I will have to leave the argument to others now. Besides, there are pressing matters to worry about, like Tony Abbot’s statement that ‘the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift.’
The Prime Minister was referring to new national security measures proposed by the government to provide security against the threat of terrorism. One of the provisions in the new law states that journalists could face up to 10 years in jail for ‘recklessly’ disclosing information that ‘relates to a special intelligence operation’.
Well, what if they disclose the information ‘thoughtfully’ and ‘responsibly’ instead? Or is it the government and ASIO that get to decide what information a free press is free to print? Is that what we’ve come to now?
Deciding how much intolerance you can tolerate in a liberal society is not an easy question to answer. Let’s hope the debate in Australia is spirited and genuine and not dominated by an exaggerated fear of an ‘enemy’ in our midst. But really, it’s probably a faint hope.
The only way for the State to provide for everyone’s ‘security’ is to turn the whole joint into a jail and all of us into inmates. Everything old is new again! The ‘balance’ between freedom and security shifted long ago. It’s only now that most people realise it. And sadly, not many people care, anyway.
All you can do is fight the good fight. Financial freedom gives you a measure of control over other things, which is why it’s our beat here at The Markets and Money and at Port Phillip Publishing. We’ll keep doing our part, and hopefully not go to jail for it.
You can also keep in mind that Australia, all things considered, is a great place to live. It’s a place where, if you play by the rules, you should get a ‘fair go’ just like everyone else. The sun is hot. The beer is cold. Life is good.
It’s such a great place to live that even though I’m not staying, I’m not really going either. Sometime in the next two months, I’ll be sworn in as an Australian citizen. But I’m also hitting the road for the next year to see what’s going on the wider world. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some thoughts from my first contribution ever to the Aussie Markets and Money, almost nine years ago. Before I came aboard, Kris Sayce manned the ship by himself, banging out a reckoning daily by himself. When I joined him in 2005, I wrote the following, by way of introduction, in a Daily Reckoning titled ‘Morning in Australia’.
‘I’m just an analyst who moved to Australia because I think it’s the perfect place to track the three most important investment stories of our investment lifetimes: the resurrection of gold as a hedge against inept governments and inflation, the rise of oil, energy, and commodity stocks, and the emergence of India and China as economic and strategic superpowers.
‘’The food is good here in Melbourne too, nearly as good as Paris, where I spent a year and a half. And the beer is colder than the beer in London, where I spent the last year. As an American, I feel right at home.
‘For investors, this really is ‘the place to be’, as the Victoria license plates read. The folks in the DR offices in London and Baltimore agree, of course, which is one reason we decided to set up a DR bureau right here in Melbourne manned by Kris Sayce just on the other side of the Yarra from my office in St. Kilda.’
The rest is history. The great investment stories of our time continue to play out. Kris, Vern, Greg, Callum and Phil will tell you all about it…and show you what to do with your money. The stories have evolved. But the challenges and opportunities are as real as ever.
For today, that’s it. It’s Beer O’Clock in Albert Park! It’s time to sign off. But one last thing.
Thank you very much for making me feel at home over the last nine years. I liked the place so much I stayed twice as long as I expected to, and decided to call it home in the end. And thanks for taking time to read The Daily Reckoning. I know it’s not always easy…or useful…or profitable…or even fun. But I hope you’ve gotten as much out of it as I’ve put into it. And if you didn’t, at least you got what you paid for. Until next time!
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