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A Lower Corporate Tax Means More Growth and Higher Wages

Yesterday was “Australia Day,” which I gather for Aussies is sort of like the 4th of July for Americans. To belatedly celebrate for our friends Down Under, I suppose we could sing Waltzing Matilda. But since I’m a policy wonk with a special fondness for the nation, let’s instead acknowledge Australia Day by citing some […]

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The Paris ‘ Peace Conference’ Turns Into A Farce

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 Pro -Israel protesters outside Paris Conference

The Paris peace conference designed to be another slap at Israel turned into a farce devoid of meaning.
it certainly didn’t have the kick Barack Obama and John Kerry intended.

Instead of strengthening the insidious UNSC 2334, it actually buried it and made it ridiculous.

UNSC 2334, as biased as it was, had reiterated the Security Council’s:

“vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,”

The final Paris communique threw away this “two democratic states solution” and changed it to:

“that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.”

They eliminated ‘democratic’ 9 times in the final communique. This seems self-evident because both the Palestinian Authority and Hamasistan are democratic in the least, but Paris not accepting the terms of the “two-state solution” proposed by the Security Council gives the lie to the whole enterprise and takes the mask off, weakening 2334’s clout.

it also reaffirmed that the only way to any settlement was direct negotiations between the parties rather than a UN diktat, which 2334 most assuredly did not do.

There’s also no followup, and no new demands of Israel.

The Paris statement did praise Saudi Arabia’s 2002 Arab Peace Initiative as “a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.” That’s to be expected. But since it was a diktat that mimics 2334 in re-dividing Jerusalem and gifting all of Judea and Samaria to ‘Palestine’ and the Israelis will never abide by that anyway, it’s meaningless…just like the entire conference.

Surprisingly, Britain refused to ratify the Paris statement, thus blocking the EU from signing on to it. Australia refused as well, as did most of the Eastern European EU members.

And even France’s lame duck president Hollande changed his tune, saying that only negotiations between the two parties would result in peace, which ‘cannot be dictated.’

 http://media.israelhayom.co.il/2017/01/15/148447186295078125a_b.jpg

What changed things? In part at least, Donald Trump:

In a recent interview with Bild and the Times of London, Trump said he hoped the UK would veto any anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council.

“The Brits read what Trump said and implemented it immediately,” an unnamed European diplomat who attended Monday’s EU meeting told Haaretz.

 Image result for Cartoons on Paris Peace conference 2017

Quite simply, Trump explained that Obama was on his way out in a week or so, and there was a new sheriff in town. It’s no coincidence that British PM Theresa May is now exulting over offers of  new trade deals outside the EU with America.

The Australians and the most of the  Eastern European countries were always on board with Israel anyway. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was fairly open about saying that the Turnball government didn’t think much of 2334 and even less of the Paris communique:

Without specifically mentioning the conference’s endorsement of resolution 2334, Ms Bishop noted the Coalition did not support “one-sided resolutions targeting Israel”.

“The most important priority must be a resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians for a two-state solution as soon as possible,” she said.

Australia became one of the few countries other than Israel to condemn the New Zealand-sponsored resolution 2334, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labeling it “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling”.

U,S, Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Israeli PM Netanyahu and promised that the U.S. would not support any further UN action at tomorrow’s UN Security Council Meeting, to which Netanyahu reportedly replied that Israel has already suffered enough damage thanks to the U.S. abstention on 2334.

It’s the part about Kerry promising something is what has me concerned…stay tuned.

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What Would YOU Do If A Bank Error Gave You Unlimited Funds???

https://ymcahouston.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/money.jpg

Well, what would you do if a bank error gave you access to unlimited funds???

That’s exactly what happened to Luke Moore, a debt-ridden Australian student.Image result for Luke Moore australian who spent $1.5 million o bank's money

The fun started when he opened a small ‘Complete Freedom’ account with St George Bank. And boy, was it ever fun!

A computer error by the bank gave him an unlimited overdraft based on ‘your excellent credit and balance total’ and our hero decided they meant it. He plunged into a  rich playboy lifestyle which included lavish vacations, a a Hyundai Veloceter for $32,000, a $91,000 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage coupe , a $169,000 Maserati,a $54,000 Stressl boat and in his own words, lots of drugs, alcohol and women. He also withdrew wads of cash which he stashed in different accounts.

He was able to pull this off for two years and spent over $1.5 million before the bank finally realized the glitch. After that, he was caught, convicted of fraud and sentenced to 4 years in jail.

But wait, there’s more.

Luke Moore, 29, was released this week after spending five months in jail before he was released on bail. And, yes, he was able to overturn his conviction on appeal on the grounds that his conduct was not ‘deliberately deceptive.’

Americans will be familiar with this as ‘the Clinton defense’ AKA lack of intent. And why not?
Can Luke Moore be blamed because he thought the people at his bank decided to gift him all that money? He just thought they were being nice because, after all, he’s Luke Moore. How was he to know it was an error?

So he’s out, free as a kookaburra and laughing about as loudly, at least inside. As he told the Daily Telegraph he did not miss his lavish multimillionaire lifestyle “besides the cocaine, the strippers and fast cars.”

Living now with his mother in in Goulburn, New South Wales, Moore is ‘readjusting to real life’ but he’s apparently learned an important lesson in how to pull this kind of thing off successfully.

He’s now studying to be a lawyer.

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Decision Time in the South Pacific: Income Tax or Mitchell’s Golden Rule?

