Saturday, May 12, 2018


Also published on Newsmax.  #PBMTherapyHeals

Imagine being successfully treated, painlessly and safely, for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Imagine having a cure for chronic pain.

This revolution in health and wellness is already available and will be celebrated on May 16 as the United NationsAnnual International Day of Light.

On May 16, 1960, American physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman, operated the first successful laser, achieving coherent and controllable light waves. This revolutionized manufacturing, communications, and health.

In 1967, Endre Mester in Semmelweis University Budapest, Hungary conducted studies to determine if lasers caused cancer. He shaved the hair from the bodies of mice, divided them into two groups and gave a laser treatment with a low powered ruby laser to one group. They did not get cancer. Instead the hair on the treated group grew back more quickly than the untreated group. The concept of "laser biostimulation" was discovered.

Today, “biostimulation” is known as Photobiomodulation (PBM). It is the process where a specific range of the light spectrum at the right intensity, when directed to the body for the right period of time, can restore the function of stressed cells to normal healthy operation. It is non-invasive, non-toxic, and has no reported side effects.

There are over 32 trillion cells in the human body. Each cell has hundreds of microscopic factories called mitochondria which combine oxygen with nutrients from the blood stream to make the cellular energy called ATP. This energy is used to help the cell live and to conduct its various roles in our body: keeping the heart beating, the brain thinking, the body moving, and the all the other functions that keep us alive and healthy.

Mester’s discovery was an epiphany. If specific light band waves can help cells to regrow hair, can they wake-up cells to do other things? Now over five-hundred human clinical trials and 4,000 laboratory studies have shown the answer to be an overwhelming YES!

PBM is now a common veterinary treatment for improving the lives of animals suffering from hip dysplasia and kidney failure. Throughout the world, forward thinking Doctors and Dentists are using PBM to successfully treat Oral Mucositis (side effect from chemotherapy), Dry Macular Degeneration, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons Disease, Lyme Disease, and diabetic wounds. It also reduces pain and inflammation in various orthopedic conditions such as tendonitis, neck pain, low back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chronic pain costs Americans over $635 billion a year in additional healthcare costs and lost productivity. PBM is used for recovery and endurance by champion athletes. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, many Nike sponsored athletes used a whole body PBM product called NovoTHOR to help them train, recover, and win more medals. This led NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA teams to add “light beds” to their training regime.

A growing number of doctors and public health officials are exploring PBM therapy as an alternative pain treatment to Opioids. This may help solve the addiction crisis facing America.

If PBM is so effective, why is not everywhere?

Outside of the U.S. it is. Australia, Canada, England, the European Union, and NATO all recognize PBM, promote its use, and accept insurance coverage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is slowly moving towards regulatory clearances for PBM light equipment to officially treat diseases and conditions. Currently, the FDA labels PBM devices in the basic category of infrared or heat lamps.

Until the FDA moves forward, U.S. insurance companies, except for a few BCBS affiliates, refuse to reimburse for PBM treatments. They remain a solid wall of resistance.

Medicare and Medicaid refuse to reimburse for PBM treatments. Federal Officials have labeled PBM “mumbo jumbo” and declared its successes placebo effect”.

The International Day of Light is an opportunity to alert everyone who could benefit from PBM therapy of its existence and promise. It is a time to ask public officials about ways to bring PBM into the mainstream of American healthcare. It is a time to ask your Doctor, Dentist, Veterinarian, and local gym/wellness center if they offer PBM therapy and if not, why not.

May 16 is an annual reminder that bringing light therapy into healthcare is long overdue.

It is up to all of us, for ourselves, our families, and our communities, to make the promise of light a reality.

[Scot Faulkner advises global organizations and universities on healthcare reform and innovation. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served on the White House Staff, and as an Executive Branch Appointee.]

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Swearing-in 104th Congress - January 4, 1995


Newt Gingrich is the most consequential Republican Speaker in history. He revitalized a failed Republican Party, forging the first GOP Congressional majority in forty years.

