Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Community Color Project

In the America of old, people used to turn to their neighbors for support before turning to the government.

There was a large number of small independent businesses along with an active network of local charities and community organizations.

I believe that such a structure is more resilient than a hierarchical system that starts with the government and trickles down.

I believe that the first step to restoring the ideals of the America of old is for people to become aware of their local community and for people to look toward each other before looking to big government and big finance.

Believing that actions speak louder than words, I began developing local web sites. I started this project up North and gave away the first sites I created. The sites I created had a visual guide, directory, calendar, forum and other interactive features. I removed all of the all of the interactive features because they proved to be spam magnets.

My business model was to use affiliate ads to fund a site that provided free listings and internet resources for local businesses.

The first set of community portals had marginal success, but not enough to fund a business with employees.

I gave away all the sites but Missoula.WS (My partners didn't like the WS extension).. In 2002, I moved back to Salt Lake and created Community Color project which would create community directories for the Beehive State. I later decided to expand the project to include directories for my home state of Colorado. These are DenverColor.com, BoulderColor.com and gjct.com (Grand Junction).

The goal of this project is simply to promote awareness of the local community. The full list of sites is on CommunityColor.com.

The basic model of the project is that I give free listings to all of the sites I can find for a town. If a company has an affiliate program, I join the affiliate program and run their banners as ads on the site.

The project has 27,000 active listings. Through the years, I've pulled some 12,000 broken links. About 5% of the links are affiliate links. The rest go to local blogs, businesses, artists, churches and non-profit groups. I mark the affiliate links with a *.

I put affiliate ads on a coupon site called aFountainOfBargains.com . aFoB is not a very good coupon site. Truthfully, I find coupons and internet commerce tedious. My disdain for the industry clearly shows. A good couponer gets excited about ten percent off UGG Boots, but my eyes curl back in my head and I just list the link while wishing I was doing something else.

Truthfully, what I would love to be doing right now is traveling from town to town holding meetings about free market health care reform and the advantages that free societies have over top-down engineered societies.

Anyway, Black Friday is coming up, so I've been infusing the sites with online coupons and holiday specials. What I do is add the coupons to aFountainOfBargains.com. I press a magic button and the coupons get loaded into pages for the affiliate merchants on the community sites.

In theory this is supposed to increase online conversions and result in some income.

I post the income from the Community Color project on this page.  For the last six quarters, I've made just under $300 per quarter (a hundred dollars a month). The cost of the site was $400 a quarter. I sold several domains and my smartphone and got costs down to $300 a quarter. Several years ago, I was actually earning up to $2,000 a quarter. That is not enough to hire a minimum wage worker (my goal when I started was to hire a minimum wage work.

Anyway, I still have the dream of holding a meeting on free market health care reform sometime next year. By infusing the sites with coupons, I might make enough to attend or hold a meeting next year.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Traveling from Town to Town

I am envious. Green Smoothie Girl travels from town to town spreading the message about the importance of whole foods.

A green smoothie is a salad (no dressing) processed through a blender. You can add fruit and create different recipes to make the smoothies taste better. It's just easier to eat a lot of salad in blended form. She pays the bills by selling books and Blendtec blenders which have the power needed to cut through beets, carrots and other ingredients.

Green Smoothie Girl spreads the concept of "food as medicine." We are what we eat and we can cure many chronic maladies simply by changing eating habits. It is great stuff.

I am part of that very tiny minority of people who love the ideals of the US Founders. I believe strongly in health freedom.  I worked in the insurance industry analyzing claims and calculating premiums. I realized the deep dark secret of the health care industry. Self-funded care would provide more care for more people at a substantially lower cost than insurance.

I would love to have a traveling show that went from town to town spreading the word that health freedom works. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find that first group of people who believe passionately in freedom who would help create a show that could take to the road. So, I sit here in envy of Green Smoothie Girl.

