Saturday, December 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mark Rosenman: Why 'Crowdfunding' Government Is A Bad Idea

In March 2015, Mark Rosenman penned an article for the Philanthropy News Digest "Why 'Crowdfunding' Government Is A Bad Idea."

Mr. Rosenman is looking at the debate under our present system in which voluntary contributions to government programs crowd out philanthropic spending. This is a legitimate concern under our current system of involuntary taxation and voluntary philanthropy. Voluntary contributions to government in excess of involuntarily collected taxes do crowd out philanthropic efforts, so we agree with Mr. Rosenman that crowd funding government is a bad idea, but only when involuntary taxes are already being collected.

Instead, all government revenue should be collected voluntarily. Voluntarily crowd funding all government programs will increase the available funding for philanthropic efforts. In addition, nongovernmental organizations could then partially supplement, or entirely replace, government programs when citizens decide that the private sector provides those services more efficiently. Those efficiencies would then result in greater individual spending on consumption, investment, philanthropy, or government.
 
Mr. Rosenman makes the argument that "funding for important public initiatives and programs ought not to depend on the whims of individual donors and foundations." Mr. Rosenman's fear is that "it will make it much more difficult in the long run for government to adequately support and advance the broad-based efforts necessary to improve our social, political, and economic institutions."

We disagree with the argument that citizens don't know what's best for them and that citizens can't see the bigger picture when choosing what to fund. That's exactly what citizens can do that politicians can't: consider the utility of every dollar spent.

Citizens should listen to the opinions of experts, examine the budgets for potential government programs themselves, and then contribute to only the programs that they choose to. It is theft to involuntarily take a citizen's money to support government programs that they would not voluntarily support.

When every citizen has a chance to review the proposed government budgets and make voluntary contributions to only those programs that they support, then that is truly a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Allowing this process to continue will be self-correcting: Citizens will see the effects of their funding on social, political, and economic institutions, and then each citizen can individually decide whether those programs require more or less funding. Those individual decisions will aggregate.

The free market will decide the budgets of future government programs at exactly the level of funding that the citizens want to provide. 

To answer Mr. Rosenman's questions:

"Do we really trust people's personal motivations and sometimes impulsive altruism to substitute for government in prioritizing problems and aggregating resources to address those problems over the long haul?"

"Do we really want to substitute the fickleness of individual altruism for what is in fact a shared obligation?"

Yes and yes. We believe in the free market.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Are There Any Programs That Can't Be Crowd Funded?

@petr3pan asked one of the more complex questions: "are there any programs that can't be crowdfunded? I'm thinking like military for national defense and justice system in particular."
In general, every government program should be transparently budgeted, locally administered, and voluntarily crowd funded. National defense programs may require special considerations at times, but they should not be complete exceptions to these principles.

National defense programs have similar characteristics to other government programs: In order to accomplish their legally defined objectives, they require labor, materials, equipment, and assets. Each of these components can and should be transparently budgeted to the maximum extent possible.

Secret national defense programs, it could be argued, should not be fully transparently budgeted. If providing a transparent budget would put lives at risk or disclose strategies, then the budget presented to the public for those programs should not disclose exact details.

It would be the responsibility of national defense advocates to make the case to the public that certain programs are deserving of funding, even though some details may be classified. This is true of any government program requiring crowd funding: If advocates are not able to convince the public that the program is important enough to fund, then the program should not, and will not, be fully funded.

The needs of the most critical national defense emergency programs are already anticipated in the Crowd Funded Government framework. If there are emergency programs that require funding immediately that the previously defined budgets did not anticipate, then that is why there would be ongoing crowd funding efforts for the current year's budgets, in addition to the ongoing crowd funding for future years' budgets.

Regarding the justice system's programs, those would be crowd funded like any other government program. As more money would be crowd funded for a justice system's budget, then more labor and assets would be available. If those budgets are not crowd funded fully, then the productivity of those programs would not reach their full potential.

