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Author Topic: Discuss FSP mission & future  (Read 217399 times)

mikefam

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2005, 08:16:35 am »

i think by doing a free town or 2  somewhere central to the urban work areas not too far north could show that living in liberty is possible, it would show some progress toward goals  and be an enticement to others if w could show some kind of progress.
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Lex Concord

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2005, 10:14:13 am »

As for doublechecking with each participant, what positive result could that have?  Subtracting from the total can only hurt our credibility.

Better determining the actual number of people who still consider themselves members can only help the FSP's credibility.  If the actual number is significantly lower than expected, it might be discouraging, but it's always better to know where you really stand before determining what to do next.

Since the original goal/understanding was to be near 20,000 by September of 2006, why not continue to recruit heavily until then, and see where things are by then?  If the best efforts of the FSP can't at least double the number of members in the next 14 months (that's only one new member recruited per current member in over a year), it will probably be time to reboot the FSP and reconfigure it as a smaller project with a more immediate focus on moving to NH.

If the FSP has already saturated the market for prospective pro-liberty movers, a more limited project might call for getting 1,000 activists to move within 2 years, and 5,000 within 5 years.  That should be more than enough to make real progress and encourage a lot of the pro-liberty FSP skeptics to reconsider moving to NH.
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NVchris

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2005, 10:45:17 am »

Was the target date anything but arbitrary to begin with?
I couldn't find the exact statistics on the website, but it appears that in three years the project has grown to 6,000 members.  Assuming a linear growth ( a pessimistic assumption) we would have the requisite 20,000 members in another 8 years.  That may seem like a while, but it's still liberty in my lifetime.   Maybe the target date can change and people should be given the chance to withdraw their commitment if they choose, but the project should not be closed. I think there is a moral obligation to follow through to the people who have already made the move.  And it's not as if the reasons and need for the FSP have gone away.
In summary:
(1) the target date should be adjusted now that a real sample of growth has been measured
(2) membership should be give the chance to renew or withdraw their support accordingly
(3) we should redouble our individuals efforts.  I haven't been following too closely since I joined, but realizing how far we've come has made me want to participate more.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2005, 11:30:03 am by NVchris »
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selfgov2000

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2005, 10:53:51 am »

As a matter of fact, I do have a suggestion.  Honor your contract.  Assuming you default, let people know they are released from their obligation so they can choose to move somewhere they might have a real chance to be free, like Wyoming or Montana.

Dave Dawson,
Casper, Wyoming
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1FreeMan

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2005, 11:01:58 am »

As this movement readily knows, there is no silver bullet.
We are all individuals with our individual motivations.  I personally dislike cold weather.  I just happen to dislike tyranny more.
I signed up for FSP for several reasons, the primary one being I felt that it was a viable strategy to provide a working laboratory of freedom for the world to observe.  I have recently cut the cord to my employment and am weighing my next move - which is to establish a business in a state where the market is more conducive and eventually replicate that business model in the free state (if it can be done).

My assumption is that many of the 1370 odd members that sign up every year agreeing to relocate to NH have their own personal agendas as well as their desire to see this project be successful.  If only 5% of those that have committed to the project have moved after nearly four years, then I can only imagine the other 95% are basing their decisions on the original contract - which said 20,000 people must sign up before their is any binding agreement for the rest of the individuals to move in the subsequent five years.

The agreement, as we know it, will expire in the next 14 months.  Assuming we only reach 42% of the 20K goal by the 2006 deadline, then we are still far below what I would consider a viable experiment - even if half of the committed were to make the move.  You can play with other scenarios all you want (free city projects), but these are tactics to be used by those moving and living there now, not something that interests many of us waiting to see if there is actually a market demand for such an experiment.

I believe Jason and company are on the right track to come up with an alternative (contract) plan with another drop dead date (you have to have a date certain for this type activity), to be initiated at the expiration of the present agreement.  It can be vetted in advance with a definite window and simple procedure to re-up under the new contract with a reasonable overlap window.  At the expiration of the current project, anyone signing up will be signing up under the new agreement.  The details of this agreement are less important than the fact there is a commitment by the participants to support and agree to the move within a specified time frame.

None of this discussion matters to many of us if it can not be demonstrated there is a market supply of willing guinea pigs for this experiment.  For those of us weighing alternative options, we continue the fight for freedom every day in our own localities and states, while applauding those individuals loading their covered wagons and heading across the prairie in hopes of establishing the seeds of freedom's future.

Hope to see you at the Porc Fest.
Fred Childress
VA Libertarian
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Fred

svillee

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2005, 12:05:38 pm »

I second Gabo's points.

I'd suggest sending a blanket statement to all Participants, stating that the time to move is as soon as possible.

I agree that the SOI should be very flexible, and that we should be strongly encouraging (but not requiring) people to move as soon as possible, rather than waiting until 20k is reached.

We should also be clear about another thing, which I suspect is the real issue here.  Anyone who originally joined under the belief that September 2006 was a firm deadline for reaching 20k may want to drop out at that time if we have not made it.  Of course, such people will just go ahead and drop out, and won't be looking to us for moral confirmation, but still, I think it would be a wonderful gesture if we made it clear that we fully respect their decision.

