Middle Class Key

The Middle Class Act Keystone

Crime will drop like a stone. The WELCOME Middle-Class Act would bring most low-paid full-time workers up to a living wage and pay for itself, too. Welcome, and we do mean WELCOME* to the Saturday Keystone. This wraps up our week’s reporting on a *Willing Employers Living COMpensation Exemption to pay a higher wage in the first place.

Rating System

We’ve invented a way to rank solutions with a nonpartisan score. This is role-based politics to counter hyper-partisanship and hyper-hypocrisy. The scores help explain that we can agree on much more than the political parrots would have ‘us people’ believe. We keep track in the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL).


The Middle Class has shrunk from 63% to 50% in five decades. Almost half of Americans don’t make a living wage. The Republicans have had control of the House, Senate, and Presidency over that time period—and so have the Democrats. Two-party gridlock is to blame. Is WELCOME the key?

Will it cause Inflation?

Inflation happens when demand is too high and/or supply is too low. We’re an industrious enough country to build the things our citizens need, especially when workers are incentivized to work full-time.

Before the 100-year pandemic, wages grew faster than inflation for over twenty years, except for higher education, child care, hospital services, and housing in some over-populated markets.

We’re already seeing inflation get back to near-normal levels. It just doesn’t seem that way because food prices are so easy to complain about. But wage growth was, and now is again, higher for most of us, so food is more affordable except for the poor and working poor. WELCOME, and the P50L EITC can help them.

The obvious conclusion is that, over time, competition drives down the costs of goods and services through efficiencies. If people made a living wage, it is improbable that any short-term inflation would not soon be met with long-term disinflation or even deflation as supply catches up to demand.


Shockingly, the US crime cost is between $680B and $3.41T yearly, probably 2x – 10x more expensive than WELCOME. People making a living wage aren’t knocking off liquor stores, beating self-checkout, or joining flash shoplifting mobs. Child poverty alone costs America over $1T annually. Most domestic violence is about money.


WELCOME would cover most industries where the companies can charge enough for their goods and services to take the tax credit.

However, the flap is over those industries that either can’t afford to raise wages. Some industries are afraid workers will prefer other lines of easier work. Still, others are concerned that there won’t be enough savings from the crime and poverty industries to pay for WELCOME.

Paring WELCOME with the P50L Earned Income Tax Credit would bring all full-time workers to a living wage. This would end involuntary poverty within a year and wage discrimination at least up to the level of the Living wage. It will greatly reduce civil unrest and be a great motivator to participate in the economy.


If you’d prefer to role-play this week’s puzzle, first, now would be a good time to swoop over to PolicyKeys.com. You can read about this week’s political flap in our Monday Puzzle Drop article. On Tuesday, we broke the ties for the roles whose opinions were the most conflicted. Wednesday, we dish on all the odd couples for and against. Thursday, your Political Digital Twin serves up a Personal Public Policy Advisor report. Like baseball, we review the BOX Score from this week’s big game on Friday.

The Four Sharp Corners 
of the
Political Table
on the WELCOME Middle-Class Act.

Poetically, our Political DNA is also ACGT, comprised of Abundance, Commerce, Governance, and Thrift. You can see more about this below in the Methodology section.

Free Markets
& States Rights

In Favor: Free markets would appreciate WELCOME for incentivizing businesses to voluntarily raise wages through tax credits, aligning with market-driven solutions. Reservation: However, they might worry that the tax credit could distort market dynamics, potentially leading to inflation or reduced competitiveness for labor.

Private-Public Partnerships

In Favor: Center-right advocates would favor WELCOME’s blend of business incentives and social welfare, addressing wage gaps without direct government handouts. Reservation: There is potential for businesses to exploit the system, requiring vigilant oversight that leans towards more governance.

Public-Private Partnerships

In Favor: The center-left would appreciate WELCOME for leveraging corporate tax contributions to benefit workers directly, aligning private sector goals with public welfare. Reservation: However, they might be concerned that the policy doesn’t go far enough in addressing broader systemic issues like healthcare and education.


In Favor: Advocates for proactive government would see WELCOME as a step towards state-guided social equality, directly using tax policy to improve living standards. Reservation: The concern here would be the reliance on corporate willingness, potentially leading to inconsistent application and outcomes.

Super Nonpartisan
Score Recap
for the Middle-Class Act

POLI had support as NEARLY UNANIMOUS. Our editors were a bit less convinced. Nevertheless, we predict a 78% ±3 (8 roles) VAST SUPERMAJORITY of roles in this country to support the WELCOME Middle-Class Act, including a majority of each of the four sides of the political tablemaking this a US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) worthy idea. 

