Democracy NOW

Democracy NOW
By Johnny Cash on May 12, 2017
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Democracy NOW

Hello everyone,

The empowr engineers have been reviewing the AMCO cash outs that the system is about to distribute, and the summary is that the per-person cash out amounts are not going to satisfy many of you.

There’s just not enough cash to go out to provide meaningful cash outs to most, given that your sales and purchases have more than doubled, yet again, from the month before (from February to March) but cash flowing into empowr has not. 

Why is that? Why do cash outs per person shrink as the empowr economy succeeds?

The success of the empowr economy is good news – it’s exactly what you have been working so hard for.

That success means that everyone can use their empowr profits to purchase any of millions of products and services. It means that we’re that much closer to fulfilling our mission.

 That same success also means that the average size of each individual citizen’s AMCO cash out is shrinking, because cash outs are based on sales, and sales have grown more than 200 times (20,000%) in the last 8 months, while the outside cash flowing into empowr has grown only 2 times over that same period.

I know this concept (why empowr’s success is leading to smaller cash outs) has been difficult for some of our citizens to grasp. Again, take a moment to refresh your memory here.

I know it’s frustrating because you could really use more cash, to pay for living expenses as well as things like shipping costs for your product sales.

As you know, we’re in the process of rolling out many different features to help alleviate many pain points you have brought up – features such as empowr transport (to near-eliminate shipping costs) and the app platform (to allow thousands of developers to bring features to you, without waiting for empowr).


But while we’re working on those things:

Rather than provide tiny cash outs that we’re sure will insult many people, I believe it’s time for the community to take control of many aspects of the community, including AMCO cash outs, in accordance with empowr’s mission.

In other words, it’s clear that we’re getting to the stage as a community where more democracy is becoming a requirement, as opposed to a “nice to have”.

Today, I’m going to suggest that we begin our move to democratization immediately, pushing power away from the empowr corporate headquarters, to our community members.


NOTE: You’ll want to pay very close attention here, as what we’re discussing will affect a lot more than your AMCO cash outs.


In this post, we’ll discuss:

Democracy... why now?
The Approach
Next Steps


Democracy... why now?

It’s simple. empowr was set up to “enable opportunity, hope and influence” for you, our citizens -- as opposed to “maximizing shareholder value”, which is the main driver of most other corporations.

With all the progress we’ve made together in recent months and years, we’re rapidly getting to a stage where many of the things you want and need, will most optimally be determined and controlled by you, as opposed to empowr employees working in an office on the other side of the country or world.

As you may remember, about 90 days ago, I suggested we move forward with further democratization (in a post titled “Cash outs, frustrations and democracy”) but you overwhelmingly convinced us to delay moving forward.

Well, I sincerely believe that the time to hand over power of the community to you, is now.


One size doesn’t fit all

It’s becoming quite clear that things that work for our citizens in, say, South Carolina or Malaysia don’t work optimally for our citizens in, say, Mexico or New Jersey.


What things?

By things, I’m referring to the community and marketplace policies and rules, enforcement, approaches, features and capabilities.

We’ll get into more specific examples in a moment, but the list of those things is endless -- limited only by your imagination.

The bottom line is that unless we open up the power to change things to you, in the ways you want them changed, many of the issues or opportunities you want or need will continue to remain unaddressed.

Of course we're aware of the many issues, but imagine the ability to resolve many of them much faster, and on your own terms.  You'll no longer be waiting for empowr to address each and every issue.


The Approach

Take a look at what’s happening in your country or neighboring countries. In most cases, it doesn’t look pretty.

Here in the United States, our federal government has become a joke. Approval and trust in our government and its various institutions has fallen to record lows based on the U.S.’s government’s inability to get anything accomplished.

Part of the problem is that the people – the citizens -- in most countries are becoming divided.

The people disagree with each other on many important topics. And therefore, their national governments are at a standstill and cannot generate forward progress.

There is some hope, however.

At a local level much more progress is happening. The more local you look (cities vs. states) the more progress you see.

That’s because it’s a little easier for people in a city, or even a state, to agree on a set of policies.

So why do we think that most citizens in empowr will agree on most things?

We don’t.

As empowr grows, its citizens will disagree with each other on a lot of things...

... from what types of content or commerce activity should be allowed... 

... to what should happen when people break the rules...

