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Author Topic: The Argument for Wyoming  (Read 11450 times)

Greg B.

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The Argument for Wyoming
« on: May 30, 2003, 01:06:07 pm »

THE ARGUMENT FOR WYOMING

In my opinion, Wyoming seems to be the best choice for the Free State Project for three main reasons: Small population, large percentage of Republican/Libertarian voters, and Cheyenne.  In this post, I am only going to compare Wyoming to New Hampshire and Montana since in my view all other states under consideration are going to have a hard time beating all of these three.

For full disclosure, let me say that I currently live in Tennessee.  However, I have also lived for at least two years in State College, Pennsylvania; Bloomington, Indiana; Denver, and Chicago.  Since joining the FSP, I first thought New Hampshire was the best choice, then switched to Delaware, and finally have settled on Wyoming after reading the state reports on it (I’ll be stealing some info from them in this post).

With 20,000 or less people moving to the Free State, it is obvious that population is a huge factor.  There are countless other factors that can be discussed, but this is the most important.  In terms of the voting age population for 2000, here are the numbers for each of the three states:

Wyoming 358,000
Montana  668,000
New Hampshire 911,000

Wyoming clearly wins here.  But in addition to population, the political composition of the state is extremely important.  In my view, the types of people that voted for Al Gore and Ralph Nader in the 2000 election are going to be the biggest disrupting influence on the Free State Project.  These types of people are the most inclined to favor statist policies.  Frankly, I agree with Larry Elder’s assertion that there’s about a dime’s worth of difference between Democrat and Republican politicians.  But most people I know who vote Republican deep down agree with a lot of Libertarian views-they just aren’t educated about the party.

Therefore, in each state let’s compare the number of Bush and Browne voters with the number of Gore and Nader voters:

Wyoming

Bush/Browne 149,403
Gore/Nader 60,481

Montana

Bush/Browne 241,901
Gore/Nader 161,613

New Hampshire

Bush/Browne 276,282
Gore/Nader 288,504

With these numbers, Wyoming looks better than Montana and far better than New Hampshire.  Imagine 20,000 (or 12,000 or 15,000) activists going against 60,481 statist voters.  That’s not bad.  Imagine 20,000 (or 12,000 or 15,000) activists going against 161,613 statist voters.  That’s worse.  Imagine 20,000 (or 12,000 or 15,000) activists going against 288,504 statist voters.  That’s virtually impossible.

The population and political demographic arguments clearly favor Wyoming.  But then the Wyoming detractors raise the issue of jobs.  I used to think that was a deal-breaker, but not anymore.  This leads us to Cheyenne.

Although Wyoming itself would not be able to employ thousands of Porcupines, there are several locations in other states right outside of Wyoming that could pick up the slack.  I have no data to back this up, but I’ve read a few times that many Porcupines are young (in their twenties and thirties) and high tech.  So, finding jobs for these types of people is going to be very important.

Cheyenne seems to be a really good place for these types of Porcupines to settle.  It is only 46 miles from Fort Collins, Colorado which has a population of 260,000+, one of the ten fastest growing MSAs (metropolitan statistical area) in the country (the Ft. Collins MSA expects 215,000 new jobs between 1997 and 2010), employers such as Colorado State University, ConAgra Beef, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Eastman Kodak, Wal-Mart, State Farm Insurance, StarTek, Inc., Woodward, Advanced Energy, Teledyne WaterPik, McKee Medical Center, Anheuser-Busch, and Celestica), and a median income of $58,200.

Cheyenne is also just 63 miles away from Greeley, Colorado which has 200,000+ people, 71 miles away from the Longmont/Boulder area which has 300,000+ people, and 94 miles from the Denver area which has 2,200,000+ people.

A daily commute from Cheyenne to Fort Collins is definitely possible.  And maybe a commute to Greeley can be done, too.  After all, many big city commuters spend up to an hour or even an hour and a half in travel time from door to door.

It’s also possible that we could get some companies in Denver to hire Porcupines to telecommute, say, four days a week, and travel to the office one day a week.  They would benefit because they could pay a lot less money due to the cost of living difference.  And once enough skilled workers are in Cheyenne, some companies would certainly open an office there since Wyoming is very pro-business and the real estate leasing costs would be much cheaper.

