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.
Research Fellow Anthony Gregory, author of "The Power of Habeas Corpus in America,"
discusses how politicians love to declare war on social and economic issues, and how these "wars" only manage to increase government power while reducing liberty.
Senior Fellow Randy T. Simmons, co-editor of Aquanomics, looks at the battles over water in the western United States. Thirsty citizens of growing cities, farmers, factories and environmentalists are in a fight for a natural resource that is priced arbitrarily. Its value is determined not by the free market, but by bureaucrats. Outdated government reclamation projects and water policies have put residents of the Golden State at the mercy of the weather, and of government's mandatory regulations.
In a cold war of words, President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin he wouldnt attend a Moscow summit in September. Research Fellow Anthony Gregory compares the two leaders record on human rights and asks why they would even meet in the first place.
Twenty years ago, Americans witnessed the greatest law enforcement atrocity in modern U.S history. On February 28th, 1993, the ATF raided the Branch Davidian home in Waco, Texas. The stand-off finally ended 51 days later, on April 19th, after the building went up in flames, killing 70 civilians including more than 20 children. Reflections by Independent Institute Research Fellow Anthony Gregory.