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Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan: California’s Public Pension Crisis
Recorded: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On June 17, 2014, Sr. Fellow Lawrence McQuillan spoke at an event for supporters of the Independent Institute. Dr. McQuillan spoke about California’s state pension system, a topic he writes about frequently, including in his forthcoming book “California Dreamin’: Resolving the Public Pension Crisis.”

First he defines the types of pension programs for state employees, he outlined how funding for the programs is not sustainable for the promises made to pension recipients. The state admits to an unfunded liability of $140 billion, but McQuillan says that is actually an underestimate. According to most economists, the true amount of the unfunded liability is $430 billion.

How did this happen? McQuillan explains and offers six solutions to keep the pension systems solvent.

Experts: Lawrence J. McQuillan
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Culture/ Society, Economic History and Development (U.S.), Economic Policy, Fiscal Policy/Debt, Labor and Employment, Political Ideology and Philosophy


Ron Paul: Understanding Liberty
Recorded: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014 In this clip from "Ron Paul: Liberty Defined," Dr. Paul describes how real positive change comes from understanding liberty and economics.

Experts: Ron Paul
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Business, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Economic Policy, Economists, Fiscal Policy/Debt, Government Power, Political Ideology and Philosophy


What Should the Fed Be Doing? Myths, Current Strategies and Alternatives
Recorded: Monday, November 12, 2012

Research Fellow David Beckworth, editor of Boom and Bust Banking, and Research Fellow Scott Sumner, contributor to Boom and Bust Banking, discuss the role of the Fed.

Experts: David Beckworth, Scott Sumner
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Banking and Finance, Bureaucracy and Government, Business, Economic History and Development (U.S.), Economic Policy, Fiscal Policy/Debt, Free Market Economics, Regulation and Deregulation


Drug War Crimes
Recorded: Thursday, May 6, 2004

Each year, the U.S. government spends over $30 billion on the drug war and arrests more than 1.5 million people on drug-related charges. Currently more than 318,000 people are behind bars in the U.S. for drug violations—more than the number of people incarcer-ated for all crimes in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined. Have current drug laws deterred drug abuse and reduced crime? What are the real costs of this country’s war on drugs? Is there a link between the homicide rate and the amount of resources given to drug prohibition? Please join us as Boston University economist Jeffrey Miron (author of the major new book, Drug War Crimes) and former San Jose police chief, Joseph McNamara, examine these questions and explore real alternatives to America’s “War on Drugs.”

Jeffrey A. Miron

Boston University Professor of Economics and author of the new book, Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition. His articles on Drug Policy have appeared in Social Research, Boston Globe and the London Observer. He received his Ph. D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joseph D. McNamara

Research Fellow, Hoover Institution. Former Chief of Police, San Jose, CA and Kansas City, MO. He has published articles in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications. He has been a commentator for NPR and has appeared on Meet the Press, Good Morning America, Sixty Minutes, and other programs.

Ethan A. Nadelmann

Founder and Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the War on Drugs. Dr. Nadelmann received his Ph.D. and J.D. from Harvard University and a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. His speaking and writings on drug policy have attracted international attention and appeared in Science, American Heritage, National Review, and others.

Experts: Joseph D. McNamara, Jeffrey A. Miron, Ethan A. Nadelmann
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Crime, Criminal Justice/ Prisons, Drugs (Illicit), Government Waste/Pork, Law Enforcement


The Drug War on Trial: Two Judges Speak Out
Recorded: Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Drug abuse is a serious problem, but the "War on Drugs" shows no sign of being won and has come with a heavy price tag. Critics say that its side effects- increased taxes, increased crime and corruption here and abroad, loss of civil liberties, decreased health, prison overcrowding, discrimination against African Americans and other groups, and the diversion of resources away from other problems- are even worse for society than the drugs themselves. Many public officials share this sentiment but fear political reprisals if they speak out. However, Judges James Gray and Vaughn Walker, having witnessed the Drug War up close, believe that the time has come to testify publicly about its ill effects- and to outline bold, new approaches to the drug problem.

Experts: James P. Gray, Vaughn Walker
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Crime, Criminal Justice/ Prisons, Drugs (Illicit), Law Enforcement


Friedrich Hayek and the Future of Liberty
Recorded: Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) left such a profound mark on economic and political thought that The New Yorker has called the 20th century, "The Hayek Century." After converting to free-market capitalism and classical liberalism in the 1920s, Hayek became one of socialism's and statism's staunchest critics. His 1944 bestseller, The Road to Serfdom, warned of central government planning's authoritarian, and even totalitarian, tendencies- and helped reignite worldwide interest in the philosophy and practice of freedom. Although Hayek's 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Science brought renewed interest in his ideas, it wasn't until the collapse of the Soviet Bloc (which Hayek predicted) that his vast writings on economics, political philosophy, law, history, culture, and other fields became broadly recognized as essential to achieve a prosperous, humane and free society. Biographer Alan Ebenstein and economist Charles Baird shed light on Hayek's seminal legacy and the rebirth of freedom.

Experts: Charles W. Baird, Alan O. Ebenstein
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Economic History and Development (U.S.), Economic Policy, Economists, Fiscal Policy/Debt, Public Health/ Consumer Protection


Stopping Violent Crime: New Directions for Reduction and Prevention
Recorded: Tuesday, December 3, 1996

Tuesday, December 3, 1996

Co-sponsored by the Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission
University Theater, Garvey Fine Arts Center
Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Arthur R. Miller, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Bruce L. Benson, Professor of Economics, Florida State University; Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute
Erika Holzer, bestselling author of book and major motion picture, Eye for an Eye
Wendy Kaminer, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
William I. Koch, Chairman, Koch Crime Commission
Alan J. Lizotte, Director, Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, University at Albany
David B. Sentelle, Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
David J. Theroux, Founder and President, The Independent Institute
Richard L. Thornburgh, former U.S. Attorney General
Hubert Williams, President, Police Foundation
Marvin E. Wolfgang, Director, Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
James R. Wyrsch, President, Wyrsch Hobbs Mirakian & Lee, P.C.

Violent crime continues to be a major social and economic problem in the United States and around the world. This important debate, held before an audience of 1,000 at Washburn University, features a panel of experts from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including criminal justice officials, business and civic leaders, scholars, and best-selling authors.

In a lively and challenging exchange of ideas, the program addresses why the criminal justice system has become increasingly bureaucratized and politicized, ever less responsive and ever more costly. Topics include victim’s rights, crime and incarceration rates, restitution, civil liberties, illicit drugs, guns, racism, policing, privatization, and sentencing.

Co-sponsored by The Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission, this program was distributed by Central Educational Network and appeared on the Public Broadcasting System.

Experts: Bruce L. Benson, Erika Holzer, Wendy Kaminer, William I. Koch, Alan J. Lizotte, Arthur R. Miller, David B. Sentelle, David J. Theroux, Richard L. Thornburgh, Hubert Williams, Marvin E. Wolfgang, James R. Wyrsch
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Crime, Criminal Justice/ Prisons, Culture/ Society, Drugs (Illicit), Family, Gun Control, Labor and Employment, Law Enforcement, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Public Health/ Consumer Protection, Race Issues, Urban Issues, Welfare, Women’s Issues


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