During his tenure, Gingrich revolutionized House operations, including bringing the Legislative Branch into compliance with all federal laws.

Republican Speakers have a rich history of shaping Congress. Two of the three House Office Buildings are named after Republican Speakers. Rep. Joseph Cannon (R-IL) remains the single most powerful Speaker in House history (1903-1911). Rep. Nicholas Longworth (R-OH) broke with Teddy Roosevelt to defend the Republican Party in the 1912 election and then broke with President Herbert Hoover to defend American taxpayers against the growth of big government (1925-1931).

Rep. Thomas Reed (R-ME) comes closest to Gingrich’s impact on the Legislative Branch. Reed was known for his communication ability, and his mastery of parliamentary procedure. As speaker (1889-1891/1895-1899) he mustered both of these skills to bring the House of Representatives back into alignment with the original rules written by Thomas Jefferson. Many consider his success assured the “survival of representative government”. [1]

Newt Gingrich was born and raised in Georgia. His early career as a professor of history and geography at the University of West Georgia well prepared him for the many times he would reference America’s founding principles during his political career.

In 1978, Gingrich became the first Republican to win Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Once in office, he learned parliamentary combat and the power of well-timed words from Rep. John Ashbrook and the conservatives of the Chesapeake Society. [2]

When many of Chesapeake conservatives followed President Reagan into the Executive Branch, Gingrich formed the “Conservative Opportunity Society” (COS). This became a rallying point for those wanting to make the House Republicans stand for something. [3]

COS members took the skills learned from Rep. John Ashbrook and the older conservative “street fighters” and added their own knowledge of using the media. Live coverage of House sessions had only been available to cable television audiences since March 1979 when CSPAN began to broadcast the House signal.

Through ingenious use of the one-minute speeches, that led the daily sessions, and the special orders, which ended the legislative day, Gingrich and the COS began to build a television audience. In the days before Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media personalities, the COS shows obtained a conservative “cult” following. The COS members became popular icons to a new generation of young conservative activists. Speaker O’Neill, in an attempt to humiliate the COS, ordered the House cameras to show the empty chamber that the COS was addressing late at night. This only added to the COS mystique as activists outside of Washington saw the empty chamber as a metaphor for COS members standing courageously alone against the powerful forces of big government.

In 1988, Gingrich launched an ethics complaint against then House Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX). He questioned the financial arrangements around Wright’s book, Reflections of a Public Man. Controversy swelled around Gingrich as Democrats attacked him for similar problems with his own 1977 book deal. Such attacks only added to Gingrich’s following among “grassroots” conservatives outside of Washington, DC.

The election of George Bush as president in 1988 led to a historic opportunity for Gingrich. Rep. Dick Cheney (R-WY) had been tapped to become Secretary of Defense. This happened in the wake of the unsuccessful confirmation fight for former Senator John Tower
(R-TX). With Cheney leaving the Minority Whip’s position in March 1989, the opportunity presented itself for a conservative insurgency against Michel’s candidate, Rep. Edward Madigan (R-IL).

Madigan had been the chief deputy minority whip and was viewed as the natural successor to Cheney. Republicans tended to reward people in turn and to shy away from insurgency candidates. This tradition of planned succession was symbolized by having conservative Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) act as Madigan’s campaign manager against Gingrich.

On March 22, 1989, the tradition was shattered as Gingrich was elected by a two-vote margin. “The issue is not ideology; it’s active versus passive leadership,” said Rep. Weber. [4]

Gingrich immediately set about reshaping the opposition of the House. Along with the organizational resources of GOPAC, his personal political action committee, Gingrich built what became know as “Newtworld”. Joe Gaylord, Gingrich’s top lieutenant and then head of GOPAC, ran this interlocking structure behind the scenes. Dan Meyer moved from Gingrich’s personal office to head the Whip’s office. Tony Blankley, a veteran of the White House and active member of various conservative networks during the Reagan years, became the spokesman. A GOPAC consultant, John Morgan, an expert at tracking polls, began weekly assessments of how this new operation, and its aggressive strategy, were working.