Consider a small town that budgets for one courthouse that operates during normal business hours with enough judges and support staff to handle an average amount of caseloads in a standard amount of time. If the budgets for that town's justice system are not fully crowd funded, then that courthouse may defer maintenance, and court rooms may only operate for a few days per week. This will cause the courthouse to be in disrepair, and the backlog of cases will grow beyond what is considered a standard amount of time.

The word will spread that the paint is peeling at the courthouse, one of the bathrooms is out of order, and it takes double the average time to get a case through the system. Citizens will either accept the condition of their justice system, or they will provide emergency funding to correct the current year's imbalances. Then, in the funding cycles for future years, they will either collectively realize the importance of keeping their local justice system's programs fully funded, or they will accept the flaws resulting from not fully funding their justice system.

Crowd Funded Government is designed to be a self-correcting system. Not every government program's budget needs to be fully funded every year. Citizens could realize that they are satisfied with the reduced services being provided at a fraction of the fully funded budgeted amounts. Alternatively, citizens could realize the importance of keeping certain programs fully funded, and the advocates would go to great lengths to spread that message and remind everyone of the negative effects that could result.

Thank you @petr3pan for the great question. Please keep the questions coming. Crowd Funded Government is not afraid of the toughest questions. The truth should not fear the light!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thank you Twitter!

Thank you Twitter! It has been great to connect with supporters and skeptics.

We are proud to have found supporters on Twitter from all sides of the political spectrum: left wing, right wing, and anti wing. Our non-partisan purple ideas have something to offer to every political persuasion. Crowd Funded Government focuses just on the public policy decisions without preference to your politics.

Skepticism is welcomed and appreciated! Convince us that our current system of involuntary taxation for opaque government programs is acceptable. A voluntary and transparent Crowd Funded Government is the future, and we will make it happen.

Due to the responsibility of responding to a busy summer of flooding in Chicago, we haven't had a lot of free time to produce blog content and to speak in public about Crowd Funded Government. Fortunately, Twitter has allowed us to quickly spread the message 140 characters at a time in the limited time that we have available, but we can and will do so much more.

As time allows, expect more blog posts and public appearences. Rest assured that the best has yet to come for the Crowd Funded Government movement.

Thank you all for your continued support, and more importantly, thank you for your continued skepticism. Please keep the questions coming!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Transparent Budgeting + Local Oversight + Voluntary Crowd Funding = Accountable Government Programs

To briefly summarize the Crowd Funded Government movement: Transparent Budgeting + Local Oversight + Voluntary Crowd Funding = Accountable Government Programs

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Joe Rogan Experience #1000 - Joey Diaz

Joe Rogan often seems to be on the cusp of describing Crowd Funded Government. In the "On Deck" section of this website, I have a few videos of Mr. Rogan's that I will discuss in future blog posts.

However, this one takes the cake, and deserves an immediate post. In Mr. Rogan's 1000th episode with Joey Diaz and Tom Segura, Mr. Rogan describes a generalized version of Crowd Funded Government starting about 16 minutes into the podcast.



Mr. Rogan first describes the ruthless nature of involuntary taxation. Under our current system, we are threatened with imprisonment ("they will put you in a cage") if we don't pay our tax bills.

The Crowd Funded Government system would instead collect these funds voluntarily. Involuntary taxation that takes money for government programs that you would otherwise voluntarily contribute less to is theft.

Mr. Rogan then describes our current system of taxation as servitude to "Big Daddy." He correctly inquires, "Why do we let any thing be Big Daddy? . . . No person should ever be Big Daddy."

Mr. Rogan finally lays out one of the principal arguments of the Crowd Funded Government movement: the right of the taxpayers to choose which government programs they fund by simply "checking off boxes."

Checking off boxes is exactly how the Crowd Funded Government system would function. If you support certain government programs, then check the boxes and choose the amount to give. If you don't support certain government programs, then leave it up to others who are more passionate to fund those programs. Your taxes should not be stolen from you to support government programs that you don't support.

As Mr. Segura describes, accountability levels of government programs are currently very low. He believes that government should be "mandated to explain in detail what they're doing and what they're spending on."

