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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

California’s High-Speed Rail Authority Wins Dishonor of the California Golden Fleece Award



The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has won the Independent Institute’s first California Golden Fleece Award for its lack of transparency and history of misleading the public about key details of the state’s “bullet-train” project, which no longer reflect what voters approved in 2008. The agency’s “bait-and-switch” strategy justifies a statewide vote on whether...
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Why Bernie Sanders Is Morally Unfit to Be President



Bernie Sanders is proud to be a socialist. In July 2015, he told The Nation: “Do they think I’m afraid of the word? I’m not afraid of the word.” As far back as 1989, Sanders said: “I think there has been too much of a reluctance on the part of progressives and radicals to...
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How Socialism is Destroying Baseball in Venezuela



Spring is around the corner, which means the 2016 Major League Baseball season starts soon. Baseball has long been an international game, but more so today than ever. On opening day last year, 230 players on the 25-man rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 U.S. states, or 27 percent of the...
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CBO’s Big Mistakes Highlight Need to Privatize Economic Data Series



On February 10, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) admitted a mistake in its projections of the share of earnings replaced by Social Security for people approaching retirement. Last fall, the CBO said the annual Social Security benefit for those born in the 1960s and retiring at age 65 would replace 60 percent of their...
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The Truth about Tesla Motors



During a January 19th panel discussion at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Tesla Motors general counsel Todd Maron said: “We make money from one thing: car sales and car sales alone.” In reality, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Motors loses more than $4,000 on every car it sells on a “full-cost” basis (keep in...
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Time to Privatize Federal Public Land



In a recent New York Times commentary titled “Give States Control Over Public Land Out West,” Robert H. Nelson wrote: “The federal government owns almost half the land in the American West—even California is some 46 percent federal land.” Here is what surface and subsurface federal ownership looks like on a map. The theory...
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Friedrichs v. CTA Could End Compulsory Union Dues



On January 11, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), a potentially landmark case. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the financial strength and political clout of government employee unions across the country could be diminished greatly. Ten California teachers and a teachers’ group,...
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Israeli Restaurant Owner Uses Market Incentives to Advance Peace



The owner of the Hummus Bar in Israel offers a 50 percent discount to Jewish and Arab customers who share a table together. A small step for peace perhaps, but an illustration of how markets encourage cooperation and peaceful interaction. Here is a two-minute story on the business owner and his idea, airing today...
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Milton Friedman’s Solution for Social Security Would Work for Government Pensions, Too



Milton Friedman, the 1976 Nobel Laureate in economics, was interviewed on the television program Uncommon Knowledge in 1999, and he offered a solution to Social Security’s financial problems: shut it down. But Friedman didn’t advocate that the federal government walk away from its promises. Social Security participants are owed a stream of payments during...
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Actuary Hands Gift to Pension Reformers



The actuarial firm Cheiron recently projected the future yearly pension costs for San Jose’s police and firefighter pension plan. Cheiron wrote: In the worst scenarios, the City’s aggregate contribution rate can exceed 110 percent of payroll. In the best scenarios, the City’s Tier 1 rate can drop to 0 percent, leaving a relatively small...
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