Some economic consequences of the GDPR

[Together with Alastair Berg, Chris Berg and Jason Potts this article was published at Cryptoeconomics Australia]

At the end of May 2018, the most far reaching data protection and privacy regime ever seen will come into effect. Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European law, it will have a global impact. There are likely to be some unintended consequences of the GDPR. Continue reading

The threat of identity politics

[This article originally appeared in the IPA Review]

At the core of our liberal democracy is the understanding that we are all equal. The spread of identity politics across Australia and the West, however, directly undermines this by seeking different rules for different groups of people. Rather than advocating classical liberal institutions and norms, identity politics seeks to divide us into our religious, ethnic, and gender group identities. Continue reading


[Together with Andrew Bushnell this article originally appeared in IPA Review]

‘White collar crime’ didn’t exist until 1940. That was the year American sociologist Edwin Sutherland dreamt up the idea that the ‘suave and deceptive’ upper reaches of society, insulated by their class privilege, were getting away with untold criminality, and so he set out to draw attention to their offending. The link between crime and white collars was expressly designed to stigmatise the wealthy and the professional classes and raise the class consciousness of workers, whose own criminality was relatively overstated and over-punished. Continue reading

Trumping architecture

[This article was published in the IPA Review]

A provocative speaker at the 2016 World Architecture Festival has thrown his politically correct industry into a tailspin with calls to scrap social housing, privatise public space and stop land zoning. In the speech, Patrik Schumacher, principal at world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, argued that housing crises would never end without a big dose of free-market libertarianism. Continue reading

Why the proposed tree laws are the worst kind of red tape

[This article was published in Queensland Country Life]

The proposed vegetation clearing laws are red tape halting economic growth, suppressing entrepreneurship, and damaging our international competitiveness.

The Palaszczuk government wants to plug supposed loopholes in vegetation management law. Their plugs, however, focus solely on conserving the environment. What is completely ignored is a viable future for Queensland’s agricultural sector. Continue reading

Seeding prosperity

[This article was published in the IPA Review]

In the two centuries after 1500, the educated elite of Western Europe began embracing a culture of growth. Scholars and scientists came to believe that continued economic progress was achieved through the virtuous pursuit of knowledge, judging new ideas on evidence rather than ancient wisdom. This change began to manifest in the ‘upper tail human capital’ of a small segment of society before filtering down to the masses. The enduring march towards global prosperity was initially pushed by pioneering ‘cultural entrepreneurs’, according to a new book by distinguished economic historian Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy. Continue reading