Also, being close to Denver allows people to not feel like they’re out in the middle of nowhere all the time.  If you want to shop, bar hop, go to a professional sports event, etc. in a big city, you can make the hour and a half commute to Denver.  In addition, the option to fly in and out of a major international airport would be beneficial.  The costs of flying in or out of a place like Missoula, Montana are going to be a lot higher since there just aren’t enough people that fly in there to bring down the price.  The difference between a $250 ticket and a $500 ticket can be the difference between a relative or friend visiting or not visiting you.

These are just a few thoughts on why I think Wyoming is the best place for the Free State Project to succeed.  Any feedback would be welcome.

Greg
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heyerstandards

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2003, 01:25:40 pm »

I'm glad to see the case for Wyoming made so succinctly again.  Jobs are the crucial for long term success, and yes, FSP Pioneers are going to bring industry and businesses with us.  

There will be a delay of 4-8 years from the migration until business begins to boom. I mean screaming growth. Like a double episiotomy.

 Remember we have to work through election cycles to build influence and remove barriers. After that, it will take several years of a stable track record for businesses to decide to open or expand operations in [Free State].

We're always dealing with a bell curve.  There will be companies that will move immediately (ours).  But the bulk of them will wait and see the results. It's our purpose to make [Free State] as inviting as possible for businesses.  Then capital and jobs will follow.
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freedomroad

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2003, 01:52:07 pm »

For full disclosure, let me say that I currently live in Tennessee.
....
I first thought New Hampshire was the best choice, then switched to Delaware, and finally have settled on Wyoming after reading the state reports on it (I’ll be stealing some info from them in this post).

Cheyenne seems to be a really good place for these types of Porcupines to settle.  It is only 46 miles from Fort Collins, Colorado which has a population of 260,000+, one of the ten fastest growing MSAs (metropolitan statistical area) in the country (the Ft. Collins MSA expects 215,000 new jobs between 1997 and 2010), employers such as Colorado State University, ConAgra Beef, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Eastman Kodak, Wal-Mart, State Farm Insurance, StarTek, Inc., Woodward, Advanced Energy, Teledyne WaterPik, McKee Medical Center, Anheuser-Busch, and Celestica), and a median income of $58,200.

Cheyenne is also just 63 miles away from Greeley, Colorado which has 200,000+ people, 71 miles away from the Longmont/Boulder area which has 300,000+ people, and 94 miles from the Denver area which has 2,200,000+ people.
Greg


Greg, thank you for posting to the FSP Forum.  I would like to point out to everyone that I am not Greg.  I know this might sound silly, but, well, we seem to have a lot in common (I bet he has a decade or 2 on me, though).  

I also started with NH (but I moved to MT instead of DE), and now I think WY is best.  I am also from TN (but I do have family in Denver and Longmont, CO).  And, well, I wrote the Wyoming Report 2 which some of the info Greg’s post came from.

Some additional things that make Wyoming stand out for me:

1. Number of Voters in 2000:
WY 213,000
MT 411,000
NH 567,000
Would it be harder to influence 213,000 people or 567,000 people?

2. Expensive of Elections:
WY $4,700,000
MT $10,900,000
NH $19,600,000
Can we really raise $20,000,000?

3. Citizen Ideology
WY  66.1  
NH  63.7    
MT  56.9
The people of WY are already more like us.


Go to http://www.freestateproject.com/wyoming2.htm for sources.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2003, 01:52:51 pm by FreedomRoad »
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freedomroad

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2003, 02:05:24 pm »

What about these factors, though?

4. Labor Union Members
WY 20,000
MT 48,000
NH 60,000
Maybe this explains why WY is right-to-work and MT and NH are not

5. Percentage of Teachers in NEA
WY 38%
NH 41%
MT 66%
Unlike all other 10 states (where teachers have one or both), teachers do not have forced union dues and union teachers do not have monopoly power in WY

6. Economic Freedom Index in country
WY 4th
NH 6th
MT 26th
ID and SD, WY's border states are number 1 and 5 in the nation

7. Estimated Gun Ownership Rate
WY 88%
MT 76%
NH 36%

The list goes on and on.  WY is usually on top and sometimes by a large margin.  Either MT or NH is second but when one of them is third it is usually far behind the other two states.

