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Author Topic: The Supporting Cast  (Read 2794 times)

bakedchip

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The Supporting Cast
« on: December 24, 2002, 02:55:04 pm »

In the "Is 20,000 enough?" thread, Joe wrote:
Quote
Given these odds and the entrenched opposition (which is all those people who are addicted to government doing things for them and to their neighbors), the FSP has three options in order to have a reasonable chance at success:
1) 20,000 seriously experienced political and media professionals or
2) 200,000 voters to outvote the opposition (ten voters equals one activist), or
3) a combination of these two (for example 10,000 experienced activists and 100,000 voters)

and later in his post, he wrote:
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The FSP must go into a state with ten times as many voters as activists simply to keep the activists motivated and to keep them from giving up and going back home.

I think this is all correct.  And because of that, I think when we're thinking about criteria for a state, we need to consider what they will require as well as what we need.

Some folks here have said they will do anything to be free, including "sweep floors", or "eat glass", or whatever. :)  While I know that's true for them and some others in this group, I don't think it will be true for many of the folks who would consider being part of the masses of liberty-loving folks who would move with us and vote but not be an activist.  They will all need to find jobs, housing, etc. for themselves as well.

If that's the case, I think we need to select a state with a decent job market and housing prices (or land prices) that allow people to be able to live somewhere and support themselves.  We also can't choose a state where nobody will move to because they think they'll freeze their butt off.

Given all of that criteria, I think the best choice - despite its relatively high population - is Idaho.  It has a good job market by itself.  It doesn't have a huge city within commuting distance (i.e. Boston, Philadelphia) - I see this as an issue because statists who work in the city but are fed up with it could move to nearby states and be another force we'd have to fight for political control.  If the city is not within commuting distance this is not an option to them.  There's enough real estate that an influx of people won't make the prices skyrocket out of control.  There are still rural areas for those who want a lot of land, and urban areas for those who don't.  The climate is very reasonable.

A few other notes:
  • The population forecast for Idaho was revised downward by the Census Bureau.  If I remember correctly, the projection that they had in the past was 2.6 million by 2025.  The current projections are 1.62 - 1.78 million by 2015, and 1.74 - 2.01 million by 2025.  (Source: http://www.census.gov/population/projections/state/stpjpop.txt )
  • Religious breakdown of Idaho is relatively diverse.   There are a lot of Mormons, but they do not dominate the state - they make up 14% of the total.  Catholics make up 15%, "No religion" 19%, and no other group has more than 9%.  I think this is good since it probably means that no one religious group can totally dominate the political system.

(Source: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/studies/key_findings.htm )  Thanks to Joe who provided this link in an earlier post.

Your thoughts?

- Chip Spangler
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Zxcv

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Re:The Supporting Cast
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2002, 03:16:36 pm »

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It doesn't have a huge city within commuting distance (i.e. Boston, Philadelphia)
Well, there is Spokane, but it's not very statist for a big city.

I also pointed out the immigration advantages here: http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1094

A good supply of libertarians nearby...

I also pointed out somewhere that a large population per se is not necessarily a bad thing - if the existing population already has a lot of freedom-lovers. That may be more true of Idaho than any other state in the Union. It does mean our activists won't be so much in the driver's seat, though.

Part of the picture ought to be not only putting out the welcome mat for freedom-seekers, but slamming the door in the face of statist immigration. The latter might already be somewhat in place in Idaho, which has a certain reputation.

I like Idaho almost as well as Wyoming. Probably the best thing to do would be to put some effort into getting a fix on public attitudes there. If we can convince ourselves it is relatively freedom-loving, then we have something. If not, we should eliminate it as too tough for our folks to have an influence.

I'll start perusing the media there.

I still worry we cannot sell freedom generally if we go into a state that already has a healthy economy. Probably the largest selling point for freedom (for most folks, not so much for us broken-glass eaters  ;) ) is that it boosts the economy. Ultimately we want other states to follow our lead, and this is more likely to happen if we turn a mediocre economy around.
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bakedchip

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Re:The Supporting Cast
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2002, 04:38:28 pm »

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It doesn't have a huge city within commuting distance (i.e. Boston, Philadelphia)
Well, there is Spokane, but it's not very statist for a big city.

'tis true.  I think my east coast bias is showing - but I tend to think of "big city" as meaning half a million people or more.  Spokane is, as far as I know, not yet anything close to the "statist sinkholes" that Philly and Boston are.

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I also pointed out the immigration advantages here: http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1094

A good supply of libertarians nearby...

Good points.  I also think that Idaho is probably the western state most favored by east coast folks, due to its urban areas and reasonable climate.

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I also pointed out somewhere that a large population per se is not necessarily a bad thing - if the existing population already has a lot of freedom-lovers. That may be more true of Idaho than any other state in the Union. It does mean our activists won't be so much in the driver's seat, though.

That may be true, although it could work to our advantage.  If there's a decent number of local libertarian folks who can run for office without the stigma of being an outsider, we can support them in their campaigns.

Quote
Part of the picture ought to be not only putting out the welcome mat for freedom-seekers, but slamming the door in the face of statist immigration. The latter might already be somewhat in place in Idaho, which has a certain reputation.

I like Idaho almost as well as Wyoming. Probably the best thing to do would be to put some effort into getting a fix on public attitudes there. If we can convince ourselves it is relatively freedom-loving, then we have something. If not, we should eliminate it as too tough for our folks to have an influence.

I'll start perusing the media there.

I still worry we cannot sell freedom generally if we go into a state that already has a healthy economy. Probably the largest selling point for freedom (for most folks, not so much for us broken-glass eaters  ;) ) is that it boosts the economy. Ultimately we want other states to follow our lead, and this is more likely to happen if we turn a mediocre economy around.

That is something to consider.  One thing that I suspect residents are not too happy about is the large amount of land that the Federal government has domain over.  The state personal income tax is pretty high - we can work to cut (hopefully eliminate) that.  The unemployment tax is one of the highest in the nation.

- Chip Spangler
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Zxcv

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Re:The Supporting Cast
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2002, 05:02:01 pm »

Spokane county has somewhat over 400,000 people.
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