The Free State Project (FSP) started with an idea: if 20,000 libertarian activists could all move to one small state with a friendly culture, that would be enough to create true “Liberty In Our Lifetime.” In 2003, New Hampshire was chosen. Since then, more than 16,000 people have signed the Statement of Intent to move when the target is hit – and 1,674 participants have already made the move!
This week, two of these early movers released an original documentary on the project – 101 Reasons: Liberty Lives in New Hampshire, now available for free on Youtube:
Like the FSP itself, this film started with a man and a vision. Director Vince Perfetto wanted to figure out how he could adapt a famous outreach pamphlet, “101 Reasons to Move to New Hampshire,” into a feature film. He enlisted the help of filmmaker Beau Davis, and the two began recording personal stories from FSP participants and perspectives on this historic project from liberty’s leading lights, including Ron Paul’s former Economic Adviser Peter Schiff, Food Inc.’s Joel Salatin, Patrick Byrne of Overstock.com, Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine, and several more.
In 101 Reasons, viewers hear firsthand how FSP participants have come to hold the balance of power in the state legislature; how they’ve cut taxes and expenses; pushed back against the Drug War; formed new businesses with each other; built charities and meeting spaces; engaged in civil disobedience – and won; embraced new technologies like Bitcoin in their everyday lives; made the front page of the New York Times and been interviewed by all the major cable news stations; formed 4 distinct annual liberty festivals across the state – including PorcFest, the world’s largest; and adapted to a new home hundreds or thousands of miles away from what they left behind.
There are many reasons why Vince, Beau, and so many others have chosen to sign the pledge, move to New Hampshire, and dedicate themselves to the fight for liberty.
For the first time, here’s the official list of all 101 reasons referenced by the filmmakers:
1. No sales tax. New Hampshire is one of five states that have no general sales tax.
2. No income tax. New Hampshire has no general personal income tax.
3. No capital gains tax. New Hampshire is one of nine states that does not levy a capital gains tax.
4. No inventory tax. New Hampshire businesses are not taxed on their inventory.
5. No machinery or equipment taxes. New Hampshire businesses are not taxed on their machinery or equipment.
6. No eminent domain. New Hampshire law specifically prohibits the government from seizing private property for development.
7. Small political districts. Canvassing voting districts in New Hampshire is easy – each member of the House of Representatives has about 3,300 constituents.
8. Outstanding representation. New Hampshire’s 424-person legislature is the third-largest in the English speaking world. With a 400-member House of Representatives and a population of 1.3 million people, New Hampshire has the best per capita representation in the country.
9. Legislators work for you. New Hampshire state legislators are paid only $100 per year, ensuring they work for their constituents and not an easy paycheck.
10. Short terms of office. Statewide officers in both the legislative and executive branches are elected every two years, giving voters the opportunity to clean house more often than in other states.
11. Checks on the Exec. New Hampshire’s governor must get the approval of the independently elected, five-member Executive Council when signing large contracts, appointing high-level positions, and issuing pardons.
12. Fiscally conservative. In 2011, New Hampshire slashed its budget by 11%.
13. Tiny state bureaucracy. New Hampshire has the fourth-smallest government workforce, with less than 10% of the total employed population working for state and local governments.
14. Welcoming state house. New Hampshire’s state capitol building has no metal detectors, and is the oldest state house in continual use in the country.
15. Accessible officials. New Hampshire officials, from town clerks to the governor, are truly accessible to the public; many have “walk-right-in” office policies
16. Local control. New Hampshire has a long tradition of local control through town meetings, where town citizens vote on their budgets line-by-line in the form of warrants.
17. Liberty-minded officials. Many New Hampshire government officials unaffiliated with the Free State Project are known to be liberty-loving individuals.
18. Secession is an option. New Hampshire’s constitution does not specifically prohibit secession from the United States.
19. Right to revolution. New Hampshire’s constitution expressly protects citizens’ right to revolution.
20. Motto to live by. New Hampshire culture continues to reflect its infamous motto: “Live Free or Die.”
21. Gun rights support. Gun Owners of New Hampshire, Women’s Defense League of New Hampshire, and Pro-Gun New Hampshire are just a few of the many existing gun rights organizations in the state that actively work to expand gun freedoms.
