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Government United States Politics

Free State Project Reaches Goal of 20,000 Signups (freestateproject.org) 460

Okian Warrior writes: As a followup to our recent story, at 11AM Tuesday, Free State Project president Carla Gericke announced the FSP had reached its goal of recruiting 20,000 participants. The 20,000 mark is significant, because it 'triggers the move' – the mass migration of the Free State Project participants who have all agreed to move to New Hampshire within the next five years. So far, almost 2,000 have already relocated to the state.
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Free State Project Reaches Goal of 20,000 Signups

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  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi@noSpaM.smokingcube.be> on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:18AM (#51444391) Homepage

    What's in New Hampshire?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jouassou ( 1854178 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:32AM (#51444427) Homepage
      According to the Free State Project website, ``In a vote that ended in September 2003, FSP participants chose New Hampshire because it has a low state and local tax burden, a low level of dependence on federal spending, a citizen legislature where state house representatives have not raised their $100 per year salary since 1889, low crime levels, a dynamic economy with plenty of jobs and investment, and a general culture of individual responsibility, independence, and self-reliance.''
      • by WarJolt ( 990309 )

        a dynamic economy with plenty of jobs and investment

        Can I find a decent software engineering job there?

      • And close to Montréal to party :)
        • And close to Montréal to party :)

          As well as being close enough to the tech jobs in Massachusetts to commute, but with a capitalist economic system. You just have to adjust to its refreshing four-season climate: Preparing for Winter, Winter, Still Winter, Construction.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ...a citizen legislature where state house representatives have not raised their $100 per year salary since 1889...

        That's not a good thing - it means that representatives are exclusively funded through independent wealth, this may seem like a good idea, but the practical upshot is that working class and to a certain extend middle class can't participate.

        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:48PM (#51446939) Homepage Journal

          ...a citizen legislature where state house representatives have not raised their $100 per year salary since 1889...

          That's not a good thing - it means that representatives are exclusively funded through independent wealth, this may seem like a good idea, but the practical upshot is that working class and to a certain extend middle class can't participate.

          I don't know why you would make that assumption. There are many, many political activists that are quite poor, and that requires dedicating more time to the cause than is asked of part-time legislators. In fact, looking through the biographies of the current legislators gives lie to your assumption. For instance, Michael Abbott [state.nh.us] is a retired high school teacher who started out working at a grocery store. And Glen Aldrich [state.nh.us] is a carpenter with no more than a high school diploma.

          I think having regular citizen legislators, with not much financial gain to be had from the job, is an excellent way to run a state house. It means you are more likely to get people involved for the right reasons, instead of career politicians looking for money and power.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:15AM (#51444541)

      Less people, mostly

      There are other reasons, but really, it's all population count. 20,000 people moving to California with a united voting bloc wouldn't make a dent in that state's policies, amid the 39 million other residents. New Hampshire is just over 1 mil total population. Assuming 20,000 people displace 20,000 current residents (moving in as others move out), they'd comprise nearly 2% of the entire state.

      Given the average turn out of ~50%, and assuming all of these people are active voters, within a few districts ... they could throw a serious wrench into the political gears.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, if they all vote as a well regimented bloc.

        Which if you think about it, implies a slightly ironic idea of "freedom".

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @06:58AM (#51444915)

      Two very important things:
      1) Virtually no people.
      2) A libertarian ethos.

      In those circumstances 20k libertarian activists should be able to totally revolutionize the state's politics, which will in turn mean that the national political scene has to deal with libertarian ideas in a much more serious way then otherwise.

      That's the plan. And if they all actually follow the fuck through it will work. The issue is that getting 20k people to click on an internet link saying "I will move to New Hampshire in the future" is way easier then getting them to move to NH, much less getting them to move to NH and all agree on a single political program.

      • by Sique ( 173459 )
        There have been similar attempts in other legislations, which all failed, because somehow the people who elected the current legislation for some reason wanted it to be that way, and they were still the majority. So I doubt, 20,000 voters will make a difference even in New Hampshire. If they want to vote for something too different, there will always be 20,000 others voting against.

