Americans for Fair Taxation has smart, dynamic, talented and motivated board members and leaders in many states. But our board is not getting any younger.
Among the nine members of the board, one is in his late 40’s, three are in their 50’s, one is in his 60’s, and three are in their 70’s. Our survey indicates that four board members are retired, and five continue to work a regular job in addition to their work with the FAIRtax. The workers include a partner in a Big Four public accounting firm and a partner in a major private equity company. One of the working board members is a septuagenarian with a successful mediation practice.
Age may be just a number, but in order for the FAIRtax movement to persist well into the future, it needs to be constantly recruiting and training younger people. Realistically, we are not going to get the FAIRtax passed in the next few years.
So, in order to have the staying power we need, there must be younger people willing and able to assume critical leadership roles when today’s most senior leaders can no longer continue in their positions. If we’re going to realize our goal of replacing the income tax with the FAIRtax, Congress needs to know and understand that we’re not going away any time soon.
One generation to look to for replenishment is Generation X. Gen-X-ers are the generation following the baby boomers. Demographers accept that this cohort is people born between 1965 and 1980, making them range in age today from about 42 to about 57. According to an article by Robert Smith in Family Search (January 21, 2021), this generation is well educated, self-reliant, and engages in critical thinking. If you can bring in a good Gen-X-er, FAIRtax would be the winner.
The generation behind Gen-X is the Millennials. The years 1981 to 1996 generally define this generation. Their ages would range from 26 to 41 today. According to the Indeed.com editorial team (February 22, 2021), this generation has an intuitive knowledge of technology, is open and adaptive to change, places importance on tasks rather than time, has a passion for learning, and is free-thinking and creative. These are character traits that should make this generation embrace the FAIRtax. Millennials would welcome the stabilizing effect of the FAIRtax on the Social Security and Medicare programs.
Millennials would bring unbounded energy to the FAIRtax. The challenge is to figure out how to harness that energy. Millennials may have less patience than others for organizational tasks that keep the FAIRtax movement going.
Common to both generations is that they are still in their working years and are at various stages of their child-raising years. Service for the FAIRtax is on a volunteer basis, and these generations may not have the time that retirees would have. But it is important to draw these people into FAIRtax leadership. FAIRtax, as a retiree club, would not have as much outreach.
Generations may have common themes, but one must also acknowledge individuals. Not all Millennials are technologically savvy, and not all baby boomers are computerphobes – in fact, most boomers use computers and other technology quite regularly.
We need a variety of traits and skills in leadership. Our President and Board Chair, Steve Hayes, has a leadership style that encourages both visionaries and bean-counters alike. Leaders like Steve meld these diverse types into a dynamic, effective team. Leaders from whatever generation need to make everyone feel welcome.
I would love to hear from you about how to attract younger people to a leadership role in the FAIRtax movement.
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary
🇺🇸 Call For Pictures & WriteUps - When others see your activity, they are inspired, the process snowballs and Representatives, Senators and, yes, even the President start to listen to you and me. Please send your material to me at Jim.Bennett@FAIRtax.org.🇺🇸 The Official FAIRtax Store - Don’t forget to order your FAIRtax gear from the FAIRtax Store.
🇺🇸 We've Got You Covered, If You Let Us Know - If you are planning an event, we have event insurance coverage available for you. Email me the "who-what-where-when" and I will obtain for you a COI. Once the event is underway, it's too late.
🇺🇸 CPAC Finally, save the dates: February 24-27, 2022 (probably), for either Orlando, Florida, or Washington, D.C. (National Harbor, Maryland). Plan to be at the CPAC (“Conservative Political Action Conference) annual convention. The FAIRtax Guys were there this year and say next year we need to turn out in numbers. You don’t need to be a conservative to attend and help the FAIRtax.