The new organization moved the COS’s combative style to center stage. There were weekly “themes” for Members to focus on. This meant floor speeches backed up by fact sheets and talking points that Members could use back in their districts. An “echo-chamber” of opposition, linked to conservative grassroots groups, was becoming a machine. Its goal was to topple the Democrats in 1992 or ’94.

The elections of 1992 disappointed some House Republicans who had hoped for more voter outrage over the scandals of the 102nd Congress. The Republicans were left to ponder both their minority status in the House, and having to deal with a Democrat in the White House.

On December 7, 1992, the Republicans met to sort out their leadership in the 103rd Congress. Michel remained a declining figure among the insurgent House Republicans, but his popularity gave him another two years as minority leader. Gingrich would have to run his opposition effort as Minority Whip. However, Gingrich’s strategy of aggressive opposition received another major boost. Rep. Richard “Dick” Armey (R-TX) defeated Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) for Chairman of the Republican Conference. Another moderate/nonconfrontationalist was defeated and another conservative in favor of total warfare with the House Democrats was elevated to a key leadership position. [5]

Bolstered at the top by Gingrich and Armey, and by Rep. Jim Nussle’s (R-IA) House Reform group - the “Gang of Seven”, the COS, the 103rd Congress witnessed daily exposes of Democrat scandals and malfeasance.

On September 27,1994, Gingrich launched the first “European-style” parliamentary election, by crafting the “Contract with America”. For the first time in American history, a party ran its Congressional candidates based on an inspirational and visionary manifesto.

The “Contract with America” ignited the Republican base, leading to a 54 seat swing propelling the Republicans into power for the first time since 1954.

As Speaker, Gingrich drove the House’s agenda to pass the major elements of the “Contract” within 100 days. This was accomplished. However, Senate inertia and President Clinton’s vetoes prevented most of the “Contract” from becoming law.

Two “Contract” items did become reality, and these changed the Legislative Branch forever. HR 1, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 was the first order of business and the first bill passed in the 104th Congress. For the first time, the Legislative Branch was required to comply with all the laws it had passed. True accountability was achieved as Members had to live under the same laws they had thrust onto Americans. [6]

The other action was creating the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), which consolidated all non-parliamentary and non-security functions within one office. It’s mandate was to reinvent the operations of Congress to make it run like a business, while being completely transparent and accountable. This became the most comprehensive rethinking of Legislative Branch operations since the first Congress met in 1789. Obsolete functions were abolished, others were privatized.

Business practices were institutionalized by a team of corporate transformation experts, with the assistance of major accounting firms. Another team of computer experts implemented the “Cyber Congress”, which thrust House communications into the 21st Century in one giant leap. The result was a lean, customer-focused, accountable operation that saved $186 million and became the model for support services in 44 parliaments around the world. The reforms were so thorough and effective, that they remain in place to this day.

Gingrich’s policy and budget confrontations with President Bill Clinton defined the balance of his tenure. Government shutdowns and other brinksmanship forced reforms in welfare and taxes, and reduced the federal budget deficit.

Conservatives became concerned over Gingrich’s seeming loss of focus and the mounting attacks by Democrats. House Appropriators angered conservatives over being increasingly enamored with spending and earmarks. House “revolutionaries” tried to reverse things. On July 16, 1997 a small band of “true believers”, along with Delay and Armey, mounted a revolt against Gingrich. This ill-fated “palace coup” weakened both the plotters and the Speaker. [7]

In December 1998, after a disappointing showing in the November elections, Gingrich announced he would not seek re-election as Speaker and would resign from the House. [8]

The looming impeachment of Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal further confused the situation. Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), the Chair of the Appropriations Committee and assumed to be the next Speaker, shocked the Chamber by resigning as his own extramarital affair became public. Amongst the chaos, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) became Speaker. [9]

Since leaving the House of Representatives, Gingrich remains an insightful commentator and provocative thinker. Returning the House to the rule of law, and being highly responsive to the will of the voter, remain lasting historic achievements that strengthened our democracy.


