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The Optimistic American - Audio Edition

Aug 2, 2023

Paul Johnson welcomes Arizona business leader Beau Lane and The Value Equation author Christopher Volk.

The three touch upon the role that businesses have inside the U.S. political system, discuss the incredible benefits Americans will have from the growing American economy, and the threat that the current partisan model poses to America. They talk about reforms to the partisan system that business leaders see as a way to help ensure that our political system benefits the economy as opposed to threatening it.

  • Christopher Volk starts the conversation off by sharing his story and by mentioning his book The Value Equation.
  • The Value Equation is a guide to creating wealth for entrepreneurs, investors and average individuals wanting to improve their financial position.
  • Paul Johnson noted the book explains how business really works in layman's language. The book provides a formula that converts complex subjects into manageable problems with easy math everyone can understand.
  • The Value Equation is the foundation upon which most large fortunes were built.
  • What interests Chirstopher Volk about reform is the excesses of the extremes in the existing system that threaten everybody’s ability to build wealth or even a comfortable retirement.
  • Beau Lane shares his story and touches upon how he got involved in politics, as well as why he believes the business community is starting to be engaged with politics.
  • Volk points out that in Arizona, only 100,000 of the 1.4 million independents voted in the last primary election This is by design as the parties don't want unaffiliated voters to participate!
  • Paul Johnson points out that in America and Arizona, unaffiliated voters now make up the largest group of registered voters. Yet, they are intentionally being discriminated against.
  • These unaffiliated voters are much more interested in elected officials working across the aisle than partisan voters.
  • Volk believes that 24-hour news has found it profitable to exacerbate the divisions. Yet polling says the level of disagreements across the U.S. isn’t as high as we are led to believe, nor as high as the partisan political system promotes.
  • Beau Lane advocates that a solution that businesses, education and unaffiliated voters support is eliminating partisan primaries and have all party, affiliated and unaffiliated, candidates run in an open primary.
  • Every candidate on one ballot, with the same amount of signatures, and everyone has the right to vote in the election.
  • Lane sees the current political system as an artificial market where there are two very bad products and people just have to pick between two evils.
  • Paul and his guests go over what they consider an alternative to the current bipartisan political system and elections. This would be an open primary system which means stopping the discrimination against unaffiliated voters and candidates, and allowing a voice for the greatest amount of people.
  • Christopher Volk and Beau Lane discuss what they see as the “features” and the “customer benefits” of the reformed political system. At the top of that list is preserving the ability for Americans to innovate, create and prosper. The existing partisan system has become an existential threat to free markets, free enterprise and the great prosperity of the American system. 



Mentioned in This Episode:

Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You by Dr Emily Bashah and Hon Paul Johnson

The Optimistic American on YouTube - @optamerican

Become a premium supporter of the show:

The Value Equation by Christopher Volk

Beau Lane

Ronald Reagan

Donald Trump

John McCain

J. D. Hayworth

Rusty Bowers

The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy by Katherine Gehl

Karrin Taylor Robson

Thomas Jefferson

Alexander Hamilton

Tip O’Neill