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Author Topic: Is the freest state the best?  (Read 5848 times)

Adam Selene

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Is the freest state the best?
« on: July 06, 2003, 10:02:20 pm »

Question: Is the freest state the best state for FSP to select?

Looking at Wyoming, I see no personal income taxes, no corporate income taxes, etc; it seems like an ideal candidate to me. It has the potential to beat out Delaware and Nevada as the corporate domicile of choice.

However, the question that begs to be ask, is what platform are FSP candidates going to promote in such a state? Other than home schooling rights, what issues are FSP candidates going to push?

Wyoming is not the best place for private schools to thrive, given the great distances and low population.

"Legalization" issues (drugs, prostition, gay marriages, etc) are suicidal issues in a Western conservative atmosphere.

How apt are Wyoming residents going to be voting for individuals who have not been long-term residents?

So you can take on the federal government right away (water & mineral rights, anti-Patriot Act, anti-federal taxation, etc); it may be rather hard to get elected on such.

Furthermore, with regards to taking on the federal government, you are entirely land-locked. It's nearly impossible to have any autonomy with regards to import/export free trade, immigration, etc.

At least in New Hampshire you can campaign for the elimination of the state dividend tax, and of corporate income taxes.

Wyoming my #1 choice for the freest state to move to. This is my concern.
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jgmaynard

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Re:Is the freest state the best?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2003, 10:11:39 pm »

Actually, Adam, I am about to write a piece on this very subject. Stay tuned. :)

JM
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Adam Selene

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Re:Is the freest state the best?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2003, 10:25:46 pm »

BTW, I'm curious what issues besides personal income tax have disqualified Montana as being considered a front runner?

It has many of the same attractions geographically and culturally as does Wyoming, plus it has a border with Canada.

And despite what I said about choosing an income tax state, eliminating the state income tax is a perfect first platform, especially with neighboring Wyoming and South Dakota lacking one.
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ZuG

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Re:Is the freest state the best?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2003, 10:54:49 pm »

I can only answer for myself and the people i've personally spoken to, but montana has been cancelled by many because Idaho and Wyoming offer what it offers, only in better quantities. Wyoming is smaller, and Idaho has a more thriving economy. There are lots of people who support Montana, though.

And *nobody* knows the true preferences of the FSP membership because only a small group of members post to this forum. We could end up all moving to North Dakota, for all we know at this point. We really won't know until the votes are in.
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Robert H.

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Re:Is the freest state the best?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2003, 09:26:36 am »

Question: Is the freest state the best state for FSP to select?

The freest state gives us an immediate advantage, of course, in terms of experiencing lived freedom.  But since there is currently no libertarian state, I'd say that the best state for the FSP would be the state where it would be easiest for us to build a legislative majority.  Once we've done that, then we have the ability to make it the freest state.  If we can't build a legislative majority, then whatever freedom that state currently offers is likely to be the extent of what we gain there, as any reforms we enact would have to be supported by the major parties.

That's not to say that we couldn't get the state to go along with more reforms, just that it could really slow our wheels.

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Looking at Wyoming, I see no personal income taxes, no corporate income taxes, etc; it seems like an ideal candidate to me. It has the potential to beat out Delaware and Nevada as the corporate domicile of choice.

However, the question that begs to be ask, is what platform are FSP candidates going to promote in such a state? Other than home schooling rights, what issues are FSP candidates going to push?

I think that there would be plenty for us to do in any state.  In Wyoming, we could push for greater school choice, eventually leading to some degree of privatization.  We could cut what social services do exist there.  We could push through constitutional amendments forbidding things like income taxes.  We could institute broader gun freedom.  

Those are a few examples of things to be done.

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Wyoming is not the best place for private schools to thrive, given the great distances and low population.

Actually, it would be one of the better places for it due to the factors you outline.  Wyoming has actually been closing some of its public schools over the last couple of years.  Systems where there are currently problems of some sort that actually interfere with the infrastructure are places where alternatives are more likely to be embraced.  Alaska has also experienced this issue lately due to the fact that most of its "bush schools" do not meet federal guidelines.

Offer some of those outlying Wyoming communities an alternative to a failing public system, and you might be surprised.

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"Legalization" issues (drugs, prostition, gay marriages, etc) are suicidal issues in a Western conservative atmosphere.

Wyoming appears to be a bit more tolerant than you might think, although I believe we'll run into interference in just about any state when it comes to more hardcore libertarian issues.  The key here is likely to pursue decriminalization, as opposed to legalization.  Just get the state out of the matter altogether where it's possible.  People are more likely to be receptive to lifting penalites against things they disagree with than with permitting the state to recognize them as being legitimate in some way.