For every government program, Crowd Funded Government would provide:
1. the specific laws that authorize the objectives of that specific program,
2. the labor, material, equipment, and assets required to accomplish the objectives if 100% of the requested budget is received, and
3. the variations in the program if less than 100% of the requested budget is received.

Thank you Mr. Rogan for spreading the message of Crowd Funded Government! It's great to be reminded that the logic behind Crowd Funded Government is out there and is waiting for a group that is passionate enough to make it a reality. Crowd Funded Government is that group, and is spreading the message every day. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

ImmodestPolitician In A Judge Judy Post On Reddit's r/aww

I saw a promising comment from ImmodestPolitician in a Reddit post about a dog on Judge Judy, so I took the opportunity to spread the message of Crowd Funded Government because I liked ImmodestPolitician's message. Even though it wasn't the appropriate forum for the discussion (rule 4 on r/aww was violated), it was great to have the discussion while it lasted. My final comment was removed almost immediately after posting, so below is the full conversation.

Thank you ImmodestPolitician for the feedback! I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation in a more appropriate forum.

ImmodestPolitician

Have you seen the political 'debate' recently?

For most people it's their POV and maybe parts of the POV of groups they identify with. Every other POV is obviously wrong and/or evil.

CrowdFundedGov
 
This is why I am trying to grow the Crowd Funded Government movement. We should all put our money where our mouths are and stop with the constant vilification of the "other" party.
 
 
"Why should I pay for schools, my kids go to private?"

 
Precisely. I know you meant that as a counter to this movement, but this is actually the right way to look at government spending and taxation.

We should allow everyone to be as selfish or as benevolent as they choose to. Involuntary taxation for causes that you don't support beyond the amount that you would pay voluntarily for government programs that you do support is theft. If you support theft, then I don't have an argument.

ImmodestPolitician

Yes, it's not important for the populace to be educated. It's not like education is an important factor for getting the jobs of the future./s

If everyone were educated then who would vote for Trump or the GOP?

CrowdFundedGov

If education is an important government program for the citizens, then they will voluntarily contribute more than we are currently budgeting and are involuntarily taxing.

I'm excited to see how much people actually want to contribute to education instead of more controversial ptograms like the border wall. Some love the wall and would contribute more if they easily could, but some HATE that their tax dollars go to it.

I see Crowd Funded Government as the ultimate bipartisan comprise and the future of government.

Would you prefer to take your border wall taxes and redistribute them to education and other programs that you do support instead? If so, welcome to the movement.

If not, I would like to hear why you think that voluntarily crowd funding government programs would be a bad idea.

ImmodestPolitician

That's sounds great, but obese people know they need to exercise and eat healthy but they don't. You can complain they are irresponsible, but the current systems makes everyone pay for their medical costs.

Everyone wants stuff but when it comes time to pay they don't. An education is not optional if you want workers that can compete internationally.

We had a toll road that made great money GA 400. The Tea Party(e.g. pseudo libertarian ) demographic that primarily wanted used GA 400 voted to not have to pay the toll anymore.

Your Crowd Funded idea requires people to be able to anticipate future needs and to care about their neighbors' children's children for the USA to continue to thrive.

That group with foresight and wisdom is very small.

CrowdFundedGov

I see that you didn't answer my question. Answer that question, and based on your Trump comment, you might reconsider my idea.

As a follow up, how does it make you feel that a fraction of every dollar that you make is stolen from you to support programs that you disagree with? Another follow up: Do you support theft if the robber has good intentions with the proceeds...is it still not theft?

As far as your concern that people are too selfish to voluntarily support their favorite government programs, on that we will have to respectfully disagree. You're telling me that people will only contribute to important government programs that they believe in if, and only if, threatened with imprisonment via involuntary taxation?

Do we need to be threatened with imprisonment to contribute to charities? Using your logic in your previous comment, please explain to me how are donations to charities are currently collected.

I think that Americans are willing and able to voluntarily pay for government programs that that they agree with. We just need to create the system and watch it thrive. Good programs that citizens support would get the funding that they need, while corrupt "pork" projects would get almost no funding.

Corporations would no longer be able to lobby the government to force taxpayers to support their projects. Someone would need to voluntarily contribute every dollar spent.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Does Crowd Funded Government Give More Political Power To Corporations?