Along the same lines, Free State Wyoming probably would like to recruit actively from FSP participants beginning in September 2006 if 20k is not reached.  Again, I think the magnanimous thing for us to do is not oppose this in any way.  We should welcome competition.  Of course, we should try to impress on people what a great state NH is, but there will always be people who prefer a western state.  Rather than telling such people "you must be blind" or something childish like that, we should say "yes, Wyoming is also a fine state, and we respect your decision".

Frankly, I think there will be plenty of opportunities for cooperation between NH and WY groups.  We have the same basic ideals.  Let's not fight.
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Roxanne

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2005, 12:06:19 pm »

I do not see re-evaluation of a said plan...as declaring defeat.  Reality is...once you set a goal you do all possible to achieve said goal...Reality is... a strong percentage of goals are usually not met on time...Reality is...celebrate progress you would never of achieved without said goal...Re-evaluate and set new goal until you achieve victory.  Evaluation is good...I trust those who step back and question.  Questioning only allows avenues to new alternatives.  Never defeat.

I agree very strongly with PCWallis post # 6.
This is the area we need to concentrate on...We need a very strong network.  Only "strong network" needs to be used as a verb in this context. (sorry it is the school teacher... in me.)  When people make a commitment such as this...to up root their families...their jobs...etc. There has to be some help on the other side.  I like the idea of a free-town...yet it is concerning...this has been tried before...and history can teach us many things. Maybe we need to take a look at some of the great colonists of our time, maybe there is something we can learn from them...again the teacher steps forward ;)

Roxanne
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lidral

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2005, 12:50:38 pm »

Two big issues for people moving to NH are jobs and housing costs.

A quick check of some real estate and rental web sites (e.g., REALTOR.com and Rent.com) show that, while housing in NH is not the most expensive in New England, it is certainly not inexpensive.  There are two forces driving the market: traditional availability of jobs in or near southern NH and the resort and vacation areas in central and northern NH.  Of course, the least expensive properties won't be listed on web sites, but the sites can be used to compare relative housing costs in different areas.  In particular, you can use them to compare relative costs in your current home town against those in the area of NH to which you wish to move.  The housing costs suggest the need to have a good job in order to afford to live there.

Unfortunately, although the higher housing costs have traditionally been supported, in part, by the availability of high-paying jobs in northern MA and southern NH, many of those jobs were in high-tech and disappeared during the recession that started in 2001.  While the country as a whole seems to be recovering from the recession, the New England high-tech market seems to be lagging the nation.

I suspect many FSP members who planned to move to NH are or were employed in high-tech and were depending on that job market to support their move to NH.  If so, then many of those FSP members probably had to delay their plans to move to NH.  The employment situation may also be discouraging potential new members from signing up.  The kinds of people who can afford to move to some place without having decent-paying jobs or relocatable businesses are: (1) retirees who no longer need to work, (2) the independently wealthy, or (3) those who are just starting out and have few possessions to house, no children, and few responsibilities -- profiles I suspect match only a small percentage of FSPers and prospective FSPers.

Stepped up publicity and recruitment efforts may help increase the number of members, but it's unrealistic to expect people to move in large numbers to NH unless there are employment or business opportunities that support reasonable housing options and family responsibilities.  Someone else suggested networking to help FSPers form businesses and find employment.  That could help but may not help fast enough for the original target date in 2006.

Judging by the figures on the Free State Project home page (6,627 Participants, 367 in New Hampshire), reaching the 20,000 participant level by the target date in 2006 seems overly optimistic.  Moving to NH within 5 years following that date seems less daunting to those who've observed several past business cycles (the economic outlook will almost certainly improve in that time frame) but may not seem that way now to those who don't take a long-term view.

Perhaps it makes sense to adjust the 2006 target date citing the recession as the reason.  Perhaps wait a few months to find out whether the sign up rate increases so the 20,000 by September 2006 becomes plausible.  If not, then issue a statement along the lines of "Because the high-tech recession seems to have discouraged potential participants from committing to moving to NH without the assurance of employment opportunities, we're revising our target date and/or participation guidelines as follows ...".
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Ceol Mhor

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2005, 12:51:02 pm »

I would just like to point out that if the mission is changed, you are obligated to release existing members from their obligations. Eliminating the end date represents a significant change in the philosophy of the FSP. That date was originally included so that the FSP wouldn't require people to either sign up for an open-ended obligation or go out on a limb hoping that enough others would follow (both problems all too common in libertarian movement projects).

I have no antipathy to the FSP at all (FWIW, I'm a glass-eater member from 2002), but I think it looks pretty clear that the FSP will fail in its stated mission. Most of the membership growth occurred in the period leading up to the state selection, and considering that the non-voters were never purged from the rolls, we have fewer than 4,000 actual participants. Again, I'm not saying this because I have any bone to pick, bu because it is simply the truth. We all knew that failing was a distinct possibility.

My suggestion is that efforts continue until the September '06 deadline, and (barring a huge increase in growth and meeting the 20k number) then declare the Project ended, and create a new structure for those still desiring to change NH (along the lines of the group envisioned to coordinate efforts in-state if the Project succeeded).

