Thirst Waiter

Thirsty for a Living Wage?

Welcome, your server today is your political digital twin. Would you like a refreshing cocktail of what your roles might say about the WELCOME Middle-Class Act? The Willing Employer Living Compensation Exemption would be a tax credit to pay a living wage in the first place. Welcome, and we mean WELCOME to Thirsty Thursday. Would you like a personal public policy advisor at your peck and call (coming soon)? Let’s slake your parched throat with some super nonpartisan public policy solutions.

Middle-Class Act

A dollar-for-dollar tax credit to bring employees up to a living wage. *Willing Employers Living Compensation Exemption. When anyone pays their taxes, the money is destroyed, and a number is changed on a computer at the Federal Reserve. Are we playing computer games or trying to have a more prosperous society?

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 without unwanted inflation in the long run.


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 period—and so have the Democrats. Two-party gridlock is to blame. Perhaps WELCOME is 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 gas stations. Child poverty alone costs America over $1T annually. Most domestic violence is about money.


If you’d prefer to role-play this week’s puzzle, first, now would be a good time to swoop over to 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.

Digital Twin

The Randoms:
A Blended Family’s
Political Journey

How They Met

The Randoms are a blended family, both second marriages, they met at a community fundraiser for local arts. Each in their 40s and representing a different political role—from Core Republican to Planet First Democrat—found common ground in their love for rock & dance music. The kids, budding artists, and musicians instantly clicked. It was love at first sight, not just for the couple but for the whole family, as they discovered their shared values of extended family and community.

Their First Fight

The first family dinner was a battleground of ideas. The Federal Payroll mom clashed with the Consultant Dad over environmental policies, while the Core Republican and Nonprofit Independent kids debated fiscal responsibility. The Start-up/B-Corp son-in-law and the 401K & IRA aunt had their own concerns about market stability. Tensions ran high, but the undercurrent of love and loyalty to the family unit kept the conversation from boiling over.

Why They Made Up

After the heated debate, they realized their strength lay in their diversity. The Judiciary attorney grandparent emphasized the rule of law, while the Ag State uncle brought up food security. The Urban Professional cousin and Rural Investor nephew discussed investments creating better jobs, and the Hospital-employed cousin and Robotics enthusiast niece discussed more affordable healthcare. They nurtured their bonds through shared activities, making friends with Shopkeepers, making art, dancing to their favorite tunes, and always remembering to stay logically positive. They all love going to Venues for concerts as a way to bond.

The Bond That
Keeps Them Together

Each family member made a conscious decision to be more open and respectful of the other’s viewpoints. They agreed to work together to find solutions that would benefit not just individual members but the family as a whole. This act of self-sacrifice deepened their love and commitment to each other, making family gatherings a space for both spirited debates and heartfelt connections.


Federal Payroll: Concerns about a temporary increase in the federal deficit make this group hesitant over increased pressure to cut redundancies.

Core Republican: The potential for shortages of basic needs gives them pause.

Planet First Democrat: They worry that prosperity might inadvertently harm the climate.

Nonprofit Independent: They fear the policy discriminates against part-timers and nonprofits.

Startup: Concerns about smaller employers’ inability to pay more make them skeptical.

Judiciary: They’re wary of the loss of jobs in criminal justice and social welfare sectors.

Urban Professional: A sticking point is the potential for unaffordable homes.

Hospital: They’re concerned that increased prosperity could strain hospital capacity.


401K & IRA: They see a boost in GDP as a win for everyone, including their investments.

Consultant: The increased Main Street sales allure is too good to pass up.

B-Corp: They believe lifting workers out of poverty will lead to healthier, more stable communities.

Ag State: The prospect of increased sales on Main Street appeals to them.

Rural Investor: A larger middle class means more and better customers.

Robotics: The potential for less civil unrest is a compelling reason for them.

Venue: They’re excited about having more attendees for their host events.

Shopkeepers: The idea of luring non-workers off the couch and into the workforce is enticing.


Wow, a lot is happening inside the Randoms’ heads, huh? When you add up the sixteen roles’ forecasted opinions, the score is…

YES 8 – NO 8 = A Tie!

The possible scores here are +16 to -16 so 0 indicates that this family is ambivalent about the WELCOME Living Wage Tax Exemption, barring one or more of the NO Reasons being way more important than all the YES reasons. Since these are made-up people, we’ll never know. 

But You Will

Are you making up your own mind or marching to the beat of a political parrot? While we finish testing our Political Digital Twin Tool for your Personal Public Policy Advisor Report, you can add your role’s scores from this week’s puzzle here and do your best impression of a public policy wonk. Amaze your family and friends with your super nonpartisan ways. 

You might wonder why these individuals care about their family and friends’ feelings about this topic. Here’s the thing: there are four kinds of love: self-sacrifice, nurture, tough-love, and self-love. Are you only ever just one of those? What percent of each are you on your best day? Caring about what the people you love care about is what families and democratic republics do.

Nonpartisan Score

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 40%,
the media is 27%, and
Congress is 13%.


It’s important to point out that we predicted the Part-timers being a NO because of envy, which is the same reason as the Nonprofits. The Judiciary is looking to protect their jobs and wages. If it were up to the Randoms, if these three roles practiced a little more Self-sacrifice and Nurture, we might restore the Middle Class in this country sooner rather than later.


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 (Systemic Alignment 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.

We start with a One Page Narrative Tool (OPNT) that we gamified for role-playing at 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 

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


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?)


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