Brian Johnson continues with another stimulating question: Does Crowd Funded Government give more political power to corporations?

Brian Johnson
August 1, 2017 at 7:38 AM

I just noticed this. Your giving the citizen the CHOUCE to pay taxes or not? If I had the choice to not pay taxes I would probably not pay taxes. Even if I did choose to pay, it would be at a much reduced rate. As I said before, I am the average American, so you are right, I'll probably spend it. You're implying that if that money goes into the corporate world then they will then distribute these dollars as they see fit. You are right in one regard, there would no longer be reason for the current practice of using lobbyest to make decisions since now corporate America has the power to put their money where they want. That is after they have taken their cut because corporate America is built on greed and glut.

So, the short story in this choice of taxation is maybe the average citizen doesn't pay taxes, or at least a much reduced percentage, but then spends it. Corporations grow larger and increase their bank rolls. The stock market severely inflates due to companies controlling their earnings through their choice of how much they pay taxes. And when said company sees something that benefits their business, they throw their bankroll at it. Instead of taking government out of the politicians hands and putting it in the people's, if you give citizens the "choice" of paying taxes or not, and in general they don't, you have just given control to corporate America. Trump would have never had to run for president in your proposal, because he would have already had a great deal of contol, and in fact the presidency would have given him less.

Crowd Funded Government
August 12, 2017

Some of the most common feedback that I receive is that voluntary taxation would be a bad thing, and that involuntary taxation is the best way to fund our collective desires. I have never been able to follow any logic supporting involuntary taxation.

Involuntary taxation is theft if you wouldn't voluntarily pay that amount. If you would voluntarily choose to pay fewer taxes than you are currently paying involuntarily, then you are admitting that the government is currently stealing the difference from you every year. I don't like being stolen from, so I don't support involuntary taxation. If someone is forcefully taking money from you for causes that you don't support, then that is theft. I have never met anyone who supports theft, therefore I know that Crowd Funded Government has the logical upper hand if we can get the message out there.

The Crowd Funded Government movement excites me because this will give us the chance to see exactly which government programs citizens actually support, and exactly how much they want to pay for those programs. My favorite example is currently the new spending program on the southern border wall. Many people are strongly for or against the wall, but the only way that we can settle that debate in our current political framework is to vote for politicians who are either for or against the wall. Why not cut through the bureaucracy and simply find out how much citizens actually want to pay for the wall?

Regarding the central points of your comment regarding corporate power, you are making an argument that I am finding hard to logically follow. According to you, corporations would have more power to direct government spending how they want via Crowd Funded Government compared to the current system. However, I see it differently. In my opinion, under the current system, corporations have the ability to use lobbyists to get their corporate objectives accomplished for a fraction of the cost compared to the Crowd Funded Government funding mechanism.

Consider Government Widgets (Gwidgets) as an example of how lobbying in the current system gives corporations much more political power than they would have under the Crowd Funded Government approach. In this example, Gwidgets are produced by private sector companies and are then only purchased by governments. Manufacturing companies that would benefit from Gwidget manufacturing currently only need to spend a fraction of the cost of the total production on lobbyists. The lobbyists help the politicians write the laws that authorize the funding of Gwidget manufacturing. Those Gwidget manufacturing contracts are worth much more than the lobbyists who wrote the laws. The funding of those government contracts is then involuntarily collected from all citizens via taxation. The Gwidget manufacturing corporations have now received a payoff from the taxpayers that is far greater than their lobbying costs.

Under a Crowd Funded Government design, the Gwidget manufacturing companies desiring to fund the publicly funded manufacturing of Gwidgets could still hire lobbyists to write the laws. However, the laws would only matter if citizens choose to fund them. Corporations could voluntarily fund Gwidget manufacturing themselves, but why would a corporation contribute $1 to a government program that would then pay them back the $1 that they contributed? Crowd Funded Government solves the problem of corporations lobbying the government to spend money on projects that then provide a greater payoff to the corporations that paid for the lobbyists.

