Mannkal's e-Focus                         August 2017

Dear <<First Name>>

Death and Taxes
“I would rather the money [taxes] was in the pockets of my people than in my treasury.”
- Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603)
Elizabeth I was popularly referred to as “Good Queen Bess”. Some attribute this informal title to her steady rule after a period of chaos, or her astute diplomacy. It is more likely the affectionate name was due to her tax policy and focus on what we now call sound money.

Good Queen Bess kept taxes low, eliminated the oath on tax returns and accepted whatever revenue her subjects were willing to provide. She also adjusted her rule to the monies available.

It is quite remarkable that Bess made taxes optional as well as moderating expenditure to match revenue. Governments in 2017 may refer to living ‘within our means’, but they inevitably adjust the tax burden to meet their spending ambitions.

Renewed focus on the Australian tax system including discretionary trusts, transfer pricing, negative gearing and the bank levy suggest a growing movement to increase the level of taxation. However, according to the OECD, by 2014 Australia’s tax-to-GDP ratio was already 27.8 percent. This naturally leads to the question: what is the appropriate level of taxation? The answer generally results in a discussion over technical efficiency and identifying the point which taxation will maximise social well-being (however defined).

The real question is to ask how taxes influence decision making and what this means for the vitality of a society. The story of Bess’ approach to taxing can be found in For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization. This remarkable and overlooked book by Charles Adam, originally published in 1993, deserves to be re-read by those who consider tax levels and rates a technical question. In the extreme, over-taxed societies may rebel. More often, taxes sap the energy and dynamism from a society and lead to stagnation and inertia.

To improve the understanding of taxation issues from a global perspective, Mannkal is creating two new scholarships with the World Taxpayers Association for the upcoming summer period. In addition to our long-running scholar program with Canadian Taxpayers Federation, we are equipping the next generation of Western Australian leaders with the skills they need to deal with a legacy of high taxes and debt.
Yours in liberty,

Andrew Pickford
Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Student Seminar: Minimum Wages - Nice Idea, Bad Outcome
Thursday, 10th August
'Hayek on Hood' (Mannkal office), Subiaco

Minimum wages were meant to look after the most vulnerable, but end up causing unintended negative consequences. Are minimum wages a nice idea that can't work in practice? And is there a better way?
Seats are limited. RSVP to
Samuel Griffith Society Conference
Friday, 25th - Sunday, 27th August
Novotel Perth Langley, Perth

A must for anyone with an interest in law and the Constitution of Australia! This year, the Society's conference is coming to Perth, so do not miss your chance to attend this esteemed event. Read more about the conference here.

Mannkal applications have closed, but public registrations remain open.

HETSA Conference
Saturday, 26th - Sunday, 27th September
Australian National University, Canberra

The History of Economic Thought Society of Australia's annual conference will be held at University House, ANU in Canberra. This is an event for anyone with an interest in economic theory and its place in academia and public policy. Read more about the conference here.

Mannkal applications have closed, but public registrations remain open.

Saturday, 14th October
Royal on the Park Hotel, Brisbane

Join LibertyWorks for its inaugural freedom conference! The mission of LibertyFest is to celebrate liberty where it exists and to consider how lost liberties can one day be returned. Confirmed speakers include Senator David Leyonhjelm and Mark Latham. Read more about the conference here.

Public registrations are open.

Western Civilisation Conference
Friday, 24th November
CERI, Nedlands, Perth

Mannkal is hosting a follow-up one day conference to the hugely successful "The Sun Rises in the West Conference" in 2010.

Revisit our 2010 conference here.

SAVE THE DATE. Invitations to follow.

2017 Mid-Year Scholars update
Chanelle Zubrinich

"During the winter break, I was extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to travel to Atlanta and intern at the Foundation for Economic Education. I undertook the role of 'editorial intern' which entailed editing publications, reviewing submissions and creating content. 

Fortunately, the hard work paid off and I was given the opportunity to continue working for FEE as an editor remotely from Perth. I will be returning to Atlanta in 2018 for FEECon and possibly throughout the year for other FEE events. 

None of these opportunities and experiences would have been available without Mannkal. My position merely came about through my ability to be opportunistic when given an amazing platform to start from."
London scholars Ben McDonald (left, Institute of Economic Affairs) and James Walker (right, Centre for Policy Studies) spent a Saturday afternoon visiting Ron's daughter, Sarah Basden, who is also a member of the Mannkal Advisory Council. Pictured here with Sarah's two children at a country fair in Ibthorpe (west of London).
Past Events
Liberty & Society Student Conference Perth
Friday, 4th - Sunday, 6th August
Ibis Hotel, Perth

The Centre for Independent Studies' student conference came to Perth. Participants explored the possibilities offered by classical liberal ideas through presentations by Jason Potts (RMIT), Ben O'Neill (UNSW), Sara Hudson (CIS) and Augusto Zimmerman (Murdoch).
Student Seminar: From I, Pencil to iPhone
Thursday, 3rd August
'Hayek on Hood' (Mannkal office), Subiaco

Paul McCarthy gave a presentation on why international trade is so important and beneficial to everyone involved, sparking a lively debate amongst attending students.
Sundowner Drinks with the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance
Thursday, 27th July
The Village Bar, Subiaco

Tim Andrews, Executor Director of the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance, was in town for a short while. Friends of Mannkal and the ATA met up for drinks and a chat of all things liberty!
Student Seminar: Succesful Investment Management
Tuesday, 25th July
'Hayek on Hood' (Mannkal office), Subiaco

Mannkal ambassador Willy Packer, founder and managing director of Packer & Co. gave a top notch presentation on how to be a successful investment manager in a highly volatile market.

Taxation Trauma

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Mannkal offers international scholarships to Western Australian students. These unique scholarships grant interested young adults a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intern at an international think tank.

To apply please email the following documents to Kate Wagstaff at
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (up to two pages) including photograph (within CV)
  • Statement of Academic Record (an unofficial transcript is sufficient)
  • Cover Letter (1 page) detailing why you are the best candidate for this scholarship, and what you hope to gain
  • Please write on only one of the opportunities on offer. Applicants who progress through to the interview stage of the selection process will be considered for all opportunities.
Applications for 2017 End of Year Internships have closed. Applications for 2018 Mid Year Internships are now open!

Our multi-step application process involves getting to know you through research reports, events, interviews and workshops. The process can take several months, beginning with your application - so the sooner you apply the better! 

Each year, mid-year internship applications close in February, and places are determined around April/May. End of year internship applications close in August, and places are finalised in October/November.

Students who are not successful in receiving a scholarship in one intake will still be eligible for the next intake. The longer we have to get to know you, the better we are able to potentially match you with a suitable host think-tank. 

Now is the time to apply, whether you're in first or last year at University. 
Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Visit our website 

Hayek on Hood, 3/31, Hood Street, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008

(08) 9382 1288

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