Skip to comments.Free State Project Picks New Hampshire
Posted on 10/01/2003 8:35:16 AM PDT by jmc813
in the Live Free or Die state
Aiming to preserve one bastion of freedom in the age of intrusive government, members of the rapidly growing Free State Project (FSP) have made a crucial decision. Voting via mail-in ballot after months of feisty debate, Free Staters chose New Hampshire as their future home.
Founded in 2001, the FSP's goal is to concentrate 20,000 liberty-oriented voters in one state. There, it is hoped, they will work to enhance and extend its existing culture of liberty. But until this week, it was anyone's guess whether that state would be Montana, Wyoming, Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Alaska.
The membership election took place through the innovative Condorcet's Method, which allowed voters to rank all states and selected the state that received a higher ranking than each other state from a majority of voters. The runner-up state was Wyoming, which defeated every other state but fell to New Hampshire by the decisive margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
"New Hampshire is clearly the consensus choice of Free Staters," commented FSP President and Yale political science professor Jason Sorens. "New Hampshire won a plurality of first-preference votes from every region of the country except the West."
"It's not difficult to see the reasons for New Hampshire's victory," adds Vice-President Elizabeth McKinstry, who is originally from New England. "The state boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country in terms of government spending and employment, a citizen legislature, a healthy job market, and perhaps most important, local support for our movement."
Over 100 New Hampshire residents have signed up for the Free State Project already, willing to move elsewhere but hoping to bring the movement to their home state. Governor Craig Benson even pledged to support the aims of the FSP, and several members of the legislature have signed up as members.
According to FSP Director of Member Services and Florida attorney Tim Condon, Free Staters should also be a boon for the economy of New Hampshire. "According to a member survey conducted concomitantly with the vote, 50% of our members have at least a Bachelor's degree, with 18% having done postgraduate work. Seventy-five percent are under age 50, with 38% between the ages of 18 and 34. Those earning $60,000 or more per year constitute 44% of all members. The clear picture that emerges is one of a largely young, well-educated, upwardly mobile group."
Several hurdles still face the movement, which currently has about 4,500 members pledged to migrate to New Hampshire. These challenges include recruiting another 15,500 members and continuing to build support for their cause within New Hampshire. If current recruitment trends continue, the group expects to reach 20,000 commitments by 2006, after which point members have five years in which to move.
But as Condon notes, "The member survey shows that 53% of members plan to move within three years, not waiting for the 20,000-member benchmark. Early movers should help recruitment by building a record of success."
I imagine most of the people in New Hampshire feel the same way.
But be warned: it's pretty pricy around here (southern 1/3 of the state near I-93). As people are willing to drive further to work near Boston, and as Boston area business expand north, the housing pricing has been going up, up, up.
Also pay attention to local property taxes as that is your primary way of paying for government services. They're not cheap!
Welcome! [that's 2!]
I would certainly never rule it out, and judging from the support the FSP gotten, I'm tempted more and more as time goes on. I have family that moved up there last year and absolutely love it. One of them was actualy my very liberal aunt who was from the "only police and military should have guns" school of thought. I didn't tell her about NH's gun laws until she was done with the move. Yes, I'm a bastard. :-)
There are a good number of our mutual acquiatences who have moved to Vermont and NH already to live free and snowboard.
If you wouldn't mind, could you FReepmail me their names? I'm always interested in seeing what people from back in the day are up to.
When they come back around they always say they love it up there, and bring me back a few cases of Red Hook.
I'm a Magic Hat man myself. They have about 6 varieties and are brewed in Burlington, VT. They've become widely available in Jersey liquor stores in the last year.
The rush-hour(s) commute can be brutal. Depending on the final destination, I'd plan on at least an hour. If you end up working for a company that allows you to move your work hours to non-standard times you can cut your commute time in half.
There are also some mass-transit options available: train service that connects to the Boston subway system, private bus companies, and also Park & Ride lots where you can share your misery with people you've never met before. Check out MBTA and SmarTraveller for some more information.
But keep in mind that living in NH and working in MA is bad for the budget. You get to pay the high property taxes that fund NH services (mostly schools) and the ~%6 MA income tax.