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Author Topic: Australian Couple  (Read 2361 times)

KEaves

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Australian Couple
« on: November 03, 2004, 09:19:21 pm »

Myself and the better half aren't FSP members... yet; we both live in Australia at present and are planning on holidaying in New England next year, predominately to check it out.  

We haven't commited to the FSP for a few reasons, one is that without first having visited NH we aren't quite ready to commit ourselves to moving there, hence the planned holiday next year.  

Secondly "we" aren't yet intending on becoming permanent residents of the US.  We both have family back in Australia and eventually we'll want to return and settle down.  While I have an open mind about permanent residency, the better half is less inclined.  Being catholic, her extended family is a very important part of her life and it would be ridiculous for me to expect her to leave them indefinately.  And before someone suggests it "No" you don't want her extended family over there - half of them are social democrats.

So at this point we're looking at holidaying next year and subsequently moving, probably 6-12 months after that, assuming of course that we like NH and that we can keep ourselves in the manner to which we're accustomed...

Gaining a working visa shouldn't be too difficult for the two of us, on one hand the better half's uncle is a vice president of a fortune 500 company, so securing some form of visa or even permanent residency shouldn't be a huge issue for us.   Additionally I have very close contacts in the Liberal (anti-labor and therefore conservative/libertarian) party over in Australia with a number of parliamentarians who have extremely close ties to the republican party.  Every bit helps hey?

Both of us have substantial experience in political activism on Australian University Campuses and also within our party machine in Australia.  However some of you may be aware that Australian politics is very different to your brand.  

With compulsory voting most of our campaigning is higher level, tv advertising, radio and securing corporate donations (therefore boring) as opposed to more grass roots campaigning; voter registration, voter base mobilisation etc.  Having enjoyed university politics much more than our brand of representative politics, Australia really doesn't do it for us at the moment (politically anyway).

The prospect of working on a long term grass roots activist cause such as the FSP excites both of us.  Personally I would term myself a minarchist and the better half is a classical liberal with strong libertarian leanings.  So neither of us are white as snow anarcho capitalists, but there is no doubt we are both strong libertarians.

I guess the questions I have, that I hope some of you can answer, are as follows:

a)  My professional background is as follows; currently I am a public servant (shame on me) in Australia, however in my own defence I've spent three years working on a reform program designed to privatise, corporatise and/or commercialise large tranches of government businesses, including water infrastructure, rail and electricity.  In particular I've worked with Local Government's (county's would be your equivalent) to help them progress this program.  So predominately my experience relates to infrastructure economics and policy development.  
Prior to that I worked as a system administrator for our largest Telco's wholesale online ordering system.  Unfortunately I have no official IT qualifications - I just happened to be the only person in the company with sufficient understanding of all the core systems, SQL and the customers requirements that I was the only person for the job...  I guess the question is, firstly can anyone think of any suitabe employment opportunities in NH in any of these areas?  Or if not does anyone have any suggestions for what type of qualification I should obtain over the next 18 months in Australia that would help me secure something useful?  Remembering of course that this isn't about getting into the US for me, that isn't likely to be a problem for us given our family/political contacts.  This is more about earning a sufficient income to keep us in the manner to which we've become accustomed :)

b) The better half has been the treasurer of her student union (membership is compulsory for Australian students - so liberals/libertarians regularly run to wrest control of student unions from the socialists) at one of the 6 "sand stone" universities in Australia (our lack lustre equivalent of your havard or yale I guess).  She was responsible for running a $20M budget and setting the strategic direction for all the unions commercial activities.  She's also worked as a political staffer for a backbencher over here (which she loved) and is currently managing a bottle shop (which she's ambivilent about).  What type of employment opportunities can folk think of that might appeal to her in NH?

c) What would be the best time of year to visit NH for our scouting holiday.  Not for the purposes of tourism (although we'll probably do a bit of that) but more for getting a grip on what the place is like - where we want to live etc.  Both of us currently live in a sub-tropical climate, and while I've lived in much colder climes, the better half hasn't.  What period during the year would be best to visit if we have these priorities in mind:
  1)  we don't want to be paying peak prices, seems pointless to spend money visiting in the summer or at other peak times when we want to get a taste for how it would be like to live in NH, not just visit.
  2)  likewise, I guess the winter/christmas period would be relatively pointless as well - or am i wrong.  Would a trip in Nov-March be worthwhile?
  3)  I'd like the better half to get at least an indication of the climatic extremes, without being so ridiculous that we end up spending our entire trip inside because the weather is too bad to go out.

d)  I'm a bit concerned that we shouldn't sign on for one reason.  With current projections the FSP might not reach its target of 20,000 within our window.  i.e. we may very well move over to NH - stay for 5 years but then have to return just as the FSP is approaching 20,000.  

e)  And a really stupid question.  I preparation for our impending holiday I picked up Lonely Planet's "New England" just to get an idea and start our planning.  It mentions that bottle shops (alcohol outlets) in New Hampshire are state run... WTF is with that?  Can some NH native please explain this seemingly counter intuitive policy?

