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May 31, 2012

Our Solution for Milton Friedman’s Problem

Quote of the Day: “You get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things FOR you carries with it the equivalent power to do things TO you.” — Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945) Source: The Criminality of the State, American Mercury Magazine, March, 1939

Downsize DC aims to solve the problem of “concentrated benefits and dispersed costs.” This is a problem identified by Milton Friedman and other great thinkers. Here's how it works . . .

  • Favored interests have big incentives to defend the huge, concentrated, tax-funded benefits they receive from politicians.
  • But taxpayers have little incentive to oppose any given favor because the cost of each one is widely dispersed amongst all taxpayers.
  • These mismatched incentives are a major reason that State criminality constantly grows.

Any organization seeking to tame The State must strive to equalize these incentives as much as possible. We hope to do this by creating levers that . . .

  1. Lower the costs taxpayers pay to resist The State.
  2. Increase the costs politicians pay to serve their cronies.

There are many examples of levers we've created to meet these two goals . . .

Take the legal briefs we file. Small investments of just a few thousand dollars have influenced the courts. For example, earlier this year, we had a precedent-changing decision in the Jones case. Then another victory against NDAA kidnapping.

The bills we've created are another example. Read the Bills, Write the Laws, and One Subject at a Time – which now has eight Congressional sponsors – raise the costs politicians pay to expand State criminality.

The Downsizer-Dispatch and our Educate the Powerful System are two more levers. These tools allow you to educate, recruit, pressure, and deny consent to Congress, with just a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks.

And coming soon will be another new tool you can use to lower the costs you pay to cause social change . . .

This new tool will move the American Mind in your direction. We're creating online polling software that will measure where people stand now, and the extent to which their opinions shift because of your efforts. We'll give you an online demonstration soon, after which it will become a powerful part of our educational outreach.

Finally, we also reduce your cost of resistance by minimizing our funding costs. We've automated things to such an extent that we can now fund activity GREATER than what we accomplished last year with contributions as small as $1 per month.

This makes social change affordable for everyone.

Now, let me show you exactly how much money we've raised in May, and how far we are below that goal of $1 per person. If you're not yet a donor, or haven't given since last year, I hope you'll decide to start at least a $1 monthly pledge, or a $12 one-time contribution, or whatever fits your budget.

Here are the numbers . . .

One-time contributions: 157 for $5,214.39
New monthly pledges: 98 for $568.88
Recurring monthly pledges: 563 for $7,583.37
Total monthly pledges: 661 for $8,152.25
Total income: 818 total contributions for $12,366.64

This means we're $14,925.98 shy of our $1 per subscriber goal, here on the last day of the month. This is our last day to correct that. If you can help, you can make your contribution, or start your monthly pledge, using our secure contribution form.

Next week, we're back to work causing social change. Thanks for your support.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
& Downsize DC Foundation

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