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Forum Post: We need you to get involved.

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 29, 2011, 3:41 p.m. EST by LobbyDemocracy (615)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have created an organization to give the power back to the 99%, but it can only work with your support.

I founded Lobby Democracy to support the agenda of the majority. We are a democratically run lobbying organization. The organization has no predetermined platform or agenda. We poll our members and take up any issue that reaches 65% support or opposition. We will contact the elected leaders of our members and inform them of the stance of their constituents. The elected leaders will have an opportunity to respond to their constituents through the website.

Essentially all that I have done is provide a framework to help unify the voice of the majority and bring it to the attention of our elected leaders. As a voting block we can have more power than all of the money on Capitol Hill. This process only works if you, the 99%, get involved and make your opinions heard.

Please take a minute and check out www.lobbydemocracy.com. If you have any questions or comments please leave them here so that we can rise to the top of the list and be seen by others.

Can you help us change the way that DC works?

69 Comments

69 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 2 years ago

The $20 fee does make me think twice. I know it takes money to run these things, but.. perhaps if you develop a following first. Then you can have everyone vote on it. ;)

[-] 0 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I understand that reluctance. I am trying to keep my influence in the organization to a minimum, but making sure that the organization has enough money to support the cause is something that I don't know if I can hand over. There is a great deal of expense related to the process in addition to the fact that I spend 40 hours a week on this project without any compensation. I simply did not know a way to keep financial support for the organization without it looking like we were selling to the highest bidder. Although it seems a little dirty to have to pay to be heard by the people that are supposed to be representing us, I don't know how else to make it work.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I have engaged in conversation with people about Lobby Democracy’s website I have run against two criticisms more than any others: “This is a right wing site.” and “What do you stand for?”

I would like to take a minute to address each of these criticisms. I understand why people think that the site leans to the right, and would like to explain why it appears that way. The first reason is simple. The political conversation right now is dominated by the republican presidential primaries. Although it might not be the most invigorating conversation, it currently dominates the airwaves. I personally do not support most of the ideas being discussed as part of this debate, there and millions of people who do, and the results of this primary will help guide the direction of our country. If you support some of these ideas you need to sift through which proposals you like better. If you don’t, you need to understand them to be able to argue against them.
The second reason that the site appears to lean to the right brings us back to the question of what I stand for. I personally lean pretty far to the left. In an attempt to keep the site politically neutral I may have overcompensated in an attempt to not let my personal bias interfere with the mission of Lobby Democracy. I still believe it is important to separate my personal perspectives from those of the organization; however, I think it is a understandable desire to know where I stand on the issues.

I would therefore like to lay out some of my dreams for what this organization can achieve. It is important to remember that this section does not represent the issues of the organization. I, like all other members, will only have one vote in the organization. I do think, as some have noted, to put forward a dream as to what is possible with the power of Lobby Democracy. The following ideas might not express your dream, but this organization is all about the possibility of our society to change. Think about what you would change if you had your druthers. If you can build a coalition around them we can help make them a reality.

So without further ado, here is a core list of things that I would change if I had the power to do so.

On Taxes and the Budget Deficit.

I think that our society has fallen for the theory of trickledown economics despite no solid evidence of its functionality as an economic theory. What we have to remember is that 70% of our economy is consumer driven. As more and more money has collected at the top, demand has fallen. This means that even though the rich have plenty of capital to be “job-creators,” there is no demand for the products that these workers would create. In the words of Henry Ford “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

Our tax code has become riddled with deductions and exemptions that not only favor the rich, but also decrease market efficiency. We need to clean the code and create a simple tax structure. Without spending months working out the details, I cannot propose an exact tax structure that will balance the budget. You can build a simple framework given the total expenditure as a percentage of GDP by the federal government. The current rate sits around 24%. At the beginning of the George Bush’s presidency in 2000 it was 18%. This means if you created a gradated system where the top tax rate was 30%, you could cover all of our government expenses.

On Energy Policy

I believe that reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is an absolute necessity as we move forward. Carbon emissions are changing the world that we live in and destabilizing the ecosystem. On top of the environmental impacts, the fossil fuel market does not properly take into account the externalities of fossil fuel use. These include not only the environmental costs, but also the costs of military engagement designed to secure access to oil and other fossil fuels, federal subsidies and tax breaks, and health costs. The estimated total cost of these externalities varies widely, but most of the estimates fall between $5 and $15 of unseen costs for every gallon of gas. If you search for “price of gasoline including all externalities” you will find a large number of articles from various sources examining these factors. Even if we are on the low end of that estimate, renewable energy sources are already much cheaper than gasoline.

We need to get behind clean, domestic energy sources the way that our country mobilized to put a man on the moon. This journey will help our environment, simplify our foreign policy, cut our long term government expenditures, and make us leaders in the worldwide market for renewable energy. Let’s find solutions and let’s find them now.

[-] 1 points by jaimes (86) 2 years ago

Money scam.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

If losing money is a scam I am all over it. The membership fees have fallen well short of covering expenses let alone making me any money. I have dedicated most of my free time for a year to making this organization possible. Feel free to disagree with its substance, but to dismiss it as a money scam is both incorrect and dismissive.