Crowd Funded Government is the best solution regarding the current problem of corruption in government funding. If you, or anyone reading, has an answer regarding how we can stop corporations from paying lobbyists to write laws that provide a greater payoff to those corporations than the cost of lobbying then I'm ready to support that idea. Until someone presents me with a better idea, I'm going to continue to spread the logic of Crowd Funded Government.

I'm going to move all questions to Twitter moving forward. I will copy the best Twitter discussions to this blog and expand on them as time allows. I also need to start going through the "On Deck @ CrowdFundedGovernment.com" list, which is finally possible now that the flooding in northern Illinois has subsided. Until next time, please remember that the truth should never fear the light.

Monday, August 7, 2017

How Can The Average Citizen Make Informed Decisions Regarding Complex Budgets?

Brian Johnson is on fire! He asks another great question: How can the average citizen make informed decisions regarding complex budgets?

Brian Johnson
July 31, 2017 at 2:45 PM

Have you seen political discussions on social media... rhetorical question because I'm sure you understand how nasty, biased, and quite frankly unproductive they are. Most recently in my experience my town was pushing through a development project for a downtown apartment complex. I'm friends with an alderman in town so I had good information directly from the source. The incorrect, hypothetical, and some completely made up informotion that was spewed on Facebook, message boards, and other platforms by folKS who were against it was unbelievable. Along with that was name calling, personal attacks on others. People think because they can hide behind their keyboards and not look into someone's eyes they have the right to say whatever they want. Im not sure I want to live in a world where that is mine, and my neighbors primary information source.

Also, in big government, at the National scale there are at minimum of thousands of different things to fund. Again to ask the average American as myself to chose, and do so in an informed matter what's best for me is a lot. I may know that I want to fund one of say pro choice or pro abortion, but when it comes to national defense, the security of our country, I'm not qualified to make those decisions, and neither are 90% of my neighbors.

At some point you're asking the people to throw darts if the entire government is crowd funded.

I could see it working if the voter or "funder" has a smaller list to chose from. Let's say 15-20 different topics. So in general a certain percentage of your dollars are going to general government, and the other choice percentage goes to where you chose. If you don't show up to vote then it's as if you "checked the box". More people may actually show up to vote then also.

Crowd Funded Government
August 7, 2017 at 7:57 PM

If the downtown apartment development site required government funded improvements, such as public road access or utility modifications, then that would be a good example of how Crowd Funded Government is an improvement over the current system. Currently, the developer would lobby the local government officials to include these modifications as part of a larger capital improvement program. Well-connected developers with better political ties get their projects funded and executed faster.

Crowd Funded Government would eliminate this corruption. The developer would be forced to either pay for the costs of that capital improvement on their own, or convince fellow citizens to contribute to that government project.

You have a valid concern regarding the funding of thousands of projects, some of which are very complex and require a very detailed understanding. This ties back to our previous discussion about the crowd sourcing of information. Those who are knowledgeable about national security projects would share their opinions regarding which government programs should or should not be funded. Every citizen does not need to be an expert in every field of government spending. We just need enough passionate citizens to share their expertise with one another.

More broadly, I envision certain political parties, figures, and organizations to be the answer to your dart dilemma. Those with a better understanding of the overall budget could issue predetermined lists of the projects that they recommend funding and the percentages that they would recommend allocating. Citizens would then have a starting point of programs and percentages that they could then customize to suit their exact preferences. I would imagine that very few citizens would be interested in going line-by-line through the entire budget.

Crowd sourcing our collective intelligence is the best way to make the most informed decisions regarding how to spend our tax dollars.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Are Citizens Too Busy For Crowd Funded Government?

Brian Johnson continued with another excellent question regarding Crowd Funded Government: Are citizens too busy for Crowd Funded Government?

Brian Johnson
July 30, 2017 at 9:03 AM


Let me preface my reply to your essay with your concept is interesting and I would love to see how it would really work on a small scale with select topics.

