Freedom to Choose 2018: would a plucked goose still lay golden eggs?

05 July 2018

Economics conference focusses on plan to impose resource super profit tax in 2010

The 9th Freedom to Choose economics conference was held at The University of Notre Dame’s Fremantle Campus on Friday, 29 June, 2018

The conference, supported by the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, was devoted to analysing the wisdom of Australian governments levying surplus or rent taxes in the resource industries, with a focus on the plan to impose the resource super profit tax (RSPT) in 2010 as a case study.

The title of the conference drew on the famous observation by John-Baptiste Colbert, the minister of finance in the reign of Louis XIV, that the “art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing”.

A key objective of the conference series is to introduce economics students to free-market ideas in their historical context and the role economists should play in policy formation.

The 2018 conference was attended by students from across Western Australia’s universities. The students had the opportunity of meeting senior business, academic and political figures.

Speakers included Henry Ergas (The Australian), David Gilchrist (UWA), Paul Kelly (Editor-at-Large, The Australian), Peter Hartley (Rice University), Jonathan Pincus (University of Adelaide) and Peter Robertson (UWA).

There were vigorous questions to the speakers from students and other attendees. Consistent with the lecture series’ commitment to critical, scholarly and non-ideological stance dissent was encouraged from both the floor and the podium.

At the conference the Dean of the School of Business, Professor Werner Soontiens announced a new academic course in Public Choice Theory, to be offered in 2019 to students from all Western Australia’s universities with the support of the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation.


Media Contact - Beth Kennedy : +61 8 9433 0764 | 0447 038 958 beth.kennedy@nd.edu.au.