22. Pro-liberty endorsements. The Free State Project concept has support from a wide range of high-profile, pro-liberty figures, including Ron Paul, Penn Jillette, Peter Schiff, Lew Rockwell, Walter Williams, Judge Andrew Napolitano, John Stossel, and Neal Boortz.
23. National voice. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary provides significant leverage in the national debate.
24. Successful pro-liberty organizations. If you’re passionate about a specific liberty, there’s probably already a group that shares your interest. Dozens of successful, liberty-oriented organizations currently exist to address education, taxes, guns, homeschooling, drugs, and currency, just to name a few.
25. Independent electorate. 43% of New Hampshire voters are independent, actively choosing to not associate with either of the major parties.
26. Easy to get elected. More than 20 Free State Project participants have served, or are currently serving as elected members of the State House of Representatives. 15 participants were elected or re-elected in the 2014 elections alone, running as both Republicans and Democrats.
27. Liberty voting guides. Based upon the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance’s Liberty Rating Report Card, a sample “Liberty Ballot” is available for each voting precinct to help you make pro-liberty choices on election day.
28. NHLA. The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance (NHLA) is a non-partisan coalition that actively promotes pro-liberty legislation, rates legislators as pro- or anti-freedom based on their voting records, and educates voters about the pro-liberty ballot options.
29. Non-partisan municipalities. New Hampshire local elections are mostly nonpartisan
30. Decentralized activist coalitions. New Hampshire has a giant community of peaceful activists who conduct civil disobedience and public outreach on topics ranging from marijuana consumption, to open-carry rights, to police accountability.
31. Jury nullification. New Hampshire is the only state to pass a law with strong language supporting jury nullification, which reads, “In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.”
32. Liberty media capital. New Hampshire is awash with pro-liberty media, including Free Talk Live, The Liberty Conspiracy, The Katherine Albrecht Show, the Liberty Radio Network, School Sucks Podcast, Shire Liberty News, and the Ridley Report.
33. Mainstream media support. New Hampshire’s mainstream newspapers and television stations have been receptive of and fair to the Free State Project.
34. No seat belts. New Hampshire is the only state where adults are not mandated to wear a seat belt.
35. Bike helmet freedom. New Hampshire is one of only three states that does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets.
36. Religious tolerance. New Hampshire is home to people of all religions, as well as the non-religious. The population is among the most religiously tolerant, with 73% believing that other religions can lead to eternal life.
37. Marriage equality. New Hampshire was the first state to adopt same-sex union legislation without a challenge to existing law. Marriage between two adults, regardless of gender, is legal in New Hampshire.
38. No state-supported Obamacare. New Hampshire opted out of setting up a state exchange for The Affordable Care Act.
39. Got raw milk? New Hampshire’s raw milk regulations are among the lightest in the country.
40. No national ID cards. New Hampshire rejected the Real ID (national identification card) program.
41. No license plate readers. New Hampshire is the only state that has banned the use of automatic license plate readers (ALPR) by law enforcement.
42. Gun freedom. New Hampshire does not require an open carry permit, and concealed carry permits are available on a “shall issue” basis.
43. Knife ownership. New Hampshire is the only state with no laws restricting knife ownership, except for convicted felons.
44. Live free and brew. New Hampshire is the only state in the nation to recognize and codify nano-breweries as separate from larger breweries. The nano-brewery license permits small breweries to manufacture up to 2,000 barrels of beer per year for a very small fee.
45. Marijuana legislation. New Hampshire passed medical marijuana legislation in 2012. Although the bill wasn’t approved by the state senate, the House of Representatives became the first legislative body in the country to vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
46. Economic smarts. New Hampshire residents rank #1 in knowledge of fundamental economics and financial concepts.
47. Low poverty. New Hampshire has the lowest percentage of residents and children living in poverty in the country.
48. Low tax burden. New Hampshire offers one of the lowest tax burdens as a percentage of gross income in the country.
49. Highest disposable income. At $34,208, New Hampshire has the highest disposable income in the country.
50. Highest household income. As of 2013, New Hampshire has the highest median household income in the country – $71,322.
51. Unsubsidized locavore haven. New Hampshire ranks #3 in Stroll’s Locavore Index thanks to its active and diverse agricultural sector that ranges from livestock to dairy products to apples to flowers. Furthermore, New Hampshire receives the 3rd lowest farm subsidy dollars from the Federal Government – less than 0.1% of the total subsidy dollars handed out.
