Sept. 15, 2022

585: Remaking the Federal Government - From Big, Bulky, & Misguided to Lean, Decentralized, & Relevant

How we can use technology and change our collective mindset to make our government more relevant, decentralized, and flexible?

Hey everyone! Welcome to today's episode, where I'm joined once again by Fred Eberlein to discuss his new book, The 90-Degree Turn.


The book looks at remaking the federal government from the top-down, bottom-up. It's a great conversation about how we can use technology and change our collective mindset to make our government more relevant, decentralized, and flexible.


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Brian Nichols  0:03  
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, Happy Thursday. They're here on The Brian Nichols Show. Thanks for joining us on, of course, another episode. I am as always your humble host, and today returning guest joining us the program to talk about why we should be funding the government from the bottom up not from the top down to the bottom. But before we get there, I'm gonna go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor, sponsor, and that is Young Americans for Liberty guys, I want to tell you that this great opportunity to jump headfirst into the into the liberty movement that is and make a real impact Young Americans for Liberty is currently recruiting campaign field staff to help elect pro Liberty candidates across the country as part of Operation win at the door. These principal candidates are dedicated to fighting for gun rights, keeping our troops home, parental rights and education, criminal justice reform, ending our central spending and many other winning Liberty policies. And when I say winning, I mean it their work speaks for itself. These are the guys help pass constitutional carry in Indiana, Texas, and Alabama fought the lock downs every step of the way, all while helping make Liberty win. So you want to help make a difference and get Liberty candidates elected across the country. If you want to be a part of the fight and actually make an impact in our insane political climate here in 2022, you can join one of these campaigns now through November 8 Gas covered housing fully provided and you'll be compensated a total of 20 100 hours a month for your work on the campaign trail. interested go to Brian Nichols forward slash ya L to apply and make a real change in this country today. That's Brian Nichols. forward slash why Al? Let's make liberty when one more time Brian Nichols Forward slash ya l All right, folks. So I mentioned to ya returning here onto the program. We're going to take a 90 degree turn and that is with the one Fred Ybor line. Fred, welcome back to the program.

Fred Eberlein  2:06  
Yes, good to be here. Brian. Thanks for having me back.

Brian Nichols  2:10  
Absolutely. You've been busy. Fred. Yeah. Let's see last time you were on the show you were getting ready to have your new book, The 90 Return officially launched. And then July 4 came and my goodness, you jumped right up there to the best sellers on Amazon. Talk to us what's been going on now that you're an official Amazon Best Selling Author?

Fred Eberlein  2:30  
Well, and people are interested in the book, which is great. And but you know, we've got I have personally, it's nice, but we have a long way to go. In terms of this being recognized as the formula, a credible formula for transitioning Washington. So up until that happens, Brian, it's just a lot of warm, fuzzies and good feelings and all that. But it's nice to hear from people who have really read it, who focus on particular details, and really think about it. And that's great. So since I've launched the book, I've also recently introduced a website, the 90 degree turn. And I'm blogging there, I wrote my first blog, about 10 days ago, I wanted to have another one like to do one a week actually. But it came down with COVID. So that got in the way a bit. But my first blog was title of it is what I what I did wrong, or where I went wrong, excuse me. So my philosophy is to take on criticism, constructive criticism. And in this first blog, I referred to one of the first reviews actually the first review written on the book by a gentleman by the name of Steve Levine. Yeah, that's the blog right there, where I went wrong. And I tell the story of what I think this may have happened before you and I even connected, Brian, but very early on, I sent this out in PDF to lots of folks. And I was looking for reviews. And Steve responded and basically said, Well, you know, I can't write a review because if I do is not going to be very good. And so we started to I responded to him after reading his objections, I didn't realize that, you know, he's these are some fair objections. So rather than getting defensive about it, I think having a background in business has helped this. I just looked at it objectively and put myself in his position and there is merit to his arguments. And I liked that. I like that because, you know, this is a theory that I've put forward in the book. It's 124 pages in paperback. I don't go in every last detail so As you know, it kind of lends itself to criticism. And there's a four points, right that that Steve brought up. And I think they're all legitimate points. And so my next blog, which I'm working on now, Brian will address these. Because I, again, I think they're valid, they're valid points. And, you know, his first point is just that, you know, having a database of needs is a criticism of the needs monitors a bit, is not a lot unwieldy. That's true. So how do you do that? How do you make that work? Right. And then he goes on to make other criticisms, thinking of how things work today. You know, as he writes, In the second point, the needs of a community is almost untenable, given the complexity of infrastructure needed to create, operate and maintain municipal properties and services. So there's no arguing that, again, this is about alignment. But, and more importantly, it's, I like to feedback, I like to criticism. So this new website I have is, the theme is dialogue. That's really the name of it, the URL is 90 degree turn. But the theme there is dialogue.