[-] 1 points by thecommonman (63) 2 years ago

Start with the premise of Direct Democracy of the internet.

the Age of Representative Government is as dead as the Age of Kings.

One Man / One Woman, One vote proportionally averaged into the whole of the entire electorate.

Legislators write Laws - We the people vote to enact, turn down or amend them.

We vote directly on the budget, acts of military confrontation, and priorities of programs.

We need a 21st Century Solution to 21st Century problems. I would rather put my faith in the wisdom of the masses than in the trust of the few.

[-] 0 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Lobby Democracy is a compromise between your idea and the current system of government. It also could be used to force the constitutional amendments that would be necessary for a direct democracy.

[-] 1 points by thecommonman (63) 2 years ago

good, a step in the right direction is important.

Direct Democracy will not happen over night.

It should begin with prototype voting systems on the web thru sites like lobbydemocracy and the OWS websites, progress into local and state government referendums and advance into the national and global spheres of governance.

Let's get the ball rolling on these sites to give the vote to the entire country to re-prioiritize the national agenda, a good starting point to influence upcoming elections.

[-] 1 points by BTKcongress (149) 2 years ago

direct democracy sounds great in theory. but how many people know enough about securities law, or maritime law to vote intelligently on them; plus how many have the time to learn what is necessary? that's a big part of what lobbyists and many trade group associations do. they educate and inform,,, unfortunately they're very biased. nonetheless this is a good step to set forth the consensus and push ideas into action.

[-] 1 points by thecommonman (63) 2 years ago

How many elected representatives know enough about securities law, or maritime law to vote intelligently on them; plus how many have the time to learn what is necessary?

Most are AWOL will the issues are debated and voted on - usually at the behest of a lobbying group.

With the internet we can create a forum for public education and debate that is free from the corporate media spin, editorial muck and censorship.

If i thought my vote was more than a legitimization of a corporate puppet choice of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, if I knew my direct participation could influence the federal budget by giving a percentage to line item priorities that would proportionally average my choice into the totality of the entire electorate. then I and myself would participate in great numbers.

give it a generation of experience ... and it would change the world from the control of the 1%.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I am working on it. Lobby is up and membership is growing. It will take a while for it to reach its potential, but the process is underway.

[-] 1 points by thecommonman (63) 2 years ago

is there a voting app in your future? it should be too hard to program a number counter?

why not open up the prioritization of issues to the entire community, it may not be scientific one man on vote, some may vote multiple times.

but is can develop into a forum with password protected voting entries. it would definitely be a step in the right direction to prototype this tool.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

For members there is already a voting system. The system is not only one man one vote, but also assigns the votes to congressional districts so that we will have the most accurate data possible.

[-] 2 points by thecommonman (63) 2 years ago

nice, that sounds like an investment worth $20. see you there

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Great. Look forward to having you as part of the community.

[-] 1 points by Idaltu (662) 2 years ago

That 20 dollar fee stopped me from reading. Its a bit soon for asking for that ...I know organizations need money to move forward but maybe at the front end asking for donations might be a better way to approach it. Let's face it, there are hundreds of spin offs from OWS and most of them will likely die on the vine. I like what you have to say but I'm not likely to invest 20 dollars in something that may not even be around a month from now.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

It has been around and developing for a year. We have only been membership for a matter of weeks, but we are in this for the long haul. Please bookmark the site and come back and visit us in the future. Hopefully we will grow to a place where you will be interested in joining us.

[-] 1 points by Peretyatkov (241) from город Пенза, Пензенская область 2 years ago

You and we have the same approach?

What i want?

Equality in decision making. The that the government offers - this are not the most intelligent and effective solutions. In short, I want to declare, the highest priority of the word of Truth! In particular, and over the word of the government.

How? All ingenious - simple!

The final Peace on the Earth

Thanks to what? http://occupywallst.org/forum/four-questions/

Music: My Dying Bride - "Turn Loose the Swans (1993) - Black God". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRp0UuuFE44

Text in detail (In Russian): http://www.rb.ru/blog/peretyatkov/showentry=1534744

What: http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-is-nardialog/

Why: http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-nardialog/

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Kind of hard to say we share the same approach when we don't share a government.

[-] 1 points by Peretyatkov (241) from город Пенза, Пензенская область 2 years ago

What's the difference?

For me, the most important thing is - Truth!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5kXZJOOhCM

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

A $20 fee and there is no agenda established yet? You seem to have things backwards, I don't mind supporting a cause financially, but I'd have to know what issues it stands for first. Your agenda will be whatever 65% of your membership wants to support, I'd need to know just who is in that group.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

The whole point is to have no preset agenda. If I set an agenda then it wouldn't be a democratically run organization.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

That's fine in some cases. Unfortunately there is no way to be certain the majority will be on the right side of an issue. Take two examples, latest poles show support for abortion rights is down from 54% to 47%, California voters supported a ban on gay marriage 52% to 48%. Your lobby of course would not be involved with either issue as it doesn't meet the 65% threshold. What happens however if your majority supports an uninspired repressive agenda? It would work great for making the minority pay for the majority, I suppose everyone is in favor of getting things for free.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I don't think the something for nothing policy will dominate the conversation. I can't guarantee you that you your agenda would be supported by the organization, but I for one think it is better to be voted down by the majority than by the executives of Exxon Mobil

[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 2 years ago

Democracy should be free.