80% – 89% Near Consensus
60% – 66% Supermajority
50% – 59% Majority

By Contrast

SCOTUS’s approval rating is 40%,
the media is 27%, and
Congress is 13%.

In our Friday BOX Score article, you can get even more highlights and stats.


Our One-Page Narrative Tool, game board, and AI are based on a ground truth: There’s a time to save and a time to spend, a time for freedom and a time for laws. Where can we agree?

This yields four legs of the political table: Abundance, Thrift, Governance, and Commerce, poetically our Political DNA, ACGT.

Then, the four sides of the table are…

Abundance Governance (AG) National Public Sector and NGOs,

Abundance Commerce (AC) Technology and New Businesses,

Thrift Government (TG) Local Municipalities, Guilds, and Consumers, and

Thrift Commerce (TC) Established Supply Chains and Jobs.

Each side has a bias for change and a bias for the status quo. We scan these eight Information Walls for Key YES and NO Reasons, no cherry-picking.

We search for solutions with the highest hypothetical nonpartisan rating. Something that would solve 80% of the problem with the simplest 20% solution. The Pareto principle, hence a parrot-topia.

The Key Reasons are sorted using our EMIT format, Emotions, Money, Information, and Timespan. We search for the key signals in the political noise.

Key Reasons can look similar so we edit for redundancy and look for errors, omissions, and innovations.

We look to filter out the GRIFTERS, Gaslighting, Red-herrings, Idolizing, False-dilemmas, Tunnel-vision, Exclusions, Reductions, and Straw-man arguments. 

Birds of a Feather AI

Once the Key Reasons are set, we prescore the puzzle using the Birds of a Feather AI for loose ties to beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. Over 16 million combinations are possible for the 128 roles. The game board starts balanced at zero, with an equal bias for change and the status quo.

We then prescore the puzzle using 56 arch-type roles that best embody each of the 56 loose ties. This yields a general bias for change or status quo and reveals ties.

The editors review all 128 roles for specific reasons and overrule the AI where necessary. These are noted in the Tuesday Tiebreaker article.

Then, we score the puzzle on all four sides of the Political Table: eight Information Walls, sixteen Subcultural Windows, sixteen Bias Columns, and sixteen Influence Rows.


When the scoring is done, a second AI looks for inconsistencies using the SAT9 AI filter. This is 256 ‘supreme courts’ where each role is the chief justice in a presumed 5-4 and 4-5 bench. This generates a ± error margin.

This is all done on a One Page Narrative Tool (OPNT) that we gamified for role-playing at policykeys.com. We call our AI, POLI for Political Omnibus Leadership Initiative.

You can read more about PolicyKeys™ in the upcoming book, Politics 4.0: How Gamification, AI, and National Idea Leaderboards Can Help You Depolarize the World. The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recognized PolicyKeys™ for digital engagement.


new PolicyKeys™
Where Can We Agree?® puzzle 
drops every 
Monday at 7 a.m. Eastern at PolicyKeys.com.

PolicyKeys™ Where Can We Agree? is a real-life role-playing game. Each week, there are sixteen sets of eight ‘rival’ roles. Sit awhile in each of their eight chairs and predict whether a majority of people in those roles would say Yes or No to the week’s question.

The best ideas land on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) if a majority of each of the four sides of the political table agree. You can play this week’s puzzle at PolicyKeys.com.


Cue the
Patriotic Music

Imagine an America not paralyzed by political squawking. A Parrot-otopia oasis in a desert of division. Where the sounds of the silent super-majority drown out the droning of the hyper-partisan parrots.

We’ll be freed from the cages of entrenched ideology to fly higher in the big sky of American beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. To boldly go where no political parrot has gone before—rating solutions with a nonpartisan score.


Where Can We Agree? 
(Why Don’t You Want To Know?)

You can play this week’s puzzle at PolicyKeys.com.


Chart of the Day, or Century?
American Enterprise Institute

How the Middle Class Has Changed in Five Decades

Corporate Tax Hit an All-Time High in 2021
Tax Foundation

Income Inequality: Most Disturbing Side Effect: Homicide
Scientific American

What is a Living Wage?
Global Living Wage Coalition

Living Wage Calculator

Four-Sided Facts About Poverty in America
Civil Majority News

Does Lower Income Inequality Lead to Lower Crime?
World Bank Blogs

Gini Coefficient by US State
US News & World Report

Why American Exceptionalism is Different
Heritage Commentary

Foreign Trade Barriers

The Middle Class Has Shrunk by 11% in 40 Years

Aggregate Cost of Crime
from the University of Chicago

Government Accountability Office on Cost of Crime

The Underground Economy of Unreported Income

The Greatest Wealth Transfer in History

Where can we agree?
Finding out takes guts from all four sides of the political table