The Looking Forward Podcast
The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 80: Tear Down That Wall

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 80: Tear Down That Wall

September 17, 2020

There are hard borders with no sign of let up across Australia, as State Premiers spuriously justify all decisions as being on the basis of medical advice while enjoying the populist support for supposedly keeping out the virus. But they can only do so because in our crazy fiscally frazzled federation the Feds pick up the bill for the economic costs. And why can actors and footballers cross borders when ordinary people can't?
What will be the effects on our economy and indeed our nation; as we revert to self-contained colonies and the ties of family and work across borders are severed?
And for that matter, what of the tens of thousands of Australias stranded overseas because State Government failures mean they cannot be safely returned, as Australia joins North Korea in banning travel from Australia without a permit?
Evan Mulholland joins Chris Berg and Scott Hargreaves to discuss problems and possible solutions, and also look at the battle being waged by tech giants Google and Facebook as they fight moves by Australia's relative media minnows to grab a share of revenue, egged on by the ACCC (33:38-46:06). Just one part of a global war in which Australian consumers could be the loser.
In the regular Books and Culture segment (46:07-58:33) they look a Tim Wilson’s new book on Australia's social contract, the Netflix series Away, and the latest surrealist escapade form Charlie Kaufman, I'm Thinking of Ending Things.


Show Notes:

A big decision is due today in the Clive Palmer vs WA border row — here's why it matters

This is why it is so difficult for Australians to get home


Culture Picks

The New Social Contract; Tim Wilson

Away; Andrew Hinderaker

I’m Thinking of Ending Things; Charlie Kaufman

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 79: Victorians Have Made Their Bed

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 79: Victorians Have Made Their Bed

September 9, 2020

The Deputy CMO says to Victorians "make your bed", but they're fraying at the edges as their Premier loses credibility for refusing to admit he is pursuing a virus eradication strategy - something achieved literally nowhere in the world. How diabolical is the combination of political spin and ceaseless nudging from the army of "public health" advisers? And how much longer can Victorians be expected to trust the very politicians and ‘health experts’ who have consistently lied and obfuscated? (2:01-22:16).

New IPA research shows a "K-Shaped recovery", with public sector employment trending upwards while the private sector slopes violently downwards. Are we really ‘all in this together’ or is the divide between the public and private sector more apparent than ever? (22:16-32:46).

Victoria Police arrested a heavily pregnant Zoe Lee Buhler for a Facebook post about a peaceful protest. With civil liberties, Parliament, and Cabinet Government all suspended; what does this brave new world of Castro-length speeches from the Premier, unchecked police surveillance and a cowed and frightened population look like? (32:46-41:55).

What can we expect of our media when the Dan Andrews drip feeds a compliant press gallery via daily press conferences, and keeping people scared seems part of the business model? (41:55-57:03). Culture Picks this week include TV series, Schitts Creek, by Dan Levy and Eugene Levy, Righteous Gemstones, by Danny McBride and Raised by Wolves, by Aaron Guzikowski (57:03-1:05:13).


Show notes:

Victorians struggling to cope with lockdown have been told to make their bed in the morning; 7 News,


A Public Choice Warning About Media; Peter Boettke


Daniel Andrews hits his 50th straight coronavirus update today — is it time he took a break?; Patrick Wood


Culture picks:

Netflix TV series by Dan Levy and Eugene Levy, Schitts Creek


TV series by Danny McBride, Righteous Gemstones


TV series by Aaron Guzikowski, Raised by Wolves

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 78: Hello? My BRI’s Stopped Working

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 78: Hello? My BRI’s Stopped Working

September 2, 2020

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced new legislation to ensure agreement the States, councils and universities have with foreign governments are consistent with Australian foreign policy. What does this mean for the relations with China and are there any risks with giving the Federal Government further powers? (2:05-15:48). What are the risks with the Victorian Government’s Belt and Road agreement as it relates to expensive plans for infrastructure projects that Victoria doesn't want or need? (15:48-27:33). The Democratic and Republican conventions took place in the US with their speeches demonstrating vastly different views of the USA. What does Trump’s post-convention poll bounce and focus on burning cities mean for the November election? (27:35-50:23). Culture picks for this week include Christopher Caldwell’s Age of Entitlement, Leder Games’ new boardgame, Root and Federico Fellini’s 1960 film, La Dolce Vita (51:18-1:04:52).