        We will see how this works out, but I remain doubtful.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          So I doubt, 20,000 voters will make a difference even in New Hampshire

          The paradox is that they won't all vote together all the time unless directed in an authoritarian way.

          Will it end up as a replay of when Koch decided to be that person? It led to the truly ironic situation of those who cried for freedom seeking to replace George Washington's "tyranny of the masses" with a King George III style aristocracy with Koch and similar as the ruling aristocrats. Bizzaro world. Just as well they didn't succeed

        • It's not 20,000 voters, it's 20,000 political activists (that distinction is the point of the Project). With fewer than 2000 in-state already some tremendous gains have been made.

        • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ChrisMaple ( 607946 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:12PM (#51448479)

          There are many small towns in New Hampshire, and each town has perhaps a dozen boards and committees with unpaid positions some of which are elective. It takes a population of about 2000 before there are dependably enough people running for office to fill all the offices. Some of these boards meet evenings, so there's no need to leave your job. Some of them require about 5 hours a month of effort. If you run for office, you stand a good chance of being elected. If some board isn't fully staffed, often you can be accepted to fill the vacancy immediately.

          What are your efforts likely to net you? Responsibility for maintaining a cemetery, planning recreational events, helping pass judgement on zoning exceptions are examples of three unpaid jobs. Members of the Planning Board are responsible for writing the town's Master Plan, a document with no legal authority.

          More powerful elective jobs are town selectmen and school board members -- I don't know offhand if these positions pay anything, but they involve more responsibility and more time. In my town, selectmen meet once a week for a couple of hours in the evening, and spend a substantial amount of other time doing things like assembling the town budget. Sometimes more than one person runs for an open Select Board position. Even if you're not on the Select Board, meetings are small and if you want to affect things, attend meetings and press your plan.

          In small towns many things are voted on, like whether to allocate $20,000 to a reserve fund to replace the fire department tanker when it rusts out in a few years, or whether to give $200 to a local charity.

          Schools account for about 2/3 of money paid in property taxes. If you want to lower taxes, figure out how to cut down $10,000/yr/student.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        In those circumstances 20k libertarian activists should be able to totally revolutionize the state's politics, which will in turn mean that the national political scene has to deal with libertarian ideas in a much more serious way then otherwise.

        Or it will turn into yet another failed experiment with far-from-centre political ideologies and serve as a warning to others. So far nowhere has managed to go full libertarian and come out the better for it, on a macro scale.

        I wish these guys luck, and hope people hold up their promises to move. No matter what happens it's going to be interesting to watch.

        • Can you provide examples to your claims?

      • by stomv ( 80392 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @08:38AM (#51445179) Homepage
        You're overstating. Let's look at the 2014 governor's race -- chosen because turnout is lower then a presidential election, thereby magnifying the impact of the Free State Project on voting.

        Democratic Maggie Hassan, the incumbent, won 254,666 votes (52.49%) Republican Walt Havenstein, the challenger, won 229,610 votes (47.32%) Other/blank won 907 votes (0.1%)

        New Hampshire has 1.327 million people (2014), 20.1% of which are under 18 (2014). That leaves 1.06 million adults. Not all are eligible, data is tough to put together, let's call it an even 1 million. Now, lets replace 20,000 adults at random with the Free Staters. 48.4% didn't vote, 25.5% voted for the Dem incumbent, 23.0% voted for the GOP challenger. 0.1% voted for another candidate or blanked it. Net change: Hassan loses 5100 voters, Havenstein loses 4592 voters, "other" loses 18 voters, and "free state" gains 20000. Even if all 20,000 free staters voted for the losing candidate (Havenstein), their candidate would still only get 49.5% to Hassan's 50.4%.

        Is it possible that, if all 20,000 actually move to New Hampshire and all actually vote in a local election that they'll win some state house seats? You bet. No question. Thing is, the NH state house is so remarkably unstable that it would amount to just a bit more noise (% Dems in NH House of Rep at the end of the last four sessions (today is "end" for the purpose of this study): 55.4%, 26.4%, 55.2%, 40.1%.