Blendtec has an affiliate program with Avantlink. The commission rate is 15%. If I sold one $300 blender, I would get enough money to pay for a cheap hotel room. If I sold two blenders I could get the gas to travel to a town and stay in a cheap hotel. This type of stuff is possible. BTW, I don't have a Blendtec Blender, but I did see one chop up beets and carrots at a Green Smoothie Girl show where I snarfed a free green smoothie.

Blendtec Blender

I keep going through the math. I think I might be able to make ten dollars a day if I took a ton of photographs during my travels and put them on my photo site ProtoPhoto.com. My collection of Community Directories might make some money if people linked to them.

The cost of traveling the country giving workshops on health freedom would be about a hundred dollars a day (plus whatever it costs to rent speaking space). If there was any interest at all in preserving freedom, I am sure that I could find a way to pull off the stunt. But there is no interest and I feel sunk.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Progressives see self financed care as a threat

In the article The Threat of Self-Insured Plans Among Small Businesses by Maura Calsyn and Emily Oshima Lee, The Center for American Progress openly identifies self-insurance as a primary threat to the progression of socialism in America.

The article notes that small businesses faced with skyrocketing premiums and reduced acccess to care under PPACA are likely to seek alternatives such as self-financed care.

"small businesses that have not traditionally offered self-insured plans are now considering this approach"

So, the article advocates the creation of new administrative rules designed specifically increase the regulatory burdens and compliance cost of self-funded care; thus making the option less attractive.

"This outcome is not inevitable. State and federal policymakers can halt this shift even without new legislation. In this issue brief, we discuss the risks posed when small employers self-insure, as well as policy options to discourage this behavior, focusing specifically on possible federal administrative strategies."

Progressives advance their cause by identifying groups they feel are threats then creating administrative burdens to oppress those groups.

I am opposed to this progression toward socialism. History shows that this top-down imposition of state control is regressive. Just think of this argument by Maura Calsyn and Emily Oshima Lee. They want to increase the regulatory burdens of health care simply so their group has more power.  Maura Calsyn and Emily Oshima Lee openly seek to deny care to people in small business for their personal lust for power.

I've followed the health care debate since the 1980s when I worked as a minion for a state run health plan. My direct experience working for state run health care moved me to reject the progressive argument. I studied the numbers in detail and realized reduced the quality of effectiveness of care. I can prove that self-funded care will provide more care and better care.

My goal for the last five years has been to find people who are open to free market health care reform to review a proposal to restore the concept of self-funded care.

If you are opposed to ObamaCare and are looking for something to do, you could invite me to attend a meeting so that I can give my presentation on self-funded health care.

I live in Utah. I am not LDS. I am willing to travel.

This article "The Threat of Self-Insured Plans Among Small Businesses" is simply proof that progressives fear people discussing self-financed health care.

This is a no-brainer. A way to defeat ObamaCare is for people to talk about self financed care.

I put a meeting on FreedomConnector to have a meeting on self funded health care on November 14. The meeting will have a 45 minute presentation followed by a discusssion. The URL for the meeting is: http://connect.freedomworks.org/node/412830

BTW: This article shows the same type of thinking as was found in the IRS Scandal. Maura Calsyn and Emily Oshima Lee identify a group of people as a threat. They then create administrative rules to attack the people they see as a threat. This type of thinking is ubiquitous in the progressive movement.

Traveling Show

I am taking a second shot at listing a health care event in the FreedomConnector calendar. The response has been so overwhelming that I can hear the crickets. The event is titled "Health Freedom Workshop." I am limiting the number of attendees to six. So far, I've had one sign up.

Let's see. That one person is ... me.

Last week I attended a traveling show by FreedomWorks on managing media connections. The event has me thinking that the best possible course of action would be for me to transform my Health Freedom Workshop into a traveling show.

My initial estimates are that I could pull off the whole traveling show thing for one to two hundred a day. This would include gas, a hotel room and a conference room for the meeting.

The format of the show is simple. I would present a mathematical model of free market (self-funded) care and a model of socialized (group funded) care. With these two models, I can demonstrate why free market health care outperforms socialized care.

The meeting includes actionable items and strategies to defeat PPACA and restore free market health care.