Looking forward to replies from folk.


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JasonPSorens

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Re:Australian Couple
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2004, 09:54:25 am »

I don't live in NH, but I'll try to answer a couple of your questions.

Regarding your job qualifications, it sounds as if you both have sufficient experience to begin at least in some kind of low-level management in private industry.  Your particular background would make you an attractive employee for a utility company (water, electricity, gas), which are generally organized at the state or local level in the U.S.  My brother-in-law works at an electric utility in SC (not sure what he does exactly, but I believe it's a low-level management position), and the fringe benefits are excellent.

Re moving to NH before we get 20,000... That may well happen.  The FSP is conceptualized as a long-run project, which will gradually roll back government overreach year by year.  By moving early, you'd help lay the groundwork, but you may not be able to enjoy all the benefits.  At the same time, there are intrinsic benefits to living in NH, especially if you enjoy travel and sampling other cultures & climates.  Not only is it an exotic location (for you), but it's a particularly nice exotic location. ;)

When to visit... I really enjoy NH in the winter.  The frozen streams and leafless, white-bark trees are beautiful.  Coming here in the winter will give you an idea of how cold it gets, and there is a lot to do: ice-skating, snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding... Probably not common activities in Australia, but you could give 'em a whirl!

Best of luck in making your decision...
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varrin

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Re:Australian Couple
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2004, 04:59:36 pm »

Where in Australia are you?

My brother is very much a libertarian and lives in (actually near) Sydney.  I don't check this thread often.  E-me at varrin@freestateproject.org if you would be interested in meeting and/or corresponding with him.

V-

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Grunt

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Re:Australian Couple
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2004, 02:11:06 am »

Id have to agree with Jason, you could slide into a state utility company easily. Would take some legwork though. Here in Pennsylvania PECO has a pretty good reputation on both the employee and customer end of things.

As far as "state stores" (booze) from what I understand, prohibition is still in effect and thus, the state controls all spririt sales. Its idiotic, but the state likes the revenue and control aspects. Same category as the state lottery (poverty tax) I suppose. If you cant stop it, tax it.

And as an American, I am looking at Australia myself. The coming depression, and resultant civil war, in America will be ugly in the extreme. I want no part of it, so Ive got my eye on Calgary, Auckland, and Brisbane in the coming years.

Good luck to you otherwise.
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citizen_142002

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Re:Australian Couple
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2004, 02:37:35 pm »

I'm an NH resident, though the fact that I was 15 when NH was chosen as the free state prcludes me from joining and kept me from joining before the decision. I might still appeal that one.
New hampshire is in my opinion a beautiful place to live. If your better half can deal with a few New England winters, and that's not a sure thing, then I think that you would otherwise find the scenery and quality of life here wonderful.
New Hampshire runs state liqour stores as a means of avoiding taxes. The booze here is some of the cheapest in the country; this is a means of encouraging out of staters to buy a lot of our booze and boost our states revenues. In this respect, the state stores are wildly effective. The state only has a monopoly on hard liqour. Private stores can still sell beer and can buy wine from the state stores for resale. The state only completly controls distilled liqour. Your wife could still seek employment at one of these stores.
Employment for you shouldn't be difficult. New Hampshire has a very strong technologies economy, especialy near the seacoast. The are some state jobs that actually serve a purpose. I'm not sure what your job in Australia was specifically, but we do have Departments of transportation (not public transit but raods), saftey(law enforcement), Fish and Game, and others. There paper work to be done in even the most limited governments.
If you want to see weather extremes, come in mid-late April. Its a gamble though. We could have a three foot snow storm or sunny 70F degree wheather.
I suggest that you explore the different regions of the state before you make a decision.The Seacoast is more urban, if not a bit more lively. The White mountains region has a slow economy but is as rural as it gets and extremely beautiful. My native Monadnock region is my favorite. It has a fairly rural feel, a decent job market, and is located close to Vermont and Massachusettes. The Monadnock region's housing market is tight though.
I might suggest that you network with some Nh natives on this forum. They might be able to give you a tour of the state. If you would like any more suggestions from me just send me a message, I'd be happy to show you and your better half around our Granite State.
P.S. I hope to see you here, but whatever you and your better half decide, I would like to ask that you spread the word about the FSP through Australia's libertarian circles. We need more members and I can't imagine that we're well know down under. Thanks.
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