[1] A vivid chronicle of Reed’s battle for parliamentary integrity and accountability can be found in Barbara Tuchman’s, The Proud Tower. Ballantine Books, 1962; pages 125-130

[2] Faulkner, Scot, Naked Emperors. Rowman & Littlefield, 2008; pages 81-82.

[3] Ibid., page 25

[4] Komarow, Steven (March 22, 1989). "House Republicans Elect Gingrich to No. 2 Spot, Chart Battle with Democrats". Associated Press

[5] Op. Cit. Faulkner p. 27.

[7] Op. Cit., Faulkner p. 294.

8] Gingrich, Newt (1998). Lessons Learned the Hard Way. Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 159–160.

[Scot Faulkner advises corporations and governments on how to save billions of dollars by achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served on the White House Staff, and as an Executive Branch Appointee.]

Sunday, May 6, 2018


On May 8, voters of Jefferson County need to remember that, Jane Tabb’s record displays a callous disregard for public opinion. Her actions undermined and skirted official procedures and the law.

Secret accounts, costly court battles, executive overreach, and a relentless desire to wipe out what makes our area unique is not the record that deserves another term.

Incumbent Tabb claims she is running for re-election “to be a voice of rational, thoughtful discussion and decision making”.

Tabb’s record is quite the opposite.

During her first term on the Jefferson County Commission, Tabb became obsessed with tearing down the historic county jail in Charles Town. Despite massive public opposition, Tabb led the charge to rid the historic district of a major contributing building. Tabb also led the way for the County Commission to ignore state preservation laws.

Thankfully, Carol Gallant, the late Jim Whipple, and a core of concerned citizens established the Jefferson County Preservation Alliance to Save Our Heritage (JCPASH). Major public rallies, countless letters to local editors, and hundreds of citizens voicing their opposition did not stop Tabb’s crusade against the jail.

The Jefferson County Jail was constructed in1918. It is on the National Register and Inventory of American Labor Landmarks. The jail was the pre-trial detention facility for William Blizzard, and other leaders of the “Coal Mine Wars”, prior to their treason trials at the Jefferson County Courthouse in 1922. Had she succeeded, Tabb would have destroyed a major landmark in American history, West Virginia History, local history, and American Labor/Worker history.

A six year legal battle ended with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals siding with JCPASH. In the process, evidence exposed Tabb’s attempt to change state law to restrict historic preservation, and the establishment of a secret Commission “demolition fund”. Thankfully, sloppy bookkeeping co-mingled other County money with the fund, rendering it inoperable.

In it final ruling, the WV Supreme Court admonished Tabb and her colleagues and asserted, “it is incumbent upon us to insure that future generations may still appreciate the beauty and history of these many fine structures”. In spite of this final loss, Tabb tried to mount new legal moves, that were shut down by her Commission colleagues.

JCPASH earned the WV Preservation Alliance’s Most Significant Endangered Property Save award. Its leaders celebrated the reopening of a fully renovated and re-purposed county jail in September 2008.

Public outrage over Tabb’s imperious overreach to destroy history led to her defeat in 2006.

Local memories are short. Tabb returned to office in 2012 benefiting from Republican resurgence in the state and county.

Tabb immediately began where she left off, becoming an ally of Commissioner Walter Pellish in rezoning rural land along Route 340 East as commercial and heavy industrial. They ignored wide-spread public opposition, along with state and local efforts to preserve West Virginia’s tourism gateway. They moved quickly to pre-empt policy guidance from the Route 340 Gateway Study that was moving through public hearings under the leadership of Commissioner Lyn Widmyer.

May 8 is the opportunity to finally end the career of County Commission Member Jane Tabb.

Jack Hefestay is the clear choice for all who care about government integrity, openness, and accountability.

[Scot Faulkner is a lifelong Republican, who served on the State Republican Executive Committees in Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin, and on the staffs of two National Republican Conventions. He was named College Republican and Young Republican of the year. Faulkner was the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Ronald Reagan’s Director of Personnel on the 1980 National Campaign, on Reagan’s White House Staff, and as a Reagan Executive Branch Appointee.]