The show develops the basic ideas espoused by Dr. Ben Carson and others and develops the ideas into a full working system.

Of course, there is no way to get a traveling show off the ground with zero community support.

There is no support for people looking for free market health care solutions in the Conservative community. Were I to go into deep debt traveling from town to town, I suspect I would accomplish nothing expect prove to myself that Conservatives have no interest in advancing freedom.

Friday, November 1, 2013

I will be at Freedom Works Tonight

The GOP capitulation after the government shutdown was disheartening. Unfortunately, capitulation was the only option because the GOP does not have a solid plan for rolling back ObamaCare.

Sad as the capitulation was, there still is hope.

The freedom movement could still roll back ObamaCare if a group of patriots simply got together and began talking about free market health care reform.

For some reason that I cannot fathom Conservatives are reluctant to actually talk about issues.

I've looked long and hard. To my horror, I have been unable to find any Conservatives interested in actually talking about freedom.

I created a system of calendars for Utah (Salt Lake, Park City, Provo) and I follow the freedom movement very closely. This is not just an idle complaint. I am basing this statement after spending thousands of hours following community events.

Conservatives simply are not involved in the community.

In the last five years, I have not come across a single event directly promoting free market health care reform in Utah.

There have been protests against Obama and rallies for Mitt Romney. All of the meetings and rallies have been about secondary issues, and not about free market health care reform.

I have found several conservative groups seeking to socialize health care at a state level and some that are simply shills for the insurance industry. But I have been unable to find any local events or organizations interested in developing or free market health care solutions.

IMHO, this silence on the core issue of health care is the primary reason that the freedom movement is failing.

For the freedom movement to win the health care battle, there must be open discourse about health care. Quite frankly, it is absurd to think that the Tea Party can restore health freedom if no-one ever talks about the issue.

Readers of this blog know that my goal for the last five years has been to either attend or host a meeting about free market health care reform.

I really am not as stuck on myself as this blog indicates. I strongly believe in listening to the ideas of others. My preferred strategy is to attend meetings and provide support to the groups hosting the meetings.

I am willing to host meetings. I have engaged in a substantive exploration of free market health care. I've put together a presentation that can serve as a basis for a discussion.

I know the paradoxes of freedom. One cannot dictate freedom. The path to restoring freedom is to hold a large number of meetings in which one listens to others while seeking free market solutions.

I have worked on solutions.

Long ago, I used to work for a state owned insurance trust writing computer programs to track claims and calculate premiums. I had access to quality data which I scrutinized carefully. During this period I came to the horrific conclusion that large insurance pools were doing more harm than good.

I left the insurance industry because I felt that I could not, in good conscious, continue to work for an industry that was doing harm.

After leaving the insurance industry, I began studying economics and developed a mathematical model called "The Medical Savings and Loan."

The Medical Savings and Loan is a model that can be used to break socialized health care into individual accounts.

In my presentation, I create a mathematical model of self funded care and a mathematical model of group funded care (socialized medicine). I then demonstrate that people would receive more and better care if we simply restored the self-funded paradigm.

The presentation includes actionable items and it suggests steps that legislators can take to cause ObamaCare to fail into freedom. The actionable item is to create a organization called "The Health Care Advocates Association" that promotes free market solutions to health care. The HCAA is a bit different from

BTW, ObamaCare is going to fail. It was designed to fail. The question now is simply: will it fail into socialism or will it fail into freedom.

The system was designed to fail into socialism. But it is possible for the freedom movement to influence things in ways that could cause it to fail into freedom.

I have policy suggestions that might help PPACA fail into freedom.

ObamaCare can only fail into freedom if people in the Freedom Movement spoke about health care. This involves people actually talking about the issue.

FreedomWorks is holding a meeting about managing media relations. This is only the second public meeting that the've had this year. It seems to me like they are putting the cart before the horse by talking about media relations before talking about ideas.

Anyway, I will attend the meeting with fingers crossed hoping that I might meet people interested in taking the radical step of actually talking about the issue rather than just politics.