52. Alternative currencies. FSP participants are passionate about using alternative currencies. It’s easy to do business with gold, silver, and barter on peer-to-peer markets.
53. Bitcoin mecca. New Hampshire boasts the longest running Bitcoin meet-up group in the world. Many legendary Bitcoiners are FSP supporters or participants, including Lamassu – the creators of the first Bitcoin ATM.
54. Free trade. New Hampshire offers 5 Free Trade Zones, including those at Manchester Airport and the Port of New Hampshire.
55. Small-business friendly. New Hampshire is frequently ranked among the top 5 business-friendly states in the country.
56. Diverse economy. New Hampshire’s economy is dependent on just one or two industries, making it hospitable to movers from many lines of work.
57. Low unemployment. As of September 2014, New Hampshire unemployment was 4.4%, compared to a national average of 5.9%.
58. Prosperous seacoast. New Hampshire’s main coastal city of Portsmouth has one of the lowest metropolitan unemployment rates in the country and thus is among the “30 Best Markets to Find a Job.”
59. Fertile business market. Early FSP movers have started a variety of successful businesses, including bars, restaurants, a microbrewery, alternative currencies, construction companies, HVAC contractor/reseller, real estate practice, computer consulting, web hosting, radio/TV shows, and non-profit organizations.
60. “The New Hampshire Advantage”. Residents of neighboring jurisdictions (Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Canada) shop in New Hampshire to benefit from the lack of sales tax.
61. Low sin taxes. New Hampshire taxes cigarettes at $1.78 per pack, beer at $0.30 per gallon, and has no tax on cigars, spirits, and wine. These are among the lowest in the region.
62. Tax-friendly cities. Manchester – the largest city in New Hampshire – ranks #2 on Kiplinger’s list of tax-friendly cities.
63. Affordable living. The Manchester-Nashua metro area ranks 1st on the Forbes List of America’s 100 Cheapest Places To Live.
64. House-hunting made easy. Based on housing availability and housing affordability, New Hampshire ranks as the best state to find a home.
65. No mandated car insurance. New Hampshire is one of only three states that does not mandate automobile insurance, and there’s no fee for driving uninsured.
66. Affordable vehicle ownership. New Hampshire is the least expensive state in which to own a vehicle.
67. Breathtaking scenery. New Hampshire’s scenery is gorgeous, including the ocean, lakes, mountains, forests, rivers, picturesque New England towns, covered bridges, and historical homes.
68. Close New England community. New Hampshire’s location allows the FSP to target the pro-liberty population living amongst the more than 13 million people in the other five New England states.
69. Year-round outdoor fun. Opportunities for outdoor activities extend throughout the year in New Hampshire, including biking, bird watching, boating, camping, climbing, fishing, golfing, going to the beach, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, skate-boarding, skiing, and snowmobiling.
70. International border. New Hampshire shares a border with Canada, facilitating international trade and travel.
71. Nature won’t kill you. New Hampshire is considered at very low risk for hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and forest fires.
72. Beautiful four-season calendar. New Hampshire enjoys all four seasons. Fall foliage attracts tourists from all over the world; in winter, snow-related recreational activities are popular; spring brings blooming wildflowers and greenery galore; and in the summer, outdoor festivals abound.
73. Lifestyle options. New Hampshire offers an incredibly diverse mix of community lifestyles. Whether you are interested in living in a city, in the suburbs, on a farm, by the beach, in the mountains, or on a lake, you can find your dream home in New Hampshire.
74. Hunter’s and fisher’s paradise. New Hampshire offers extraordinary opportunities for hunting as well as deep-sea, river, lake and even ice fishing.
75. Hiker’s paradise. New Hampshire boasts 48 mountains with peaks higher than 4,000 feet, as well as access to the Appalachian Trail. It is home to the most-hiked mountain in the Western Hemisphere – Mount Monadnock – and the tallest mountain in the Northeast – Mt. Washington, which affords 100-mile views of three states and Canada.
76. Abundant water. New Hampshire contains abundant water resources, meaning the chances of water shortages are insignificant.
77. World trade access. With its deep-water port on the Atlantic Ocean, New Hampshire has access to worldwide trade markets.
78. Geographical collaboration. New Hampshire’s relatively small geographic size facilitates activism statewide and makes frequent collaboration and meetings among FSP participants possible.
