After the Free State Project
Now that the Free State Project is done, now that they’ve gotten their 20,000 signers, it’s time to think about the next migration project.
The FSP got a lot of things wrong.
- New Hampshire is cold, dreary and kind of ugly.
- There are no big cities.
- Property taxes are very high.
- It’s not natively libertarian, it’s leave-me-alonatarian. There is a difference and it’s not pretty.
- Culture? What is that?
- Neither homeschooling nor firearm carry laws are the best.
- The people are not that nice.
- Free Staters themselves aren’t very nice or welcoming people either, for that matter (with notable exceptions).
- New Hampshire is horrible for farming, with the bedrock frequently just inches below the topsoil.
- The Democratic party is strong there. In fact, Bernie Sanders is likely to win the NH Democratic primary by a large margin.
- It’s located in a sea of leftist statism, with Massachusetts right next door.
Maybe some or all of these issues explain the 15-year slog and last-minute $15,000 marketing campaign required to reach this goal, and the fact that even FSP diehards only expect a maximum of 7,000 movers to eventually appear.
Not that the organization has done much with those 15 years or its 4,500 in-state members (early movers and in-state friends). It’s nice that knife laws are best in the nation but, really now, who cares?
A lot of those early movers have left, actually, and no one seems to be counting how many.
My point here is not to convince you to move to New Hampshire or not. Do what makes sense to you. I hope New Hampshire becomes the freeest and most prosperous state in the nation.
But the fact is that a lot of libertarian types have no interest in moving there.
The market demands more options.
How about a place where the weather is better, economic growth is excellent, there are multiple large cities and an already existing libertarian network that actually runs more than a hundred candidates for local, state and federal office every election season?
Texas, baby! Don’t mess with it!
But Texas is big, you say. Perfect, I say.
Because even if you turned New Hampshire into a libertarian paradise, so what? It’s only a million people. It’s an aberration. An exception. A footnote.
But if we can set aside this collectivist and self-limiting tunnel-focus on voting numbers, maybe we can do something different.
What if we focused on identifying, training and encouraging inspiring leaders instead? People who could motivate tens or hundreds of thousands of others to support greater economic and social freedom?
What if we focused on the free-market-friendly principles of collaboration and building networks, of working together for mutual gain?
Compare that to the curmudgeonly leave-me-aloneism of New Hampshire and its libertarians and you can see that I’m talking about a different paradigm, one capable of producing radically different results.
And the weather is awesome!
P.S. Readers may remember that I predicted the FSP would achieve its goal in October, eight months later than it actually did. Shortly after I published that, the FSP started spending $500 per day on Facebook ads. That garnered them their final 2,000 signers in record time, way ahead of my estimate.
Photo credit: Jeremy Keith CC-BY