Show notes:

Scott Morrison vows to cancel state-foreign agreements if viewed to be against national interest; Brett Worthington and Stephen Dziedzic


Ensuring a Consistent Australian Foreign Policy; Prime Minister Scott Morrison


Poll – Victorians Oppose Belt & Road Scheme


Tunnel Vision: Scott Hargreaves and Daniel Wild


Culture picks:

Age of entitlement, Christopher caldwell


New type of boardgame - Root


1960 film, La Dolce Vita, directed by Federico Fellini

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 77: COVID19 At The Crossroads

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 77: COVID19 At The Crossroads

August 26, 2020

After six months of COVID19 in Australia the panel discusses whether it’s time to say this is the new normal, and that we can neither wait for a vaccine nor indefinitely extend emergency powers.
Australian PM Scott Morrison announced a deal with AstraZenica for provide a coronavirus vaccine for all Australians in 2021, but is that even feasible or just an announcement driven by politics? And isn’t it too early for the PM to discuss mandating a vaccine before it even exists? (2:10-37:45). Daniel Andrews is pushing for an extension to Victoria’s state of emergency powers for an additional 12 months. What will this mean for democracy in Australia and do the current circumstances really warrant such infringement on our civil liberties (hint: no)? (37:45-51:25). Culture picks this week include the new Microsoft Flight Simulator; Conversations with John Anderson, and The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver (-1:03:40).


Show Notes:  

COVID19 and the Path to Pragmatic Acceptance; Scott Hargreaves


Revolt over Daniel Andrews’ coronavirus power grab: Rebecca Urban, Damon Johnston and Nicola Berkovic


State of Emergency Must Be Extended But It’s No Blank Cheque For Andrews: Derryn Hinch


Victorians cannot keep sacrificing liberties without a safety net



Culture Picks:

the new Microsoft Flight Simulator


Lockdowns, Vaccines and Debt (Conversations with John Anderson), with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University.


The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 76: The Golden Age of Libertarian Scepticism

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 76: The Golden Age of Libertarian Scepticism

August 19, 2020

On this special episode of the IPA’s Looking Forward, co-host Chris Berg interviews Russ Roberts from the Hoover Institution, known to most as the long-standing host of Econtalk, and also Professor Mike Munger from Duke University, who is well known as a libertarian economist and political candidate.

Is the Pandemic just the perfect example of Hayek’s Knowledge Problem, that knowledge is dispersed and no “expert” can be across it? And how do politicians, epidemiologists and economists approach the problem of decision making under uncertainty – and do epidemiologists know as much as they say?

As the Pandemic both creates and exposes ridiculous nanny state regulations preventing us living our lives and making a living, is this the Golden Age of Libertarian Scepticism?

Does the Pandemic change the way you communicate the ideas of Liberty? How does a libertarian approach the wearing of masks, where voluntary or mandated?

What are wider lesson of liberty? When power is centralised what is the vision of human flourishing based on freedom and personal responsibility? How is this an optimistic vision of civil society, of voluntarism, of the role of markets and people in building trust and a better society?

And how did Mike Munger go when he ran for Governor of North Carolina on the Libertarian Party ticket, telling voters “what can you do for me?” was the wrong question?

The interview was conducted recently as part of the Friedman8 digital conference, hosted by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance & Australian Libertarian Society.


Econtalk; Russ Roberts

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness; Russ Roberts

Tomorrow 3.0: Transaction Costs and the Sharing Economy; Mike Munger

The Knowledge Problem: We must stand humble before complexity and order without planning; Hayek


The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 75: Just the Ticket for Biden?

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 75: Just the Ticket for Biden?

August 12, 2020

Joe Biden has decided Kamala Harris is to be his pick as vice president based on the fact she is an African-American woman. Should identity politics have a place in the presidential campaign, or should people of power be chosen rather on merit? (3:27-25:20). Dan Tehan has announced a review into Robert French’s freedom of speech on campus model. Should we be concerned about the issue of free speech rights on Australian campuses and should we be pushing further for a more in-depth review of this issue? (25:38-47:19). JK Rowling has been long under pressure to give in to the woke left whose failure to deal with the lessons of the Harry Potter Books and has subsequently faced the wrath of cancel culture. Does Harry Potter belong in the ‘woke left basket’ and are identity politics being taken too far by the cancel culture mob? (47:20-1:00:35). This week’s culture picks include Netflix’ series The Umbrella Academy, 2008 Australian movie Lake Mungo and 2019 film The Lighthouse (1:00:40-1:14:07)


Show Notes:


How Kamala Harris or Tammy Duckworth as VP could impact the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote: Deepa Shivaram


Biden picks Kamala Harris as VP nominee: Christopher Cadelago and Caitlin Oprysko


Kamala Harris Got So High Smoking Weed in College She Thought She Was Listening To Snoop Dogg and Tupac: Nick Gillespie


The Real Reason Cancel Culture is Rejecting “Harry Potter”: Renee Gorman


Culture Picks:


The Lighthouse (2019)


the 2008 Australian film Lake Mungo.


the Umbrella Academy on Netflix

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 74: Mission Accomplished!

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 74: Mission Accomplished!

