When the Democratic Party swept into power in Colorado in 2018 riding the crest of the Russia-Russia-Russia mis-information wave, they teamed up with RadicalxChange, a group that already had a local presence in the state.
RadicalxChange (RxC) is a nonprofit entity that describes themselves as “a global movement for next-generation political economies, committed to advancing plurality, equality, community, and decentralization through upgrading democracy, markets, the data economy, the commons, and identity.”
(You can learn more about RxC from their website, radicalxchange.org, and by reading their 2018 handbook “Radical Markets: Uprooting capitalism and democracy for a just society” by Eric Posner and Glen Weyl.)
A key component of RxC’s philosophy is that the principal of one-person-one-vote reinforces the “tyranny of the majority” and needs to be replaced by what they consider a more equitable system.
In the case of RxC, this system is known as quadratic voting and allows a passionate or educated minority to be able to out-vote an indifferent majority. This is the only equitable way RxC sees that the rights of “minorities”, however defined, can be protected.
The concept of a small group of people being able to enact and enforce rules on behalf of a majority is not a new historical concept. It is common in many totalitarian-like regimes, be they socialist, fascist or apartheid-based forms of government, where an “educated” few create laws for the good of the less educated everyone-else.
In Colorado in early 2019, the Democrats had between 60 and 100 pieces of legislation they wanted to enact. Utilizing the principles of quadratic voting allowed party leadership to decide which pieces of legislation they needed to present first.
The way it worked in Colorado was as follows: each legislator was given 100 virtual tokens that they could convert to votes on a particular proposed piece of legislation. One token equals one vote on an individual piece of legislation but legislators could save up their tokens to vote more than once on legislation they were really passionate about.
There was a “cost” to a legislator for them to do this though because saving up tokens to have a bigger impact on legislation C meant that they would have no say on legislation A and B.
The quadratic term comes from the ratio of tokens to votes on individual bills. It cost a legislator four tokens to cast two votes on one bill, nine tokens to cast three votes, sixteen to cast four votes, and so on, all the way up to using all one hundred tokens to cast ten votes on one particular proposed piece of legislation.
The direct consequence of quadratic voting is that it allows single-issue candidates to potentially have a disproportionate impact on what is enacted because they can concentrate votes on passing more extreme legislation that then becomes incorporated into the policy platform of the party.
If embedded into the process of how political parties decide policy priorities, quadratic voting will naturally move left-leaning parties further left and right-leaning parties further right.
For it to work for the Democrat party in Colorado, as it continues to do, Governor Polis must rule his party with an iron fist, which he does, allowing no dissent or straying from the principles put forth by RxC.
Nonetheless, because RxC sees one-person-one-vote as inequitable, it is no surprise that elections in Colorado have become less secure since the Democrats rolled into office and very little effort seems to be going into ensuring that Colorado’s voter roll is both clean and secure anymore.
RxC isn’t quite the World Economic Forum but it has very similar aims and objectives and these now also percolate through the DNA of the Colorado Democrat party because of the close ties the two entities have established.
For example, RxC is a big supporter of unlimited immigration and open borders because that allows “poorer workers in capital-starved countries to migrate to wealthy countries like the United States, where wages are much higher.”
“While the huge surge of migration would reduce the wages of workers in wealthy countries, global well-being would increase enormously.” [“Radical Markets p.142]
Unskilled workers flooding into the United States are unlikely to take jobs away from or reduce the salaries of Microsoft economists or tenured university faculty but they will certainly decimate the lives of the 6.3 million people the Census Bureau classifies as the nation’s working poor and create more tension between the haves and have-nots.
The social turmoil and violence that will likely result will be grist for the mill of giving more control to government and their enforcement agencies.
RxC also has an interesting approach to the concept of private property that is worth mentioning in passing too.
They consider that the solution to the “problem” of people owning things is to have everyone self-value everything they own and pay an annual common ownership self-assessed tax (COST) of 7% (or so).
Aside from the economic disincentive this creates, the kicker here is that ANYONE could buy whatever you own from you for the price you value it at, no questions asked.
This means that if you value a house you own for $200,000, you would pay your annual tax on that house of 7% BUT in a perverse interpretation of the economic policy of mechanism design ANYONE could buy that house out from under you, without notice, for the $200,000 value you have assigned to that house. You would then have to scramble to find somewhere else to live.
RxC explains [“Radical Markets” p.63-64]: “Every individual and business would have to list each of their possessions in a public register housed on an online application and enter valuations for each item … Anyone interested in acquiring (“possessing”) a specific good would search the database to find items of interest … By clicking an item, you transfer funds from your bank account into escrow, and the funds would then be deposited to the current possessor’s account on delivery of the asset. Nondelivery would be penalized as theft.”
The RxC authors don’t realize (or perhaps they do?) that the wealthiest people and richest companies would end up acquiring pretty much everything anyone currently owns now, creating catastrophic societal disruptions and forcing everyone into over-valued rental properties maintained by monopoly-like entities while providing jobs for millions upon millions of new government employees while eliminating many more millions upon millions of existing jobs.
Chaos by any other name.
The future that RxC and the Colorado Democratic Party are moving towards is a very scary one. It is no surprise that a study earlier this year highlighted that 15% more people left Colorado than moved into the state last year, the first time Colorado’s population has declined in a very long time.
The future is especially scary for Coloradans who believe in property rights, the democratic process, and the basic principles upon which the United States was founded almost 250 years ago.
Mike O’Donnell is an economist, economic developer, naturalized U.S. citizen, and has been a Colorado resident since 2000. You can follow more of his observations at www.mikeodonnell.us and email him at