Author Archives: Don Arthur

Think tanks – Influence isn’t always about offering practical solutions

Many people say the best way to influence government is to give policymakers practical solutions to problems they care about. According to this perspective, academics and think tanks scholars can get it wrong by spending too much time analysing problems … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The forgotten issue of drunken pensioners

Researchers warn that substance abuse among the elderly will double by 2020, but few journalists or policymakers worry about age pensioners squandering welfare money on alcohol and drugs. Things were different in 1905–6 when a royal commission looked at establishing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

What’s the point of Work for the Dole?

Work for the Dole doesn’t work, says economist Jeff Borland. Citing a study he and Yi-Ping Tseng carried out using data from the late 1990s, he argues that it does nothing to create long-term employment opportunities and too little to … Continue reading

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Did Hayek support a basic income guarantee?

A recent Swiss proposal for a basic income guarantee has sparked interest from commentators on both the left and right. In a discussion of libertarian arguments for the proposal, Bleeding Heart Libertarians blogger Matt Zwolinski suggests that the classical liberal … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments

Show don’t tell — What swing voters mean by ‘vision’

When political parties want to convey vision they typically reach for slogans packed with values words like ‘fairness’ and ‘strength’. But according to Ben Shimshon of BritainThinks: "Those grand vision words are almost always taken as a signal that what’s … Continue reading

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Kludge and how think tanks and policy wonks make it worse

Think tank scholars and policy wonks strive to be both practical and clever. Being practical means proposing policies that have a good chance of getting taken up by government in the short term. And being clever means policies that generate … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - international | 24 Comments

Who are the Liberal Democrats?

The Liberal Democrats look set to take a Senate seat in NSW after the party scored the best spot on the ballot paper. A libertarian party, the LDP’s website describes it as a "a serious, progressive, small-government alternative." The party … Continue reading

Posted in Politics - national | 17 Comments