Various subjects

While saying that he believes humans are causing warming, Australia’s Attorney General, George Brandis, has defended the right of sceptics to question the so-called scientific consensus that the world faces dangerous warming unless action is taken to reduce emissions. This is progress of sorts: a majority of sceptics probably accept that humans make a small contribution to warming. The basic question of course is whether, even if true, this justifies the massive expenditures by governments on reducing emissions. Recipients of this message will be aware that Case Smit and I are seeking a Parliamentary inquiry into the costs and benefits of these expenditures.

The report that the Chinese are “spying” on students of their own country here (a large 90,000) is not surprising. But it helps illustrate how experiences in a liberal society  are likely to eventually break the strict regime in China. Reports that the current Indian elections have caused a big drop in votes for the Communist party should also help the development of more liberal economic policies.

The Australian continues to report on aspects of the power that unions have acquired under the Fair Work legislation. Without this horrendous regulatory arrangement, would businesses be forced by unions to provide  funding for redundancy of workers? The government already uses taxes paid by businesses to fund unemployment relief and assistance in finding jobs.

Note also that the Health Services union has opened the batting in making  the first attack on the new NSW Premier and any move by him to privatise the provision of public hospital services. Competition would of course tend to reduce the labour costs of such services – and their unionism.

The US has decided to provide, for the first time, high tech weapons to so-called rebel groups in Syria. Of particular interest is that this is said to be designed to protect Christian and other religious minorities. Left unsaid is “from the major Muslim religious groups involved in fighting in Syria”