The Grassroots Corner July 17, 2023

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 07/14/2023

Getting Together

FAIRtax-ers are spread throughout the United States, and we rarely meet. Without a travel budget, just about all of our business is conducted through Zoom. It is helpful when we can get together in person.  When we gather in informal settings, and enjoy a meal together, it often spawns good ideas. 

I recently traveled to Florida from my home in New Jersey and used the time to see our volunteers there.


My first stop was in Clearwater, on the West Coast of Florida. Pictured left to right are our economist, Karen Walby, Ph.D., her husband, Mike, me, and our President and Board Chair, Steve Hayes. Steve has always been generous about making his time available to meet when we are in the area.

My next stop was Ocala, in the middle of Florida, somewhat to the north of Clearwater. I met FAIRtax Guy Bob Paxton there.  Most of you know Bob and his broadcast partner Bob Scarborough in Winston-Salem NC from their podcast FAIRtax Power Radio. You probably do not know that Bob Paxton also edits these Grassroots Corners and polishes Steve Hayes' Chairman's Reports. I'm sure Steve’s reports need little polishing, but Bob takes my sow’s ears and turns them into silk purses.

Bob then narrates Chairman’s Reports and Grassroots Corners into podcasts and posts them on YouTube. When I asked Bob where his skill came from, he replied that he’s always had a knack for writing that was fine-tuned by a really rigorous high school journalism teacher. 

Bob grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and went to the same high school as Bob Scarborough, where the two were separated by only a couple of years. Bob Scarborough continues to broadcast from the radio station WTOB. Bob Paxton is also a rail enthusiast. 

Pictured here are, left to right, Bob’s church friends and FAIRtax supporters, Duane Harper, Josiah Ost, me, Vicki Harper, Bob’s wife, Vickie Paxton, and Bob.

Board member and Marketing Team Leader Randy Fischer also lives in Ocala but could not join us because of a medical issue with a close family member. We wish Randy and his family the best.

My last stop in Florida was in Jacksonville, where I met Mike Simmons and Paul Livingston.  Mike (left in the picture below) manages The FAIRtax Store,, and the Florida FAIRtax Educational Association website.  Paul (right in the picture below), is the Florida State Director.

Paul had a career in sales up North before he retired. He applies his marketing skills to the FAIRtax cause, recently putting together a “Sticky Group” that created the slogan “Take Back Control!”

In 2005 Mike made a complete career change after spending the first thirty years of his working life in the spice industry, working with spice production facilities around the world and food processors in the U.S. He went into full-time web development, which included website design, Google work with clients, and video production. It is here that he continues today, giving us the benefit of his experience.

Mike also started the FAIRtax Marketplace, which was meant to mimic Amazon. Unfortunately, that idea did not catch on, but Mike plans to take the FAIRtax Marketplace in a new direction. Instead of handling merchandise, Mike would put vendors who support the FAIRtax in touch with our subscribers. The vendors would pay FAIRtax, a small fee for the service. The subscribers would deal directly with the vendors, who would be solely responsible to the subscribers for any issues with their goods and services. Vendors will only receive contact information from subscribers if subscribers respond to the advertising. Several years ago, we tried something similar under FAIRtax Chronicles, but there was a difference. We did not require advertisers through FAIRtax Chronicles to be FAIRtax supporters. This time, we would impose that requirement. Please let me or Mike,, know what you think. 

Please also let me know if you are interested in reaching out to FAIRtax supporters in your area or in your travels. We can email supporters in your state and ask if they want to meet with you. Personal contact makes a difference.

I would love to hear how you do.
Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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