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Author Topic: In Search of a Compromise State  (Read 10126 times)

Robert H.

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In Search of a Compromise State
« on: December 11, 2002, 06:14:55 am »

At this point, roughly half-way to the number required to vote on a state, our "which state?" debates seem to be stalled on two major areas of contention:  1)  Population  2)  Urban density.

There are those who insist upon more urbanized and rapidly growing states because of the amenities they offer, and also because they feel that we must demonstrate that our ideas can succeed in dense urban areas (an "America in miniature" as one put it) in order to vindicate those ideas to the rest of the country.  Then there are others who feel that we must start off in less densely populated areas so that we can gain access to the system faster, and also gain experience by taking on smaller challenges first and then working our way up to larger tasks.  The relative availability of jobs (and what type of jobs) and housing also factors into this.  It seems that states that would be best in terms of population and political access are questionable in terms of jobs and housing, while states that have more in the way of jobs and housing are questionable in terms of population and political access.

Neither side is really willing to move very much because each considers its point of view crucial to creating a free state.

So, there are three possible solutions:

1.  Both sides can keep slugging it out in the hope of convincing a majority to sign on to their view, giving us a "may the best man win" situation.
2.  We can try to find a compromise state that more people on both sides might find acceptable for whatever reason.
3.  We can divide our efforts among two small states:  one with low population, low urban density, the other with low population and high urban density.

Suggested Criteria for a Compromise State[/color]

Looking at the compromise aspect first, let's see what criteria might do the trick and what states they give us (any thoughts on this out there???):

1.  A state with an overall population of one million or less.
2.  A state with a voting-age population of 800,000 or less.
3.  A state with at least no MSA smaller than 100,000 and none greater than 300,000.

These criteria leave us with:  

States with One Million or Less Inhabitants:

Wyoming - 493,782
Vermont - 608,827
North Dakota - 642,200
Alaska - 626, 932
South Dakota - 754,844
Delaware - 783,600
Montana - 902,195

States with 800,000 or Less Voting-Age Inhabitants:

Wyoming - 364,909
Alaska - 436,215
Vermont - 461,304
North Dakota - 552,195
South Dakota - 552,195
Delaware - 589,013
Montana -672,133  

* States with No MSA smaller than 100,000 and none greater than 300,000:

123,138 North Dakota part of Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN  MSA (ND part)
129,352 Montana (Billings, MT  MSA)
169,391 Vermont (Burlington, VT  MSA)
172,412 South Dakota (Sioux Falls, SD  MSA)
243,537 Maine (Portland, ME  MSA)
260,283 Alaska (Anchorage, AK  MSA)

*  From Ranking States by City and County Populations

States that Meet all Three Criteria:

Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana.

Robert H.

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Comparing Possible Compromise States
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2002, 06:23:45 am »

Pro and Con[/color]

Weighing the Above Five States in terms of their various amenities (and distinguishing them from one another):

Here are some measurements as taken from the "Accessing the System - Critical to Our Success" thread and the State Data Page.  This is not meant to be all-inclusive.  If have you more pro's and con's for each state, by all means add them and we can create a more comprehensive list.  Also, feel free to group the criteria according to some hierarchy of importance.

Vermont:

Pro:

1.  Lowest overall population (of these five states).
2.  Inexpensive elections (2nd lowest of all ten states).
3.  Canadian border
4.  Proximity to east coast population centers.
5.  Famous "Vermont carry" law.
6.  Low federal dependence (3rd lowest of all ten states).

Con:

1.  High taxes
2.  Poor history of voting for conservative and libertarian candidates (worst of all 10 states).
3.  A more poorly managed government.
4.  Low long-term growth expectation.
5.  2nd highest number of welfare recipients of these five states (2.74% - 16,695 out of 608,827).
6.  Very strong native movement in a state where over 50% of the population is native.
7.  High degree of state-wide land-use planning (2nd highest of the ten states).

North Dakota:

Pro:

1.  Inexpensive elections (lowest of all ten states).
2.  Canadian border.
3.  A large amount of non-government owned land.
4.  Relatively high votes for conservative and libertarian candidates.
5.  Prudently managed government.
6.  Actively trying to keep people in the state.
7.  Low degree of state-wide land-use planning.
8.  Low crime rate (3rd lowest of all ten states).

Con:

1.  Heavily dependent on the federal government (particularly with regard to farm subsidies - worst of all 10 states for dependency).
2.  Over 70% of its population is native.
3.  Remote (even when compared to Vermont and Wyoming though not as much as Alaska).
4.  Notorious for harsh weather conditions.
5.  Low projected job growth (2nd lowest of the ten states).
6.  Missle silos.
7.  Low per capita income (2nd lowest of the ten states).