Politicians won't care about your diluted and nameless constituents. They do care about actual constituents who correspond with them personally. You are fooling people into believing that your mob organizing tactic will somehow mean more than one American one vote democracy means when Americans engage their politicians directly.

While I, being a much superior thinker and doer, I have created a blog for folks who want to discuss creative ways to get around the subversion and oppression, by the political parties, of American democracy.

Liberate American democracy blog http://liberate-american-democracy.blogspot.com/

Its free!

[-] 1 points by BTKcongress (149) 2 years ago

fractionalizing the movement,,, it's occurring already and that's bad.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

There is some precedent on what I am attempting to achieve although it has never been approached in the way that I am approaching it. The AARP is a massive force on Capitol Hill because they represent 38 million voting members.

Our system is designed to be able to associate our members with their congressional districts. We will be able to inform the elected leaders not only of our national polling data, but also what members of their district support.

I understand your hesitance to the $20 fee, but the management of the website and database are not free and if this organization is going to grow and thrive it needs to be able to support a strong infrastructure.

[-] 1 points by owsrulez (75) 2 years ago

With a $20 annual "membership" fee. No thanks....

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

There are costs related to this project. There are few options on how to cover them. I could sell advertising, but that would erode the nature of the organization. I could ask for donations, except that would both leave the organization of where it needed to be financially to support the process and leave open the appearance. Instead, I chose to spread the costs of the organization and ask everyone to put up 6 cents a day to support the cause.

[-] 1 points by thrsaymaquf (15) 2 years ago

Nice try? we can clearly see that you are here to dilute ows- destroy it. put your tail between your 1% legs and scram.

training web page http://url2it.com/jsne thrasymaque

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I don't understand where people get that from. First of all I am certainly not in the one percent. I am trying to gather the voice of the majority and make its voice heard. I do not understand what part of that is contrary to the perspectives of the ows.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20508) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

I'm not sure. First you will need a credible face.

Here's mine - and you can click it to find out more about me:

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

The goal is to represent the interests of the majority. My face should not matter. My opinions should not matter. The platform is there to support the voice of the many.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20508) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

You are operating on the world wide web, where anything goes, data gets mined, and credibility priceless.

Surely if you are going to provide a platform for gathering opinion, and allow guidance based on that opinion, you will want some personal identifiers?

And we are expected to just blindly hand that over?

Well. I just did. I did because I am not afraid. That doesn't mean I will initiate a virtual handshake with your server on the basis of a promise from someone I haven't ever met - I might get herpes!

You want a database you can mine - I understand. I could simply ask why and obviously you will respond just as you already have. Thus we return to square one.

Your move.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I understand that we are going to need to have the process audited from the outside as the organization grows. Right now all I can promise you is that your information is safe (guaranteed by a $50,000 per member policy) and will never be sold. There is no way to collect information to create a voting block without collecting the information.

I have been completely open and honest about my identity. My name is Evan Kendall Babcock. I live in Philadelphia. I created this organization because I think that the majority needs a voice and has the opportunity to be heard.

[-] 1 points by lester (5) 2 years ago

With open source software a decent web site can be designed, managed and posted for about 200.00 a year. And this is with one of the high end hosting services. This amount would include a fine open source data base, forum, chat room, and email service. So I would think your expences would be covered when you have your first ten members.

By the way, how much were you planning to pay yourself?

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Currently I am working full time as a bartender while I work on the project on the side. I am hoping that as the organization grows I will be able to give up some of my shifts and support myself through my work with the organization. I don't expect this to happen immediately. If it does grow and develop to the point that I can give up those shifts I would say somewhere in the $50,000 range.

Although I realize the potential of open source software I have been hesitant to run the site that way thus far. I have very little programming knowledge and wanted to make sure that the database was secure as were all the transactions on the site. This meant that I needed to hire a firm to handle the membership login, security and database. If the organization grows, I hope to hire a web designer to build a secure site from scratch for us, but that is beyond my ability and above the financial means of both Lobby Democracy and me personally.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20508) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Cool.

Now join your local Occupy Movement, participate in a few GAs, get consensus, participation, network with other groups, and watch what you have planted grow into something simply amazing!

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I have been down to talk to the Occupy Philadelphia protesters on several occasions. I have also been emailing some of the public spokespeople of the organization. I hope that you will stay in touch with Lobby Democracy and some day we may earn your trust.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20508) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

At some point your method may be very useful. At this time the current state of flux regarding the precision surrounding our message serves to instill a bit of harmonic imbalance in the psyche of the establishment.

This is a good thing. The spinning top wobbles.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Thank you for your insight. I wish you all the best.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20508) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

no. I'm afraid this place will degenerate into a sea of simmering debauchery . . .