Although it’s been 47 years since Paul Newman, as Cool Hand Luke, uttered the words, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,” he could have been talking about the disparity between people living in Washington D.C. and people living everywhere else, according to Brent Regan.
Developer of “VoxVerus, a social network designed to promote communication between voters and their elected officials, Regan amassed the following data:
Beltway America V. Rest of America
ü The collective personal wealth of congressional members rose by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, with more than half of all members (261) millionaires.
ü While 8.3 million jobs have been lost in America since the onset of the recession, only 35,000 jobs were lost in the Washington, DC metropolis area
ü While the national jobless rate is near 10 percent, the jobless rate in the D.C. metropolis is about 6 percent.
ü Pay in Beltway America is sublime. Federal employee compensation and benefits average $123,049, double their counterparts in the private-sector with an average compensation of $61,051. The majority of Beltway America’s workforce also enjoy solid job security.
Rest of America:
ü One third of Americans had someone in their household recently lose their job.
ü 55 percent of Americans in the workforce have either experienced a bout of unemployment, a pay cut, reduced hours or being forced into part-time work since the recession began.
ü 40 percent of Americans believe they are worse off financially than two years ago.
ü 77 percent of Americas live paycheck to paycheck.
ü A record number of them (40.8 million) are using food stamps - a 55 percent increase from December 2007.
ü One in five Americans has missed payments on their bills.
ü Today one in seven Americans (44 million) and one in five children live below the poverty line - the largest since the Census Bureau started tracking poverty in the United States.
Regan believes the key to future elections is through social networks. “There are countless polls, studies, think tanks and groups that present interpretations of the mood or pulse of the country. But generic polls and nationwide trends are meaningless to a representative who has a constituency to whom they must answer.”
In the spirit of the late Tip O’Neill, Regan said all elections are local, and if a candidate is to be successful, Facebook, Twitter, email and advertising all work toward getting out the candidate’s message.
However, Regan said, that’s only half the battle, in that candidates need a forum from which to hear what voters think, without expensive and manpower-intensive efforts of sorting through thousands of letters and emails, conducting expensive polls, attending countless Town Hall meetings and "meet and greet."
Regan has developed technology to quickly find the consensus on any political topic in real time in the form of voxverus.com. He claims this technology is “better than Facebook,easy as email and the first communication technology designed specifically for representative government. Check it out! http://voxverus.com/