The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Donation Drive: Set the Schedule for 2014

The simplest economic principle is this: people do more of what they’re rewarded for.  Right now, I can no longer justify writing at this frequency and level for free.

Over the past few months I’ve written significant articles on  ideology, climate change, the failure of the Netroots, mass psychology, why wages are stagnant, the surveillance state and far more.

I need to determine how much actual demand there is for these articles, and how much time I should spend writing them, so I’m asking you to donate if you find them valuable (and you can afford to; please never donate if you’re having trouble paying for food, housing or healthcare).


I’ll fundraise for two weeks at least.  At the end, I’ll add up the subscriptions, divide the one-time donations by three, and use the amount to determine how much I write for the next three months, or more, if we do very well.

$0-$999 —I’ll write when the whim strikes.  In the past that has meant that sometimes weeks have gone by between articles, and months between significant pieces.

$1000-$1999 I’ll average two significant pieces a week for three months: articles on important issues like how we came to this, how the world actually works, and how we can change the world for the better.

$2000-$2999 There will be something new to read every weekday for three months, barring unforseen circumstances like illness, accident, or unplanned travel.

$3000+  On average there’ll be more than one new post every weekday for three months, and often new posts on the weekend.

$More If we do very well, I’ll extend the $3,000 level for more months.

I’ve maintained these paces for years in the past, at BOPnews, The Agonist, and Firedoglake, while also being managing editor of the second two, so barring serious illness, there’s little risk I can’t deliver.

For individuals, I’ll mention two other donation levels.  If you subscribe, when your monthly donations reach this level, they’ll apply:

$100 – Give me the ok, and I’ll dedicate an article to you, or to your designee, within reason (aka. no, no matter how much you give, I’m not dedicating an article to neo-Nazis or Goldman Sachs).

$500 – Email me and I’ll write an article on a subject we determine.  I won’t write on anything, I have to have something useful to say, and you don’t get to determine what I write about a subject, but I’ll work with you.  (This isn’t the same as commissioning a piece, if you want to do that, email me).

If you value what I write, and can afford to, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


The Future of War in the Developed World


The Four Principles of Prosperity


  1. Just donated

    Long time reader, first time commenter/donor. Really enjoy your writing, and hopefully my (very small) contribution will be joined by many more.

    As a side note, I assume that many of your readers are Canadian – I don’t suppose there’d be a way to set up a donation account in $CAD to keep down the currency conversion costs?

  2. Ian Welsh

    The vast majority of my readers are American. British second, Canadian third. However I expect it might be a good idea.

    And thank you very much for the donation.

  3. The Canadian comment is timely because I wrote a plug on one of the Canadian blogs I occasionally write for.

  4. Ian Welsh

    Thank you Mandos. Canadian $ options added, they’re near the bottom of the donations page.

  5. Rumor

    Well, finally the chance to give you something for all the excellent writing you’ve produced over the past few years. I always say, if I enjoy reading someone’s work, if they’ve taken the time to blog and I’ve looked forward to it, I at least owe that person what I’d pay for a good book. I’ll send you my donation this evening, Ian. I’m always interested to see what you’re thinking and I hope you keep writing for a long time yet.

  6. scruff

    I’ve been waiting for this!

  7. Lois

    I’ve only commented once or twice but I read regularly! Just donated, thanks for all you do.

  8. Oaktown Girl

    Count me among those who will gladly donate when I am no longer jobless. I know it doesn’t help now, but I wanted to at least register my support and appreciation.

  9. Ian Welsh

    If you’re jobless, I’m glad you didn’t donate. I hope you find a job or support soon. If things get truly desperate, let me know.

  10. someofparts

    Chipped in a donation. If others step up enough I could probably manage a small subscription.

  11. I’m donating $10. Sorry I can’t give much more, but I do want to support your writing. I always make sure to click on your latest email update in my inbox. You always give me something to think about regarding society, economics, politics, or many other topics. You give a fresh perspective but also give plenty of ideas of how to implement policies. I look forward to your writing in 2014 and hope to be able to give you more $ eventually. Keep up the great work!

    John Abraham-Watne

  12. Texas Nate

    Tossed in $15 /month would gladly go up to $25 if you made markfromireland (and everyone else) stop being an asshole in the comments (he’s got great insights but damn is he quick with the ad hominems).

  13. KLCarten

    I wasn’t sure if I could do the monthly but I could do $10 or $15 every quarter. I am sure there are readers that are like me on Social Security, so I could chip in a bit more than the one time donation even as small as it was. Just enjoy reading and comment on rare occasions, would hate to lose your blog. Thanks.

  14. Ian Welsh

    If you use the donate any amount button you can choose any amount, and then there’s a button to make it recurring.

    But if you’re really short on money, don’t give.

  15. hvd

    Texas Nate:

    As one of MFI’s targets I want to simply say that his ad hominems are part of his charm. Although I think that they seriously undermine his arguments it is possible to put them aside and hear what it is that he is actually saying.

    There’s no need for censorship of that sort. We are all adults (well mostly) who by our interest in Ian’s site suggest that we should have the ability to focus on substance.

  16. Celsius 233

    January 29, 2014
    There’s no need for censorship of that sort. We are all adults (well mostly) who by our interest in Ian’s site suggest that we should have the ability to focus on substance.
    Thanks for that comment. I was going to post a similar view. Censorship in the name of civility is a dangerous path. Far too many blogs already monitor far too strictly, thus destroying discourse.
    Discourse is not always pretty and students of early American debate will know it can get ugly and rancorous to the point of violence.
    But kudos to Ian for his light hand at moderation. Serious debate is not for the faint of heart.

  17. Kurt

    I can’t contribute this month, although I value your writing very much and recommend it to others. I will make a (small) contribution in February.

  18. Texas Nate

    Ok if you guys agree to disagree with me about mark from ireland’s assholism that’s fine. In Texas you get shot for that kind of shit.
    I run a massive blog about cage fighting that is the most strictly moderated thing going and we do pretty well (much better discussion quality than say the NY Times comments for example), but if moderated comments ain’t what the community wants, I’ll just continue to ignore him when he turns on me (and anyone else).

  19. Ian Welsh

    I am reluctant, for a variety of reasons, to do much moderating of comments. I do understand why some people would like them, but in the past when I’ve mused on doing so I’ve also had pushback.

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