Thursday, April 5, 2018


Hall Rifle Works, Harpers Ferry
Published on Newsmax and the Washington Examiner.

In an era when America’s history is being erased and its monuments are being removed, a group of young political leaders did something meaningful.

West Virginia State Senator Patricia Rucker, and WV Delegates Jill Upson and Riley Moore, made sure a bridge commemorates the person whose actions span the ages.

John Hancock Hall was the person who perfected interchangeable parts. His accomplishment, created using water power from the Shenandoah River at Harpers Ferry, made our modern age possible.

Hall was a self-taught engineer. His rise from a ship builder in Portland, Maine to a person who changed the world is inspirational. In 1811, at age thirty, Hall received a U.S. Patent for the world’s first breech loading weapon. Changing the of loading ammunition from the muzzle of a gun to its breech revolutionized warfare. This was just the beginning.

Hall won the contract to create the manufacturing process, and the machines, to produce rifles and carbines with parts that were fully interchangeable. The U.S. War Department wanted weapons that were easy to repair on the battlefield. At the time, all weapons were individually hand made by skilled craftsmen, each one unique.

It took eight years for Hall to create the revolutionary machines and processes that would become known as the “American System”. In December 1826, the world’s first fully interchangeable product, made solely by machines, rolled off Hall’s assembly line.

This moment made our modern world possible. Once one complex item could be consistently made by machines, it was possible to make anything by machine. This was revolutionary - technologically, economically, and culturally.

The impact of Hall’s inventions and processes was immediate, dramatic, and fundamental. The speed and volume of meeting consumer needs made a quantum leap, and continues to speed-up to this day. The cost of consumer goods plummeted, vastly expanding their availability to a broader range of people, improving lives.

The role of the worker was forever changed. For thousands of years craftsmen learned their craft from masters and then spent days, or even weeks, producing individual items. The “American System” changed everything. Younger workers, with limited training, could run manufacturing machines that produced ready made goods in hours. This reinvented the entire work culture for America, and eventually the world.

Hall’s inventions, and his system of mass producing interchangeable parts, was the ultimate disruptive act. His death in 1841, at age 60, meant others stepped forward to promote and adapt his inventions and processes. Hall’s accomplishments faded from memory. Rucker, Upson, and Moore sponsored and led the passage of legislation that makes sure he is memorialized in the Route 340 bridge over the Shenandoah River by the ruins of Hall’s Rifle Works.

History wrongly credits Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, as the father of interchangeable parts. He was not. The John Hancock Hall Bridge establishes Hall’s proper place in world history.

This is what monuments, and the naming bridges and places, is all about. Humans need physical reminders of who we are and why we are. We need places where we can go to understand the events that continue to shape us.

Just like people and events, inventions change things in a multitude of ways. Some changes are immediately tangible, some take generations to comprehend. Hall’s inventions made warfare more deadly and disrupted the role of the master craftsman. Hall’s inventions also made manufactured products affordable, and created employment opportunities for millions.

The actions of Senator Rucker, and Delegates Upson and Riley remind us of why we have monuments. They proved that even a few people can still make a difference.

Monuments draw attention to what shapes our identity, frames how we view our past, and prepares us for the future.

[Scot Faulkner is the President of Friends of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served on the White House Staff, and as an Executive Branch Appointee.]

Monday, March 26, 2018



Patrick Henry cautioned, “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” In their respective chambers, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have developed unique ways to air differences and make sure information is shared. The Legislative Branch’s culture of debate hold’s power accountable and preserves our nation’s civic culture.

The differences between the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are very apparent after just watching them for a few minutes.

The U.S. Senate is informal. Senators and staff wander about, mingle, and many conversations are happening at once. Most procedural actions are by unanimous consent. Speeches can go on and on.

The U.S. House of Representatives is very structured. Everything is governed by rules that govern how time is spent, down to minutes. It is the only way 435 voting, and five non-voting, Representatives can balance discourse with action.