With that said, I won't speak for others, I'll speak for myself. I'm an average American. I work 45-50 hours a week and spend an hour a day in a car to get to work and back. I have a wife, 2 dogs, 2 children, and drive a mini van. I am in a rush from the time I wake up to get kids ready to go to school or daycare, get get them there and try not to be late to work. I work hard because if I don't, I'm just a number to my company and I'm expendable. I hurry home to try to get my family fed a real meal, maybe spend an hour or 2 of quality time with my children before they get to sleep. NOW is the time that I would then have to devote to things I'm passionate about. This 9 or 10pm mind you.

I'm passionate about sports, disney, fishing, and my kids. And there are times I'm just too tired for that, and would rather just go to sleep so I can start all over again at 6am. I'm the average American.

Your concept assumes that I, the average American has time to participate. I'm stretched thin enough, why do I need to do my elected officials jobs.

Secondly, in no way did I emply that American citizens are stupid. What we are is either uninformed or miss informed about many things, and too damn busy. Social media has become main stream and guides many in wrong directions. We live in the world of "fake news", news with partial truths, even fact based information that is published with only partial information. I found myself disgusted in the last election trying to find information on the people I was going to vote for and their views on topics. With CFG not only would I have to weed through that mess, but also through the facts, or miss information of where my money goes. It's not just about intelligence, but it's about time, and willingness to participate. I think your grossly underestimating the average American and his or her daily lives and responsibilities.

Crowd Funded Government

Your anecdotal story of a busy weekday is similar to my "on-call" days and most other members of the working class, but you are exceptionally busy according to the available statistics.

According to TechCrunch, of the 5 hours that the average American spends on their smartphone, over half of that time is spent on recreational activities such as social media. Social media is one of the recent innovations in our society that makes Crowd Funded Government possible. Social media would be the primary marketplace of ideas for Crowd Funded Government for millions of citizens to share their political thoughts and passions with others.

Right now, social media's political landscape is littered with "Trump Is Hitler," "Trump Is An Infallible God Emperor," and many other non-productive political discussions. Shouldn't we replace at least some of these circular discussions with substantive discussions regarding the best programs for our tax dollars? Let's give passionate citizens an outlet to create real change in society besides meaningless bumper sticker slogans and gotcha-one-liner Tweets.

I know that we can't control "fake news" and outright propaganda on the Internet. However, I trust in my fellow citizens to call balls and strikes when they see them. I don't think that just because there is some incorrect information on the Internet, therefore we should just bow down to politicians and forget about this Crowd Funded Government idea. That's not logical.

Americans need to help our elected officials do their jobs because the approval ratings of most elected officials and institutions are very low. Very few on the left or right are happy with the status quo, but what options do they have besides going on social media and switching between discussions that are either hate-filled or echo chambers? Crowd Funded Government offers a concrete solution to the dissatisfaction that the average American has with the political status quo.

Lobbyists have taken over Washington DC and state legislatures. Laws are routinely passed that fund government programs that directly benefit certain corporations or industries that the average American wouldn't contribute a dime to if they could look at the details. We need to stop lobbyists from stealing our tax dollars and funding programs that have little popular support. I've provided my solution to the problem of corruption in lobbying, but if you have a better solution, I'd like to hear it. Your description of keeping your head down, pulling a left or right lever for a politician, and then throwing your hands up because you're "too busy" is not a solution.

I should have been more careful with my "stupid" discussion in our previous exchange. You were much more careful with how you phrased it. I was not referring directly to your comment, but instead, I was referring to a common flippant response that I receive: "Everyone who doesn't act and think exactly like me is stupid, therefore Crowd Funded Government won't work." I agree that your point was much more nuanced than that. In fact, you have made such a good set of arguments that I have made front page posts in response.

Finally, I want to steer this discussion back to involuntary taxation, which is the key principle of Crowd Funded Government. Have you ever complained about your taxes? You involuntarily pay tax for your land, on your purchases, and on your income. You then are presented with a government that very few are satisfied with. I have met no one who says that their taxes are so low that they contribute an extra amount on their check in April because they're so thrilled with the current set of government programs.

If you're really too busy to care about how your tax dollars are spent, then the "check the box" option is for you. Under my vision for Crowd Funded Government, you can spend a few minutes per year to "check the box" and fully fund every program in the budget. Your experience compared with the status quo would be unchanged. The politicians set the budget, and you can support it without exception.