Can you identify the nation with the world’s 7th-friendliest tax system according to the Index of Economic Freedom? Don’t know the answer? Well, here’s a hint. If you don’t count Middle Eastern nations that finance their governments with oil money, this is the nation that is in second place, behind only the Bahamas. Still don’t […]

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A Fiscal Lesson from Western Australia’s Spending Binge

I’m generally a fan of Australia. I wrote my dissertation on the country’s private Social Security system, and I’m always telling policy makers we should  copy their approach. The Aussies also abolished death taxes, which was a very admirable choice. I even wrote that Australia is the place to go if politicians wreck the American […]

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King Coal and Freezing in the Dark

We talked about the South Australia blackout the other day, but I want to say a bit more. The Spectator AU tells us this: State governments are sheltered workshops for mediocre politicians rarely good enough to make it in the Canberra big league. They have just one basic task in the Australian federation: to maintain […]

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Ideology > Engineeering and Logic

A couple of reports mixed here, because they go to the same point. First, South Australia had a power outage last week. Ordinarily, that’s not news, but in this case, I gather nearly the whole state was off. Why? Here’s Andrew Bolt to tell you. South Australia ran to Canberra for subsidies to protect Arium Steel […]

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Reliance on wind power results in an energy crisis

If a country’s goal is to decrease carbon emissions by increasing reliance on renewable energy, it only makes sense to install the new equipment in the location with the best potential—both in geography and government. For Australia, which has a…

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Why go into politics?

Why, indeed? Would you? I worked for Reagan back in ’76, as some know, and it disillusioned me for life. No, not Reagan, but the nonsense involved in politics. It’s interesting to read about (and write about) but that about all the involvement I (and for that matter) my integrity can stand. Here’s James Allan, writing […]

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Libertarian Humor for a Dismal Topic

I’m a bleeding heart libertarian in that I get most upset about statist policies that make life harder for disadvantaged people so that folks with more money can get undeserved goodies. For instance, I despise anti-school choice leftists because they value political support from teacher unions more than they value opportunity for poor kids. And […]

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Saturday Morning: 60s Music Style

It’s Saturday, so let’s relax. I ran across some of my old favorites, so I thought I’d share. Of course we have to start with my first girl singer crush, Petula Clark. Some things never change in my favorites. If you’re old enough I’ll bet you remember how our music came from all over the […]

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From Ironic to Asinine: Global Gun Control Developments

I recently wrote about gun control, noting how there’s less murder in demographically similar U.S. states than there is in matching Canadian provinces. This is one of the reasons why I’m optimistic about protecting the Second Amendment. The empirical evidence is so strong that law-abiding people are safer in well-armed societies. But let’s see how […]

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Genuine Federalism and Tax Competition for Australia?

Australia is one of my favorite nations, and not just because the people are friendly. It has a modest-sized government, at least compared to other developed nations (see table 25 of this OECD data), and it has a very attractive private Social Security system that puts Australia in relatively good shape when looking at the […]

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Decadence, Part 3: Democracy

And so we return to the series. On this one, we’re going to have to turn some filters on since we’re mostly Americans. He focuses here rather strongly on Australia, which is fine, but Australia is not America, and most of us are Americans. Our problems are not dissimilar, but in ways Australia is the […]

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Decadence, Part 3: Democracy

And so we return to the series. On this one, we’re going to have to turn some filters on since we’re mostly Americans. He focuses here rather strongly on Australia, which is fine, but Australia is not America, and most of us are Americans. Our problems are not dissimilar, but in ways Australia is the […]

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The Top Five Events in 2014

OK, I admit it, this is a bit heavy (not to mention long) for a Saturday post but, this type of post hasn’t been seen here in quite a while, and I think Stratfor hit the nail very squarely on the head here. I’ll let you read it, and then I’ll have a few comments. […]

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The Siege Ends In Sydney

 There was a dramatic end to the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia early this morning at around 2 AM local time as police stormed the Lindt Cafe with stun guns and automatic weapons fire.There are reportedly two dead, and at least one of whom…

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Sydney’s Turn…

 The Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place downtown is normally by all reports a pleasant, friendly place to grab a snack to go with your morning coffee.Today it’s a chamber of horrors.At 9:45 AM today an armed Muslim terrorist man wearing a headba…

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Australia’s Worrisome Fiscal Drift

I’m in Australia for Consilium, an annual conference which is hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies. I spoke on fiscal policy and pontificated on the need for nations to restrain government spending. That’s an important message (at least in my humble option), but I thought it was more interesting to learn more about the […]

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Good-o! Australia Slashes Funding For ‘Climate Change’ Programs By 90%

 http://images.theage.com.au/2013/04/05/4169113/art-353-abbott-300x0.jpg

Good old Oz! You can always depend on them to do the common sense thing eventually.

Under former PM Julia Gillard (whom I still retain certain personal liking for despite her politics), Labour’s governing coalition was dependent on appeasing the Greens and other progressive fascists, who insisted on massive government programs based on global warming, including a hugely unpopular carbon tax and onerous regulations on energy creation. Just like the one’s President Obama’s EPA is putting in place here, this resulted in a huge surge in energy and fuel prices with an accompanying rise in the price of food and goods.

Australian PM Tony Abbot and the conservative Liberal coalition (yes, in Australia they still understand what the word ‘liberal’ really means) campaigned on repealing the carbon tax and today announced that they are slashing the budget for the remaining ‘climate change’ programs by 90%, from $5.75 billion this year to $500 million, over the next four years.

The Labour and Green members of Australia’s senate are stopping repeal of the carbon tax so far,but the arrival of new senators in July will likely change that.

I love this quote from Tony Abbot, who referred to the carbon tax as “an act of economic vandalism.”

“You can’t trust (Labor) anywhere near an economy.”

True enough, and Australians have only to look back at Labour’s dismal record during the Rudd/Gillard years to see it.

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