79. #1 for quality of life. New Hampshire has been consistently ranked #1 in the country for quality of life and livability according to many studies over the years.
80. High speed connections. New Hampshire offers an extensive wireless infrastructure and ranks 1st in percentage of households that have access to broadband internet.
81. Safe roads. New Hampshire has the 3rd fewest fatalities per 100 million miles driven of any state in the country.
82. Friendly skies. Air transportation to and from New Hampshire is facilitated by 118 registered airports, 64 registered heliports, and 6 registered seaplane bases.
83. Good healthcare. New Hampshire’s health system is ranked 2nd in the country.
84. Healthy lifestyle. New Hampshire is the 5th healthiest state in the country.
85. Gun enthusiast community. New Hampshire has a plethora of gun clubs throughout the state.
86. Safety. New Hampshire is the safest state in the country and has the lowest homicide rate.
87. Shop local or not. In addition to many small and unique family-owned businesses, most large, national chain stores are within short driving distance.
88. Music and family attractions. The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, was named one of America’s Top 10 Music Venues by USA Today. The state is also home to a variety of family attractions, including comedy clubs, Canobie Lake Amusement Park, indoor rock climbing, indoor surfing, indoor skydiving, NASCAR, water parks, and Funspot – the largest arcade in the world.
89. Homeschooling freedom. New Hampshire has a large, politically active, and rapidly growing homeschool population that is not required to submit annual education evaluations.
90. Higher education options. New Hampshire is home to 23 accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities, including Ivy-League-member Dartmouth. New Hampshire also has several trade schools.
91. School choice. The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a law that grants tax credits to corporations worth 85% of their donations to non-profit scholarship organizations that help low- and middle-income families send their children to schools of their choice.
92. Non-government schooling options. New Hampshire offers many private/non-government schooling options, including home school groups, Montessori schools, Waldorf schools, religious schools, boarding schools, and top-ranked prep schools.
93. Smart students. New Hampshire students rank #1 in standardized test scores.
94. Happy children. New Hampshire is ranked 1st in the national index for child well-being.
95. Porcupine 411. Communication with the New Hampshire liberty community is a phone call away. Through Porc-411, reports of speed traps and checkpoints, political events, and news as-it-happens are recorded and broadcast via email as audio file attachments.
96. Non-profit aid community. New Hampshire offers over 600 private, non-profit organizations ranging from food banks, to youth mentoring, to health services.
97. Shire Sharing. Founded by a Free State Project participant, Sharing Sharing is a collaborative effort among liberty activists to address social ills through voluntary action and private charity by helping those in need every Thanksgiving.
98. Unparalleled liberty events. The annual New Hampshire Liberty Forum, Porcupine Freedom Festival, Keenevention, Bardo and Freecoast Festival attract thousands of liberty lovers from around the country.
99. Make history. Being in New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project means you are part of something historic. Rather than just talking about liberty and accepting your loss of freedoms, you will be an active participant in making history, achieving Liberty in Our Lifetime!
100. Active pro-liberty social life. New Hampshire’s pro-liberty community is active and robust, so your social calendar will always be full. Participants host weekly events like Taproom Tuesdays and Social Sundays; movie nights and holiday parties; along with weekly and monthly meet-ups throughout the state.
101. Friendly welcome. The FSP Welcome Wagon is a team of fellow liberty activists eager to welcome you to New Hampshire, ensuring that plenty of people are able to come lend support to your move. They will also put you in touch with local liberty lovers, help host “Meet and Greet” and “New Movers” parties, and welcome you to local functions and events.
