The ideology of bad spending

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:

 A boarded-up school hall on the NSW central coast stands as a reminder of the conceit that consumed a Labor government. 

The $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution program was the brainchild of a prime minister who defined his task as “saving capitalism from itself”.

Kevin Rudd’s clumsy response to a complex financial crisis was one of the most costly …


The alternative to socialism: Menzies's 1949 campaign

Robert Menzies's campaign rhetoric from 1949 illuminates the divide in the 2016 election:

'On December the 10th you’ll be called upon to decide between two ways of living. One is the socialist way with regimentation, compulsion and complete control. The alternative to socialism is a free, democratic way of life with full employment ensured by full production, with individual effort assisted and encouraged, with individual effort rewarded.' 


Taking on the machine men

Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:

The construction of Australia’s most expensive building is on track and on budget. At least that’s what SA Health chief David Swan said 14 months ago in a progress report on Adelaide’s $2.2 billion hospital.

“Every conversation that we’ve had with the builder,” he ­assured radio listeners, “is that they’re aiming for a completion date of the 18th of April 2016.”

The date came and went, leaving …


PM addresses the Menzies Research Centre

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the Menzies Research Centre from Menzies Research on Vimeo.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's address to the Menzies Research Centre in Sydney, 10 June, 2016:

Well thank you so much Scott. Thank you Julian and Nick. It is great to be speaking at the Menzies Research Centre. A great institution and I recall the time when I was Chairman and we did a lot of great work. Great work which has produced stronger public policy in many …


The things school funding can't fix

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:


A question that has divided philosophers and psychologists for centuries — what makes children turn out as they do? — has finally been answered with the release of Labor’s education policy.

It seems Descartes, Locke and co were barking up the wrong tree; the answer is not nature or nurture but the government.

No longer will children have to “choose their parents …


Union cash buys influence

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:






Two cheers for Bill Shorten. It was looking like a flat eight weeks until the Opposition Leader released his inner socialist, stood shoulder to shoulder with the slave class, workers and peasants and ­denounced the running dogs of capitalism.

Keith DeLacy — a former Labor state treasurer no less — called Shorten’s opposition to tax cuts the …


Calling time on Gen-Selfish

MRC Director Tony Shepherd says baby boomers should tighten their belts in the interests of their children and grandchildren

The Baby Boomers should not expect future generations to pay for their current benefits. The brilliant Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson, describes the traditional intergenerational compact as our most important social contract and one that is being broken in Western economies.

Our deficit in 2016 is estimated at $37.1 billion. Our net debt has risen from zero in 2007 to some $279 billion in 2016. If the …


Why Labor should back a marriage plebiscite

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:




There are no easy tasks in politics but few would be as demanding as drafting Labor’s “100 Positive Policies” for the this year’s election.

Imagine the pressure: that rotter Malcolm Turnbull has called an early election, deadlines are looming and you’re frantically trying to pad the section headed “budget repair”.

That, presumably, was how same-sex …


The politics of victimhood

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:


The success of the social media ­appeal that raised $60,000 to buy a toaster for a convicted thug and ABC audience member raises some intriguing questions, not all of them entirely depressing. 

Who would have imagined that the soft-hearted Left was such an easy touch? Could they be encouraged to crowd-fund some of their other pet projects, like the ABC ­itself?

More …


Labor's fiscal doublethink

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:

There was a time when governments would admit that the only money they had to spend was snaffled from taxpayers’ pockets. Federal officials would calculate the amount of revenue raised per head of population and record it in the Commonwealth Year Book, starting in 1901-02 with a modest £1, 11 shillings and 8 pence. 

By the mid-1960s when this quaint practice ended, the commonwealth was …


Fiscal fruitiness takes hold

The Greens plans to tax, borrow and spend

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater writes in The Australian today:

The release of the Greens economic policy inspires nostalgia for the days when greenies spent their days hugging turtles and lungfish. What’s an unbuilt dam or three compared with bulldozing the entire economy? 

Today they campaign for a compassionate, caring and fairer society, which is code for taxing, spending and taxing some more.

“To make society more equal we need to pay more tax, …


Our own Bernie Sanders

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

It is a reflection of Labor’s populist turn that Mark Latham is sounding like the voice of reason. Back on Sky News after his lengthy term in exile, Latham is making the arguments for moderate, stable government that we seldom hear from Bill Shorten.

“You can only say to the Australian voters, ‘for goodness sake don’t send us back to the torture of the Windsor-Oakeshott era’,” Latham told Alan Jones last week.

“People have got to make a decision to do the …


Julian Leeser wins preselection

Former Menzies Research Centre executive director Julian Leeser has been preselected as the for the Liberal Party in the NSW seat of Berowra. 

Leeser led the MRC from 2006 to 2012 and has a strong background in law, government and public policy.

For the last four years he was  Director, Government Policy and Strategy at Australian Catholic University.

MRC Chairman Tom Harley said Leeser was an outstanding candidate for Parliament.

“Julian made an …

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