Migrate for Freedom!
NOTE: The opinions and commentary expressed in this essay are those of the author and are an exercise of free speech. They do not necessarily represent the views of Free State Project Inc., its Directors, its Officers, or its Participants.
Migrate for Freedom!
by Kat Dillon 6/2/04
What would cause a group of ordinary citizens to uproot family, leave jobs and friends to move to New Hampshire? It would have to be something important. Yet 5,800 individuals so far have pledged to do so, and several have already moved. One member takes the project so seriously that he is walking from Kentucky to New Hampshire for the cause of freedom. I myself am leaving a quite comfortable situation in Texas and moving myself and my daughter to New Hampshire at the end of June.
Why are all these people taking this drastic step? We are part of the Free State Project (http://www.freestateproject.org), a group of people concerned about the ever growing intrusion by government on the private lives of citizens. The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to New Hampshire, where they may work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government. The success of the Free State Project would likely entail reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, reforms in state and local law, an end to federal mandates, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.
Moving for the cause of freedom is nothing new. Jason Sorens, founder and Chairman of the Board for the Free State Project points out, "The whole American experience is based on migrating for freedom. That's what most of the immigrants who came to our shores were doing. They wanted a better life, and that's exactly what we're doing." From that movement sprang the greatest nation this planet has ever seen. Nowhere else was it recognized that individual rights are inherent and inalienable, not a whim of those in power to bless us with or take away. Nowhere else has the protection of those rights led to such a prosperous nation.
The problem is that daily, we see our brothers sacrificing their inherent rights for the illusion of safety. Our citizens have forgotten their power. They have forgotten that their rights are not given them by the government, so they accept it blindly when the government takes away those rights. The founding fathers were aware of this problem. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
When we give up our 4th Amendment rights for legislation like the Patriot Act, we open ourselves up to something far more terrifying than a few terrorists. We open ourselves up to the full force of the U.S. being used against its own citizens. If you believe the Patriot Act will only be used against terrorists, you've buried your head in the sand. As H.L. Mencken wrote, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed - and hence clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." Sound familiar? Are you tiring yet of the elevated security alerts, vague warnings of imminent terrorist attacks? As John Stossel reminds us, "Patrick Henry did not say, 'Give me absolute safety or give me death.'"
When was the last time you read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? At the very least, read through the Bill of Rights. You'll be hard pressed to find any that the U.S. government is not now violating. You might be surprised to learn what some of your rights are.
As dire as the violation of our rights is, the fed's trampling of our economic freedoms are almost harder to bear. Let me give you a small example. A friend wanted to start a restaurant here in Dallas. He was all ready to go, wanted to provide his excellent service to the people of Dallas, provide a few jobs. It took nearly a year after his being ready to satisfy government regulations and open his business. After moving the business, remodeling to suit regulations, getting all the necessary permits, etc., he was finally ALLOWED to sell food. This small example is multiplied a million times over in every business across the nation. Is the illusion of safety worth having our hands tied? Does the government actually protect you? Wouldn't it be better to take responsibility for your own life and safety? It is the impossible weight of government regulation and taxation that is driving our economy down, not greedy capitalists, as we are told.
The U.S. left the gold standard in 1933. This allowed the government to print money on a whim. When money is printed without being backed by gold or silver, it loses its value. That is what creates inflation. Notice how prices have been rising in the past few months, everything across the board costs more? That is the price we all pay when the printing presses are rolling.
How did schools become a government operation? Any time you ask government to solve a problem that the free market can solve itself, you will find the problem solved inefficiently and often with corruption. An individual will be cautious with his own money and investments. Government, which takes its wealth by force, is like a rich son who, not having to work for his money, squanders it thoughtlessly.
The Free State Project proposes to take education out of the hands of government, precisely because it is too important to be left to that rich philandering son, the state. Already we have in place private means to fund schools in New Hampshire. The Liberty Scholarship Fund has been set up as a first step to providing privately funded alternatives to the public schools.
With all these problems facing our once magnificent nation, what can be done? Voting has not been effective. The individuals who see through the media smoke screen are scattered. Legislation is heavily against allowing third parties to run for office. Fighting for our freedom is not an attractive option, even though the abuses we endure are far greater than those that spurred the American Revolution. So our proposal is to gather those scattered individuals who understand the benefits of freedom. If we can create a haven for freedom in just one state, it will serve as a shining example to the rest of the nation, and the world. If you value your individual rights and your pocketbook, it would be wise to check us out.