Since the first Congress, the differences between the Senate and House have framed important national debates.

The Senate evolved into the chamber for debate. Less people, drawn from the political elite until the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, allowed for greater latitude in allotting time for discussion.

The years 1810 through 1859, were a period known as the “Golden Age” of the Senate. Three of the greatest senators and orators in American history served during this time: Henry Clay (Kentucky) articulating the views and concerns of the West, Daniel Webster (Massachusetts) representing the North, and John C. Calhoun (South Carolina) representing the South.

During these years, these Senate “giants” debated and resolved major issues, holding a divided nation together before the Civil War: the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the nullification debate of 1830 (Haynes-Webster debates), and the Compromise of1850.

During this “Golden Age” Washington's elite gathered in the Senate chamber to watch the impassioned oratory and the great compromises take place. The public filled the Senate’s “Ladies’ Gallery” and even sat on couches along the walls of the Senate Floor.

A major step toward supporting this debate culture occurred in 1806, when the Senate dropped using a simple majority to move “Previous Question” to stop debate. The first “filibuster”, from the Dutch term “vrijbuiter” - pirate or pirating the proceedings, happened on March 5, 1841 over the firing of Senate printers. Grinding Senate proceedings to a halt was viewed as an important way to highlight concerns and force a more in-depth consideration of policy.

In 1917, the Senate established “cloture” as a way to limit debate. Initially, cloture required a 2/3 vote. This was changed in 1975 to 3/5, the current 60 votes required.

The House found other ways to expand debate within its strict rules. Members can “revise and extend” their remarks. This means that a one minute speech can become a multi-page discourse in the “Congressional Record”, the permanent and official record of Congressional activities.

On March 19, 1979 the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) began live broadcast of the House of Representatives. Live coverage of the Senate began on June 2, 1986. Television fundamentally expanded the Congressional audience. Now people, beyond the small public viewing galleries, could watch what happened instead of reading about it.

Republicans embraced the role of television faster and more effectively than the Democrats. They turned the opening one minute speeches into street theater. They used posters and model war planes to create riveting moments highlighting major issues. Republicans also took the obscure device of the “Special Order” to spend hours educating the electorate on issues after official House business ended for the day.

During the first years of C-SPAN Republicans strategically orchestrated their message through an informal group called the Chesapeake Society. This weekly gathering, co-lead by senior legislative staff and Members, developed themes, wrote talking points, and assigned roles for the House’s “Golden Age” of conservative advocacy.

Representatives John Ashbrook (R-OH), Bob Bauman (R-MD), and John Rousselot (R-CA), and their top advisors, collaborated with Phil Crane (R-IL), Bob Dornan (R-CA), Jack Kemp (R-NY), Larry McDonald (R-GA), Don Ritter (R-PA), Gerald Solomon (R-NY), Bob Walker (R-PA), and seventy other Members, to dominate C-SPAN in opposing President Jimmy Carter and House Democrats. Their effective use of the media is credited with helping lay the ground work for the Reagan Revolution.

A second “Golden Age” of House conservatives was led by Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and his Conservative Opportunity Society. They exposed an array of scandals that grew to symbolize the corruption of forty years of Democrat rule in the House. Their most famous use of visuals came on October 1, 1991. Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA) addressed the House wearing a paper bag over his head. He tore off the bag stating he was ashamed to show his face in the wake of House corruption. These dramatic moments led to the 1994 landslide that propelled Republicans to power for the first time since 1954.

Democrats found their own ways to use the power of the camera. On June 22, 2016, sixty Members staged a sit-in on the House Floor to dramatize the lack of gun control legislation. Republicans turned off the cameras and the lights. Democrats used their cellphone cameras in a social media phenomenon. On February 7, 2018, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used her unlimited time prerogative as Minority Leader to turn the usual “house keeping” procedures of the House into an eight hour marathon speech focusing attention on Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Formal procedures, precedents, and tradition, linked to ever evolving technology, guarantees that the role of debate remains a viable part of America’s representative democracy in the 21st Century.

