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Exactly What to Say When Someone Calls You a Conspiracy Theorist

Do you know what to say when people call you a conspiracy theorist? Chris Widener tells you EXACTLY what to say to turn the tables on them.

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Do you get frustrated when people call you a conspiracy theorist? Do you not know what to say to them as a reply? PolitiCrossing founder Chris Widener teaches you exactly how to go about handling that accusation. Check out the video here:

Chris is one of the World's Top 50 Speakers, member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, and one of Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 13 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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How To Win The Minimum Wage Argument

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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) has been a strong advocate for an increase in the federal minimum wage. In 2019, while referencing the minimum wage for tipped workers, she was quoted as saying “Any job that pays $2.13 an hour is not a job, it’s indentured servitude.” In so much as indentured servitude is a contract between two individuals, she may be right. In her apples to oranges comparison, she leaves out that fact that a skilled server or a bartender can easily walk down the street and look for an opportunity to earn a wage increase. Your average indentured servant was far more reliant on their landowner / “employer” for many of the necessities of life and often would have to travel hundreds of miles by foot to find a better opportunity. So, while AOC’s rhetoric may make for a catchy quote, her comparison is completely wrong.

Free market advocates and conservatives may find themselves in a tough political position in addressing the minimum wage argument. Who wants to be the person who is against giving the struggling server and single parent a “minimum wage increase?” Typical arguments against a minimum wage have been all rooted in facts and logic and the data is clear: after decades upon decades of implementation, minimum wage laws are a price floor that create unemployment. Further, these laws put people (particularly the young and minorities) at a serious disadvantage usually delaying their entry into the work force where they could be learning new skills and climbing the economic ladder.

Unfortunately, these traditional, fact- based arguments based on free market principles have not had the results that free market proponents would hope for. In fact, a 2019 Pew Research poll showed that 67% of Americans support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. AOC’s catchy rhetoric, while devoid of economic logic, appears to be winning the day.

So how can we, as free market advocates, change the narrative and win this argument? We must change our approach and go on the offensive. The very term “increase the minimum wage” is a statement of strategic offense. As proponents of not having a minimum wage we often too quickly take the bait and reply with what I will call a “defensive statement” such as “but is creates unemployment” or “small businesses can’t afford that.” Any fan of sports knows that, while defense is crucial, you must have some offense to win.

When we find ourselves in a position to argue “against the minimum wage” we must think offensively and argue for freedom. One tactic is to use what is called the Ransberger Pivot technique. Invented in 1982 by a man named Ray Ransberger, it is a communication technique that we can use to disarm our intellectual opponent. It would go something like this:
“I agree with you, that servers in the food industry should be making a lot more money. In fact, I think you will agree with me, that even more people at this skill level should have opportunities to get jobs in this industry. If the government requires employers to pay $15.00 an hour, what happens to the person who really, really wants a job and they are willing to do the job for $14.00 an hour? What if this person watched the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise and it has always been her dream to be a bartender, and no one is hiring because $15.00 is just too high a price to be able to afford to bring on another bartender? What if this person says, “I just want to get my foot in the door, I just want a chance, I will for work $13.00 an hour, I will do it for $10.00 an hour, please!” Shouldn’t this person be free to offer their labor at this price without interference from the government?”

Let us break down this hypothetical passage above: In using the Ransberger pivot we are first seeking to let our friend on the left know that we might just have the same goal by saying right away: “I agree with you” next we insert a small hypnotic suggestion “I think you will agree with me…” again we are telling this person it is time to “agree.” From here, we will gently change the trajectory and the frame of the conversation and pivot to our own strategic offense. Now it is time for our opponent to go on the defensive. Make them defend keeping a young and eager person out of the work force. Make them defend the idea of government restrictions preventing someone from pursuing their dream of becoming the next “Cocktail superstar.” Keep using the same pattern and formula throughout the conversation: Agree, pivot to offense, insert new fact and logic, put them on the defensive.