Brian Nichols  6:20  
Well, and how important is it right, for Edie to have an actual conversation. And that's something that I think I really appreciated about our first time we got together was that you are coming into this truly looking to have a dialogue, you're looking to bring an idea to the table. And frankly, try to make people think in a different way. And how exciting of a time to bring a different idea to the table when there are millions, if not billions of people across the globe, who are now actively looking to do things in a different way. And this could be a great template. Right? So let's talk about again, with a refresher course, for folks I used in the intro, a more bottom up approach to funding the different mechanisms and government explained to us again, what is this 90 degree turn you're referring to?

Fred Eberlein  7:06  
Right? Well, very good question. Yeah, it's good to recap. So the idea for this comes from a book that I read several years ago, startup nation, Israel. And in that book, they told the story at Intel, and Intel was up against a microchip architectural issue that, you know, basically, at the end of the day, they had to change the way the processing processors worked to continue to increase performance without frying the chip, anyway, was a very interesting story. And I took that idea and kind of stayed with me for some years. And that's how I came up with the 90 degree turn. So the bottom line to Intel was that they had to give up on some old practices to survive, to go on, to adapt to the new world to the new realities. And it's very clear, and, you know, in their case, because it's engineering, if you're, if your heats get too high, so on and so forth, you know, microprocessors can break down. So it's easier to assess in the case of Intel, but even still, there were it was really science, there was a lot of denial, management wanted to stay on the same course. So I saw a lot of parallels between that story and America where we're at. And that's really where the name came from, from what they call the right turn, and the Intel story to the 90 degree turn. And my view is a lot like with Intel is let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There's a lot of very important assets in the federal government. On the other hand, due largely to Congress, there's a tremendous amount of overhead. And in my analysis for every $1 spent by the government by the US Federal Government, we get about less than half a penny of value. So we have an overhead of 99.5% in the federal government, which is really unimaginable, but that's where we're at, we've gone from a deficit of $5.6 trillion in 210 years, to over 30 trillion. Now, which, you know, just 20 years later, essentially So my argument is that we have to redefine our government to redefine democratic Republic's not just in America, but around the world. Obviously, the Democratic Republic was invented by our founding fathers, and it's 233 years old. And it's burdened by age, complexity, size, and worst of all, fundraising centric politics. So those are the four pillars that I put forward in the book. In terms of describing today's situation, and then I put forward a solution or pivot, if you will, and how we go from where we're at today to, to greater value coming out of not just Washington, but presumably local and state governments.

Brian Nichols  10:21  
Now saving, saving the good stuff, right, obviously, for the audience to go ahead and actually get the book, right. Yeah. A little bit of a snapshot what that solution looks like and how it actually goes from being a great book in an idea to a tangible real life practical idea in do.

