Posts by Lawrence J. McQuillan
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.
How Governments Botched COVID-19 Testing, Reinforcing Destructive Lockdowns and Massive “Relief” Spending


By Lawrence J. McQuillan and Jonathan Hofer The most glaring governmental failure during the COVID-19 experience in the United States has been the botched testing strategy because it allowed government authorities to “justify” devastating lockdowns and massive “relief” spending. But the lockdowns and spending could have been avoided had better testing been pursued from...
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Economic Science, Sunk Costs, and the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Afghanistan


The main argument to stay in Afghanistan reflects the “sunk cost fallacy,” which results in suboptimal decisions. It has been used by U.S. government officials throughout history to justify foreign interventions regardless of any present national security interests.
Walter E. Williams on Race in America: A Tribute by His Former Student


Walter E. Williams, outspoken Black libertarian economist, professor of economics at George Mason University (GMU) for 40 years, syndicated newspaper columnist, author of 13 books, and occasional guest host on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, died December 2, 2020, after teaching a class at GMU. He was 84. The world will be less informed and...
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What’s Wrong With the “Fix Your Own Government” Argument Opposing Immigration?


One argument against immigration, often voiced by self-identified conservatives, is that “foreigners should stay in their home country and fix their governments rather than come to America.” President Donald Trump expressed this view when he tweeted to four Democratic members of Congress “who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total...
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California Supreme Court Curtails Pension Abuse by Law Enforcement Officers, Others


How do you rake in more money after retirement than when you worked? One way is to become a California police officer, sheriff, or sheriff’s deputy. As I reported in my book on government-employee pension systems, California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis, former San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong...
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An Open Letter to the People of Hong Kong


While Americans were celebrating their freedoms during the July 4th weekend, the people of Hong Kong were losing theirs, with passage of China’s Hong Kong National Security Law. Independent Institute President and CEO David J. Theroux and Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan joined 68 other leading advocates for freedom from around the world in...
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What the George Floyd Protesters Should Demand: Five Top Reforms


Unfortunately, we have seen this before: police beat, shoot, or kill an unarmed person, people gather in the streets to demonstrate peacefully, but eventually rioting and looting follows. Anger erupts, blood is spilled, property destroyed, neighborhoods are ruined, but, in the end, local policing is largely unaffected. Typically, the governmental response involves creating a...
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California Would Have Low-Cost Housing If Government Allowed It: The Mortenson Experiment


Chris Mortenson, a San Diego developer, hired an architect to find out what type of SRO (single-room-occupancy) building he could develop for very low-income people, many of them homeless, if unnecessary state and local regulations were ignored. SROs are basically apartment buildings that typically have rooms without kitchens and shared bathrooms at the end...
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A Proposed California Constitutional Amendment to Resolve the Housing Affordability Crisis


A Proposed California Constitutional Amendment to Resolve the Housing Affordability Crisis The People of the State of California hereby find and declare the following: (a) Whereas, Californians are suffering from an unprecedented housing affordability crisis caused by state and local government regulations, fees, mandates, and prohibitions that have overly restricted housing supplies and increased...
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Why Bernie Sanders Is (Still) Morally Unfit to Be President


[With Democratic Party presidential primaries on March 10 in six states including Michigan, it’s a good time to read my 2016 commentary on why Bernie Sanders is morally unfit to be president. Please share it so that the world knows the truth about Bernie Sanders.] Bernie Sanders is proud to be a socialist. In...
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