Free State Project Changes Target Goals

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Free State Project (FSP) is giving up on its 2006 recruitment goal of 20,000 people by 2006.

Amanda Phillips, Free State president, said the goal was never an official deadline.

Once the deadline was met, the group planned to move to New Hampshire. The project has about 6,800 members, and most live in California and Florida. Only about 130 people have moved to New Hampshire, The state was targeted because it doesn’t have sales or income taxes and defers to local government control. The group said it will promote just moving to New Hampshire instead.

The FSP website provides their explanation for not meeting their target, but I disagree with reason they provided:

One of our longstanding goals has been to reach 20,000 signatures by the end of 2006. While not outside the realm of possibility, this goal now seems unlikely to be reached. The reason for this is apparently a much lower level of national media attention since the state vote in 2003. The good news is that our growth rate remains steady, that Free Staters are already moving to New Hampshire, and finally, that we think we can improve our media attention substantially in the coming months.

To begin, the FSP has received a fair amount of media attention. While I’ve always supported the FSP, I’ve not personally jumped on board for several reasons:

1) New Hampshire is darned cold in the winter (especially for this southern boy)
2) My immediate family would face a significant decrease in income and probable increase in living expenses were we to move to NH
3) The amount of increased freedom I would receive is negligible compared to the expense and amount of work required to move to NH. The federal goverment would likely “outlaw” most gained freedoms in NH, anyway.
4) I prefer working to make my city a Free City Project, my state a free, and doing what I can to restore the U.S. as a free country.

This said, the FSP might still be able to entice me by offering a few babes like Amanda to keep me warm through the cold northeastern winters.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. If you really want freedom you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. Who cares if the winters are cold. I’ve always lived in CA and love the warm winters but I will be moving as soon as possible. It would seem, with less regulation in NH, that you would end making more money but who knows. I agree that it’s harder with family and a job. However, those who should join the project are those who know about this coming out of School, without a lot of ties and family, to just start in NH instead of your local town. Plus who wouldn’t want a little snow? (this is coming from a life-long Californian, not from where the snow is)

  2. I’m in the midst of an election here, but I’ll have a long response to this shortly… back to putting up signs and knocking on doors…

  3. I’m an FSP participant, but Steve’s second reason (decrease in income) has me concerned about whether it’s the right choice. When I finish law school, assuming I keep up my grades and stay on the law review, I can get a first-year position as an associate at a law firm. Reviewing the salaries, I would make at least 2.5x as much staying in D.C. (or moving to NYC, Boston, Chicago, etc.) than I would in moving to NH (Concord or Manchester).

    It seems like, even with the cost of living differential, I would have substantially more money to support libertarian causes if I didn’t move than if I did. The other issues (cold, location, etc.) don’t phase me, but the money one seems to defeat the purpose.


    Yours truly,
    Mr. X


  4. AB,

    1) I’m not so convinced of an especially greater level of freedom in NH than elsewhere. If the FSP works and the liberty level is substantially greater than elsewhere in the country, I’ll certainly reconsider my decision.

    2) Not all freedom issues can be handled by government, or lack thereof. I’ve lived in the north and the south before. I consider the freedom from shoveling snow important to the quality of my life.

    Assuming you are an FSP member, I wish you the best in your endeavors.

  5. Mr. X,

    I have the same qualms about the FSP. And no, I’m not in life for the money (if I was, I certainly wouldn’t be wasting my time in grad school right now). But the lack of job opportunities for engineers is pretty crucial. Yes, I realize IBM has a location up there and there may be others here and there, but one has to take quite a gamble on finding a job in their area of interest.

    Regarding the money. Yeah, you’d have a hit in your paycheck, but certainly the living expenses would be far cheaper. Heck, no tax on booze! People in boston actually travel to NH to buy 200-400 dollars of alcohol at a rip and still make out like bandits when you consider to cost of time/gas.

    I don’t care about the cold (I’m originally from upstate NY and love the winters), but yeah… why not arizona? WV? Connecticut? There seems to be a lot of other areas that could fit, though not as easily persuadable as NH.

    just my honest opinion… i’ve contemplated the FSP, but haven’t felt compelled enough to sign on the line.

  6. New Hampshire is in commuter (hint: rail, not car, is more pleasant) distance of Boston, and vast numbers of people actually do this, either tooling down Route 3 or by train.

  7. George,

    Yeah, that has been a consideration as well. The commuter rail being the better option as one can still read or do something else and not waste an hour each way. Driving that much would be quite annoying.

    I have like 2 more years of grad school to think about it. I’m certainly not going to commute from a house I can’t afford yet!

  8. Don’t consider Colorado. The Californians are moving in by the droves and bringing their “tax and spend” and “gun control” politics with them.

  9. Now that the election is over …(I didn’t win, but for a first run, combined with intense media and union activity opposing me, I did quite well considering)

    I’ll talk to VanDyke about a guest article addressing the above issue and questions.

  10. We don’t need more anarchists in New Hampshire.

    “Liberty” as libers describe it is not building a conservative society, it’s tearing it down and sacrificing it on the altar of individualist narcissism.

    We’re better off fighting our own battles, and you, yours, as you say.

  11. Stephen A:

    Please define conservative.

    If you wish for economic conservatism, libertarians lead the way. If you wish to control what people do with their own lives and property, be ready to accept that control from others.

    Narcissism generally implies excessive self-interest. Libertarianism implies self-interest, but not in excessive amounts. The libertarian counterpoint to acting in accordance with self-interest is individual responsibility.

    And what’s wrong with anarchists? I’d much prefer an anarchist for a neighbor than a self-righteous busy body or a “socially superior” elitist do-gooder trying to run my life for me.

  12. About your reasons against joining the FSP and moving to NH.

    “2) My immediate family would face a significant decrease in income…”

    That is unfortunate. However, for most people, the opposite is true. People, on average, make more in NH and the Boston MSA than most places. Also, with a little creativity, cost of living is very low in NH. Heck, it already has no general income or sales tax.

    “3) …The federal government would likely “outlaw” most gained freedoms in NH, anyway.”

    I don’t see that happening. Most regulation comes from state and local government. Most laws are written by state and local politicians and enforced by local cops.

    And that is yet another benefit of NH. It has less cops per capita than any state other than OR.