Well it actually has been more than a week, but I have been a bit busy (thankfully) with meeting people and looking for a job. In any case, if you didnt realize it before, I have relocated from the insane tyrannical reich of New Jersey to the free state of New Hampshire. Just off the bat, I no longer have to pay sales tax (except at restaurants, and its 2% higher) nor income tax. I can now open carry a firearm, which I havent done yet and probably wont for awhile. My cost of living has dropped around 15-25% from my rough estimates. I can cross a street without worrying about getting run over (New Yorkers and New Jerseyans may be jealous), however, it is more difficult to walk out of town or even around town.
I moved to Manchester, which is the largest town (or city to the locals) of about 110,000. It is an ugly city, to quote a friend and longtime fan of the page who I have now met! Apparently, the property tax structure up here makes it so any good looking architecture results in higher taxes. Consequently, everything looks awful. There is not even a look to the city, nor a solid downtown. There is a downtown, but it barely looks like anything.
About two and a half years ago, I signed with the Free State Project to move to New Hampshire. The goal of the project is to get 20,000 libertarians to pledge to move to the Live Free or Die state once 20,000 have signed the pledge (ie, trigger the move). Almost 1800 people have already moved, and are called “early movers”. In that time alone, many have won office and promoted the repeals of many laws. For example, New Hampshire no longer has any law restricting knife carry for non felons. They have also tried to get marijuana decriminalization and legalization passed, with legislative success, but the governors keep vetoing it. The free staters also managed to make New Hampshire the only state that bans license plate readers from being used by police.
The community up here is absolutely unreal. Those who have already made it will say “welcome home” when you arrive, and help you in any way they can. One man offered to pick me up from the train station in Boston. There is a generosity and kindness up here that can really take one aback, both in general, and within the Project. On top of that, there are regular libertarian events and meetups every week. No longer do I feel alone with no one who agrees on even some basic things. On Tuesdays I can go to the local bar, owned by a free stater, meet fellow libertarians, and even pay in bitcoin!
There is also a secret social club which cannot be clearly mentioned where the more rough and hippie types like to hang out. An odor of several smoldering substances and plants emanates from the basement. It is only open to dues-paying members and their guest or two, but frequently hosts events and meetups as well. There are in fact a lot of meetups, at least three a week, sometimes more. They say Manchester is the best place to start, especially for singles, but there are other cities with good libertarian communities.
I have met so many people I can barely remember who is who. And sometimes people remember me from events over the past few years, but I cant remember them! Everyone is a friend and willing to smooth your transition. I had trouble finding a place to stay temporarily, so a few free staters helped figure things out. One thing that is noticeable is that most of us like to bunch up. There are multiple houses, often clustered together, where you have sets of movers who have paired up and live on each floor of a three story house. And then you can point across the street or down the road and find more. Other times, you might see a libertarian bumper sticker or a porcupine shaped magnet and know that that is a fellow free stater.
This is a land and movement where agorism is welcome and encouraged. There is a bimonthly community market day where a handful of vendors come out to sell fresh farm food, home made stuff, assorted junk, unlicensed burgers, and more. And then you can pay in silver or bitcoin or whatever. Coming up soon is the big event, the Porcupine Freedom Festival. As I noted last year, it is an annual event where over a thousand libertarians come together on a campground to hang out, camp out, and try our hand at a voluntary society. Dozens of vendors sell everything from food to crafts to soap, and more. After that, its time to start settling in and enjoying the perks. I had a rougher start than I would have liked, but it has gotten better and before long I know I will be able to enjoy all the perks.
New Hampshire started out as one of the most libertarian states, and the free staters (or porcupines as we call ourselves) are making it better. Less than 2000 have already had a big influence, one can only imagine what so many more could do. It really is happening here and this state is becoming the worldwide hub of libertarianism. Many leading figures in the movement have endorsed it, from Robert Murphy to Gary Johnson. A few have seriously considered moving here. As more of us move, the better it will get.
For Jews, I have to admit, things are a bit limited. The Orthodox population is about 10. The total Jewish population is estimated to be 10,000. There are two Chabad houses, one in Manchester and one at Dartmouth. Both are actual houses and not the big gabled buildings you might be familiar with. I went to a service last Shabbat morning and only in New Hampshire can you find an Orthodox-leaning Jew who believes in chemtrails. We actually made a minyan, which is a bit difficult here. Unfortunately, Chabad is the only strong option. There are a number of Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and other congregations, however I have not had a chance to check these out.
Every summer, dozens to a hundred Jews from primarily the New York area come up for vacations. They have to bring kosher food in or subsist on canned tuna. The Chabad rabbi frequently stocks up on meat purchased in New York (its more expensive in Boston). I am hoping to work on this and encourage a stronger community up here, both by bringing in the religious and via kiruv, encouraging the secular Jews to return to Judaism. What many do not realize is that if you dont give your children religion, they will find one. Hence, the anti-Israel Marxist Jew crisis infecting our college-age youth. I hope that within the next decade or so, I can found a religious Jewish Libertarian community up here. We should not have to be stuck in far left cities where we cannot defend ourselves and have to pay excessive taxes and deal with onerous regulations. It can happen, and it will happen in our lifetime. B`ezrat Hashem!
Sign the pledge to move! They really want to hit 20,000 for the headlines, so even if you cant for a few years, its ok.
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