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How apt are Wyoming residents going to be voting for individuals who have not been long-term residents?

According to Bruce, aka, "Wyoming Rancher," (and others I've come across) they'd be very receptive to people who came in advocating a small government agenda by some common sense method.  In fact, he says that most of them are already that way, and that if we became Wyomingites ourselves, dedicated to that state and its people, then they'd support us.  What they would likely oppose would be a group coming in bent on telling them what to do.  If we come across like that, then we'd be dead in the water.  But if you go back and read Heyduke's comments on the "What About Being an Unwelcome Presence" thread, you'll discover that we would likely meet that same attitude in New England.

Nobody worthy of freedom likes being told what to do though.  If we run into a state where people are just begging us to take over, then we should be concerned about that.   ;)

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So you can take on the federal government right away (water & mineral rights, anti-Patriot Act, anti-federal taxation, etc); it may be rather hard to get elected on such.

Not if they're popular issues.  I've seen a great deal of criticism for the Patriot Act in the Casper Star-Tribune, and Wyoming's people do not appear to have any love for the federal government.  No one I know who has been there has ever left with that impression.   ;)

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Furthermore, with regards to taking on the federal government, you are entirely land-locked. It's nearly impossible to have any autonomy with regards to import/export free trade, immigration, etc.

See Switzerland.   ;)

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At least in New Hampshire you can campaign for the elimination of the state dividend tax, and of corporate income taxes.

We'll be able to push for the end of intrusive government measures and regulations in any state.  They all still have problems no matter how free they currently are.

craft_6

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Re:Is the freest state the best?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2003, 11:11:50 am »

Question: Is the freest state the best state for FSP to select?

The current level of freedom is important for two reasons:

1.  It gives an immediate incentive for pro-liberty activists to move there, since it improves their lives immediately, even if the FSP accomplishes little of what it hopes to.

2.  It is indicative of how liberty-friendly the existing population is, which might indicate how easily they could be persuaded to support even more libertarian policies.

That being said, being the freest state does not necessarily make a state the best choice for the FSP.  Neither does having the lowest population.

The best state for the FSP to select is the one which could support a migration of 20,000+ pro-liberty activists in the shortest time, while offering the best chance at influencing the existing population in a libertarian direction.

I don't agree with arguments that imply a state with 2 or 3 times the population of another state will be 2 or 3 times more difficult to liberate.  It depends on how quickly the FSP can get 20,000+ activists on the ground and spreading the message of liberty.

I believe that 20,000+ liberty activists will create the critical mass needed to move any of the ten low-population states in consideration in a libertarian direction.

Personally, I would favor Alaska, but believe that the Project should select Idaho or New Hampshire.  Delaware could also support the migration, but is not as free as either of those states by most measures.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2003, 11:13:12 am by craft_6 »
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Kelton Baker

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Re:Is the freest state the best?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2003, 01:39:44 pm »

Question: Is the freest state the best state for FSP to select?


"Legalization" issues (drugs, prostition, gay marriages, etc) are suicidal issues in a Western conservative atmosphere.

Not necessarily, it all depends on how you approach it really.  Frankly, I am far more concerned about getting these measures passed in Vermont than in Wyoming!  Why?  It is obvious that the socialists bear a lot of influence in Vermnont, and such approaches to "freedoms" by socialists always seems to be focused on 'creating rights' rather than supporting natural ones.

For example, legalizing gay marriage by socialists has a way of forcing people who do not agree with gay marriages to support it by force.  The right-wing Westerners, despite their many objections, would likely be more inclined to accept the libertarian method of doing away with marriage licenses, being as how most on the religious right never thought they were joining the state as a party into their matrimony.

Get socialists to legalize drugs and they are sure to spin some entitlement feature into it, look at San Francisco, where they distribute free needles and methodone to anyone that wants it.  Look at the legalized marijuana smoke shops in California that got busted by the feds, Grey Davis showed no courage to stop the experiment being stopped by the feds either, being as how the such politicians and populace in California doesn't like to be threatened with losing federal monies.  Westerners seem to be more apt to accept the notion of letting people harm themselves if they want to.

Prostitution-- let's see, last I looked, Nevada still has legalized prostitution.  It was largely unlicensed and unregulated until the do-gooder socialists changed it.  Idaho had legalized prostitution in the 1970's and didn't even bother to really start cracking-down on prostitution until the 1980's.  The last standing brothel in Idaho was finally dismantled in 1988, so says Libertarian Larry in Idaho.    When the socialists legalize prostitution, they demand full health care benefits, registration, unionization, retirement funds, etc.

I think this perception about Western states reluctance over social freedoms may have a lot of truth in it, but is also mischaracterized from a libertarian perspective.
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