Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is from Brisbane, Australia, and most recently served as the Lord Mayor’s Representative for the Gabba Ward in the 2016 Brisbane City Council elections. Previously he worked as a Liaison Specialist for Wilson Security in Papua New Guinea and, prior to that, as a senior policy adviser to the Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment. [READ MORE]

Latest Posts

The Case Against Debt

Rarely are the harmful effects of debt explained or unpacked at length. Greed is often the main explanation for the 2008 Global Financial Crisis alongside Wall Street malpractice and complaints of ‘the top one percent.’ These are certainly much easier targets for blame than household debt, which appears to have a subtle but much more potent effect in causing and exacerbating recessions. This is the message of a new book called House of Debt: How They (And You) Caused the Great Recession by American economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi. While technical in parts their argument is simple enough for […]

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Old truths: wealth creation in PNG

The cold fact is that most income is not distributed,’ says the American economist Thomas Sowell, ‘it is earned.’ Although there are concerns over ‘who’ will benefit from Papua New Guinea’s record economic growth, it should be unsurprising that most of this wealth will continue to levitate toward resource companies. To boldly assert that fortune should be ‘distributed’ is to misunderstand the nature of wealth in a free market and capitalist economy. PNG’s unprecedented economic growth over the past decade is expected to continue and even increase in the coming decades. It’s worth recalling that nearly all of this is […]

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Menzies, Capitalism and Instant Gratification

Ask a 20-year old how to get rich, says Keith Campbell, and they will likely give you three answers: “I can either be famous on reality TV, or I can go start a dot-com company and sell it to Google in about a week, or I can go work for Goldman Sachs and just steal money from old people.” Today the idea of instant gratification rightly faces a tough audience. Reward without effort closely resembles the entitlement culture of expectation minus responsibility found not just with young people. In criticising instant gratification, however, it becomes easy to blame two key […]

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BOOK REVIEW: As Good as the Masters They Serve

Stephen Mills, The Professionals: Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia, Black Inc, Collingwood, 2014 In any arena a mix between competition and technology is likely to result in growth. The demand for political professionals in Australia has been amplified by an obvious contest between the two major parties, while technology has helped in researching voter preferences, promoting political messaging and easing campaign coordination to service the political professional’s ultimate goal – electoral success. A clear distinction between a professional and amateur is of course pay. But the type of service is key. In 1915 Archibald […]

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Bringing the Australian flag to a younger audience

“Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart,” supposedly said Winston Churchill. “Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.” Today it’s common to hear that young Australians aren’t interested in politics. This coincides with a perceived weariness toward democracy not just in Australia but supposedly increasing across the Western world. Certainly, the unique benefits of Australia’s formal institutions, from the rule of law to parliamentary democracy, don’t always invite tender reflection among a young population charging ahead with unprecedented affluence and opportunities. Promoting national icons like the Australian Flag, […]

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How minorities succeed

Having worked as a young professional in the South Pacific I’ve often been impressed at the commercial success of some minority groups. It’s clear some groups have, under far from ideal economic and political conditions, managed to build success and wealth from virtually nothing. In some cases this has happened in just under a generation. In the late 1800’s the British began shipping Indians to work as indentured laborers on Fiji’s sugar cane plantations. Life in these early years was tough – near suffocating humidity and grinding hours don’t suggest comfortable conditions or a bright future. But today the Indo-Fijian […]

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BOOK REVIEW: A Tale of Two Wests

Allen West, Guardian of the Republic, Crown Forum, New York, 2014 ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’ said Kanye West awkwardly during the Hurricane Katrina appeal. Observing the United States from afar one often hears she is ‘a nation of contrasts.’ Only in America, Chris Rock suggested a few years ago, can the best golfer be a black guy, the best rapper a white guy and the tallest basketball player a Chinese guy. A contrast, therefore, between narrow-minded commentary and a serious assessment of America’s current state of affairs is unsurprising. Former Republican Congressman Allen West’s memoir Guardian of […]

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Sean Jacobs: A Bit of Sowell

Being a great fan of the American economist Thomas Sowell I recently purchased and read his autobiography A Personal Odyssey. It’s interesting to read about the experiences that shaped, in my view, one of the most prolific living economists around today. Sowell, almost 90 years old, has written over 50 books on economics, politics, and legal and social issues. But what makes him unique is how he unpacks and places complex issues at the feet of general readers. This skill, he notes, was built after receiving tough but warranted criticism of his early fictional writing. ‘Once I realized how little I knew about writing,’ […]

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Floors and ceilings

It’s no surprise that many would like to be as good at basketball as Kobe Bryant or at golf as Tiger Woods. And it’s equally no surprise that this isn’t possible. But there’s one way to make us ‘more equal’ and that’s to make those better off much worse. To continue with sports, for example, let’s say we limit the amount of time Bryant and Woods train each day. This would disrupt their performance and, in doing so, reduce the gap between our abilities. But the objective has been achieved – we’re now more equal (although still a great deal […]

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Australia’s Booker T Washington: Senator Neville Bonner

The late Senator Neville Bonner (1922-99) was Australia’s first federal Aboriginal Parliamentarian, serving in Australia’s federal Senate from 1971 to 1983. I decided to dust off Bonner’s story in a recent Australian magazine because his life and political success is a classic conservative example of rallying around principle over complexion. What’s often brushed aside in the reflections of Bonner is that he was a member of Australia’s Liberal Party – Australia’s equivalent of the GOP. While the political contexts in the United States and Australia clearly differ, Bonner’s journey has familiar appeal to black conservative politics in America – facing […]

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