One of the feature articles in this issue is by Tim Andrews. Andrews looks at Australian and American constitutional law and focuses on the trend towards centralism that is evident in both countries. He sees little advantage in the highly nationalist and centralised status of Australian federalism at present. From an economic point of view, decentralisation allows for more dynamic societies, with each state competing with other states on various indicators, thereby driving improvements in living standards. Andrews also delves deeply into the prevailing jurisprudence on federalism, in the process mounting a powerful (albeit currently unpopular) critique of the ways in which the High Court of Australia has perverted constitutional interpretation and the intentions of the framers by centralising power.
Andrew Dahdal, meanwhile, examines a part of Australia’s monetary system that has rarely been questioned – namely, fiat currency. It will be of interest to readers to know that section 115 bars state governments from making ‘anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts’. The question then becomes: does the federal government possess a power to allow something other than gold and silver coin to be used in payment of debts? Dahdal examines the text and history behind the Constitution to demonstrate that ‘the Australian Constitution does not support a system of fiat currency that can apply nationally across federal and State jurisdictions’. Dahdal’s arguments are intriguing and deserve careful consideration by constitutional lawyers.
And then there are the contributions of Marcus Witcher, Brian Bedkober and Vinay Kolhatkar on economic history, medical economics and media ethics respectively, all of whom question the dominant narrative or reinterpret historical events. Witcher’s scholarship is insightful and offers a refreshing take on the history of English price rises and currency debasement. Bedkober applies free-market principles to healthcare, arguing that many of the objections raised against individual choice and reduced government intervention in healthcare are spurious at best. And Kolhatkar, through a process of careful investigation, finds that a well told yarn can outweigh logical reasoning; it is therefore imperative the media perform its fourth estate function in order to keep government’s fictional story-telling from being treated as fact.
In summary, there is bound to be some food for thought in this issue. Thanks must go to all the authors who submitted an article.
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