Thoughts on economics and liberty

Fully agree with Brumby on this

I thought I'd post this to express my support for John Brumby's article in The Australian today (

And while I find Greg Sheridan's views often useful, the article cited (in The Australian) was misconceived in many ways. Among other things, he referred to an anecdote about a taxi drive of his, and used it to blame all Victorians. The reality also is that every day in the morning, I'm acknowledged as a valuable member of this society by total strangers walking on the streets who wish me well: "G'Day mate, Good Morning".

This is a POLITE COUNTRY. A DECENT COUNTRY. Anyone who clubs the lumpens of Melbourne with the average decent Melbournian is totally misrepresenting this city and its outstandingly cultured people. Yes, I have come across two bad people in the last nine years here: two potentially violent bullies. In one case a small road rage event, and in the other a threatening bully who thought that he must dominate the fast lane in the swimming pool and those with lesser talent did not have a place there. Both events passed without harm, and the swimming pool bully was startled to get what he gave me, back. That's shut him up and he hasn't squeaked since then. But such things are no greater than what one would come across in any other place or country.

But anecdotes are irrelevant. Data is. A high quality statistical analysis that controls the many confounding variables involved in the outcome (violent crime against Indian students) is urgently required. An expert econometrician with a lot of critical thinking and broad based understanding of causality is needed. The debate has simply gotten out of hand because a really good study has not yet been conducted.

There is also a more basic philosophical issue involved here: Why is a government responsible for anyone's racism? Racism is a social problem, not a problem for the government to resolve. As far as a government is concerned, its job is to prevent violence within the resources it possesses. The Australian governments forbid racism by law, and identifies and punishes racism and violence. What else is it supposed to do? It is not a social reformer.

References to my other write-ups on this issue – some far more extensive than this.

a) The Indian media need to show restraint.

b) Amitabh Bachchan's baseless generalisation about Australia

c) How justified are India’s beliefs about Australian racism?

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2 thoughts on “Fully agree with Brumby on this
  1. Sanjay Mehrotra

    Agree that govt is not responsible for social reform. But can we get data on crime rates against community X, Y and Z or nationality A, B and C living in a specific state in Australia?

  2. BDAF

    There are also 2 other factors I can see at work here, one of which I have seen mentioned, and the other not. 
    The first (mentioned) is that a lot of Indians in Australia take the jobs that put them into high risk categories for violence. For example, they may take the menial jobs at a fast food restaurant which finishes late. The Indian has to subsequently ride public transport (often they do it alone, unfortunately) at the criminal witching hour. 
    The second (not mentioned) are that Indians may (although it is difficult to formally establish) be seen as easier targets. Often the thinking goes that an Indian will be walking home alone carrying cash and valuables (e.g. laptops), and that he is defenceless. There is a slight reputation that Indian guys are, well… wimps. I don't want to overstate it because it probably is not an overly conscious thought of the mugger/thief/thug… but it is there.
    A couple of bits of advice. Try to ensure as much as possible that you are travelling in a group, rather than alone. If this is not possible, and walking alone will be a regular occurance, try to take as many precautions as you can. I know it sounds silly and trivial, but try bulking up and take self defence classes. When I lived in a particular part of London for a while, I found I was being (possibly) targeted. Not a HUGE amount, but enough to make me think it was statistically higher than the normal distrib. I began a work-out program, bulked up and learnt how to box (just in case). I was much more confident in troublesome situations, and in a short period of time ALL my problems (of that nature!) stopped, no doubt to my increased size and calmness at handling said situations.
    Please note I am not urging any of you to become violent martial artists (LOL), I am just trying to highlight the various options I think are best for preventing these types of incidents (should they occur, and if you have no other precautions to exercise).
    If sufficient numbers of Indians are able to defend themselves (without breaking the laws of the land, of course!), word has a tendency to filter down the ranks of the dregs. I suspect if there is a problem to do with Indians, and I'm just speculating here, it has less to do with racism and more to do with how Indians are viewed by these undesirable lot of muggers and criminals. As easy pickings.
    After all, how much do thieves/muggers/criminals really care about the race of their intended victims?

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