Fall 2014

Here we are again

In a few weeks, Wisconsin voters will again get to decide whether to continue the conservative revolution in Wisconsin. If the polls are right, it will be close.

Mike Nichols takes a look at a possible dystopian (for conservatives) future: What would happen here if Mary Burke is elected governor and is faced with a GOP legislature? Would she be able to fulfill the fondest dreams of the unionist left? Spoiler alert: Nichols thinks not. But as he writes, her defeat of Scott Walker would usher in a very different Wisconsin.

Our cover stories in this issue focus on the intersection of high-tech innovation and deregulation, which also happens to be the intersection of the free market and generational politics. Christian Schneider recounts his Uber ride to the dark side, or at least Madison, where the innovative ride-sharing company is still illegal. Jim Epstein argues that “the rise of Uber and Lyft is also more than a paradigm for the salutary effect of technology forcing change on outdated governmental operations. These two firms foreshadow a much larger technological shift that may be as significant as the invention of the Model T.”

In “Rise of Disability Nation, veteran journalist Steve Prestegard explores the disturbing numbers of Americans who are claiming they aren’t healthy enough to work and who are tapping into and straining the Social Security system.

This issue also features a compelling portrait of a former member of the teachers union who took on the establishment. Sunny Schubert chronicles the extraordinary story of Kristi LaCroix, a Kenosha teacher who took on the union in one of the state’s strongest union towns.

And do not miss Warren Kozak’s gem: the rediscovery of what British writer Alistair Cooke found when he drove through Wisconsin in 1942.

— Charles J. Sykes


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Cab Ride to the Future

Uber and Lyft show how tech innovation and deregulation benefit society
By Jim Epstein


She Stood Up

Kristi LaCroix challenged the teachers unions, faced withering attacks and then triumphed
By Sunny Schubert


Going my way

The author learns about Uber and Lyft on his illegal ride to work
By Christian Schneider


The Imperial President

The law, Obama wants us to believe, is whatever he says it is
By Richard Esenberg


Rescue Call

Deficit hawk will bring a sober message to WPRI's annual dinner
By Mike Nichols


The Rise of Disability Nation

What explains the growing numbers of Americans claiming they aren't healthy enough to work?
By Steve Prestegard


Road Trip

How an Englishman's drive through the Dairy State in 1942 revealed the genius of the Wisconsin Idea
By Warren Kozak


What Happens If Burke Wins

It's Jan. 5, 2014. Mary Burke is sworn in as governor. Will she make liberal dreams come true?
By Mike Nichols