I don't believe that "checking the box" is what you would do. You're passionate. You care about your family's future. You would "uncheck" at least a few programs that you don't believe are the best way to spend your tax dollars. I believe that you would find programs that you're passionate about, such as stadium funding, environmental conservation, and the funding of your kids' education. You would contribute more to those programs, and then you would share your opinions on social media in an attempt to influence others who are less passionate about those topics.

I believe in you. I have the same confidence in our fellow Americans. Crowd sourcing our intelligence and crowd funding our paychecks is the future solution for our political system.

Thank you for sharing your ideas on my blog. Sometimes my writing is a bit pointed, so I want to genuinely thank you. You're taking your valuable time to help me on my journey to change the world.

All I ask is that everyone keeps telling me that "Voluntarily crowd funding government programs is a bad idea because . . ." until there is no one left with that opinion.

What About Uninformed or Inactive Citizens?

Brian Johnson submitted a great comment today regarding uninformed or inactive citizens in the comments section on the FAQ page. Thank you to Brian for the thoughtful questions.

Please step up to the plate and convince me that the status quo is better than Crowd Funded Government. If Crowd Funded Government is the truth, then it should not fear the light.

Brian Johnson
July 29, 2017 at 3:23 PM


I feel that this system would require our population to be generally more informed and more active. Considering most of our population doesn't even vote, and the ones who do in many cases aren't even fully informed about what they have voted for, this presents an interesting question on how those uninformed and inactive citizens will properly fund this government. How do we trust that our citizens will be making informed financial decisions in the best interest of all, and that all will participle. I know I do the best I can to educate myself, but I have a full time job, I don't have the time to be my own politician too, that's why I vote.

Crowd Funded Government
July 30, 2017

Thank you for bringing up a topic that I have been thinking about lately. I haven't had the chance to put my thoughts on this topic down in an organized fashion, but I'll put together a quick summary. Eventually, I'll take this reply, make it more readable, and then add it to the FAQ because I discuss it often.

Two assumptions that I am making when advocating for Crowd Funded Government are:

1. Most citizens are only informed and passionate about certain topics.
Citizens will analyze potential government projects using their unique knowledge to help direct those that are less informed to make informed decisions. Crowd sourcing our knowledge and interests will lead to a citizenry that is informed and ready to fund projects that they support.

2. Citizens are more intelligent than our daily anecdotes indicate.

Yes, we all have anecdotes about some people making poor choices. That does not mean that everyone is "stupid." I hate when people tell me that people are too "stupid" for Crowd Funded Government. I have never met anyone who is "stupid." Everyone has unique talents and abilities. Crowd Funded Government will harness everyone's interests and opinions and combine them to create a government that actually delivers what we want.

One option, if citizens choose to deliberately remain ignorant, but still want to contribute to the government, must be made available, as much as it pains me to offer it. Everyone will have the option to support all projects by "clicking one box." Just like today's taxation, you can give your money to all projects in the budget. I don't think that many citizens will choose to "click one box" if presented with an option to contribute more to their favorite programs and less to other projects, but that option must be available to ensure that everyone can easily contribute.

The best part of Crowd Funded Government is that everyone doesn't have to participate. If you choose to spend no money on government projects, you will instead choose to spend your money in the economy. Other people will receive your money and can then choose whether to spend it on the government projects that they support. The government would then truly be of the people, by the people, for the people.

Regarding your final point, politicians are still involved in this process. You still vote for politicians to write the laws and advocate for their favorite laws. Consider this: You dedicate several hours to tax preparation each year, or each month if you run a business. That time could be replaced with researching the various government programs that you're considering supporting.

You do have the time to participate. Your fellow citizens do have the intelligence needed to make informed decisions regarding which programs to fund. Thank you for your interest in Crowd Funded Government, and please don't hesitate to comment or Tweet me additional thoughts. If Crowd Funded Government is the truth, then it should not fear the light.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Twitter and Chicago Flooding

Crowd Funded Government's Twitter account, @CrowdFundedGov, has over 500 followers. Thank you all for your support! Please keep sending your questions and feedback to this blog and to the Twitter account.