Alaska

Pro:

1.  Fewest voting-age inhabitants of these five states (2nd lowest of all ten states).
2.  Longest coastline in the United States.
3.  Long border with Canada.
4.  Permanent Fund (this is ify).
5.  No state income tax.
6.  Lowest % of native-born inhabitants of all ten states (38.1%)
7.  Oil reserves could be a basis for autonomy under the right circumstances.
8.  AIP (Alaskan Independence Party) could be a basis for support.
9.  May have claims to autonomy under international law.
10.  Highest per capita income of the ten states.

Con:

1.  Remote.
2.  Very harsh winter conditions (moderate zones in panhandle but high cost of living there).
3.  Higher cost of living due to dependence on shipping.
4.  Heavy military presence/federal dependence.
5.  Growing Green movement/environmental lightening rod.
6.  Oil reserves could be a political lightening rod under the right circumstances.
7.  Highest crime rate of the ten states.

South Dakota:

Pro:

1.  Moderate projected job growth.
2.  Moderate votes for conservative and libertarian presidential candidates.
3.  Low state and local taxes.
4.  Smaller state and local government sector.
5.  Second lowest crime rate of the ten states.

Con:

1.  No border or coastal access.
2.  High campaign expenditures (2nd highest of all ten states).
3.  Lower per capita income.
4.  High % of native born residents (2nd highest of all ten states:  68.1%)

Montana:

Pro:

1.  Relatively strong projected job growth (3rd of the ten states).
2.  Long Canadian border (with most libertarian provinces).
3.  Relatively low state-wide land-use planning.
4.  Moderate climate zones.
5.  Surrounded by friendly (FSP candidate) states.
6.  No state sales tax.

Con:

1.  Relatively high federal dependence (2nd highest of all ten states).
2.  Lowest per capita income of the ten states.
3.  Relatively high crime rate (3rd highest of all ten states).
4.  Highest state and local government sector of the ten states.
5.  Growing Green movement (largest in the western states).
6.  Silos.

Thoughts???

Robert H.

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2002, 06:27:22 am »

And if compromise states for all FSPer's don't seem to fit the bill, there is still that third option of pursuing a two-state emphasis, which is being discussed here:  http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=779

It all really boils down to how important you feel the various criteria are for the prospects of creating a free state, whether or not they should be compromised on, and if so, to what degree.

Anti-Federalist

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2002, 07:16:48 am »

What about a single island/county in Hawaii?  Maybe Maui... (I’m already licensed to practice law there  :))

Pop. approximately 132,000.  Approximate number of Registered Voters equals 73,000.  We could theoretically take control of the County Gov't with less than 20,000 Free State people.

Sixty-one percent of the population is of legal working age (64% of the US population is of working age).

In 1995, the breakdown of ethnicity was 42% White, 19% Filipino, 18% Japanese, 14% Hawaiian, 2% Chinese, and 5% Other (Bisignani, 1995). Because of the influx of immigrants and also a large number of marriages between ethnic lines, it is becoming more difficult to assign people to a single ethnic group.


More demographic info about Maui is available from the Maui County Data Book:
http://www.hawaii-sbdc.org/brl/mcdb/mcdb.htm
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Tyler

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2002, 11:07:02 am »

I hate to pop in to say this, but I think Hawaii was decided against several months ago. I still like Wyoming, though. However, your movement would probably do well in New Hampshire, Montana, or Vermont as well (I'm thinking you folks are just too radical for those in the Dakotas).
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Eddie_Bradford

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2002, 12:54:45 pm »

I think people habitually overanalyse the wrong criteria for choosing a state.  The objective is to get people to move to a state and have a large impact there.  There is no logical reason we need massive amounts of land or a foriegn border but often people seriously get into conversations about these things which I think really don't matter at all.  
The only things that matter are this:

1. Voting population
1. Availability of jobs (this means lots of diversified job meaning a VERY large metropolotin area within commuting distance)

5. Native voting sentiments

The only choices still on the list where this project could possibly suceed are New Hampshire and Delaware.  20,000 People just won't be able to find jobs in their field in Boise.  Sorry guys.  This thing is a pipe dream already with only a small chance for sucess.  Don't crush all hope by picking a place where no one can find jobs.  According the "Western" faction's criteria the surface of the moon would be the best place of all to take over.

-Eddie
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Robert H.

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2002, 03:01:53 pm »

According the "Western" faction's criteria the surface of the moon would be the best place of all to take over.

-Eddie

And what, precisely, is your basis for making such an outlandish statement?

