ALS poll: best solo blogger?

The new ALS poll question asks you who is the best Australian libertarian solo-blogger?

This is a good opportunity for you to check out some Australian libertarian blogs that you might not have checked out before. If you haven’t visited Fleeced, Pommygranate, Double Think or Real World Libertarian before, then go have a look.

The more famous bloggers on the list include Andrew Norton (who claims in vain not to be a libertarian) and Jennifer Marohasy, and I’ve also included a few of the “old hands” of Australian libertarian blogging who have been quiet lately (The Raving Wingnut, A Yobbo’s View, Bovination). Other blogs on the list include James Waterton’s The Daily Constitutional, Melbourne activist PRODOS, the econoblog Institutional Economics and thinker & artist Chris Berg.

I tried to include every libertarian solo political blogger, but if I have forgotten somebody then please tell me so that we can update the ALS links.

The highly scientific results to the last question are now available. In response to the question “if the government must act on climate change, which should it do“, 60% of people supported a carbon tax offset with other tax cuts while 22% refused to answer the question. Other options, such as nationalising the energy industry, introducing carbon trading or picking winners, got a handful of votes each.

UPDATE 24/05: Terje pointed out that I didn’t include Graeme Bird’s blog and I also realised (to my embarassment) that I hadn’t included long-time Australian libertarian blogger Tex & his whackingday blog. Both have now been added, but that means the voting had to be re-set. Apologies.

81 thoughts on “ALS poll: best solo blogger?

  1. Sorry, Pommy, I am not your alter ego, and I did NOT vote for you.
    And what would be wrong with being a ‘war-mongering socialist’? You make it sound bad! So long as you want to wage war on Canbra, you’ll get no hinderance from me! And if you are a s-o-c-i-a-l-i-s-t, it’s always good for the rest of us to get to know and meet our enemies.
    Q. How many socialists would it take to change a light bulb?
    A. What, you speak to socialists? (Backs away quietly…)

  2. Pommy – you’re a war mongering socialist pragmatic libertarian wag. And my blog is better than yours and as one of the three people that have ever visited my blog you’re one of the few people who should know that. In fact as one of the most peaceful blogs on the Internet I think mine should win by default (you war mongering socialist pragmatic libertarian wags may not know it but peacful is rather good and also quite economical). 😎

  3. Terje, you are so peaceful you put John to sleep, which is why your name is not on the list. My one vote went to someone else, sorry.

  4. I’m shocked that our libertarian guiding light Graeme Bird has been omitted from the list. Out of protest I shall refuse to vote. I’d ask that others join me in holding our breath in protest until this grave injustice is rectified.

  5. Nicholas – if my alter ego isn’t going to vote for me, then im pulling out now. there’s no hope.

    Terje – i dont mind “war mongering socialist pragmatic libertarian” but “wag”?

  6. OK Terje… Birdie was added. He had better not win. 🙂

    I had to re-set the votes, so if you voted before the re-set then please vote again. And again.

  7. You will have to do it again,you spelt Pommygranate wrong, he may use it as a reason to take to the Electoral Commission if he looses.

  8. Opps. Sorry pommy.

    Now… who the HELL is VOTING FOR GRAEME BIRD. Don’t give me that JIVE you tax-eaters. Global warming is a hoax. And it’s good anyway. And banking is evil. The government MUST BAN banking. Don’t be such deep red COMMUNISTS. Don’t STIFFLE THE DEBATE you butt-pirates. And don’t DISAGGREGATE THE HYDRA. We MUST INVADE somewhere. I’d like to keep USING CAPS LOCK but I have to hide from the TERRORISTS.

  9. Just had a really good laugh at this post (and the comments). Hard to pick from that list – they’re all regular reads for me.

    You like asking tricky questions, obviously…

  10. Also worth noting is that someone of Mr Humphreys intellect still can’t spell the name of my website correctly……..

  11. Tim Lambert has suggested that the Bird vote might be coming from anti-libertarians trying to make us look bad by implying that Bird is the best we have. What have you done to us Terje!

    At the moment Graeme’s blog (40%) is apparently as good as Andrew Norton (25%), Bovination (7%), Pommygranate (5%) and Jennifer Marohasy (3%) combined! Wow.

  12. Bird has more genuine admirers than you think, John. For instance scroogemcduck and dover beach who comment on catallaxy (funny they’ve both got bird related pseudonyms!). I think he gets a bit of a sympathy vote because he just tries so hard and is very dedicated in his own way …

  13. Graeme is getting the libertarians-don’t-place-other-libertarians-in-moderation protest vote.

  14. I’m not sure if you’re a libertarian with conservative leanings, Iain, or a conservative with libertarian leanings. I suppose we’ll have to investigate!