Fred Eberlein  10:37  
So some of that's on the back of the book here. Where I talk about bottom up separation, which I'll get into in value gap, and these monitor, it's not actually the orders are given in the book there is there, there's a cover for everyone to see. And excuse my markers there. But just in case, anyway, it's a short book, it's 124 pages in paperback. And it's a theory, it's a political theory, I wanted to keep it short, I didn't want to try to get into every permutation. So the core elements of this in terms of how we pivot Brian, is we start what we call a needs monitor. I think in our last podcast, you were calling it the heatmap, which is fine. It's the idea is a heat map of needs. And it's a sophisticated open, secure system hasn't been built yet. It's conceptual. But this is not rocket science. Basically, everybody can come in, indicate what their needs are, if they have solutions in mind, they can put those forward too. But this, that's the concept. I mean, it's a bit more sophisticated than just saying a need, we want you to articulate that and elaborate on that. Talk about any solutions. And this might be anywhere from cleaner water education, to higher greater security, economic security, you name it, we want to put it there. And if you look at Amazon can do this with products and so many suppliers that it works with, and millions of products, we can do the same in terms of quantifying and letting individuals quantify what their needs are. Right. So that's where it starts. That's the deeds monitor. And the idea is that true government, whether it's local or state, county, federal, they all can look at that and judge for that the real needs on the ground. The other purpose of the needs monitor, though, is this bottom up separation that I mentioned a moment ago. So we use the needs monitor, as a way of identifying what which resources in Washington, first and foremost are needed. I mean, the focus of my book is on Washington, we have about 10 million people working in Washington today, more or less, nobody really knows the exact figure. You know, and they're, they're spending 7 trillion a year, that's 31%, or there abouts as a GDP. So it's a huge part of the economy. And it's, we just need to come to grips with it. So Wow. Yeah, so my book is about pivoting though it's not about just cutting out, you know, entire agencies. And that's kind of where Stephen, His comments come from is, you know, just defunding anything that's not identified explicitly in the constitution. So that may have merit to it. But even if we're going to do it that way, let's pivot. And the idea of the pivot is that we give people in those agencies a chance to bid on the needs that are identified in America. So I think it's just a better way of managing resource. And people. I mean, we don't want to be just because someone is a civil servant in the government doesn't mean they're a bad person. And they should, you know, we will be fired.

Brian Nichols  14:04  
Why don't you say that? Fred is? We did an audience poll here, not just the The Brian Nichols Show with the greater we're libertarians audience, and I forget the specific breakdown of the numbers. But I know that the top five of our demographics of folks who listened to the show based on occupation, think three of them were public sector employees, and I think a lot of it is inherently because they get to see the inefficiencies firsthand. They get to see how bad it is. And they many times want to fix it, right. And it's unfortunate because you see folks who so desperately say like, you know, I'm going to be the ones different and that it makes you frustrated on their behalf almost because it's not them. It's not necessarily the people as flies, they're good at sorry, but more so it's the mechanisms, the funding mechanisms. I saw a post and it was, you know, you asked me to follow the science and I tried to follow the science but it led me to following the money And that's so true when you look at anything in terms of how the government goes out and its money. So, I mean, yeah, it is. It's one of those unfortunate reality is that it's it's very honestly impossible, it's almost impossible feels it's very difficult to change this Leviathan of a federal government to your point spending $7 trillion a year. It's bonkers

Fred Eberlein  15:23  
to me. Wow. Particularly when you see how much of it is overhead.

Unknown Speaker  15:28  
So talk to us about that?

Fred Eberlein  15:31  
Well, I mean, that's what my analysis says I did a deep dive of sorts on But I looked at other aspects of the government, including even those that report on the bad things like the Inspector General's office, say, you know, they give themselves credit on potential savings. I mean, so the see that the very entity that's charged with keeping us all on track, and integrity and accountability is there by their own methods, spinning the numbers, that's frightening. So the spinning happens everywhere, even at the Inspector General's office. I mean, again, they're they're giving themselves and their Reports to Congress. And I'm pretty certain Congress has approved this, they award themselves credit, I don't think anyone gets a bonus necessarily, but they give themselves credit on recommendations they've made, and the potential savings that can come from that. To do to say, I here's an idea, Brian, you know, and oh, boy, if you implement this, you're gonna say 5 million a year. And then I go and put that in my ledger. I say, Brian, 5 million a year. It's not really an accurate statement. Quickly if you don't implement that change. One report, I saw it DOL, Department of Labor. I think I brought this up in our first podcast is still shocking to me. But was no no charts on things completed, but nine pages are in the appendix of projects or recommendations, not implemented, recommendations not implemented. So that's like our government, it's so much motion, and just little tiny bit of action. And it's become, you know, it's really become a problem at so many levels, and we have to fix it. So that's what I put this forward with malice towards nobody. Yeah, I imbalanced towards no party, no person, it's a systemic issue brought about by everyday human beings who were motivated by sometimes bad things like lots of money, and, and all that

Brian Nichols  17:53  
incentive structures matter. And the real like, I don't know why sometimes we pretend that's not the case when we talk about the public sector. But if anything, it's even more so real in the public sector. So yeah, let's acknowledge that. And with that, to your point, mobile system addresses that. So Fred, we're already hard pressed for time here. So that being said, let's do this direct folks to where they can find this awesome new book, the 90 degree turn, but also we have a lot of projects that are, as you mentioned, coming down the pike here, you have your new blog, but also, rumor is you're starting a podcast talk to us about that.