        Is it possible that their mere presence will result in Republican candidates leaning more libertarian? Sure, but within the state they're still only 4 percent of the electorate, and dispersed throughout the state. Certainly not enough to have a systematic effect on the NH GOP. But what if they all go Libertarian or some other third party candidate? Have at it, but good luck actually winning any representation in a First Past the Post system.

        New Hampshire already does have a libertarian streak, as loads of Massholes emigrate to NH to escape taxes but retain their liberal social values. Even if all 20k Free Staters show up (and come on, not a chance), it would be a small nudge to NH politics, at best.
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @08:49AM (#51445237)

        "The issue is that getting 20k people to click on an internet link saying "I will move to New Hampshire in the future" is way easier then getting them to move to NH, much less getting them to move to NH and all agree on a single political program."

        It's the same concept as Mars One, except that the organization would have to get its people to move the harsher New Hampshire climate.

      • Thank God I don't live in New Hampshire. I'd be pissed if a bunch of out of state yahoos whose political views are in an extreme minority in this country all moved to my state in an attempt to change the political spectrum to what they think is right for everyone.

        Well guess what libertarians. Your political views are in the minority for a reason, most people want government to do more then the minimalist government you want. That's literally why this project exists to begin with!

        • OMG! Those evil libertarians are going to take over the government and ... leave everyone alone! Evil plan, just evil.

      • Two very important things:
        1) Virtually no people.
        2) A libertarian ethos.

        And a governor who is a liberal Democrat.

    • Called the "Silicon Millyard". Every morning Segway's creator flies in on his helicopter, dyn.com employees plug in their Tesla's, dozens of startups load up on coffee. Many of these are concerned with the blockchain - this is the epicenter of bitcoin innovation going forward.

      I moved to NH for the Free State Project in 2008 after learning of the project here on Slashdot years before. I've since met the folks that wrote those early articles and got to thank them personally for getting me here.

      Rather than lis

  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:43AM (#51444457)

    Libertarians will never come to agreement as to whether not there is a duty to ensure that ALL people are equally free. This of course allows for Authoritarians to gain and keep power simply by promising to enforce a Conservative Libertarian agenda on Social Libertarians or a Social Libertarian agenda on Conservative Libertarians. Perhaps someday we will all agree to live and let live, but I fear that day is a long, long way off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Perhaps someday we will all agree to live and let live [...]

      So you are against abortion? Or for it? Not sure of what you mean because empty statement like this, while they make you feel good, do not communicate anything of value to your audience.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by EzInKy ( 115248 )

        Even if I'm against, laws prohibiting abortion force those who are not to bow to my beliefs and surrender their own. I guess it is kind of like gay marriage. There is a big difference between allowing homosexuals to marry and forcing heterosexuals to enter homosexual marriage. To my mind, Conservative Libertarians fail to see this obvious distinction.

        • by Nutria ( 679911 )

          laws prohibiting abortion force those who are not to bow to my beliefs and surrender their own.

          And what about my belief that stupid people should be shot hit the head?

          If you say something about my freedom stopping at his nose, then I remind you that the baby's right to live stops at the aborter's saline injection, scraping blade, etc.

          • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:15AM (#51444545)

            And what about my belief that stupid people should be shot hit the head?

            That is an Authoritarian viewpoint. A Libertarian view would be that all people are free to shoot themselves in the head.

            If you say something about my freedom stopping at his nose, then I remind you that the baby's right to live stops at the aborter's saline injection, scraping blade, etc.

            Abortion is indeed a deep question, and I would be all for making it illegal if the state incubated the fetus from conception and paid all costs involved in the raising of the resulting child.

             

            • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:37AM (#51444581)

              That is an Authoritarian viewpoint.

              No. The Authoritarian viewpoint would be that stupid people must be shot hit the head.

              if the state incubated the fetus

              That's not very Libertarian. In fact, it's downright Brave New World.

              • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

                No. The Authoritarian viewpoint would be that stupid people must be shot hit the head.