Go to http://www.freestateproject.com/wyoming2.htm for sources.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2003, 02:08:20 pm by FreedomRoad »
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freedomroad

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2003, 02:06:43 pm »

Congressional Voting Records

How about how members of Congress from WY, MT, and NH vote?

Republican Liberty Caucus Personal Freedom
Wyoming 67.4
New Hampshire 61.7
Montana 57.0
 
Republican Liberty Caucus Economic Freedom
Wyoming 79.2
New Hampshire 74.7
Montana 52.4

Gun Owners of America
WY A-
NH B-
MT C+

Citizens Against Government Waste
NH 86
WY 78
MT 54

Sources:
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1213  
http://www.gunowners.org/108srat.htm
http://www.gunowners.org/108hrat.htm
http://www.gunowners.org/107srat.htm
http://www.gunowners.org/107hrat.htm
http://www.gunowners.org/106hrat.htm
http://www.gunowners.org/106srat.htm
http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Ratings_Senate
http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Ratings_House

« Last Edit: May 30, 2003, 02:07:10 pm by FreedomRoad »
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jubail1999

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2003, 02:08:23 pm »

I am also from TN (but I do have family in Denver and Longmont, CO

Interesting!! I was raised in Longmont, and the rest of my family still lives there, and it was one factor, though not the main one for my preference for Wyoming, though, NH would actually be an easier move for me now.
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freedomroad

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2003, 02:17:12 pm »

Presidential Elections

What about the election of the highest office in the Land?

2000
WY Bush
MT Bush
NH Bush, almost Gore

1996
WY Dole
MT Dole, almost Clinton
NH Clinton

1992
WY Bush
MT Clinton
NH Clinton

1980 Vote for either Ronald Reagan (R) or Ed Clark (L)
WY 65.2%
MT 59.5%
NH 58.2%

1964 Vote for Barry Goldwater
WY 43.4%
MT 40.6%
NH 36.1%
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jgmaynard

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2003, 02:33:27 pm »

Hi Greg:

Welcome. I noticed that was your first post. We have covered much of this ground before, many times. ;D

Some responses from on the ground in New Hampshire...

BUSH - Gore didn't come close to winning NH, Bush came close to losing it. BOTH the Bush's did badly in NH, because we consider the Bushs to be RINOs (Republicans in name only). In fact Buchanan won the 2002 Rep primary. NH voters really, really, REALLY, dislike the shrubs... SEE? ;D .
When we had a contest between a REAL fiscal conservative (Craig Benson) and a tax and spend liberal (Marc Fernald) for Governor that same year, Benson got elected 2:1, then he named his Libertarian former opponent to help plan the way for shrinking Government.
Dubya has never been for Freedom or fiscal responsibility, and we in NH know that. THAT's why he almost lost.

COST OF ELECTIONS - While we are on the subject of Governor Benson, it was only his election which the last election cycle ran the cost in the multi-millions, and that was self-financed. Most of our state rep races only spend a few HUNDRED dollars.... And it is the State House we are going after far earlier than the Govs office... But also keep in mind 20,000 FSP'ers donating $100 ea to the Governors race means a $2m budget - about what the Dem spent last year. Level playing field financially... And we'll have 20 volunteers for each one of theirs...

As for number of voters, If 66% voted for people (Benson and Babiarz) who ran on platforms of seriously shrinking the size of what is already the smallest state Gov per capita in the country, there aren't many people left to get to 50%.... ;D

Take a look at www.lpnh.org/why-nh.htm and tell me what you think... i think you will be pleasantly shocked at the facts about the "Live Free or Die" state.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2003, 02:35:22 pm by jgmaynard »
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freedomroad

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2003, 02:44:56 pm »

BUSH - Gore didn't come close to winning NH, Bush came close to losing it. BOTH the Bush's did badly in NH, because we consider the Bushs to be RINOs (Republicans in name only). In fact Buchanan won the 2002 Rep primary. NH voters really, really, REALLY, dislike the shrubs... SEE? ;D .