Respectfully,

Ceol
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Dave Mincin

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2005, 12:55:46 pm »

Excuse my thought, but to my way of thinking the FSP is already a success!

We have close to 150 activists to NH.  Folks who would never have found NH
without the FSP bus, and  at least that number of NH folks who were not activists
before have joined us.

We are actually living the SOI, and enjoying every minute of it.  We are beginning
to have an impact on both the political and social picture in NH, and we have become
respected players.

My thought is whatever you folks decide, NH is THE FREE STATE, and the folks will
continue coming.

Know of at least 10 who have arrived or will this month, and I call that a win, and expect
after the Porc Fest many more folks will be making their plans.

Thinking many of you folks don't realize what an impact just one activist can have, and we
have more coming every month.  I've seen first hand the talent and energy of the folks
crossing the border, and honestly feel real fortunate to be counted as one of them.
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sloth

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2005, 01:53:11 pm »

I would suspect that more interest will be generated as:

o More people move to NH
o Good news is heard about the early movers, esp. in regards to a welcoming environment
o The deadline approaches

These three things, working together, can generate the requisite excitement to effect accelerating rates of participation.  Done right, I would not be surprised to see the project overshoot the 20K mark.  But it won't happen w/o effective, dynamic communications and collaboration in the jobs and homes arena.

One intrinsic stumbling block is that because NH has no big cities, folks who live in big cities, and like the variety they offer, aren't going to be inclined to give that up.  The more FSP can show the diversity and energy of, say, Manchester, the better chance of swaying them to move.  Perhaps this is optimistic, I've not visted. :)

The blogs of the early movers would surely be of great interest to fence-sitters and the curious.
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icanoop

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Focus on concentration
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2005, 02:08:46 pm »

Accept that we are spread too thin and that 20,000 by 2006 is not likely to happen. Rather than just hoping some miracle will change that, be practical and change the size of the area we are trying to cover. The number 20,000 was chosen because it was estimated that 20,000 could have a significant impact on the population of the state. At this point we need to figure out what population we could have a significant impact on with the number or people who are ready to move now.

Try to create as large an area as possible with a high enough concentration to have a significant impact as soon as possible. The people who are ready to move now should coordinate to make this happen. The vast majority of people are not willing to do anything great, even if they do agree with us. That is just the nature of people. The best case result is that we have a large impact on a smaller region which convinces the rest that it really can happen and then they move and our coverage area grows. The worst case result is that we have a large impact on a smaller region and are forced to live as we choose in that smaller region. If we only aim for the entire state the worst case result is that we are still spread too thin and suffer from the same non-representation that we do right now throughout the entire country.

The hard part about maximizing the area we can cover with sufficient concentration is figuring out who is willing to move soon, where they are willing to move, and how to make it easy for them to find out who else is willing to move there. What might really be useful is a color coded map of NH that we can use to inform the project where we are willing to move and in what time frame. I could say I am willing to move to this city by this date when FSP members would make up this percent of the voting population. If a concentration on the map gets high enough then those people start moving.

Any time you set a big goal that involves a lot of people it happens a lot slower than you expect. The easiest way to accomplish what you want is to start small and evolve into something big. You have to be persistent, resourceful and flexible. When the available resources make the original goal infeasible you have to adapt and find the best way to utilize the resources you have.
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edwardfaulkner

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2005, 02:17:19 pm »

If everything remains constant, there's no reason to believe we'll hit 20,000 soon.  But things do not stay constant - and chance favors the prepared mind.

It is quite possible (many would say "likely") that the US will experience a severe recession/depression sometime in the next few years.  Or perhaps another terrorist attack will lead to the destruction of our few remaining liberties.  In short, I see plenty of possibility for upheaval in the future. 

Most Americans are still blind to the problems that are coming their way.  But when they can see with their own eyes that they're getting poorer, that the State cannot and will not protect them, that they are no longer free... then it will be the FSP's opportunity to offer a better way.

Yes, the original pledge will expire.  But we need to keep the organization and communication going, so we're ready to capitalize on new developments.  There are already plenty of events we should be taking advantage of.  For example, we could have had people on the ground in New London, CT as the supreme court was taking away their homes.  There are plenty of people being screwed by the various levels of government in this country.  We need to actively seek them out.
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"Hagrid"

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2005, 02:28:55 pm »

One intrinsic stumbling block is that because NH has no big cities, folks who live in big cities, and like the variety they offer, aren't going to be inclined to give that up.  The more FSP can show the diversity and energy of, say, Manchester, the better chance of swaying them to move.  Perhaps this is optimistic, I've not visted. :)

Boston is less than an hour away from much of southern NH, for those who crave a 'huge city', and Manchester is nice for a larger but not 'big' city.

And I agree, some blogs would be interesting... being here in NH, I see lots going on... and often it's more work than it's worth to communicate it to others...

LeRuineur6

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Re: Discuss FSP mission & future
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2005, 02:50:03 pm »

You want more members?

Schedule a vote to change the FSP's mission statement!!!  ;)
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