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Free Exchange

Free Exchange

By The Badger Institute
Free markets, limited government, and individual liberty- you know these principles, now hear the stories of the men and women who embody them and the policies that advance them. Listen as the team from Wisconsin’s Badger Institute come together to demystify, explore, and discover ways to make communities in our state freer and more prosperous, one episode at a time.
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Is Guaranteed Income Inevitable?

Free Exchange

A Tax Reform Path to Prosperity
States with competitive tax structures are attracting residents and businesses from high-tax neighbors. Can Wisconsin get in on the act? The Tax Foundation’s Katherine Loughead and Scott Manley of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce join Badger Institute President Mike Nichols to discuss the challenges posed by Wisconsin’s tax structure as well as reforms – income tax elimination, flat tax adoption, bracket consolidation – that would benefit Wisconsin residents, grow the economy and attract more people to the state.
January 19, 2022
Should Government Rein in Big Tech?
Social media is entering a turbulent new era as private companies with progressive agendas seem to be censoring speech and manipulating information. The question of whether government should further regulate these platforms or strip them of special protections is one that would greatly impact how we get information and interact with each other online. Josh Withrow, Director of Technology Policy at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, joins the show to discuss the vagaries of social media, the First Amendment and the proper role of government in this sphere.
January 05, 2022
Will the Mainstream Media Survive? Should We Care?
Mike Nichols and Patrick McIlheran, two former conservative columnists for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, talk about the demise of their old employer, why the media has strayed so far to the left and what comes next.
December 15, 2021
Is Guaranteed Income Inevitable?
From coast to coast, American cities are testing the concept of no-strings-attached guaranteed income. Now this ill-advised idea has made its way to Wisconsin. Diggings Managing Editor Mark Lisheron joins the program to discuss the origins of Universal Basic Income, where it has been tested and whether sound economic principles will win out in the end.
December 01, 2021
What Gives? Wisconsin Welfare Numbers Increase While Economy Rebounds
Participation in government safety net programs remains elevated even as the economy recovers and employers clamor for workers. Badger Institute Visiting Fellow Angela Rachidi joins us to discuss what’s contributing to the labor shortage and steps the state can take to help get people back to work.
November 17, 2021
Taxpayer-Funded Venture Capital?
Should taxpayers be on the hook for a $100 million venture capital program? We talk with Daniel Sem, venture capitalist and dean of the Batterman School of Business at Concordia University Wisconsin, to discuss the economic importance of private-sector venture capital and whether government should engage in this high-risk activity with taxpayer dollars. You can read Sem’s article in our Fall 2021 edition of Diggings here.
November 03, 2021
Black & Conservative (Part II)
(Part II of our two-part series) Eloise Anderson, Shannon Whitworth and Cindy Werner talk with Badger Institute President Mike Nichols about conservatism, independence, Critical Race Theory, self-sabotage, hustlers, infantilization and what it means to be  American.
October 13, 2021
Black & Conservative (Part I)
Eloise Anderson, Shannon Whitworth and Cindy Werner talk with Badger Institute President Mike Nichols about conservatism, independence, Critical Race Theory, self-sabotage, hustlers, infantilization and what it means to be  American.
October 13, 2021
America at a Crossroads: The Rise of the Entitlement State (Ft. Robert Doar)
Robert Doar, president of the American Enterprise Institute, talks with Badger Institute President Mike Nichols about poverty in America and the detrimental push for entitlements disconnected from work.
October 06, 2021
Breaking the Cycle (Ft. Jon Ponder)
Hope for Prisoners founder Jon Ponder explains how proper support, guidance and direction can help those returning from prison stay out of prison and become contributing members of their communities. Additional benefits include safer communities, stronger families, taxpayer savings and more people in the workforce.
September 22, 2021
The Future of School Choice in Wisconsin
School shutdowns, mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory have once again made school choice a priority in the state that pioneered it. Will Flanders of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and Jim Bender of School Choice Wisconsin join us in discussing the future of education in the Badger State.
September 08, 2021
Correcting the Crime Narrative (Ft. Heather Mac Donald)
New York Times Best Selling Author and Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather Mac Donald says a false narrative and political agenda are contributing to the dramatic increase in violent crime.
August 25, 2021
Ranked-Choice Voting: For and Against
America is more polarized than ever. Is ranked-choice voting the remedy? Two conservatives – Austin Ramirez, president and CEO of HUSCO International here in Wisconsin, and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation – discuss what they see as the pros and cons.
August 11, 2021
New Orleans Did Away With its Troubled Public Schools, Can Milwaukee do the Same?
We talk to a Milwaukee native who helped lead school reform in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Now back home, Colleston Morgan Jr. tells us whether Milwaukee can follow the same path in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 28, 2021
What the Media Downplayed About COVID-19
"When it comes to the risk of dying from COVID-19, two words tell the story: old age," says veteran investigative journalist Richard Moore in his recent report found in our Spring 2021 issue of Diggings. Remso W. Martinez and Richard discuss who the vast majority of victims were, how the media downplayed a critical aspect of the pandemic, and much more in this episode. Mentioned in this episode: -Read Richard's Diggings article here -Follow Richard on Twitter -Get Richard's new book "Dark State: How Citizen's can Open the Doors to Wisconsin's Closed Government"
July 14, 2021
1776: A Unifying Vision for America (Ft. Bob Woodson)
Bob Woodson, the godfather of the neighborhood empowerment movement, offers a unifying alternative to the divisive messages of the 1619 Project and critical race theory. -Learn more about the Woodson Center -Learn more about 1776 Unites -Follow Bob Woodson on Twitter -Buy the book "Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers"
June 30, 2021
From Iran to Mosinee
Badger Institute President Mike Nichols sits down with Kevin Hermening in our premiere episode. Kevin has lived an extraordinary life; from surviving the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis to guiding the Mosinee School District through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as the board president, Kevin explains why leadership matters, what guides him in his decision making, and why local leaders need to step up during times of crisis.
June 15, 2021
Check Out Free Exchange
Check out the Badger Institute's new podcast "Free Exchange" and learn why those in and outside of the Badger state should consider subscribing today!
June 15, 2021