Categorized | Social Entrepreneur

This is AR LIFE

This is AR LIFEAR LIFE developed in late September 2011 from a strong passion for liberty, shared by two amateur economists of the Austrian School of economic theory, Elliott Shor (age 25) and Alexis Campestre (age 24). The pair met while working at a seafood processor in Seward, Alaska and through much discussion, concluded that the USA was not headed in a direction that they were satisfied or comfortable with. Taking their meager summer earnings, they rendezvoused just south of San Francisco, CA, at a family member’s apartment, where the real work began, and AR LIFE was created (American Revolution for Liberty, Independence, Freedom, and Economics).

AR LIFE began as a Facebook fan page with the intention of soliciting community colleges, universities, senior centers, and civic centers, in order to present on our understanding of economics, and economic theory. We offer the presentation at free admission, because the message of freedom is so integral to a successful democracy. As a means of paying for expenses, we planned to distribute for donation, “Economics in One Lesson,” by Henry Hazlitt, after each presentation. As suspected, we were not well received by the gatekeepers we spoke with at various academic institutions. Our strategy of encouraging debate and conversation needed to change to be effective, and the fact that our limited financial resources were quickly running out, made the issue all the more pressing.

On the other side of the country, the movement, Occupy Wall St., was picking up steam and spreading to Boston and Seattle. Despite negative mainstream media attention, from AR LIFE’s perspective, the Occupy Wall St. movement was at the very least, asking questions, and since the goal of AR LIFE is to encourage the discussion of freedom and liberty, our interests were peaked. We had no invitations to present, yet, so we decided to head to the Occupy SF camp outside of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank the upcoming Saturday, and see if we could drum up a good debate.

The night before we left to the Occupy SF camp, we were knocking our brains senseless, figuring out a way to harness the momentum of the Occupy Wall St. movement, in the direction of greater freedom. In addition, how were we going to finance our campaign for liberty? We believe the individuals participating in the Occupy America demonstrations only represent a small portion of the conversation and concerns of the country at large. However, the practicality of joining these groups in person for some people doesn’t exist. AR LIFE saw an opportunity satisfy a demand, to voice an opinion, and to help further the discussion by offering a unique service. The “Send A Message” postcards are a simple, but effective and efficient means of accomplishing two goals. Watch the following video to help understand this process:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHaMx1y6RXI

  • First, it gives people who are unable to join this discussion a means of connection. Responsibilities like a mortgage or caring for a child don’t escape us at our convenience. AR LIFE invites them to join the great discussion being held around the country by sending an elected government official a Message.
  • Secondly, it allows for the raising of the necessary funds to fuel the cause for liberty and justice. 50% of the proceeds go to purchasing medical supplies, sanitation equipment, food and water, legal resources, and media attention for those that are demonstrating on the streets.

The beauty of the project is that it had almost zero startup costs and minimal, fresh, competition. From the moment of conception to five days later, we had a website up and running on the Weebly platform ($29), content developed, videos made, pictures taken by friends, for the postcards and then postcards printed from FedEx ([email protected]$18.99), and PPC ads running on Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, as well as a CPM ad running on Reddit. The Google and the Facebook ads were paid for with advertising credit that we received for using the Weebly platform. Google Ads averaged only $0.20 cost-per-click, because there was nobody else competing for the same keywords. The Reddit advertisement, for three days of exposure, cost only $80 and brought nearly 1000 hits to our website during the time it was shown.

A little less than two weeks later and we have already sold enough postcards to recoup the investment in their production costs. Today, it is clear that there is a demand to have your voice heard, and judging by popular sentiment, the citizens of the USA are only going to become more vocal. “Send A Message” postcards are the answer to bringing the discussion from the streets, to the desks of government officials.

AR LIFE is stepping up to provide the People of the world the chance to send a message to their government that the age of corporatocracy, the welfare and warfare state, and the pillaging of our nation’s wealth via the Federal Reserve and the banks, is over. As we say at AR LIFE, “A revolution is fought through the evolution of ideas.” Making use of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is integral to the success of a true democracy. Take a part in this social change and “Send A Message.”

-Elliott Shor, Alexis Campestre

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