Balancing risks with freedom
I’ve been breaking the rules and going to work.
There, I admitted it.
Everyone else at the Badger Institute, our staff as well as the freelancers and contractors we use, has been working from home or back in their hometown. One of our policy analysts has been with her family in Ohio. Our development associate has been in Virginia. Most others are scattered about southeastern Wisconsin.
I go into the office because my wife and I live in a small apartment in Milwaukee and one of our kids, who normally goes to school in California, is now attending class online here as well. I go in because I don’t think it endangers anyone, because I think what we do is pretty important, because — how do I put this? — it’s good for tranquility.
I have spent a lot of time praying for a friend who spent two weeks on a ventilator. I don’t think anyone should be cavalier about the danger of COVID-19. But — as with many of the things you’ll read about in this edition — there has to be a balance, an acknowledgment that the free market and productive work are at the core of what this country is. There are a lot of risks out there; losing that is one of them.
Ken Wysocky’s cover story is one of good government intentions time and time and time again gone bad. The Great Lakes package of stories illustrates how we can be responsible environmental stewards but still acknowledge that not every natural disaster — or change in water level — is the result of human-caused degradation. If people in state government want to reduce fossil fuel consumption, by the way, how about letting Tesla sell its cars directly to Wisconsin consumers? I’m hearing that this is a hoary old canard, but we at the Institute still know it to be true: Government, we see again, is rarely the solution.
I am very proud of our work, and this is just a fraction of it. This edition is slimmer than most because, frankly, given the crisis, I am not sure what the rest of the year will bring with our normal fundraising. Longer versions of some of these pieces and additional stories — not to mention all of the policy analysis we produce — can be found at badgerinstitute.org.
Please check it all out, both in print and on your laptop. If we don’t have your email, please send it to us or just email me. If you’re not getting our emails or seeing our social media posts, you’re missing nine-tenths of what we do.
I hope you and your families are healthy. I hope the crisis doesn’t cost you a job or a business. I hope when things return to normal, all of us can gather in a big room someplace, maybe at the Badger Institute’s Annual Dinner in October, and shake hands or exchange hugs and share stories from a little closer than six feet away.