The people of Wyoming voted for Reagan and Goldwater in greater %s than the people of NH.  These are the most libertarian prez can. in recent times from the major parties.  Clearly, the people of WY vote for more freedom loving prez can. than NH, even excluding Bush and his father.  Also, hating Bush is not a good reason to vote for Clinton.

Quote
COST OF ELECTIONS - While we are on the subject of Governor Benson, it was only his election which the last election cycle ran the cost in the multi-millions, and that was self-financed. Most of our state rep races only spend a few HUNDRED dollars

The cost of elections as used in my previous post and figured by Jason does not even consider the cost of electing a Governor.  It only deals with Federal elections.  But you are right, NH has the most expensive state and federal elections.  While WY is one of the cheapest.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2003, 02:46:15 pm by FreedomRoad »
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Robert H.

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2003, 09:23:49 pm »

You make good points here, Greg!  Take a look at the Wyoming website for links to more resources on Wyoming and examples of how its combined benefits would avail us of a chance at a free state like none other:

http://www.geocities.com/freewyoming

BUSH - Gore didn't come close to winning NH, Bush came close to losing it. BOTH the Bush's did badly in NH, because we consider the Bushs to be RINOs (Republicans in name only). In fact Buchanan won the 2002 Rep primary. NH voters really, really, REALLY, dislike the shrubs... SEE? ;D .
When we had a contest between a REAL fiscal conservative (Craig Benson) and a tax and spend liberal (Marc Fernald) for Governor that same year, Benson got elected 2:1, then he named his Libertarian former opponent to help plan the way for shrinking Government.

The stats Greg and FreedomRoad quoted are correct.  New Hampshire voters supported the Democrats and Greens by larger numbers than they went for the GOP.

Bush/Browne 276,282
Gore/Nader 288,504

We can argue about the true differences between the GOP and the Democrats and Greens, but the Democrats and Greens are undeniably perceived by the general public as the advocates of big, activist government.  New Hampshire voters supported big government candidates in 2000 by less of a margin than the other New England states (Maine coming in 2nd), but it's still not a positive leaning.

And I also echo FreedomRoad here in being concerned that Bush hatred drove people who supposedly support limited government into voting for avowed big government advocates.  That's shooting yourself in the foot if I've ever seen it - another 1% and these New Hampshire Bush haters could have shot us all in the foot.

Quote
When we had a contest between a REAL fiscal conservative (Craig Benson) and a tax and spend liberal (Marc Fernald) for Governor that same year, Benson got elected 2:1, then he named his Libertarian former opponent to help plan the way for shrinking Government.

Benson also outspent the Democrats in New Hampshire by an enormous margin.

Quote
COST OF ELECTIONS - But also keep in mind 20,000 FSP'ers donating $100 ea to the Governors race means a $2m budget - about what the Dem spent last year. Level playing field financially... And we'll have 20 volunteers for each one of theirs...

Think how much more this same sort of effort would avail us in a lower population state that is just as, if not more, dedicated to limited government candidates.

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2003, 05:47:17 pm »

Quote
BUSH - Gore didn't come close to winning NH, Bush came close to losing it. BOTH the Bush's did badly in NH, because we consider the Bushs to be RINOs (Republicans in name only).

Yeah, that's some serious arm-waving you are doing there, James, but it's not getting you very high off the ground.   :D

Let's see, the notion is that because they hate Bush so much, they should vote for Gore instead - ignoring Nader, Buchanan, Browne and Phillips, also on the ballot? Hmmm...

I checked the "protest" vote in that election. For people who could not stomach Bush, but still were for small government, that should have translated to a high vote for Browne and Phillips, the two real small-government candidates. Guess what? In New Hampshire, those candidates got 0.54% of the vote, while in Wyoming they got twice that, 1.02%.

I didn't quite know what to do with Buchanan, but if you consider him a small-government candidate, the disparity in percentages gets even worse for New Hampshire - 1.0% compared to Wyoming's 2.3%.