[Scot Faulkner advises corporations and governments on how to save billions of dollars by achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served on the White House Staff, and as an Executive Branch Appointee.]

Monday, March 12, 2018


The Ryugyong Hotel, the tallest building in North Korea
(unfinished and unoccupied since 1987)

Published on Newsmax. #TRUMPING #ARTOFTHEDEAL

The Trump-Kim meeting could end-up being nothing or be the beginning of everything.

President Trump surprised the world by agreeing to meet with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un.

Trump realizes that his three predecessors tried and failed to change the trajectory towards a nuclear North Korea. He also realizes that Iran and Islamic terrorists will be the primary beneficiaries of a nuclear North Korea.

Destabilization of the Korean Peninsula, the Pacific Rim, the Middle East, and potentially the rest of the world is totally unacceptable. Something new and different had to be tried, short of an apocalyptic war. Trump’s “saber rattling” is part of his bare knuckled approach to business - intimidate then negotiate.

Trump could suggest Kim Jong Un be inspired by Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping.

Modern China’s economic revolution happened because Deng launched “Gaige Kaitang” (Reforms and Openness). He broke away from the stagnating allegiance to Mao’s teachings in order to create his own form of market capitalism.

Deng’s first step, in August 1980, was establishing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that allowed western market and management methods to enter China. The zones ignited the economic engines, and foreign partnering, that propel China’s economy to this day.

Trump, along with China and South Korea, could offer to facilitate co-prosperity in exchange for Kim totally dismantling research and development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

In fits and starts, North Korea has reached out for foreign investment and knowledge over the years. They have established their own mini-version of SEZs. The challenge is to create enough oversight and boldness to stimulate real economic reform and openness. The goal is creating China style reforms, instead of Lenin's New Economic Policy in the USSR during the 1920s, which was a cynical attempt to exploit Western naivete and steal resources.

South Korean companies could enter North Korea and become major employers of North Koreans. These companies could also begin the long process of improving North Korea's infrastructure. Viable roads, rails and bridges are needed to support the supply chains to support successful SEZ factories.

South Koreans are realistic about co-prosperity. The Kaeson Industrial Region SEZ failed in 2013 because the North Korean government expected South Korean companies to act like parastatals and become another cog in Communism. The new North Korean SEZs must be based upon the lessons learned from Kaeson.

Trump could embrace and offer to foster expansion of the Choson Exchanges. North Korea is already sending some of their "best and brightest", on “Choson Fellowships”, to China, Indonesia and other Asian countries to learn about private sector management. North Korea needs western companies in its SEZs so Choson graduates can apply their new knowledge.

The Soviets failed when they tried to append capitalist principles to dysfunctional state-run industries and unrealistic five-year plans. North Korea needs to understand the truism that state-run companies will fail no matter how many outside ideas are introduced. Official statist principles absorb and destroy free market ideas like white cells attacking infection. Only through independent and viable SEZs will North Koreans realize the benefits of these early forays into the world beyond their borders.

President Trump could suggest that North Korea be open to South Korean partnerships to fully realize the potential of its vast natural wealth. North Korea has reserves of more than 200 mineral types distributed over 80% of its territory. Developing these natural resources could dramatically increase the wealth of North Korea. South Korea and China would benefit from access to these minerals. Revenue from mineral exports could fund improvements in the North's agriculture that would bring real nutrition to its people.

The bottom line is that the regional powers - China and South Korea - have a vested interest in bringing North Korea into the family of nations. Real economic development will improve the health and well-being of the North Korean people. Reuniting families and opening economic exchange would be the first steps toward reuniting an ancient culture, benefiting the region and the world. Openness and interaction offer North Koreans a better future than living in an isolated pariah state.

President Trump knows that the “art of the deal” is making sure all parties have a solid tangible interest in making the deal a lasting reality, and that any agreement must adhere to Ronald Reagan’s maxim: “trust but verify”.

[Scot Faulkner advises corporations and governments on how to save billions of dollars by achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served on the White House Staff, and as an Executive Branch Appointee.]