WELCOME Living Wage


Crime costs 2x -10x that of raising the full-time working poor up to a living wage with WELCOME tax credits for employers who can afford it. It’s called the Willing Employers Living Compensation Exemption. For those who cannot, the P50L EITC will help those workers.

Together, WELCOME and the P50L will end poverty for the working poor.

Welcome to the Sixth Day of the Twelve Days of Christmas 2023 Review to celebrate some of the year’s best gifts of liberty and justice for our democratic republic.

The 12 Days
of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas, PolicyKeys gave to me,

— Six wags a-waging —
— P-50-L —

Four calling puts
Three HOME Zones

and an

A.M. Dive in Broad Daylight

Stay tuned for the next 6 merry days !! Happy Holidays !! Stay safe and warm.

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 on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL).

Finally, a way to cut through all the political parrot claptrap and find public policy leadership.

Might you support a WELCOME Tax Exemption for Employers to pay a living wage in the first place?

When you pay your taxes, the money is destroyed, and a number is changed on a computer. Which is more important, the middle class or a computer game?

Middle-Class Act

A dollar-for-dollar tax credit to bring employees up to a living wage.
*Willing Employers Living Compensation Exemption.

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 seem so out of whack. But wage growth was and now is again higher for most of us, so food is a smaller part of the monthly budget. WELCOME, and the P50L EITC can help those whose wage growth isn’t keeping pace.

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.


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?


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 or joining flash shoplifting mobs. Child poverty alone costs America over $1T annually. Most domestic violence is about money.

Flight of Articles

You can read about WELCOME 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. The Friday Box score is below. Saturday, we recap the week with the Keystone. Now, here’s the updated…


Middle-Class Act
An Employer Living Wage Tax Credit

:Weighted-Average: Forecast of 128 Societal Roles
Super Nonpartisan Score

:78%: ± 3%

Sides of the Table 4/4
Walls of Information 8/8
Cultural Windows 14/16
Influence Rows 16/16
Bias columns 7/8


Top Four Key Reasons
Middle-Class Act

GDP Boost

Reduced crime and incarceration

Fewer multi-generational homes

Dignified lives for workers

Top Four Key Reasons AGAINST the
Middle-Class Act

Inflation risks

Housing prices may surge

Discriminates against part-timers and nonprofits

Temporarily increases the deficit

Four Odd Couples 

Moralist Republicans (27) &
Rank and File Democrats (29)

Liberty Independents (7) &
Justice Independents (5)

USA Made (27) &
Importers (13)

Unions (1) &
Entrepreneurs (13)

#1 Dignifies lives for workers
#5 End involuntary poverty
#7 Reduces double taxation
#13 GDP boost
#27 Lures PT and nonworkers off the couch
#29 Potential for lower taxes

Four Odd Couples

Urban Part-time (30) &
Rural Part-time (30)

Activists (24) &
Energy States (28)

Social Media (2) &
Civil Servants (20)

Startups (18) &
Big Ag (28)

#2 Inflation risk
#18 Smaller employers will still struggle
#20 Job losses in social services
#24 Zero tax corporations won’t pay
#28 Less glamorous jobs will be harder to fill
#30 Discriminates against PT and Nonprofits

We dish on all the odd couples in our Wednesday Politically Strange Bedfellows article.

Four Aha

(YES) Lures nonworkers off the couch

(YES) Less need for social services

(NO) Less glamorous jobs will be harder to fill

(NO) Businesses will need to invest in capacity


Two other solutions, like WELCOME or the P50L EITC, are Universal Basic Income (UBI) and an increased Federal Minimum Wage. We pre-scored the latter two, and they’re likely not leaderboard-worthy yet.

No one in Commerce wants to have UBI pay people so they can figure out how to stay home, not work, complain about life on social media, and binge-watch reality TV all day. Things need to be made and shipped, and that takes people.

Likewise, many industries can’t pay a living minimum wage because of foreign competition—fair or unfair. States have very different living costs, so one size minimum wage doesn’t fit all.

Based on our nonpartisan scoring system, WELCOME and the P50L will have the least political friction, and both separately or together will grow the middle class sooner rather than later.

Super Nonpartisan
Score Recap

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 Living Wage Employer Tax Credit, 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 41%,
the media is 32%, and
Congress is 15%.

Do we expect you to agree with the supermajority on all the rankings? Of course not; you’re human, not a political parrot.

We think you’ll agree with the leaderboard about 3 out of 4 items on average. Why?

The average score of the policies on the PolicyKeys™ US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) Sweet Sixteen is 76%, with many above 80%Politics 4.0 is already a 2x to 5x better model of US political sentiment and direction than politics as usual.


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
Pew Research

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


Politics 1.0 is each party wanting to be a one-party system. Then, Politics 2.0 is the two-party gridlock that blocks the silent supermajority from getting what it needs. Next, Politics 3.0 is all the noise from special interest groups trying to influence us to see things their way. Finally, Politics 4.0 ranks solutions with a nonpartisan score and lets the best ideas rise up the leaderboard so ‘us people’ can choose.

The Four Laws of
Public Policy Formation

The First Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with short-term focus will naturally protect their wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth.

The Second Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with a longer-term focus place bets to make life better, longer, easier, or different.

The Third Law of Public Policy Formation states that the short- and long-term clash causes noise, angst, conflict, and harm.

The Fourth Law of Public Policy Formation is that nonpartisan scoring can rank ideas.

(OPNT) One-Page
Narrative Tool

Uses the following 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.

A Level
Playing Field

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.


The Political Parrots have a key reason they don’t want us to know about because it ruins their argument. We search for these, like a treasure hunt, and sort them using our EMIT format: Emotions, Money, Information, and Timespan. We listen for these key signals in the political noise.

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

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 Parrotopia.

Definition of
Political Parrots

Are you making up your own mind or marching to the beat of a political parrot?

  1. Political Parrots get paid to squawk the same thing over and over again.
  2. They don’t pay attention unless you pay.
  3. They don’t fully understand what they’re saying.
  4. They are charming and glamour us.

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

You can make up your mind. Where can we agree?

Birds of a Feather

Once the Key Reasons are set, we use 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 most embody each of the 56 loose ties. This yields a general bias for change or status quo and reveals ties.

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

Then, we finish the puzzle by applying the most fitting YES or NO reason per role 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 (Situational Assessment Tool). 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.

The engine for the AI is our One-Page Narrative Tool (OPNT), which we gamified for role-playing at policykeys.com. We call our AI, POLI for Political Omnibus Leadership Initiative. Soon, you can use it as your Political Digital Twin and generate a personal public policy advisor report on any PolicyKeys puzzle.

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.


We seek to partner with a lead university to host a national collegiate PolicyKeys association for political depolarization, innovation in public policy, idea competitions, team competitions, AI upgrades, polling, data science, and journalism. Just respond on social media, @policykeys on Mastodon.


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 a world 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—ranking solutions with a nonpartisan score.


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

It takes guts to see things from all four sides of the political table.