We Do Better

This organization changed its name to "We Do Better" from Tax Revolution Institute as a result of my work.

I headed up the messaging and branding for this non-profit, whose goal was a paradigm-shift in the field of taxation. I developed the "Eight Fundamental Flaws" to explain why taxation as a revenue-raising method fails to deliver the outcomes that are used to justify it.

This approach recognizes that true tax reform consistently fails because when many people hear "Tax", they think not of government revenue, but of all the services that it funds. Progressives, in particular, are extremely wary of doing fundamentally changing the raising of revenue because they don't want to hurt the human outcomes it is supposed to support.

"We Do Better" is unique in recognizing this fact and tackling it up-front by basing the case for revisiting the coercive funding of services on the negative effects that this method of funding have on those services.

This approach enabled We Do Better to sign-up self-identified socialists (at such progressive events as Netroots) in support of our “Universal Charitable Credit” legislation.

The legislation allows state taxpayers to divert the first $500 (say) of their tax liability to non-profits in the state that they deem are outperforming government in the provision of public services.

I named "We Do Better", and this name was very carefully chosen.

It means that We (the People) Do Better than government in serving each other. It is a statement of empirical fact. Unlike most arguments for tax reform, it does not ask people to change their political beliefs. Rather, it affirms the good intention behind taxation - improved human well-being while recognizing that we already provide for each other in various ways, including voluntary methods that typically outperform non-voluntary methods. It invites progressives, who typically oppose tax reform or cuts, to stay true to their principles while sending more money to organizations that are doing the best for the neediest people in their communities - if they choose. This does not threaten anyone's ideology or require anyone to effectively change their political identity to support the program. That makes it incredibly powerful.

In other words, this is the perfect progressive branding and messaging for an libertarian (and often called conservative) idea.

By showing how the universal charitable tax credit can help homeless people in a community, for example, based on observable facts on the ground, we achieved unprecedented cross-spectrum support for the diversion of resources from the state to the voluntary sector.

Note, by the way, that I call it "voluntary" sector. That includes for-profit and not-for-profit, but is a term that does not elicit the resistance that exists among some on the political Left to "private sector.""