Fred Eberlein  18:28  
Yeah, that's right. Well, thanks for bringing that up. I almost forgot. So as part of the dialogue, I'd really like to have people on my podcasts that have read the book and have feedback criticism, like Steve does, you know. So that's what I want to do is, and I'm doing that I'm planning that one of the first part podcasts will be actually with my brother, who played a role in helping me to write the book, and you'll hear that there's a lot we don't agree on. But it's healthy. It's healthy dialogue. And that's what this is about, is just putting this theory out there letting people say, here's what I like, here's what I don't like, and trying to make it better. So the website, the dialogue, and all the blogs I'm writing in podcast is really to build out. And let's say put some definition behind the theory. That's the goal.

Brian Nichols  19:22  
Like Fred, thank you for joining us. And folks, if you enjoy today's episode, well, I'm going to ask you to do me a few things. Number one, please go ahead and give it today's episode a share. That's number one. Number two, please go and give Fred's book a purchase over on Amazon. I will include the link for you guys in the show notes. And by the way, folks, if you get value from what we're doing here at The Brian Nichols Show, well, there's beyond just sharing the episode and of course, showing up here every single day which I so greatly appreciate. The other thing you can do is that actually there's two things you can do number one, become a super fan $5 a month, you can join us over on Patreon. You get a monthly sessions with yours truly where we'll go through some q&a or you can go ahead anything really top of mind business sales questions, anything in that world, go ahead, feel free to ask away, I'm also behind the scenes content. So $5 a month over on Patreon, or if you're interested in making a one time Pay Pal donation, I appreciate it, it goes right back into the show and allows us to have folks like Fred return here on the program to talk about the 90 degree turn and all these awesome new ideas that can help solve the problems that we see out there. So folks, if you'd be so willing, Brian Nichols, forward slash support $5 A month over on Patreon or one time Pay Pal donation. I really appreciate it. Other than that being said, Folks, thank you for joining us. If you missed yesterday's conversation, well, no worries, I'll make sure I include the link right here for you below on YouTube. Or if you're over on the podcast version all included there over at Brian Nichols But we had a great conversation with Jorge from Students for Liberty, talking about how we can learn about the rules of inflation from none other than none other than Venezuela, his home country. So if you're interested again, I'll include that right here below for YouTube. But other than that, folks, if you want to go ahead and find all 584 other episodes of the program, Brian Nichols, where you can find Yes, the episodes, the transcript of all the episodes, all the show links, and of course, you can go ahead and find the video versions of the program here on YouTube as well as over on Odyssey All I ask is when you go over there, please do me a favor, go ahead and hit the subscription button, the subscribe button that is but also hit that little notification bell so you're not missing a single time we go live but that's all I have for you. With that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Fred Eber line.

Unknown Speaker  21:43  
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Transcribed by

JB Fred EberleineProfile Photo

JB Fred Eberleine


After earning an undergraduate degree in Political Science in 1975, Eberlein went to Washington in search of a master's and a future in foreign service. But instead of entering the government, he became a "beltway bandit" – a salesman of computer services and software to Washington’s expansive bureaucracy.

In 1991, his journey went global when he moved to Germany. There he worked with the U.S. Army Europe as it right-sized in the wake of the USSR’s collapse. Later, the author moved to Vienna where he led enterprise sales for Oracle in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, before joining Sweden’s Scala Business Solutions and moving to Budapest.

An entrepreneur and self-described nobody, the author's firsthand experience of the corruption that has fueled the U.S. Federal Government's decline makes this book – his first – essential reading for anyone who wants to break from the noise of politics and return to the business of America.