Then I looked at the "protest" votes for statists. This is harder to draw a conclusion from. Of Nader and Hagelin, Nader was not on the ballot in Wyoming, and Hagelin not in New Hampshire. But anyway, the "protest" statist turnout was 3.9% in New Hampshire, 0.2% in Wyoming. Of course if Nader was on the ballot in Wyoming he would have bumped that considerably.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, the protest vote totals do not support your story, James. Maybe the real answer is, New Hampshirites like Gore.

Welcome to the list, Greg. Quite an impressive first post, especially since you picked the right state.  :)

You might want to play with the big spreadsheet since you are so into this stuff. Let me know and I'll send it to you.
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Hank

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2003, 06:37:54 pm »

Quote
Anyway, as far as I can tell, the protest vote totals do not support your story, James. Maybe the real answer is, New Hampshirites like Gore.
City people voted overwhelmingly for Gore.
I use the red and blue map vote results as a map
of where people are the most citified or socialized (same thing).
Gore country = citified or socialized.
Too much of New Hampshire was Gore country.
Too much of New Hampshire is citified or socialized.
Concord voted for Gore.
Dover voted for Gore.
Hudson voted for Gore.
Keene voted for Gore.
Manchester voted for Gore.
Nashua voted for Gore.
Portsmouth voted for Gore.
The rest of the state voted for Bush.
(the above comes from my handy dandy World Almanac)

(I should post this over on one of the New Hampshire threads).
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Steve

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2003, 07:14:19 pm »

I don't care much who voted for Gore over who voted for Bush, I care who voted for Browne. Yes, the RP is more libertarian than the DP, but it is not libertarian.  They want to oppress you in different ways, maybe just in ways you personally care less about.  I do not notice any cuts in federal spending now that all three branches of government are dominated by Republicans.
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Karl

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2003, 07:24:12 pm »

Hank,

Your insinuation that folks who live in cities are socialists comes across to me as bigotry.  There are pleanty of freedom lovers who also love cities.  I could call "rural" people all kinds of names too, but what would be the point?

Perhaps if Mr. Gore was elected instead of Mr. Bush, we'd not have wonderful things like the Patriot Act, rampant imperialism, and a massive federal budget deficit.  Perhaps even 9/11 would not have happened.  Maybe NH voters aren't more socialist; maybe they are just better judges of character.

The election of Mr. Bush was the greatest disaster to American liberty since FDR.

BTW, Hank, why did Wyoming just elect a DEMOCRAT as governor?  Maybe they are all SOCIALISTS!  :P
« Last Edit: May 31, 2003, 07:46:44 pm by Karl »
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Hank

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Re:The Argument for Wyoming
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2003, 07:58:31 pm »

Karl,
It's not an "insinuation".  I'm more blunt than that.  Certainly there are city people who love some freedom.  Only they call wild-eyed radical freedoms what rural people call basic rights.

A big-city person would probably think that being permitted to carry concealed and own a hunting rifle and a case of ammo as "Wowser! I can do that!"  A rural person would say "I need a permit or background check for what?#^&%"  >:(

Rural folk take freedoms for granted that city people can't conceive of.
The Argument for Wyoming?
Wyoming has the freedoms now that city people in NH or DE hope to get in ten or twenty years.  But by then a Wyoming Free State would still be ten or twenty years ahead of a New Hampshire "Free State".


About your comments about Gore, Bush, and Democrats.

If you think Bush is bad, we figure Gore would have been worse.  At least we can still own guns, freely assemble, and even speak our mind.  Under Gore all those would have been gone.  Bush is bad, I admit.  Gore would have been an unmitigated disaster.  Bush's Patriot Act and Homeland Security stuff worries us.  Gore struck deep fear in us that Bush has not even come close to.  What really scares us is the specter of Hillary or her ilk as President.  If that happens you'll be talking about Bush's four years as the good old days.

In some parts of the country there really are "good Democrats".  When it comes to fighting for our freedoms, the best Western or Rural Democrats beat the best Eastern or City Republicans.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2003, 11:22:22 pm by Black Hills Hank »
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