  15. SL

    I’m not sure if you’re a libertarian with conservative leanings, Iain, or a conservative with libertarian leanings. I suppose we’ll have to investigate!

    My archives are open, but your question does rather reminds me of the old song “lets call the whole thing off” you say tomato and I say tAmato ect.
    Personally I class my self as a libertarian first….

  16. Having debated Graham Young on his blog extensively several years ago there is no way I would refer to him as a libertarian. He is way to comfortable with large government and high taxes and too Keynesian in his economics.

  17. John,

    Regarding comment #26. Have you considered there may be a cookie monster* amoungst us? You said yourself that people should vote often.

    However I must say this does make me giggle. Assuming Graeme wins then following your write up announcing the brilliant 2007 winner I’m expecting a huge influx of victims to Graemes blog where they can enjoy being flogged with swear words and personal abuse.


    * It’s not me.

  18. Oh come on Terje, I’m not sure that I’m a libertarian, but to suggest that I am in favour of big taxes, big government and Keynesian remedies is absurd. I don’t think I’ve had a Keynesian thought since at least 1983, which is about half a life-time ago.

    Are you still spruiking supply-side snake oil?

  19. Where is the snake oil? – Incentives matter.

    A good criticism is that lowering taxes will make people work harder. It won’t. Some people no longer are punished for working hard, others, now can invest rationally and work less.

  20. What do you mean by snake oil Graham? Look up Martin Feldstein’s work on taxation.

  21. Mark — are you arguing that the income effect will exceed the substitution effect? Most evidence on the income tax indicates the opposite. Sinclair Davidson summerised some of the evidence in his CIS paper “Are there any good arguments against cutting income tax?”

    Click to access pm69.pdf

    There is no denying that supply-side economics has value.

  22. Pingback: While I was away... « The Blog of Fleeced

  23. What I am saying is that you are correct, for some (most) people.

    Our inefficient and expensive tax system makes some people work too hard, and makes others avoid work (or at least working here).

  24. I am disgusted at the suggestion that we should vote more than once! I thought this would be an honest vote, but if we can vote multiple times, then where is the value in the voting? For all we know, john may be casting all the votes himself- how could you prove otherwise?

  25. lol — Given the current state of the vote I think you can be fairly sure that I am not the one stacking the outcome. And online polls are always open to abuse (multiple computers etc), so there’s little point being too delicate about the whole process.

  26. Nicholas
    Feel free to vote as many times as you want, your votes simply won’t register unless you delete your cookies. Most people including me would be loath to do so because I have a lot of passwords to a lot of sites which I’ve forgotten so deleting cookies just to slant the result slightly is a pretty trivial gain for a lot of faffing around afterwards.

  27. Graham – I just call it how I see it. I won’t be refering to you as a libertarian unless I see evidence to suggest that you are. And in fact I’ve never seen you refer to yourself as a libertarian anyway.

    Mark – the point is that tax cuts lift productivity through improved resource allocation in the same way that the reduction in any trade barrier does.

  28. I am still not going to “share the love”. I don’t believe in promiscuous voting! It just leads to tears all around, unkept promises, illegitimate party platforms, etc. I am a Libertarian, NOT a Libertine!

  29. “The same way”…

    Not really, but I agree resource allocation is more optimal. Income or consumption tax is like a tariff on all goods, as you’ve previously mentioned.

  30. Actually it’s not on all goods which is why it effects resource allocation. There are a whole stack of tasks that any household can elect to insourse or outsourse. These include cooking, cleaning, renovating, baby sitting, financial planning, accounting, gardening, entertainment, teaching, dog grooming, mechanical repairs etc as well as decisions about when to upgrade or repair labour saving devices.

    The extent to which we sell our specialised skills and buy in what our household needs is very much tied up in the trade barriers that exist between households. The plumber will do his own home carpentry if the tax rate is high enough in spite of it entailing lower levels of productivity.

    When income taxes, GST and compulsory superannuation are included it is not unusual for inter-household tariffs to exceed 100%. Add in welfare related EMTRs and we have some quite massive tariffs on interhousehold trade. All of which effect productivity and prosperity. This is not entirely different from the issue of work incentives but it is in my view a more complete insight.

  31. Terje – thanks for your support, mate.

    Humphreys – keep this damn poll open. My campaign is just starting to generate momentum.

    Yes, of course Norton is a far superior blogger, but you dont get hot babes cleverly incorporated into serious libertarian discussions over there.

  32. “The extent to which we sell our specialised skills and buy in what our household needs is very much tied up in the trade barriers that exist between households. The plumber will do his own home carpentry if the tax rate is high enough in spite of it entailing lower levels of productivity.”

    Such a situation does not occur with international trade. Kiribati can’t produce diamonds, ever.