August 5, 2020

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews is seemingly delighted to have brought Victoria to an unprecedented standstill as he pursues eradication of the runaway coronavirus. But what will be the economic costs and how confident can we be that it will actually work, especially as second, third and fourth waves are reported across the globe? Where is accountability for past and present maladministration, when the Andrews Government seeks to shut down or obfuscate Parliament at every opportunity? (2:55-34:39) Donald Trump has announced that TikTok will be banned in the United States raising national security concerns. Are concerns valid or is the ban simply an attack on freedom of speech and/or a chance to extort the owners for Microsoft’s benefit? (34:39-46:30) Your hosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by the IPA’s Cian Hussey to answer these questions and share their culture picks. This week’s picks include Camila Russo’s The Infinite Machine, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex and Yuval Levin’s A Time to Build. (46:30-1:04:43)


Show Notes


Madness in Melbourne; Jeffrey A. Tucker


If New Zealand’s the coronavirus role model then we’re in strife; Adam Creighton


Coronavirus: Victoria stopped using the COVID app before virus spike; Olivia Caisley


The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away; The Atlantic


Trump Wants U.S. Government To Get ‘A Lot Of Money’ For Allowing Microsoft-TikTok Deal; Forbes


Culture Picks


A Time to Build; Yuval Levin


The Infinite Machine; Camila Russo


On the Basis of Sex; Mimi Leder

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 73: High Court Next Step For Ridd

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 73: High Court Next Step For Ridd

July 30, 2020

Intellectual inquiry at Universities is under threat after the Federal Court overturned Peter Ridd’s initial victory in the Federal Circuit Court. What influenced the court’s decision and what does it mean? (0:00-26:24)


Welcome reform of Australia’s model defamation laws has been accepted by all states. How has defamation law been blocking free speech and what change will reform bring for media giants? (26:24-39:21)


As the joy of working from home begins to wear off, what will be the long-term implications of remote work on office policy, culture and economics? (39:21-55:43)


Your hosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by the IPA’s Gideon Rozner to discuss these questions and share their culture picks. This week’s picks include the classic TV series’ Kath and Kim, Anne Applebaum’s Twilight of Democracy and Rick Wilson’s Running Against the Devil. (55:43-1:20:50)


Show Notes


Defamation law reform a ‘generational change’; Michael Pelly


Google staff to stay working from home until at least July 2021; Rob Copeland and Peter Grant


Working from home? You’ve just had a pay rise; Adam Creighton


Companies start to think remote work isn’t so great after all; Chip Cutter


Mobility reform key to offset youth jobs pain: Treasury; John Kehoe


Culture Picks


Kath and Kim (TV Series)


Twilight of Democracy; Anne Applebaum


Running Against the Devil; Rick Wilson

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 72 “Parliament Must Do Its Job”

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 72 “Parliament Must Do Its Job”

July 22, 2020

After months of contradictory communication about the efficacy of face masks, they’re now increasingly mandatory: in what ways do they work and should we be required to wear them? (1:43-17:00)


Federal Parliament has been punted once again after the PM cancelled the next two sitting weeks. With every other Australian business expected to adapt and function as COVIDSafe, why can’t Parliament? (17:00-27:48)


Legislative reform is on the cards for Australia’s unwieldy environmental regulations:  will green tape finally be cut to unleash economic recovery? (27:48-40:50).


Your hosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by the IPA’s Evan Mulholland to address these questions and dive into their isolation culture picks. This week’s picks include the film Mr Jones, the TV Series’ McMillions as well as Sir Patricks Stewart’s A Sonnet A Day.



Show Notes

Face Coverings Mandatory for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire


UK’s Virtual Parliament, Ranked; Annabelle Dickson


Independent Review of the EPBC Act; Professor Graeme Samuel AC


EPBC Act Review: Jobs Win Over Litigious Green Activists


Culture Picks


Mr Jones (2019 Film)


McMillions (TV Series)


A Sonnet A Day; Sir Patrick Stewart

Shakespeare's Sonnets & Poems (Folger)

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 71 “Conspiracy Theories Dismissed (Again)”

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 71 “Conspiracy Theories Dismissed (Again)”

July 15, 2020

Well may we say God save the Queen because nothing will save the conspiracy theories about the Whitlam Government’s Dismissal. The released palace letters do however reveal deeper truths about our democracy and the falsity of Republican claims (2:24-25:16) As the US election gets closer, Republican are wondering if Trumpism would survive a loss and what’s in it for them afterwards (25:16-41:07) The woke media wars flare again as New York Times Opinion Editor Bari Weiss resigns under pressure. Does this reflect the birth of a new media model how can economics and philosophy explain this media moment? (41:07-1:00:47)


Your hosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by the IPA’s Andrew Bushnell to answer these questions and share their culture picks. This week’s picks include the film First Man, Kendrah Morgan and Lesley Harding’s Modern Love, as well as the TV series’ Upload.



Show Notes

Most surprising of the Palace letters shines new light on Whitlam; Anne Twomey


The Palace letters are every bit the bombshell they promised to be; Jenny Hocking


Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump- and Democrats from Themselves; Rick Wilson


The Death - and Rebirth - of the Newspaper?; Chris Berg


Resignation Letter; Bari Weiss


Bari Weiss Resigns From New York Times Opinion Post; Edmund Lee



Culture Picks


First Man; Damien Chazelle


Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed; Kendrah Morgan and Lesley Harding


Upload (TV Series)

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