... to how funds should be spent including how cash outs should be distributed...

... to what opportunities should be opened up to new citizens at various stages...

... to... the list is endless.


Local governance is the better approach

Along with giving you the power to vote and choose the empowr’s president, we believe that – just as importantly -- you should have the ability to vote and elect your local leaders, and you should have the power to control and change things at a local level.

In that manner, if the people of, say, Ukraine are frustrated by the inability of the platform to accept their local billing systems, they can change that.

Or if some of our friends in, say, Saudi Arabia believe that some of the photos people upload to their empowr accounts show too much skin, they would have the ability to create and enforce new rules.

Or, if our empowr citizens in Mexico believe that the platform should be available in Spanish, they would have the ability to localize the platform to their liking.

Therefore, as quickly as possible, we want to give you the power to form local countries, vote and elect your leaders, discuss and set the rules and approaches and control the platform at a local level.


But wait.


Didn’t we just say that people all over the world are having tremendous difficulty in agreeing with each other in their countries?

So, does that mean that, once we give empowr citizens in, say, Russia the power to modify empowr to their liking, that Russian empowr citizens will have an impossible time agreeing on most things?

Yes, I believe that’s exactly what will happen.

As an example, some people in the Muslim world are quite conservative in their social lives, and they believe that women should have their faces covered when in the public.

Yet others in those same countries are more liberal in their views. They may have opposing views about women's rights and freedoms. 


To use another example, here in the United States:

Nearly half the country believe that Donald Trump is fantastic (and Obama was a fool). 

And the other half believe almost exactly the opposite.

The people of the U.S. have probably never been more divided, with only a few exceptions in the country’s history.


It’s clear that localizing down to the country level is not going to work.


Unlike the world’s countries, which are based on unmovable land, empowr has one key advantage. 

We exist in cyberspace.


Just imagine....

... if our citizens could form their own countries, created to best match their citizens’ values & beliefs, wants & needs.

For example, what if one of our citizens formed a new country and called it “Liberal Pakistan” – making it clear that she’s founding this country as a place for Pakistanis that are liberal in their social thinking. Do you think some people would join it?

Another country might be formed with the opposite values and beliefs in mind, where (as an example) lingerie and bathing suits are not allowed in photos. Some people would want to join this one.


Or, imagine a new country being formed, with its founders making it clear that this country is being formed by people with “fiscally liberal and socially conservative values”.

And of course another might be formed by people that are fiscally on the conservative side, but liberal in their social views.


A new way of organizing the world?

As more and more of everyone’s commerce, communication and information move to the web and apps...

... people around the world will want a greater say in the way all of that happens for them.

By being the first to enable our members to form democratic economy-enabled countries that don’t force them to be directly tied down to their current (land-based) countries, I believe together we are the pioneers at what will become the primary way the world will be organized.




I see this approach as, quite possibly, the only path for the people of the world to come out of the deep division they’re facing...

... a division that’s causing a lack of progress in many areas that are important to them.

Now, instead of two (or more) sections of society endlessly battling each other...

... a battle that neither side will ever win but is resulting in the paralysis of both society and government...

...  we’ll all be able to join like-minded people in democratic economy-enabled environments, where at the very least, we start with an agreement about our core values and beliefs.


With those common values and beliefs as a foundation, we can then have lots of discussions and agreements, fights and disagreements, trials, errors and successes...

... in our common quest for progress and prosperity.

Those healthy disagreements between people who share the same general values and beliefs, are exactly what’s needed to make a democracy healthy and successful.

Starting next week, empowr citizens will uniquely be able to create countries without physical borders; for the reasons stated here, I truly believe this is the beginning of a new world order.



Can anyone form a country?
What’s the process of creating a country?
What does it take to become the citizen of a country?
Can you switch from country to country?
Who is the leader of the country?
What’s to stop people from creating many (fake) accounts just for voting?
What if we end up with millions of countries, each with exactly one or few citizens?
Can you be a citizen of multiple countries?
What powers will the countries have?


As far as answers, I’ll quickly share my opinions – but they are just that – opinions. 

The more optimal answers will come from our collective intelligence, as well as from practice (trial and error) until we get it right. 

Let's get right to it.


Can anyone form a country?



What’s the process of creating a country?

Creating a country will be as simple as naming it, and mentioning what it stands for.  What makes it different such that it deserves to be a country? More details soon on the creation process but it will be that simple.


