Friedman dinner with Tom Palmer (Friday 12 April)

After the ALS Friedman conference in Sydney, Tom Palmer is going to be doing a lightning tour of Australia speaking in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

In Brisbane, Tom has agreed to speak at a Friedman dinner, which we are going to hold at 7pm on Friday the 12th of April back at Elio’s restaurant in Carina. I know it’s a bit out of the way for the north-side people, but the owner has always treated us well and I think the food is great. The price is $35 for all you can eat and an evening with Tom Palmer and a few dozen of Brisbane’s best & brightest freedom lovers.

When — 7pm, Friday 12 April
Where — Elio’s restaurant, 119 Winstanley St, Carina
Who — Tom Palmer & a few dozen freedom lovers
Why — to hear one of America’s best liberty advocates & have fun
Cost — $35 each for all you can eat & think

Please RSVP to John Humphreys either by e-mailing or calling/texting 0404 044561 or messaging through facebook. Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible to ensure you’re spot. The facebook event page is:


About the speaker

Tom Palmer is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. and is the Executive Vice President at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Tom has travelled the world promoting free markets and liberty for decades, including smuggling books by authors like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek into the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s. Palmer is the author of many of his own books and his most recent, After the Welfare State, is being distributed around the world through student groups. He has a PhD from Oxford University in political science.

Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public PolicyEthicsCritical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesDie WeltCaixingAl Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009, and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism, published in 2011.

Tom Palmer was also one of the original plaintiffs in Parker v. District of Columbia, which enshrined the right of DC Residents to own a handgun in their home.


Declaring Independence

‘The assembly which votes the taxes, should be elected exclusively by those who pay something towards the taxes imposed. Those who pay no taxes…have every motive to be lavish and none to economise….Any power of voting possessed by them is a violation of the fundamental principle of free government; the severance of the power of control from the interest in its beneficial exercise.’

John Stuart Mill

Every so often a publication comes along that causes you to stop and think.  I have just finished reading such a publication.  I encourage everyone to read ‘Declaring Independence – Three Essays on the Future of the Welfare State’, a Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) pamphlet containing essays authored by Peter Saunders, Eugene Dubossarsky and Stephen Samild, and the ALS’s John Humphreys.

It attempts to find common ground between the traditional libertarian approach (as espoused by the likes of Charles Murray) that welfare encourages dependency, and the paternalistic approach (e.g. Noel Pearson) that a certain proportion of the population needs to be looked after and wants to be told what to do. The authors suggest that Murray’s libertarianism is valid for the majority of people, but that Pearson’s paternalism is necessary for a minority.

‘Because a few people can’t be trusted to run their own lives, no one is trusted…It’s like being back at school, when one miscreant who misbehaved caused the whole class to be kept behind for detention’, writes Saunders.  Tony Abbott, shadow Minister for Families and Community Affairs, has even suggested that eveybody on welfare should be subject to quarantining of payments (along the Northern Territories model) to ensure money goes on rent and food.

The essays put forward a twofold solution to the twin problems of government paternalism and citizen incompetence. Continue reading