1. How did you hear about the Mises Seminar and libertarianism?

Through Economics.org.au.

2. Who is your favourite author, economist and/or politician?

Favourite economist: Adam Smith. Favourite politician: Machiavelli.

3. What is your position on government health insurance? And what are you doing about it?

I don’t have a Medicare card, because I never used the one they sent me 20+ years ago, and it would be nice to die and never have taken anything from Government. Sadly, the fact that I did not take the 1000 dollar flood money means that I have to pay the extra 1.5% tax. So you can be punished for not taking government money too.

4. What is your position on government subsidised solar energy projects? And what are you doing about it?

When I created the world’s first Solar car, there was no interest from government, even though it was free. When I started the World Solar Challenge, an event that has seen a human being taken from Darwin to Adelaide at over 100km/h average speed on just sunshine, there was no interest and no help. When I did the first commercial economy run that proved that we can save 30% on the fuel bill, and I said that is more important than private use of fuel as it is passed on to the consumer, one government employee was honest and said, “You are kidding Tholstrup, we would lose over 2 billion in revenue, why would we want to save that fuel?” They now have a political agenda with solar power, but like the school program, it will cost far too much and won’t work well. Solar Power is good and will find a place in a free market economy.

Ideas should be free to find a place among the free thinkers, not belong to the lobbyist and minister who sees a vote and not a solution. As I say about Bob Brown: he is great at reelection, but not good at reality.

5. What is it like talking politics with Dick Smith? How does it compare to talking politics with Neville Kennard?

Both Nev Kennard and Dick Smith are great at what they do — and they suffer what I call reading the books they accept and talking to those who agree, and that is not want we want to do if we want to broaden horizons and get ahead in a better world, for that we must brainstorm and discuss while being open-minded. Nev has given me many brilliant books to read and 90% are good. Dick has given me a few books of his exploits and his wife is a great photographer so I like them a lot, and I have enjoyed getting his overpopulation book and will finish it soon. Nev should write a book, I have learned much from Nev, and had fun with Dick creating things. My wish is that Nev and Dick should be in the same brainstorming club, learn more from each other.

[Two Dick Smith-Hans Tholstrup adventures are discussed here and here.]

6. Why won’t you accept handouts from government? When did you first make that stand?

I don’t believe that Governments should be in business with the private sector, which should be a free enterprise sector, and that sector should never have government support as it creates monopolistic capitalism and that is as bad as monopolistic socialism known as communism. Having been born in Denmark and seen the damage of socialism, then met Australians in England during an education trip, I went to Australia and it was indeed the land of the free. Then came Whitlam and I had to become an Australian, before I was allowed to say I disliked what was happening to Australia, because otherwise people would say, “If you don’t like it, leave, since you’re not a citizen.”

7. Who do you vote for?

As the law says I must, I do register, but as I have little respect for either Ms Gillard or Mr Abbot I am sure I will just drop in the paper again. And forget the Greens that is just a new flag — the red one did not work either.

8. If you could repeal one government department, what would it be? What government department do you hate most?

Never thought of that one, but many. In fact, most departments can be replaced by efficient free enterprise subcontractors, and most things like welfare should be done by the local council where everybody knows everybody = less cheating and more shame.

And not a department, but all state governments, as we have the councils. Who needs a state government too? The way the state government has exchanged road safety for tax collection, the fact is that the local Council Sheriffs department can do that.

By the way, what a good session, give everyone a piece of paper and ask them to fill in all the questions, while debating it at the same time. Would be an interesting survey!

But seriously, what department? There are so many we don’t need if we have state government too, and council and main road transport, the list is long and expensive.

Where will they find the money if we have a mining bust, and after mining in general.

We will be like Greece.

Well, your problem, I will be dead!

9. What do your friends say about your politics?

I have never heard so much talk as right now, they really hate what is going on, but I only discuss it with thinkers, not with readers of the daily media.

10. Why are you going to the Mises Seminar? What do you hope to get out of it?

There is only one reason to go to the Mises Seminar: to be a better libertarian.