DownsizeDC.org
March 13, 2008
The Easy Revolution
By Perry Willis
Quote of the Day: "The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution." -- John Adams, February 13, 1818 Subject: The Easy Revolution Last Saturday, in the middle of the night, we crossed the 1-million mark for messages to Congress. This Wednesday, in a move reminiscent of the kind of self-generated activity sparked by the Ron Paul Revolution, DC Downsizer Tom Leser purchased the url HonestMoney.org, and pointed it at our "End the Inflation Tax" campaign in support of Ron Paul's honest money bills. He plans to use the URL on signs and flyers. Wonderful! Thank you Tom. Currently, in Congress, because of the intense pressure received from constituents, the Democrats are taking serious steps to make sure that no bill coming out of Congress grants immunity to the telecom companies that helped the government to illegally spy on the American people. This is very good news, and it happened because of people like you, who have given the Democrats reinforcement. We will have more to say about it in the days ahead. Right now, so far in March, we are on track for another good month of recruitment, education, and pressure on Congress. As things stand now we have a decent chance of meeting or exceeding the record setting results we achieved in February. We have a fascination with these kinds of incremental, but relentless, bits of progress. We report them to you on a regular basis because we believe measurement is important, and because we believe such a process of "relentless incrementalism" is the only way to change America. Rome wasn't built in a day. America wasn't messed up overnight. Very few things in the world happen quickly. Get-rich-quick schemes rarely work, and neither will schemes to change-America-quick. But there is something even more important about our strategy of relentless incrementalism than these kinds of common-place observations . . . It is very well understood how government grows, and why it is so difficult for taxpayers to protect themselves from the large-scale looting that goes on in Washington . . .
  • Government confers huge, concentrated benefits on select groups of people, while spreading the cost over all taxpayers
  • The groups that benefit from government favors have large incentives to fight for those benefits, while taxpayers have small incentives to fight any particular instance of looting
This essential insight tells us something very important about strategy . . . NO strategy for curtailing government growth has ANY chance of success UNLESS that strategy makes it EASY for taxpayers to fight government growth, and, as a result, more DIFFICULT for politicians to make government grow. We have built our entire organization, and we are basing all of our future plans, on this crucial insight. Our specific legislative proposals like the "Read the Bills Act," the "One Subject at a Time Act," the "Write the Laws Act," and others we will propose in the future, show one of the ways we can make it HARDER, and MORE COSTLY, for the politicians to do the things they do. But . . . To actually pass bills like these we must also make it very cheap -- very EASY! -- for taxpayers to apply the kind of relentless, overwhelming, resistance-numbing pressure that will be needed to make Congress submit. Some of these EASY methods are obvious. We have empowered DC Downsizers to educate, recruit, and apply pressure on Congress in one EASY, seamless, low cost process. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. But . . . More than this is needed. We must also be able to change the environment. We must be able to counter the bad ideas and propaganda of the government schools, and the establishment news media. The requirement here is the same -- we must make it EASY and CHEAP for taxpayers to fund the Downsizing counter-message. Toward this end . . . We do the exact opposite of most organizations. Most groups focus on major donors first, and smaller donors second. We understand why they do this. A single $10,000 donation covers a lot of $25 donations. But finding and cultivating major donors is very time consuming and staff intensive. And we don't want to have a large staff, or to spend a lot of our time on fundraising. In addition . . . We think the best sales pitch we can make to a major donor is that we have lots of smaller donors, and that we have a small overhead and a big devotion of resources to our mission. This sales pitch becomes stronger every time we gain . . . A new monthly, credit-card pledger at $5, $10, $25 or more. On the one hand, all it requires is a few mouse clicks and keystrokes to educate, recruit, and apply pressure. On the other, all it would take is a few cents per day from a lot of people to begin to make the message heard by everyone, everywhere, every day. We want to spend most of our money on advertising for things like the "Read the Bills Act" -- to educate, recruit, apply pressure, and change the environment. But to reach that point we need to have secure funding for our very small basic operating expenses. We thought we would achieve that last year, but we didn't, for reasons we all know and understand. But maybe 2008 can be the year. We want to make everything we do EASY for the people who support us. If you like what we do, how we think, and where we're going, please consider becoming a monthly pledger. Or . . . If you have the capacity to make a larger investment, and would like to discuss it with me before making your decision, just reply to this email, and we'll make a time to chat on the phone. You can start your monthly pledge here. Thank you for being a part of our Easy Revolution. Jim Babka President DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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