie are promulgating misinformation about sanctioning mothers who won't name the fathers of their children.

The sanction, which takes around $28 from beneficiary mothers who do not provide the name of the father, is neither cruel nor excessive. If the mother fears risk of violence from a named father, Work and Income already provides an exemption. 

NZCPR Weekly: Grow a Spine or Resign

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the growing threat to free speech in New Zealand, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Don Brash discusses his recent ban from speaking at Massey University and he shares his Auckland University speech on whether the PC culture is undermining free speech, and our poll asks whether you would support a call for the separation of the State and Culture in New Zealand.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

GWPF Newsletter: Musk's Oil Conspiracy Against Tesla Ends With Saudi’s Oil Billions

U.S. Democrats Lift Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel Companies

In this newsletter:

1) Elon Musk's Oil Conspiracy Against Tesla Ends With Saudi’s Oil Billions
Bloomberg, 14 August 2018 
2) More Green Hypocrisy: U.S. Democrats Lift Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel Companies
Independent Journal Review, 12 August 2018  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Clive Bibby: The Moral Authority To Govern

Legitimacy should be based on more than wining an election

The legitimacy of this government will continue to be debated until the dodgy deals that were the basis for its formation are overtaken by a public acceptance that the coalition is indeed working in our best interests by trying to keep us safe.

No amount of posturing on the world stage will convince those of us at home that this mob is any better at honouring that commitment than any previous government if the evidence suggests they are simply on a mission to satisfy the hunger pangs of their own narrow ideology.

Friday, August 10, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Popular Climate Myth In Doubt

ONS: Fewer Deaths This Summer, Despite Heatwave

In this newsletter:

1) Popular Climate Myth In Doubt
South China Morning Post, 8 August 2018
2) New Study Reveals Declining Risk & Increasing Resilience To Extreme Weather In France
Weather and Climate Extremes, 28 July 2018

Frank Newman: Another block in the wall

It seemed like a simple enough job - building a block retaining nine metres long and rising to about two metres high at its tallest point. The wall was to tidy up a crumbling bank that had been excavated to give site access for house repairs after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Well, it seems that these days, nothing to do with building and local councils is easy. Everything  is complicated by layers of rules and regulations that create obstacles and costs - even simple jobs like retaining walls (and  a kids tree house for that matter).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Karl du Fresne: Arthur Miller's epigram no longer holds true

One of the most striking points to emerge from the free-speech furore has been the failure of the media to reflect public opinion.

In my column in the Dominion Post today, I noted that a Newshub poll – not a scientific opinion sample, but still an indication of what the public was thinking – showed that 78 percent of New Zealanders thought Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux should be allowed into the country. (This was when their immigration status was still in doubt.)

It can be inferred from this that the majority of people believed the Canadians should be allowed to speak here – and more to the point, that we should be allowed to hear what they had to say so that we could make up our own minds about whether their views were harmful or hateful.

Brian Giesbrecht: You are on Home Land of the Metis Nation

I have recently been paying attention to public event openings announcing that we are now on treaty land. Perhaps the most unusual is the one advising people that they are now on the home land of the Metis Nation.
Consider this: Does an acknowledgement that one is on Metis treaty land not imply that the Metis were the first people to occupy the land in question, or at least that they acquired it lawfully from the previous owners? If so, this is clearly not the case.

GWPF Newsletter: Satellites Reveal China Is Quietly Building Many New Coal Power Plants

Pakistan To Kick-Start New Coal Boom

In this newsletter:

1) Satellites Reveal China Is Quietly Building Many New Coal Power Plants
China Dialogue, 3 August 2018 

2) Pakistan To Kick-Start New Coal Boom
Financial Times, 31 July 2018 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: Time for More Action on FASD

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the huge problem that is being caused to children and society when women who are pregnant drink alcohol, our NZCPR Guest Commentator former Canadian Judge Brian Giesbrecht shares his thoughts on some of the devastating consequences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada, and our poll asks whether you believe enough is being done in New Zealand to warn women about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

GWPF Newsletter: What Is Behind The Latest Climate Doomsday Scare?

'Only Global Socialism Can Save Us From Climate Apocalypse', Radical Scientists Claim

In this newsletter:

1) New Doomsday Paper: Only Worldwide Socialism Can Save The Planet From The Climate Apocalypse
GWPF, 7 August 2018 

2) Hothouse Earth: It’s Extremely Dodgy
GWPF Observatory, 7 August 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

Jarrett Stepman: As Venezuela Collapses, Inflation Careers Toward 1 Million Percent

Venezuela’s inflation may hit 1 million percent by the end of the year, the International Monetary Fund announced on Monday.

