As recently as last month, a Morgan Poll found that the majority public support for migration that began in 1998 had been maintained. As I noted at the time, this was a little surprising given other polls were identifying concern about the consequences of population growth.
Now the latest Nielsen poll reported in the Fairfax broadsheets finds that finally the polls have turned on support for the migration program, with 54% saying that the number of migrants coming to Australia is too high. 38% say that the number is about right, while 6% say it is too low.
In 1992, John Carroll and Robert Manne published Shutdown: The Failure of Economic Rationalism. This was the book that prompted me and two university friends, Chrises Jones and James, to co-edit A Defence of Economic Rationalism.
Eighteen years on, Carroll has written to The Australian to explain that he no longer supports the book’s conclusions:
To me now, the past two decades support the maxim: if in doubt, trust the free market.
Moreover, if the GFC signals anything it is to beware irresponsible government
Shutdown co-editor Robert Manne is hoping that he will be second-time lucky with Goodbye to All That: On the Failure of Neoliberalism and the Urgency of Climate Change.
It’s rare that public intellectuals will admit that they were wrong, so Carroll deserves congratulation for doing so.