What does it take to become the citizen of a country?

One click.


Can you switch from country to country?

Yes. But not more than once every 90 days. So choose carefully.


Who is the leader of the country?

The country’s President, elected by the citizens of that country, through multiple rounds of voting.


What’s to stop people from creating many (fake) accounts just for voting?

Each account’s voting is not equal. If your account was just created a few minutes ago, or has had no activity, it will have nearly zero voting power. 

Your account will, however, have lots of voting power, if you have been building the empowr economy:  Take how many times you hit your daily goal (all-time) and multiply that number by your all-time number of “item received” sales.

Do you remember the “stock option points” calculation? Soon that will be renamed to something more appealing such as “Mission Points”.

Starting in about 48 hours from now, you’ll be able to click or rollover your all-time daily goals badge (at the top right of your profile) to see your Mission Points already calculated for you.

Now, your “Mission Points” will determine your voting power, as well as your potential stock option ownership.

What if we end up with millions of countries, each with exactly one citizen?

When a new country is first being formed, it will be called a “pre-country”. 

As soon as it grows to have enough “Mission Points” (by adding up the Mission Points of all the citizens that have joined the “pre-country”) it qualifies and becomes an official country on empowr.

At first, only 100 countries will be allowed to form. (If we need to, we’ll open up the opportunity for more). 

After that limit is reached, periodically the bottom-performing 5% of countries (based on their Mission Points) will be warned, and if they don’t get out of the bottom 5%, they’ll automatically be converted back into a pre-country. 

That means that new (pre) countries will need to wait for any existing countries to drop back into pre-country mode -- at which point the pre-countries with the most Mission Points will become new, official countries.

Can you be a citizen of multiple countries?

No. By becoming a citizen of a country, you’re agreeing to abide by and live with by the policies, rules, approaches and features of that country, so being a citizen of multiple countries will make it impossible for you to know what the rules are that apply to you.

You can, however, be a member of many pre-countries. As soon as any of them become a country, your citizenship will be transferred to the new country, and you won’t be able to switch for 90 days. You’ll also be dropped from any other pre-countries you joined.

And by the way, you don’t have to join a country if you don’t want to, although you won’t enjoy many of the benefits they’ll provide. So for maximum empowrment, we highly recommend that you join (or create) a country.


What powers will the pre-countries and countries have?

The primary power of pre-countries is to prepare to become a country. Once you set up a pre-country, people can join it, and discussion can start.

The powers of countries and their elected officials will be limitless. We imagine that, going forward, our jobs as employees of empowr will be focused in a large way on opening up more and more controls to the countries.

Also, using the empowr app platform, we will open up APIs so that you can actually build your own capabilities, features and controls -- and even provide (or sell) those innovations to other countries via the empowr app platform.


Here are some of the items that we’ll be working on opening up to your local control:

Localization and language
Community and commerce rules and procedures
Content and marketplace moderation
Success Coach hiring, training, managing and auditing
The ability to launch and control billing platforms
Distribution of AMCO cash outs
Presidential election and terms (president chooses cabinet members)
Election of judges
Citizen penalties, suspensions and removals


Let’s get back to the topic of AMCO (Accelerated Matured Cash Out) distributions

Note: Here, I’m only talking about accelerated AMCO cash outs -- and NOT regular matured cash outs or ECOs (early cash outs).

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, your sales and purchases (from Feb to March) doubled yet again. Congratulations!  But of course that means shrinking cash outs on a dollar to dollar basis. 

Do you remember the story we shared a few weeks ago, where the citizens in some imaginary island went from $2 in “AMCO cash outs” for each dollar they sold, to only 3 pennies ($0.03) per dollar they sold? 

Well, following with that example, with sales doubling again you can expect those “3 pennies” to drop to “1.5 pennies’ per dollar sold. (Again, that was just an example).


Going forward, AMCO cash outs will only happen at a local country level... with decisions coming from your elected officials, using rules and approaches that you create with them.


The new AMCO cash out process

1.  Each month, empowr will add up all the cash that comes into empowr from each country’s citizens – regardless of what they were paying for (ads, ad platform fees, power user subscriptions, marketplace purchases, etc.).

