On June 17, 2014, Sr. Fellow Lawrence McQuillan spoke at an event for supporters of the Independent Institute. Dr. McQuillan spoke about Californias 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.
Richard K. Vedder and Ken Jacobs debate whether the rise of Walmart and similar big box retailers have been beneficial or harmful to the US economy.
Richard K. Vedder is Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate, Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University. Professor Vedder is co-author (with Lowell Gallaway) of The Independent Institute book, "Out of Work," the recipient of both the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award and Mencken Award Finalist for Best Book, and the Institute monograph, Can Teachers Own Their Own Schools?
Ken Jacobs is Chair of the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center, and a former member of the Mayors Universal Health Care Council in San Francisco. He is the Co-author od Declining Job-Based Health Coverage for Working Families in California and the United States, and Hidden Costs of Wal-Mart Jobs.
David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute and Publisher of The Independent Review.
Americas most provocative humorist, P. J. ORourke, has read pioneering economist Adam Smiths The Wealth of Nations, first published in 1776, so we dont have toand the results are as entertaining as they are enlightening.
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.
Economics is never the "dismal science" when discussed by Nobel Laureate economist Gary S. Becker and his wife, the historian Guity Nashat Becker. In this Independent Policy Forum and based on their book, The Economics of Life: From Baseball to Affirmative Action to Immigration, How Real-World Issues Affect Our Everyday Life, the Beckers will examine the "war on drugs," healthcare, education, marriage and divorce, the homeless, immigration, corporate leadership, religion, baseball, affirmative action, the minimum wage, Social Security, crime, and much more.