Friday, December 13, 2002


How would you like someone to proclaim to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide the accusation that you are "a schemer given to stock scams, money laundering and fraud"? Not nice? Yet that is what Dow Jones did to Joe Gutnick, despite his having no convictions for any such offences and hence being entitled to the full presumption of innocence. And apparently US libel law allows a newspaper to say that sort of thing about people. Dow Jones would hardly have said that in the first place otherwise and Joe Gutnick would certainly have sued them in the US for saying it if his advisers had told him he stood any chance of success.

Instead, of course, Gutnick sued in Australia where individual rights are better protected in such matters. There has been much breastbeating on the internet about the Australian High Court accepting jurisdiction in the matter but it seems to me that the breastbeating should have been about the scandalous inadequacy of US libel law.

In any case, legal co-operation between different countries is governed by international treaties so if the US is so attached to its bad law in this matter it can renegotiate the relevant treaties and accept the consequences -- the major consequence being that the other countries concerned will also limit their co-operation with the USA when it wants to enforce the judgements of its courts.

So if the USA wants to protect its internet publishers from foreign law it can do so -- at a price. The price would probably be low in the case of a country like Zimbabwe but high in the price of a country like Australia.

It might finally be noted that Australia�s racial vilification laws are quite as absurd and as onerous as anything existing or proposed in Britain (See my post of 27th November) but the sky has not yet fallen in for Australian bloggers so it seems unlikely that overseas internet publishers have anything significant to fear from the laws concerned either. Liberties have always been guaranteed in Britain more by custom than by law and that is true in Australia too.



One of my more frequent American correspondents, Dave Mecklenburg, has been reading a bit about Canada lately and is not impressed by what he has learned. He comments as follows:

�Canadians are proud of their healthcare system, which does not constitute "health insurance," nor does it provide "better access to healthcare." Canadians have socialized medicine, paid for with taxes. That is not health insurance; it is Big Government. I, on the other hand, have "health insurance." My health insurance gives me access to the best medical care in the world. My health insurance has covered two elective surgeries, and of course, I didn't have to wait. From initial check-up to actual general-anesthetic surgery took less than two weeks both times. Canadians on the other hand get to wait for inferior healthcare, which is why Canadians cross the border for American healthcare.

Now do Canadians really have "better access", even if you ignore the inferior medicine and long waits? This is a complete lie from the Left. Every American has access to a job with healthcare insurance. If an American chooses to take a job that does not offer healthcare insurance as a benefit or if a person is self-employed, health insurance can be bought for approximately $130 per month for an individual under 30 years old. $130 is affordable to any working American, including individuals making the minimum wage.

But because America is a free country, individuals can choose to spend their income on car payments, stereos, cable television, cell phones, and other non-necessities if they so choose. The other thing the Left hides is that any hospital that accepts Federal money, which is the great majority of American hospitals because of the Federal Medicare payments, CANNOT turn away anyone from its emergency rooms. It turns out that every American DOES have access to healthcare, either through affordable private health insurance or through emergency room of public hospitals.



The latest GDP per head figures (in US dollars) are interesting:

USA $35587
Japan $32552
Ireland $ $26823
UK $ 23829
Sweden $23596
Germany 22427
Canada $22362
France $22123
Italy $18989
Spain $14452

Ireland has really streaked ahead thanks to a history of continual tax cuts and Germany and Canada have really sunk thanks to unending government meddling in their economies. But what a blow it must be for the English to see the Irish now better off than them!

GDP per head is of course only a rough guide to the purchasing power of the average inhabitant of the country concerned. High land prices and high food costs (both the product of ferocious government meddling) erode purchasing power particularly markedly in Japan. So for spending power there is still nothing like being an American.

Thanks to Iain Murray (of England's Sword) for the figures.



Great story here. Britain will shortly have an open door to immigrants from Central Europe -- Poland etc. Central Europeans have a history of integrating seamlessly into Anglo-Saxon populations. More European Christians and fewer middle-Eastern Muslims sounds like a great policy to me.



A majority of all South Africans (black and white) now believe that the place was better run under Apartheid -- according to a recent survey. Having myself been there twice -- once under Apartheid and once recently -- I cannot say that I am surprised.



According to one of Sean Gabb's recent newletters, most UK libertarians are atheists who believe that if God does exist, He ought to be privatised!


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