2.  empowr will then provide 97% of all that cash back to each country. For the sake of transparency, if we can get around everyone’s privacy concerns, empowr will provide full details to the country’s elected officials, showing exactly which of their citizens brought how much cash into empowr.

Note:  empowr will use the other 3% to run the company, servers and payroll for employees, and to fund item no. 4, below.

3.  Each country will decide how they want to give AMCO cash outs to their citizens.

4.   empowr will provide an ability for citizens to contribute cash to their country’s cash out pool. 

When they do that, it will add to their personal and their country’s “Mission Points”.

empowr will match that cash (dollar for dollar) -- and 100% of that combined cash will be provided to the country, for distribution as AMCOs to the citizens of that country.

5.   All profits from citizens that are deleted or removed due to inactivity, will be returned to the country for distribution to that country’s citizens.

How will that happen?  Perhaps each time you progress to the next power level color, at that moment you’ll automatically receive a lump sum payment that was sourced from accounts that went inactive or were removed.


Let’s make this happen fast

The sooner we form our local countries and conduct our elections, the sooner we will be up and running again with AMCOs.

Again, I am talking about accelerated (AMCO) cash outs here, not regular matured cash outs that have not accelerated.  Nothing is changing with regular (non-accelerated) matured cash outs.

And for the people that will still be in pre-countries – meaning they’re waiting to become official “countries”:

We are working on an idea to get cash to you. We'll talk about it in a just day or two – the moment our engineers have confirmed the approach and built any enabling technology needed. It's basically a fun way to distribute all the cash to you, based on your mission points (sales and daily goals) and yet have no one be offended by the amount of the cash. Think of it almost as a lottery approach. Again, more on that soon.


Next steps

The only step for you right now, is to start thinking about what country you would like to form.

What beliefs and values do you have, that you believe are shared with enough other citizens in the empowr community? 

In other words, what is your country’s purpose or mission? Why would a fellow citizen want to join you?”

What will you name your country?

Who will be the founders of your country (your nation’s mothers and fathers)?

Discuss this with other empowr citizens.

We’ll give you a couple of days, and then later this week we’ll open the process so you can form your country, broadcast your pre-country’s existence, and people can start joining it.


An important milestone

This is an important moment that -- speaking for many of us here at empowr -- we have all been working towards: 

Giving YOU the freedom and opportunity to self-govern and have control over the decisions that most affect YOUR life. 

This is exactly what empowr has been building toward... a platform for its citizens, operated by its citizens.   

This has always been one of the major objectives – and why the empowr platform was created.

We promise to listen and work as hard as we can...

... to open up more controls and abilities for you...

... so you can have the power to decide and take action, when specific things become important to you.


Nothing but smooth sailing ahead?

That was a trick question.  I’ll answer that question with a quote from Robert Kennedy:

         “Democracy is messy, and it's hard. It's never easy”. 

 We are committed to do our absolute best, to make it as easy as possible for you.

But we would be lying if we pretended that any of this will be easy. Or that change will come fast.

What we can promise you is that we will keep at it.

We will not quit. We’ll keep marching forward, one issue at a time, one line of code at a time, or feature at a time.

Each time we get egg in our face or are knocked down, we will get right back up, wipe our faces, raise our chins and keep moving forward until everyone is satisfied.



1.  Together, 8 months ago, we decided that the most important thing we needed to do to accomplish our mission was to grow the empowr economy.

Since then, you have succeeded in doubling the size of empowr’s economy (sales and purchases) every single month.

2.  To continue our rapid pace of progress, the next step needed is to push more power to YOU so that the decisions being made are optimal to your needs.

Effective immediately, our engineering team has been issued a mandate to shift control of as many platform functions and features as possible to the community, including language, policies, moderation, coaching, billing, accelerated cash outs, judicial systems, elections, and enforcement.

3.  No AMCO cash outs will be distributed tomorrow.

Regular matured and early cash outs are not affected.

4.  AMCOs will now be handled by countries.

You’ll be able to start forming countries approximately 48 hours from now.

5.  A new lottery system is being designed to distribute AMCO cash outs to citizens in pre-countries, citizens not in countries, as well as those citizens of countries that choose to utilize this new distribution approach.

We’re rushing to launch this feature this week with objectives of continuing to provide AMCO cash outs while also increasing the average size of those cash outs during this peaceful transition of power.


Are you ready to take control?

What features and controls do you need or want first? 

(more) ►

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