The Looking Forward Podcast
The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 83: Trump’s COVID: Halo or Catastrophe?

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 83: Trump’s COVID: Halo or Catastrophe?

October 7, 2020

Trump has tested positive for COVID-19 less than one month before the US election. What will this mean for the politics surrounding the upcoming election and could this revelation play for or against Trump’s faltering campaign? (1:59-21:45)

Trump has also received a kind of ‘cocktail’ of medication in response to contracting the virus, not all of which is available to the common American citizen. In the spirit of Right to Try, should this accelerate clinician’s access to beneficial drugs rather than just waiting for a vaccine? And are lockups and the wait for a vaccine just making people’s health worse? (21:45-35:59)

We discuss last night’s budget and our sudden emergence as a big-State social democratic country with a small state low(er) tax revenue base. Will this Keynesian but pro-business budget lift us out of recession, or is it time to look at productivity? (36:00-50:31)

Culture picks this week include Musical label, Cryo Chamber; Aeschylus’ play, The Eumenides; and a two-part TV series by Billy Ray, The Comey Rule. (51:29-1:04:21)


Show notes:

“Effect of calcifediol (Vitamin D treatment; M Castillo, et al


Is it wrong if I ask for the same?; Tyler Cowen


Donald Trump takes zinc. Maybe you should too; Allysia Finley


Why Human Challenge Trials Will Be Necessary to Get a Coronavirus Vaccine; Alex Tabarrok


All the president's medicine: How doctors are treating Donald Trump; Sascha Pezenik, Sony Salzman and Dr. Divya Chhabra


Debt To Hit $2.05 Trillion, 60 Years To Pay Off; IPA


Culture Picks:

Musical label, Cryo Chamber


Play, The Eumenides, written by Aeschylus


‘Ah, how miserable! Three New Oresteias’; Emily Wilson, LRB


TV series by Billy Ray, The Comey Rule

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 82: Pollies’ Prison Prospects: Stunning Own Goal

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 82: Pollies’ Prison Prospects: Stunning Own Goal

September 30, 2020

Victoria has been electrified by the prospect that politicians and public servants from the Premier down could be charged and even jailed for deaths attributable to the Hotel Quarantine fiasco, under tendentious new industrial manslaughter laws only recently enacted by the Andrews Government. Governments must be held to account, but is this the job of the courts, or Parliaments and voters? If we start jailing politicians for incompetence, where will it end? (33:25-44:59).

Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by Research Fellow Morgan Begg to discuss this and also the litany of civil rights violations justified in the name of pandemic. Where have been the institutions meant to defend our freedoms, and what precedent does this rampant State create for our future? (1:50-17:59).

The latest concern in Victoria is an “Omnibus Bill”, allowing government appointed ‘authorised officers’ to arrest and detain individuals just on the suspicion of intent to break rules. Is this necessary or just a left-wing Government’s adaption the Police State/‘law and order’ playbook formerly used by the right? (18:00-33:25).

Culture picks this week include the new Netflix film, Enola Holmes by Harry Bradbeer; Karl Ove Knausgaard’s book on Edvard Munch, So Much Longing in So Little Space; and a Netflix documentary by Jeff Orlowski, The Social Dilemma (44:59-1:04:55).



Letter to WorkSafe Referring Ministers for Investigation; Ken Phillips


Four Victorian ministers, 16 public servants may face prosecution over alleged OHS law breaches; Robert Gottliebsen


Picnicking rule-breakers face $5000 fines with police to blanket parks; Simone Fox Koob


Regulate? Innovate!; Chris Berg on social media regulation


Covid Totalitarianism; Morgan Begg


Culture Picks:

Enola Holmes


So Much Longing in So Little Space


The Social Dilemma

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 81: RBG & After, Plus: Who’s Replacing Nettle?

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 81: RBG & After, Plus: Who’s Replacing Nettle?

September 23, 2020

This week saw the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and immediate controversy about who will replace her on the United States’ Supreme Court, as the Democrats invent reasons to stall the process. The panellists reflect on the career of a remarkable advocate and jurist, and examine how the Republican push in the Senate to confirm a Trump nomination as replacement will affect the election. If even Mitt Romney wants to do it, what’s stopping them? (2:12-35:50).

Likewise, Australia’s High Court also has some looming vacancies, due to the 72-year age of ‘statutory senility’ enforced on Justices of the High Court, with Justice Nettle soon to step down. Why aren’t Australians more interested in the choice of replacement shortly to be made by the Morrison Government, and – in light of controversial decisions such as Love/Thoms - do we need more scrutiny of the process for nomination? (35:50-56:32).

Culture picks this week include BGG cold war board game, Twilight Struggle; Elena Ferrante’s novel, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay; and Taylor Sheridan and John Linson’s TV series, Yellowstone season 3 (56:41-1:08:02).


Show notes

Courting Calamity; Morgan Begg (IPA Review, Winter 2020)

Porter kicks off search for next High Court judge; Robert Pelly, AFR

Save the Vote, Save the Court; Adam J White, The Bulwark

Looking Forward Ep 74 Review of RBG biopic, On the Basis of Sex; Scott Hargreaves


Culture picks

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Twilight Struggle

Yellowstone; Season 3

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

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