Lawrence J. McQuillan Archive

Lawrence J. McQuillan is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

Shining Spotlight on Bogus U.C. Berkeley “Think Tank” During National Sunshine Week



This week is National Sunshine Week, a time when many journalists across America publish stories on government spending and transparency. One organization that needs more sunshine is the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at the University of California at Berkeley, a union propaganda mill disguised as an academic think tank and…
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What Makes a Miserable Country?



Venezuela is the world’s most miserable country, according to a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University who have calculated a World Misery Index. “Misery” is measured as the sum of a country’s inflation rate, unemployment rate, and interest rate, minus the annual percentage change in real GDP per capita. The higher the total…
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LAPD Targets Citizens’ Free Speech Rights



As tech CEOs gather with President Obama and other government officials at today’s White House Cyber Summit at Stanford University, it is important for entrepreneurs to keep in mind who they are breaking bread with. A case in point: Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), wrote a letter recently to…
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Modern Tech Suggests Government Data on Police-Related Homicides Flawed



The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes statistics on police-involved homicides, while on duty, of civilians. Its system relies on voluntary self-reporting by the nation’s more than 18,000 local and state police agencies. Self-reporting works well when there is an incentive to report and an incentive to report accurately. But police departments have no…
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Death Valley? Peter Thiel and Steve Jobs on What Could Kill Silicon Valley



On January 27, legendary entrepreneur Peter Thiel told a packed house at an Independent Institute luncheon, at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, that to blaze new trails ask: “What important truth do very few people agree with me on?” One of mine is that California will not be the epicenter of the tech…
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The Moral Argument Governor Brown’s Inaugural Speech Left Out



As a teenager, Jerry Brown left Santa Clara University to attend a Jesuit seminary, intent on becoming a Catholic priest. Moral arguments in the context of public-policy debates have always been important to him. So during his inaugural address on January 5, as he became California’s governor for an historic fourth term, Brown quoted…
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Fascism Is Efficient, Says Andres Duany, Leading Proponent of “Sustainable Development”



It goes by many names: “sustainable development,” “smart growth,” “transit-oriented development,” to name a few. But development projects built under the banner of “sustainability” share the same elements: high-density residential housing and high-intensity commercial space (so-called mixed use) clustered near capital-intensive mass transit lines surrounded by government-owned “open space” and, increasingly, government-imposed “urban growth…
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Smarter Forest Management Could Yield Water for California’s Population Growth



There is mounting evidence that poor policies are creating California’s water troubles. California has a policy problem disguised as a water problem. The poor policies create massive misallocation of water and water waste throughout the state. More evidence of this comes from Roger Bales, a hydrologist with the University of California, Merced, and Scott…
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California Senate Arrest Rate Higher Than Any Large California City



Three California state senators have been arrested this year. In February, State Sen. Ron Calderon was arrested for accepting bribes, wire fraud, money laundering, and falsification of tax returns. In March, State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested for gun trafficking and taking bribes. In August, State Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested for driving drunk….
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CalPERS Approves 99 New Ways to Spike California Public Pensions



Today, in yet another act of fiscal irresponsibility, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) approved a list of 99 types of extra pay that can be used to calculate pension benefits for state and local government employees. The supplemental pay includes extra money that public employees earn when they briefly fill higher-paying jobs….
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