We might next say: “Did you know that when someone is mandated to pay $15.00 an hour that they also have to pay additional legally mandated fringe benefits like Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance? This can add up to 30 percent. So really, the employer is required to pay over $20 an hour and our aspiring bartender, she is willing to do the job for $14. The employer is impressed with this young person and sees her passion and enthusiasm and he really would like to mentor her and have her on his team. Unfortunately, he just cannot afford over $20.00 an hour because he recently used his profits and upgraded all his light bulbs to LED to help fight climate change. How is it fair that he cannot give this person an opportunity because of the government?

In these two short examples, we are taking the traditional, fact based, and logical arguments against the minimum wage and we are re-framing them into an emotional story and we are asking our opponent to defend the idea of keeping this enthusiastic young person out of the work force. From here, our battle is only half finished. Getting our opponent on the defensive is a key first step, but now we should offer solutions to the original problem: the idea that servers and bartenders do not make enough money. At this point we can point out the research showing that most people in the work force already make more than the minimum wage. We might share facts that show that in a free market meritocracy, very productive people will either earn a raise or take the skills they have learned to a new employer who will pay them more or they will take their skills, start a new business, and employ others. The sky is truly the limit for everyone so long as the government is not overly regulatory.

In an age of hyper partisanship and at a time when free-market principals seem to be rarely if ever defended by most of our politicians, we need to have strategies that can effectively articulate the benefits of freedom. With soaring federal deficits, runaway spending, and a feeling that an economic crisis is lying in wait we would be wise to remember Ronald Reagan’s famous words: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” We need to take every opportunity to craft our arguments for freedom in that spirit.

 

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Former RNC Digital Director Talks How to Fight Back Against Online Assault on Democracy

Cyrus Krohn is the Author of Bombarded! How to Fight Back Against Online Assault on Democracy

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Cyrus Krohn has been a cutting-edge communicator, digital innovator and new media executive for over 20 years. Krohn is currently Senior Vice President of Business Development at Civic Science, Inc. He advises businesses including Democracy Live, a voting technology company and Element Data, Inc., focused on decision intelligence software. He managed acquisition of the Cheezburger Network, one of the world’s largest digital media companies focused on humor and entertainment, to Literally Media. Prior to Cheezburger, Krohn co-founded Crowdverb and sold the start-up to WPP, the world’s largest communication services group. Krohn has worked as a senior director and executive producer at technology companies including Microsoft and Yahoo. Watch as Cyrus discusses his new book, Bombarded!, with PolitiCrossing Founder, Chris Widener.

In 2013, Krohn was named one of the Top 50 digital political strategists in the United States. Krohn served as director of digital strategy for the Republican National Committee’s eCampaign Division. He joined the RNC following two years at Yahoo! as director of content production and election strategy. Krohn worked under well-known Hollywood media executive Lloyd Braun at Yahoo! Media Group in Santa Monica, California, creating original programming.

Prior to Yahoo!, Krohn spent ten years at Microsoft. He was Slate Magazine’s first employee and then publisher while the webzine was owned by Microsoft. While publisher, Slate reached profitability and won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online. He is editor of the Slate Diaries, published by Public Affairs Books. Krohn also managed the political advertising effort for MSN.com, the Microsoft Network and was executive producer at MSN Video.

Krohn worked in CNN’s Washington, D.C. bureau producing Larry King Live and Crossfire and served as an intern in the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB) and White House for Vice President Dan Quayle. Krohn served as president of the Washington State News Council, an independent, nonprofit, statewide organization whose members share a common belief that fair, accurate and balanced news media are vital to our democracy.

Krohn graduated from Lynchburg College and served on the Board of Advisors of the George Washington University Institute for Politics Democracy and the Internet and the E-Voter Institute. He has lectured on the impact the Internet is having on the political process at the 2013 Personal Democracy Forum, University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellows, Johns Hopkins University, American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, The Aspen Institute, Harvard and MIT.

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