References (listed by reason number):
1. NH Department of Revenue Administration, http://tinyurl.com/5h49vf
2. Bankrate, http://tinyurl.com/2bqhr4
3. Tax Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/mfvtfcu
4. Area Development Online, http://tinyurl.com/c7xwgh
5. Area Development Online, http://tinyurl.com/l89rsq3
6. USA Today, http://tinyurl.com/dg4jlb
7. New Hampshire General Court – Wikipedia, http://tinyurl.com/qfewwdm
8. Wikipedia – Government of New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/cewjdq
9. National Conference of State Legislatures, http://tinyurl.com/qaw6myp
10. Wikipedia – Elections in New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/adhrop
11. State of New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/qzmyocj
12. Union Leader, http://tinyurl.com/mjlc79w
13. The Cato Institute, http://tinyurl.com/cockxg
14. The Ridley Report, http://tinyurl.com/d2qbfh
16. Wikipedia – Town Meeting, http://tinyurl.com/bt5l4e
17. New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, http://tinyurl.com/m3u4jgs
18. State of New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/bnm67f
19. State of New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/bnm67f
20. State of New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/adtmuc
22. The Free State Project, http://tinyurl.com/kuqoj8r
23. Wikipedia – New Hampshire Primary, http://tinyurl.com/yq2ylv
25. New Hampshire Government, http://tinyurl.com/lejnnac
26. The Ridley Report, http://tinyurl.com/3ovlfhr
28. New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, http://tinyurl.com/dcfamc
31. New Hampshire Jury Information, http://tinyurl.com/oljthjp
32. Free State Project, http://tinyurl.com/qzgtmjo
33. The Free State Project, http://tinyurl.com/b8k85w
34. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, http://tinyurl.com/mfrmwqq
35. Governor’s Highway Safety Association, http://tinyurl.com/ch9dw7x
36. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, http://tinyurl.com/6asu5j
37. Union Leader, http://tinyurl.com/r3aubr
38. FreedomWorks, http://tinyurl.com/ocgwkpp
39. Raw Milk Facts, http://tinyurl.com/kp82jd3
40. Reuters, http://tinyurl.com/2hr6sz
41. Electronic Frontier Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/cx9z4f5
42. Pro-Gun New Hampshire, http://tinyurl.com/d8rstb
43. Knife Rights, http://tinyurl.com/2v3xxof
44. New Hampshire Public Radio, http://tinyurl.com/k9x9cnh
45. New Hampshire National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, http://tinyurl.com/nvcseht
46. Employment Benefit Research Institute, http://tinyurl.com/84ez6om
47. US Census Bureau, http://tinyurl.com/3ckprlu
48. The Tax Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/lxdtpgz
49. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, http://tinyurl.com/l5pmho8
50. The Census Bureau, http://tinyurl.com/magjyp5
51. New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, http://tinyurl.com/q8wcpb8
53. The Free State Project, http://tinyurl.com/mlducox
54. NH Division of Ports & Harbors, http://tinyurl.com/c9obaz
55. Thumbtack, http://tinyurl.com/cg4pblu
56. Nashua Telegraph, http://tinyurl.com/lagxo6d
57. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://tinyurl.com/2fmxwfx
58. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://tinyurl.com/2eg49b8
61. The Tax Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/28y8ygc
62. Kiplinger, http://tinyurl.com/m349te9
63. Forbes, http://tinyurl.com/lojf3n
64. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, http://tinyurl.com/l5pmho8
65. Fox Business, http://tinyurl.com/caomss4
66. Edmunds, http://tinyurl.com/8vbb97c
69. NH Outdoors, http://tinyurl.com/cuf6qr
71. Insurance Center Associates, http://tinyurl.com/dnpsy
74. New Hampshire Fish & Game, http://tinyurl.com/nmrae7j
75. NH Outdoors, http://tinyurl.com/at8lvh
76. New Hampshire/Vermont Water Science Center, http://tinyurl.com/2fwxro
79. Yahoo! Finance, http://tinyurl.com/q68w8td
80. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, http://tinyurl.com/l5pmho8
81. Reason Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/dc59mn
82. NH Department of Transportation, http://tinyurl.com/5vbwrp7
83. The Commonwealth Fund, http://tinyurl.com/pkyf45k
84. America’s Health Rankings, http://tinyurl.com/ojubqeu
85. New Hampshire Fish & Game, http://tinyurl.com/de4y2z
86. Movoto Real Estate, http://tinyurl.com/nlleszl
89. New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, http://tinyurl.com/b8a76a
91. Cato Institute, http://tinyurl.com/p5auq9h
90. New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission, http://tinyurl.com/6se4ez6
92. GreatSchools, http://tinyurl.com/qypomcc
93. Find The Best, http://tinyurl.com/owq5yek
94. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/qc3swd8
95. Porc 411, http://tinyurl.com/kyv2xfl
96, NH Center for Nonprofits, http://tinyurl.com/oxxdpsw
97. Shire Sharing, http://tinyurl.com/onlh8k9
100. NH Liberty Central Calendar, http://tinyurl.com/o2mjtz8
101. Free State Project, http://tinyurl.com/mz5vnh6