This incredible hyperinflation is reminiscent of Weimar Germany during the years immediately after World War I, in which wheelbarrows full of cash were required to buy bare essential items, like a loaf of bread.

Friday, August 3, 2018

David Skilling: Keep calm and carry on

Trade tensions rumble on, with whiplash-inducing tweets from the White House: from ‘tariffs are the greatest’ to we are ‘believers in no tariffs, no barriers and no subsidies’ within 24 hours.  And although there was good news as well – the EU/US truce (for now) and the EU/Japan FTA – the global trade system faces deep challenges.  Unfortunately, the emerging global trade tensions are unlikely to be resolved quickly.

A cottage industry has emerged to identify those economies that are most exposed to trade conflict.  One of the common themes is that small economies are particularly exposed.

Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup - is the National Party changing enough?

Having been turfed out of government last year, the National Party is doing what all parties do when dealing with failure – re-evaluating what they are doing wrong and making some necessary changes. 

During their annual conference some new directions were signalled, but are the changes enough? 

Political commentators are divided about whether the conference heralded the beginnings of a bold new future for National, or whether it was just more of the same.

GWPF Newsletter: Canada Scales Back Carbon-Tax Plans

Trump’s Tax Cuts, Tariffs Force Trudeau To Retreat On Carbon Tax

In this newsletter:

1) Canada Scales Back Carbon-Tax Plans
The Wall Street Journal, 2 August 2018
2) Trump’s Tax Cuts, Tariffs Force Trudeau To Retreat On Carbon Tax
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 1 August 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: ‘Affirmative action’ – an obstacle for some ‘minorities’

Donald Trump is in trouble again with the PC crowd for fingering affirmative action (AA) as his next target. The more I see of this guy, the more I like him!

AA is both sex-based and race-based. 

The former is not the issue it was a few years back, although it remains a thorn in the side for many a man sidelined for appointment or promotion because he had the misfortune to be up against a woman and thus the cards were stacked against him whatever his credentials. But it is race-based AA that is under the spotlight not because it has trodden on the toes of any nebulous ‘majority’ but rather those of some ‘minorities’.

John Samples: Some Reasons to Trust Mark Zuckerberg with Freedom of Speech

Last week Mark Zuckerberg gave an interview to Recode. He talked about many topics including Holocaust denial. His remarks on that topic fostered much commentary and not a little criticism. Zuckerberg appeared to say that some people did not intentionally deny the Holocaust. 

Later, he clarified his views: “I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.” This post will not be about that aspect of the interview.

Let’s recall why Mark Zuckerberg’s views about politics and other things matter more than the views of the average highly successful businessman. 

Peter Van Doren: Is Green Energy Competitive?

The declining cost of solar panels and the widespread adoption of rooftop solar in California lead to many cocktail party discussions about the competitiveness of green energy. 

While at first glance it may seem that solar power and other renewable energy sources are able to compete with conventional resources, a closer examination of the characteristics and costs of electricity systems demonstrates that current renewable technologies are not economically competitive.

GWPF Newsletter: Most King Penguin Populations Have Been Increasing, Not Declining

Most King Penguin Populations Have Been Increasing, Not Declining
"Numbers of king penguins have increased throughout the Southern Ocean over the past 50 years"

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Matt Ridley: The European Union Rejected Genome Edited Crops

The European Court of Justice has just delivered a scientifically absurd ruling, in defiance of advice from its advocate general, but egged on by Jean-Claude Juncker’s allies. It will ensure that more pesticides are used in Britain, our farmers will be less competitive and researchers will leave for North America. Thanks a bunch, your honours.

By saying that genome-edited crops must be treated to expensive and uncertain regulation, it has pandered to the views of a handful of misguided extremists, who no longer have popular support in this country.

NZCPR Weekly: Court Hearings for Tribal Claims Edge Closer

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we outline new developments from the High Court regarding the coastal claims process, and we call for an inquiry into the evidence behind Ngati Porou’s claim to the coast, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Hugh Barr shares details of some of the submissions on the Ngati Porou Bill and raises concerns about the wider claims process, and our poll asks whether you would support an official inquiry into the legitimacy of the evidence on which Ngati Porou’s claim for the coast is based.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

GWPF Newsletter: 2018 Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)

Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline

In this newsletter:

1) 2018  Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)
Roger Pielke Jr., 30 July 2018 

2) Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 31 July 2018