Lawrence J. McQuillan Archive

Lawrence J. McQuillan is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute. He is the author of the Independent book, California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis.
Full biography and recent publications

A Brief History of Silicon Valley



Tech Insider created a four-minute video on the history of Silicon Valley. It’s fun to watch and informative, especially for younger people who weren’t alive when “the Valley” went from groves and orchards to Apples and Googles. The video doesn’t address one key question: How long will Silicon Valley survive? I discuss this in...
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Google Scientist Takes On “Robogeddon”



The future of work has always been a hotly debated subject. The heat has been turned up recently with advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). One view, expressed by Stowe Boyd, lead researcher at GigaOM Research, is that robots will yield a net reduction in jobs for humans, “The central question of 2025...
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Transcending Government — A Future of Competitive Governance Driven by “Governance Entrepreneurs”



In a little-known 2006 World Bank report Where Is the Wealth of Nations? a team of economists provide a snapshot of wealth in 120 countries, and they find that governance is key. A full 46 percent of total wealth in high-income countries derives from the rule of law, the most important factor. This is an...
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Transcending Government — Consensual Governance and New Technology



“Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.” –Jim Dator Humans are three-dimensional animals. They require physical space to live, work, and play. Over thousands of years, humans built physical communities of different shapes, sizes, and compositions to accommodate their three-dimensional existence. But increasingly, humans are also building virtual communities that...
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How Soviets in 1960 Imagined 2017, and the Biggest Changes They Missed



A 1960 Soviet filmstrip surfaced earlier this year depicting a vision of life in 2017. As Russia prepares for the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, it is interesting to reflect on the filmstrip to see what Soviet propagandists got right and what they got wrong. The 45-frame filmstrip, found in a family...
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Pope Francis’s Failure to See Entrepreneurs as Good Samaritans Undercuts the Poor



On April 25, a videotaped talk by Pope Francis was released at the international TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. The 18-minute talk, titled “Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone,” can be viewed here. Francis highlighted three themes, beginning with the observation that community is central to human existence: [L]ife flows through our...
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Is the Largest Cost of Federal Regulation Not Measured? Insights from the (Growing) Wells Fargo Bank Scandal



A widely-cited study by W. Mark Crain and Nicole V. Crain estimates the cost of complying with U.S. government regulations at a staggering $2 trillion per year, an amount equal to 12 percent of gross domestic product. Annual compliance costs average about $10,000 per employee. Businesses in the service sector shoulder the biggest burden...
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The Federal Budget in Plain English



According to the President’s Office of Management and Budget, the 2016 federal budget looks like this (p. 115): Now let’s pretend this is a household budget by removing eight zeros: Clearly, this family is financially irresponsible, as rising debt and debt-service costs consume the family budget. To continue the analogy with the federal government,...
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Why Pro-Soda-Tax Ad in Bay Area Is Misleading, Part II



The November ballot in Oakland and San Francisco will feature proposals for a soda tax in each city, known as Measure HH and Proposition V, respectively, which would charge soda distributors an additional one cent per ounce of soda they sell in each city (or $2.88 per case). The tax would also apply to...
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Why Michael Bloomberg’s Pro-Soda-Tax Ad Is Misleading



Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is helping to bankroll a television-commercial campaign in favor of proposed soda taxes in Oakland and San Francisco, known as Measure HH and Proposition V, respectively, which will appear on each city’s November ballot. You can’t miss the commercial if you live in the Bay Area, as...
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  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org