                To an authoritarian there is no difference between "should" and "must".

                That's not very Libertarian. In fact, it's downright Brave New World.

                Actually it's not, because there would still be choice. The important thing here is that people aren't "forced" to be incubators and subjugated to a lifetime of servitude.

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  Actually it's not, because there would still be choice. The important thing here is that people aren't "forced" to be incubators and subjugated to a lifetime of servitude.

                  Excepting cases of rape and incest, you chose to have sex, deal with it...

                  You not wanting to carry the child doesn't give you the right to kill it...

                  • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                    by EzInKy ( 115248 )

                    Sex is a drive imposed on humans by nature, the same as most other animals. Just because you can't get any doesn't mean you should impose lifetime penalties upon others. You do understand that by forcing women to carry a fetuses that they did not wish upon themselves is akin to forcing them into slavery, right?

                  • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @07:42AM (#51445015)

                    Then why do I have the right to NOT donate blood that will save your life and let you die?
                    Why do I have hte right to choose not to be an organ donor.

                    Seriously why does my dead CORPSE have the right to let you die if it doesn't CHOOSE to be violated to save you, but a woman doesn't have that autonomy ?

                    In every other case where bodily autonomy and a third party is involved the legal standard in every free nation is that you must opt IN, you must CHOOSE to save that life, you can't be forced to give up your bodily autonomy to save somebody else.

                  • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                    by Anonymous Coward

                    ah the pro birth position libertarian position, where in, women must be forced, against their will, to have babies, because fetuses have more rights than living people.

                    yet, the woman cannot have any public support for:
                    -contraception, to prevent unwanted pregnancy, even though unplanned early life pregnancy is the single biggest derailment to a young low income woman's life plans
                    -food stamps and welfare to care for the child she was forced to have
                    -free education to better enable her to support herself and th

                  • Weak reasoning. (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:03AM (#51445293)

                    Excepting cases of rape and incest, you chose to have sex, deal with it.

                    What if the partner was lying about contraception?

                    What if somebody wasn't educated on the consequences of sex?

                    What if the mother was brought up in an enslavement society that taught her from early childhood that women should to as they are told and spread their legs when told to? (Basically all societies on this planet until a few decades ago)

                    What if somebody was emotionally coned into getting a child and the abandoned by those just as responsible? (Mostly men abandoning women, except in societies that ensure guys don't chicken out and have more-or-less equal rights)

                    What if somebody is using a child as an excuse for a free ride and as a vector for irresponsible behaviour?

                    Aside from that, I'd like to hear from you if it's better to keep the child and have it born into misery and/or abadoned into foster care or rather ensure that someone who doesn't want to have a child or technically can't handle it can abort (up to a medical resonable point that is).

                    Bottom line: Your reasoning looks so neat and simple, but it has holes so big as to drive a mac truck through them. Ergo: Wrong. You should reconsider your maximes on this.

                  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                    I don't think many people would disagree that killing a human being is wrong. The disagreement comes as to when a part of a woman's body becomes an independent human being. Otherwise it's just like campaigning for the rights of a tumour.

                  • You not wanting to carry the child doesn't give you the right to kill it...

                    Why not? Explain why, without appealing to religion.

                  • Excepting cases of rape and incest, you chose to have sex, deal with it...

                    You not wanting to carry the child doesn't give you the right to kill it...

                    Why are rape and incest different? The "child" isn't responsible for the rape or incest. Why should a potential child suffer for someone else's actions? The potential child is the victim.

                    What I am saying here is that "no abortions, except in the case of rape or incest" is not a moral position. The only moral position is: "no abortions". It's a pragmati

                • Abortion is indeed a deep question, and I would be all for making it illegal if the state incubated the fetus from conception and paid all costs involved in the raising of the resulting child.

                  That's not very Libertarian. In fact, it's downright Brave New World.

                  Actually it's not, because there would still be choice. The important thing here is that people aren't "forced" to be incubators and subjugated to a lifetime of servitude.

                  Uh, what? If you outlaw abortion under ANY terms, women ARE forced to be incubators. Your comment no logic.

