The Power of Independent Thinking

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Posted: Tue. June 16, 2015

Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan, author of California Dreaming, appears on the Pete Kaliner show on WWNC radio to explain how California and other states and cities have gotten into the situation with massive public pension deficits. Promises were made to public employees, but the pension funds are less than what was promised to retirees. McQuillan has a plan to switch these pension plans to a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401-k, which could not be underfunded. If private sector companies did this to their pension funds, they would be in prison. McQuillan explains how pension funds around the US have gotten to this crisis point.

Posted: Tue. June 16, 2015

Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan, author of California Dreaming, appears on the Pete Kaliner show on WWNC radio to explain how California and other states and cities have gotten into the situation with massive public pension deficits. Promises were made to public employees, but the pension funds are less than what was promised to retirees. McQuillan has a plan to switch these pension plans to a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401-k, which could not be underfunded. If private sector companies did this to their pension funds, they would be in prison. McQuillan explains how pension funds around the US have gotten to this crisis point.

Posted: Tue. June 16, 2015

Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan, author of California Dreaming, appears on KCAA radio and talks about the $4.7 trillion unfunded pension debt crisis in the US. Some states are worse off than others but California has the largest pension debt at $750 billion. That money should be in the bank to pay pension benefits, but it is not. Over decades, politicians have promised pension benefits and counted on big returns on investments, but returns on those investments have not materialized. Large cities also face the same problem. How do we fix the situation? McQuillan offers a plan to fulfill promises to retirees and keep pensions solvent.

Posted: Mon. June 15, 2015

Independent Institute Acquisitions Director Roy M. Carlisle is interviewed by IBPA Executive Director Angela Bole at the Book Expo Book Convention in New York City. Roy talks about two new books from the Independent Institute: A Better Choice by Senior Fellow John C. Goodman and California Dreaming by Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan. Both books were highlighted at the conference and the authors signed copies of the books for attendees. Carlisle is a former board member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and the conversation touches on the Independent Institute’s powerful scholarly book program offering solutions to today’s public policy issues such as water markets, healthcare and education.

Posted: Fri. June 12, 2015

What is a Voluntary City? It is a community built and maintained by private initiative and cooperation, not by the coercive political institutions that many people assume are needed to make communities work. Independent Institute Research Fellow Robert P. Murphy explains with examples of how private initiatives can provide social services.

Posted: Fri. June 12, 2015

Senior Fellow Ivan Eland was interviewed on CCTV America. He discusses the impact, both intended and unintended, of military air strikes in the Middle East and Asia. Eland elaborates the difference between air strikes from aircraft carriers and land-based air strikes. He also analyzes how countries such as China react to the US show of force around the world.

Posted: Thu. June 11, 2015

Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan, author of California Dreaming appears on KSOO radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to discuss solutions to the crisis in underfunded public pension systems across the country. Judges in Detroit and other cities have ruled that pension payouts can be cut for current retirees in the case of public municipal bankruptcies. Transitioning out of public pensions into a 401k-style system would give employees some degree of control over their retirement money. McQuillan proposes a 10% contribution by employers to public employee retirement accounts. The savings could help pay down the debt and it would make good the promises made to pensioners.

Posted: Thu. June 11, 2015

Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan, author of California Dreaming appears on KPRL radio in Paso Robles, CA to discuss the public pension crisis in California and other states, cities and counties across the United States. McQuillan explains how California got into the underfunded pension mess and his plan to resolve the crisis. As in the private sector, public pensions would switch to a 401k-style plan where a 10% contribution by the employer would add to contributions by employees.