California’s Public Pension Crisis and
Why It Matters to You
California’s public pension crisis disrupts public services such as schools, roads, parks, libraries, police, and fire departments; seriously threatens pension checks to millions of public retirees; trashes the credit ratings and borrowing capabilities of state and local governments; and imposes huge tax burdens on current taxpayers and future generations.
Economist Lawrence J. McQuillan, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, will discuss his book California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis in which he pulls back the curtain covering this unfunded-liability disaster. After describing the true extent of the problem, McQuillan will discuss the critical policy actions that drove California’s government pension debt sky-high. He will also talk about a more fundamental problem: the perverse incentives facing lawmakers and pension officials that reward them for mismanaging the pension systems and letting the debt escalate. Finally, McQuillan will discuss the immorality of the crisis, the key reforms needed to fix the problem, and the long-term benefits of a permanent solution.
Lawrence J. McQuillan is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute. He received his PhD in economics from George Mason University, and he has served as Chief Economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, Director of Business and Economic Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Founding Publisher and Contributing Editor of Economic Issues.
Dr. McQuillan’s books and major studies include California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America's Public Pension Crisis, A Brighter Future: Solutions to Policy Issues Affecting America’s Children, California Prosperity: Roadmap to Recovery 2011: and Ten Steps to Return California to Prosperity, In addition, he is the author of more than 350 articles in such leading outlets as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, USA Today, New York Post, and Encyclopaedia Britannica.
He further created the California Golden Fleece Awards to highlight a state or local spending program or regulation that fleeces California taxpayers, consumers, or businesses. He has been an advisor for numerous state committees and task forces within CA, within the US, and internationally. Dr. McQuillan has appeared on NPR, Fox Business Network, CNBC, C-SPAN, CNN, and radio stations across the U.S.
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