          • then I remind you that the baby's right to live stops at the aborter's saline injection, scraping blade, etc.

            You're gonna tell me that you think this is a baby?:

            http://www.radiologyteacher.co... [radiologyteacher.com]

          • If you say something about my freedom stopping at his nose, then I remind you that the baby's right to live stops at the aborter's saline injection, scraping blade, etc.

            libertarians might agree that abortion should be illegal, and might not. I'll explain why:

            The core of libertarian philosophy: force and fraud are not acceptable, but as long as people are free to choose, the state shouldn't intervene.

            Thus a libertarian would not be in favor of the state forbidding drugs like alcohol or tobacco or marijuana.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Libertarians will never come to agreement as to whether not there is a duty to ensure that ALL people are equally free. This of course allows for Authoritarians to gain and keep power simply by promising to enforce a Conservative Libertarian agenda on Social Libertarians or a Social Libertarian agenda on Conservative Libertarians. Perhaps someday we will all agree to live and let live, but I fear that day is a long, long way off.

      Libertarians are naive in the extreme (like the bunch that invested in the "Galts Gulch" in Argentina a few years back). On the up side, there's a business opportunity in New Hampshire with the best kind of clients happening pretty soon. Anyone with a silver tongue and no qualms about ripping people off should be rubbing their hands with glee at the moment.

      • >Anyone with a silver tongue and no qualms about ripping people off should be rubbing their hands with glee at the moment.

        And the best bit is, after you rip them off, if the police try to charge you with fraud - they will all show up at hte trial to testify in your DEFENSE !

    • by neo8750 ( 566137 )
      Well new Hampshire state slogan is "Live free or die"
  • I propose an increase in taxation to support a Libertarian Emigration Fund.
    • I propose an increase in taxation to support a Libertarian Emigration Fund.

      #metoo, but only if we send them to Dubai, and don't let them come back. I want to see what happens to them if we send them to a real libertarian utopia

  • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:56AM (#51444627)

    I was expecting to read New Hampshire had seceded from the other 49 but obviously "Free State" means something different in American English.

  • ...their views on everyone they can. What else would you expect authoritarian dictators to do?

  • Apparently freedom means not having to make your kids wear seatbelts but you still have to show photo ID to go on a long bus trip.
    Not to mention the scrotum grabbing if you fly.
  • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @06:07AM (#51444797)

    Although they do have a front row seat for watching this train wreck...

    • by zzyzx ( 15139 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @08:18AM (#51445123) Homepage

      I have a friend who has lived there her entire life and she's bitched about how people are now coming into meetings and derailing them. Everyone else is trying to get work done and they're ranting about some very obscure topic and how it's oppressing them. They don't have the best rep locally.

      However, if the 20k people move, the other 49 states will become that much nicer of a place to live.

  • January: The Free State based on libertarian fundamentals is founded.

    February: The first Home Owners' Associations are formed.
  • While getting 20,000 to sign to commit is a big thing by itself, a credit needs to be given where credit is due:

    A credit for committing to pack your stuff and to move to the sparsely populated cold state. That is something.

    While 20,000 voters will not change the elections in a state where 700K to 900K people vote, few things need to be taken to the account:
    - FSP is not a political organization and it will not endorse any of the candidates. However it has been my observation that

  • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:56AM (#51445525)

    I vaguely remember signing up when I was 19. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that I'm almost 32, have a job, a wife (who has her own job), a child, a dog, two mortgages (we live in one and have a renter in the other), etc., there is pretty much no damned way I'm picking up and moving because of some crap I said on the internet while in college, probably drunk and definitely on anti-depressants. Frankly, I expect there are others just like that.

    Additionally, I do believe I had stopped paying for a domain at some point and then lost my password to the website, causing me to re-register. Therefor, they're down at least two "members" just with me, "sorry" to say.

  • And now we'll see that 'internet activism' will result in - my guess - about five people out of those 20,000 ACTUALLY MOVING.

    Five may be optimistic. Well...not if four already live in NH...

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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