    Factor endowments and the basis for international trade means that the effect of a flat tariff is different to a flat tax. Although there exists many different work/leisure preferences, across households the differences can be more or less averaged out, to an extent. This can’t be done at all in international or interregional trade, even if everyones work/leisure preferences were identical.

  33. Pommygranate telleth big fibs! He has only ONE hot babe on his website, and only ONE photo (of Salma Hayek), and she has all her clothes on! I’m glad I voted for someone else!

  34. YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! That’s much better, Pommy!! The “hot babes” link should be scrapped- the “one article alone.” link is the place to go! I realise that most bloggers seem to be male, but what are you doing for the female writers amongst us? Do you have photos of brainy men, since women go for brains? Or do you think you won’t need their votes?

  35. Pommygranate, you say “sexist” as though that were a bad thing! Why are those photos on your site, then? Oh, that’s right, to lead readers to the informative articles! Silly me.

  36. Pommy’s now in the lead… Graeme must be furious – he’s coming 3rd 🙂

    No way I can catch Poms now – even with my buddies voting every day… I’m still way back in 5th!

  37. I’m pleased that libertarians show such a strong will to win. Althought the scope for multiple voting suggests that it’s not a very reputable race to be in.

  38. Tex, it could be worse than you think- with Pommygranate bribing us with eye-candy, and Fleeced pandering to our racist fears, you actually seem normal and safe! How bad is that?

  39. At least we haven’t sunk to the level of a Federal Politician! OUR contestants don’t mention each other’s families at all! I’ll vote for the polly who promises bread and circuses! And to halve all taxes and double all services!
    Who’s going to bribe us? Please?

  40. I have long promised to cut taxes and maintain spending on services. Not quite what you wanted but near enough.

    In 1996 Howard should have made a solemn core promised to maintain in real terms the then current level of per capita government spending. If he had made and kept such a promise we would now quite easily be one of the lowest taxed people in the world.

  41. At least Howard proved his honesty, by NOT making a promise he wasn’t going to keep!
    I trust, though, that Honest Terje (Trusty Terje?) is going to keep his core election bribes?

  42. “I have long promised to cut taxes and maintain spending on services.”

    Disgraceful. Are you saying that no taxeater need clear his desk?

  43. I never would have thought to describe Andrew Norton as a libertarian (and it appears neither would he) – which makes it all the more interesting that he is topping the poll at the moment.

    (although given the dodgy multiple voting rules combined with cookie monster activity, all rolled up in a stone age first past the post voting system, it does make it all rather less than ideal – except that it is ideal for me emphasising my point, so I’m making maximum use of it anyway and ignoring the qualifiers)

  44. Graeme – if a future Australian government worked to a budget and did not increase that budget, but merely reallocated spending where appropriate, it would be the biggest tax cutter in Australias history. However I would not be so rash as to predict or promise that no taxeater would lose their job.

  45. Andrew B — Perhaps I should include this issue in FAQ “is Andrew N a libertarian?” Andrew describes himself as a classical liberal and he believes in decreasing the role of government in nearly all areas. Libertarians are identical to classical liberals and believe in decreasing the role of government.

    The false dichotomies that some (including Andrew) use between classical liberal and libertarian don’t hold up. Some claim the former are utilitarian while the latter are rights-based, but this is directly contradicted by dozens of examples.

    Milton Friedman and Frederick Hayek (who share Andrew’s philosophy) both said they would prefer to call themselves “liberals” but given that word has changed meaning they accept that they would now be called “libertarian”.

    So Andrew N can call himself a penguin or an aadvark for all I care — he is a (moderate) libertarian.

  46. Andrew B – John has dealt well with the issue of Andrew N not self identifying as a libertarian. Plenty of people hold libertarian views without considering themselves to be one, possibly not knowing the name.

    There would in fact be no problem, had a non libertarian site proved to be the most popular among us, it would show that we are not insular, just as long as it wasn’t the ‘Kevin Rudd Diaries’ or the ‘John Howard Chronicles’, Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lowhan would be quite acceptible.

  47. Jim, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are Libertines, not libertarians! There is a difference! Libertines don’t believe in any moral codes, whilst Libertarians believe in being free to follow their own codes of personal conduct. I would not want to join any political party where Paris Hilton was a member, because I suspect it would stand for nothing, and nothing would get done!

  48. Nicholas;
    I mentioned Paris H and Lindsay L in the same vein as John Howard and Kevin Rudd. I wouldn’t mind if either of the former won most popular blog, whereas the latter winning here would cause me concern.

    Actually come to think of it, I wouldnt mind joining a party with a few young nubile libertines in it. Perhaps John could do the next poll on that.

  49. Yes, but would anything actually get done, other than trying out new chat-up lines?

  50. I saw a video with Paris Hilton in it the other month. I think she could run a very attention grabbing campaign, although she needs to improve the quality of lighting in her media releases.

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