Mont Pelerin Society Conference Day IV

Yesterday was a break day (a great idea in a five day conference) and we went to the Toorak Sheep Station. I took a few photos which I will try and blog time permitting. was quite amusing.

Today’s agenda is:

  • New Threats to Liberty and the Private Sphere – Nannies and Busybodies, Tax Harmonisation and the Surveillance State
    • Surveillance State – John Kampfner
    • Tax Harmonisation: A Threat to Liberty – Professor Sinclair Davidson
    • Nannies and Busy Bodies – Dr Eric Crampton
  • New Developments in Economics: A Sceptical View
    • The Use of Happiness in Society – Dr Jason Potts
    • The Economist as Guru – Professor Geoffrey Brennan
    • Behavioral Economics, Law, and Liberty: The Never-ending Quest for the Third Way – Judge Douglas Ginsburg
  • Science, Scepticism and the Future
    • Constructive Dissent – Professor Steven Schwartz
      What Does Climategate Say About Science? – Professor Terence Kealey

John Howard spoke yesterday on economic reform in Australia. They have been lucky in that they had continuous reform from 1983 to 2007 – the Hawke, Keating and Howard Governments all put a premium on increasing the rate of productivity growth. While under the last Government, the rate of productivity growth was anaemic.

Eric Crampton’s presentation on how paternalistic busybodies use dodgy economics as justification for all sorts of interventions and compulsions was superb. Hopefully he will be able to blog it.

There are over 300 (not 200) people here and an amazing range of people. Many former Ministers, top academics, a couple of nobel prize winners or nominees, senior govt officials and the like. But they also have fellowships which get a lot of younger people here. One of them in a lunch-time address said how great it was to be at a conference with so many people he has foot-noted or referenced in his academic writings.

The NZ contingent numbers 22 and we had a fun group dinner on Tuesday evening.

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