The next stop in the speaking tour will be determined when the flooding in the Chicago region subsides. I am a first responder to emergency situations, so my schedule has been busier than ever before.

I will also continue to turn the content on the "On Deck" page into blog posts when my schedule allows. There are so many opportunities to discuss Crowd Funded Government, but my free time is very limited right now. Guest contributions are always accepted and would be greatly appreciated.

The message of Crowd Funded Government will continue to be spread 140 characters at a time on Twitter in the meantime.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Crowdfunding Government: Jordan Raynor at TEDxTampaBay

Jordan Raynor's 2012 TEDx speech was one of my inspirations for this website, so I wanted to put Mr. Raynor's video up first. Mr. Raynor has some great insights regarding the value that crowd funding can, and should, provide to government:



A head-scratching situation occurred when Colorado Springs spent more per capita via a voluntary "Adopt a Streetlight" crowd funding campaign instead of a proposed, then rejected, involuntary tax increase. According to Mr. Raynor, to explain the paradox of voters preferring to pay more voluntarily, rather than an involuntary tax increase, "It was about wanting control over where money was spent." I thought that this was logically going to lead Mr. Raynor to propose the voluntary crowd funding of all government functions and services.

However, at 7:18, Mr. Raynor throws a curveball. Mr. Raynor claims, with a chuckle, "No, we are not going to crowd source, crowd fund, the national debt. Let's just get that out of the way now." And that, sadly, is the end of Mr. Raynor's discussion of using crowd funding to deal with one of the most intimidating features of the federal budget.

The current plan for the national debt is to continue to make minimum payments. Taxpayers paid $0.432 trillion in interest in Fiscal Year 2016. The next minimum payment on the $20+ trillion national debt is written into every federal budget for the foreseeable future. I demand a solution that does not kick the can down the road any longer. This current plan is unacceptable.

I agree with Mr. Raynor's premise that most people are not going to want to directly pay for the national debt. I believe that citizens will find more important spending priorities to focus on. We should use that enthusiasm to also settle the national debt. The solution that I developed would be to indirectly pay down the national debt's principal and interest payments as an "overhead" expense, which would be a variable percentage of the total revenue that is voluntarily collected for the projects that citizens are passionate about.

One of the goals of Crowd Funded Government is to not let any intimidating parts of our budgets prevent us from considering switching from involuntary taxation to voluntary crowd funding. The national debt is large, and the interest payments will continue to add up, but with enough voluntary enthusiasm for this crowd funding idea, I believe that we can generate enough revenue to pay down and eventually eliminate the national debt over several decades.

Let's crowd fund all government spending. Let's eliminate the national debt's principal and interest payments from the federal budget in our lifetime. Please contribute questions, ideas, and donations to help make my dream of Crowd Funded Government a reality.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Crowd Funded Government Is Back!

After some other projects took the spotlight for a few months, Crowd Funded Government is back! Stay tuned for updates and insights.

Click here for the latest speaking tour schedule.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Next Speech Wed. 11/30 Heartland Cafe

Crowd Funded Government's next speech will be on Wednesday, November 30th at the "In One Ear" open mic starting at 10:00PM at the Heartland Cafe in Chicago.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thank you Kafein!

Thank you Kafein for the great questions and the opportunity to spread the word about Crowd Funded Government!

https://t.co/THnh98uXhc


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First Speech 11/21 Kafein

Crowd Funded Government's first speech will be Monday, November 21st at the open mic at Kafein in Evanston, IL. The open mic starts at 7:00PM.

First Donation

Crows Funded Government received our first donation! 

Thank you to Brad in Las Vegas for contributing to the speaking tour. We will include Las Vegas in the tour when possible.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicago

This blog and speaking tour originate in Chicago. The speaking tour will begin after this city calms down next week.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting Crowd Funded Government. I will be setting the first speaking tour dates soon.

Please submit questions and spread the word to help make the Crowd Funded Government dream a reality.

What is Crowd Funded Government?


What is Crowd Funded Government?