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

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 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 industry someday. But why would...
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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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Technology Can Make the Regulatory State Obsolete



The late American inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Ridesharing services are trying to do this, but governments stand in the way. In a two-minute Perspective aired today on National Public Radio station KQED...
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A “Smart-Growth” Revolt in California



On June 18, the Larkspur City Council voted unanimously to kill a high-density “smart-growth” development plan for this community of 12,000 people 16 miles north of San Francisco. The plan called for building 39,500 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of hotel space, 77,500 square feet of retail space, and up to...
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Soaring Pension Costs Devour School Budgets in California



The revised budget unveiled in May by California Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to increase the amount of money that public school districts and their teachers would pay into the teacher pension fund going forward. The legislature must approve a budget by June 15 or legislators forfeit their pay until a budget is passed. The...
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No Joke, Paul Krugman Praised Veterans Health System as National Model



In 2011, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that the federal Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system is a “huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform.” Let’s examine Krugman’s arguments for why the VA is a national model for healthcare in light of recent revelations: 1) Krugman says the...
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