NHArticleTen

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2002, 04:27:01 pm »

Personally, we feel very strongly about the Vermont selection...in fact, we may even relocate before it is selected as a target state for FSPers...It is important to us to have both a foreign border and close access to an ocean...Also the unusual fact that Vermont allows true concealed weapons carry following, most accurately, the Second Amendment...Something else that we must consider...even though it's not a "pretty picture"...We must acknowledge the fact that Vermont is very close to other major metropolitan states/areas...This is important because we would be subject to a lower probability of nuclear, biological, or chemical attack due to the close proximity to these major metropolitan areas...and we are talking about attack from "within" our national structure...Randy Weaver and the Branch Dividians both found out the hard way that trying to "get away" from everyone else...makes it much easier for the "powers that be"...to assault and destroy...Sorry to point this out...but we must include all concerns and possible situations in our selection methods...Thanks, Rob and Beth Jacobs - Cincinnati Paraflight,Inc. - www.cincinnatiparaflight.com

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Racer X

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2002, 05:04:11 pm »

Well, I guess none of this really matters anyway.  According to the links posted above, the Russians are going to launch a nuclear first strike before Christmas. :o

Racer X
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Zxcv

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2002, 05:21:24 pm »

Robert, where did you get that Montana has moderate climate zones? The Sunset Western Garden Book puts the entire state in zone 1.

In your general criteria, I can see looking at overall population, or voting age population, but not both (they are pretty redundant).

Quote
A state with at least no MSA smaller than 100,000 and none greater than 300,000.
Don't you mean at least one MSA greater than 100,000 and none over 300,000?

Ugh, who wants to think about compromises? That's no fun.  ;)
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Robert H.

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2002, 04:05:40 am »

Robert, where did you get that Montana has moderate climate zones? The Sunset Western Garden Book puts the entire state in zone 1.

Refer to Joe's maps in the above post.  Wyoming and Montana have the same three zones that New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine do.  North Dakota has only two zones, and of course Alaska has quite a few.  Delaware is solidly in one zone.

Quote
In your general criteria, I can see looking at overall population, or voting age population, but not both (they are pretty redundant).

Joe makes a good point here as well.  Again, see the above post.

Quote
A state with at least no MSA smaller than 100,000 and none greater than 300,000.

Don't you mean at least one MSA greater than 100,000 and none over 300,000?

Yes, I goofed up the wording there.  At least one MSA of 100,000 and none over 300,000.  There are some who feel that a city is not a city unless there's at least 100,000 people there, and anything over 300,000 is just getting too huge, in my opinion.

Such is compromise, which as you state, is no fun.   ;)  The lines you are forced to draw in doing so are far less objective than they might otherwise be.

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2002, 05:34:46 am »

John C. Calhoun said, “A defeat on principle is not an overthrow, while a victory by compromise is a defeat.”

Successful selection of any one state is going to result in thousands of compromises by the group and several compromises on our own comfort, even if our favorite state is chosen. Even if we already live in the state that is chosen, we will need to make some personal sacrifices to make this project work!  

There are however, certain principles we should never compromise, one is identifying a culture of liberty:  since we are about 40 years too late for a move of 20,000 to much affect the statewide vote just by moving there,  we should be looking, first and foremost, for that state which will be most responsive to our activism, based on how they already vote, the existing laws of the state, and based on issues most important to the populace.  Based also on how much the populace regards the government as a solver of problems.  
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Kelton

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2002, 09:31:08 am »

Suggestion, officially call the governor of each state now.
Don't just get their spokesperson --- talk to the Governor!
And maybe their Speaker of the House too.

And the State Chamber of Commerce. Get them on your side.
Sell them on the idea that the FSP is bringing them benefits -- jobs, businesses, industry, home construction, etc.
Those states that say "no way in heck are you welcome here" are stricken from the list.
Those that are the most enthusiastic about the movement coming to help their state go to the top of the list.
           

My experience with politicians has been that in person, they usually try to tell you what you want to hear, and rarely give a straight answer.   OK. Joe, but you do bring out an good point and a practical step we could do.

Let's draft a letter, have it sent officially by FSP leadership.  Wait a week.
 Any state that responds immediately scores extra points. Then we all start calling and faxing and demanding a response from the laggards.  Then any responses we post  here for everyone to analyze.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2002, 01:53:33 pm by exitus »
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. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

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Re:In Search of a Compromise State
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2002, 09:48:09 am »

I think they'll treat us more seriously and with more respect if we wait until it looks like we were going to choose the state.  Maybe between 3500 and 4000 signed and sealed as a goal to draft the final revision and send it out.  We'll also have a better idea of the knowledge and skills we'll our membership has to offer and will be able to offer.  Then, after we got 2 or 3 letters back, we could have a group of about 5 people to go meet the people we corresponded with.  
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