Walking to Freedom
Walking to Freedom is an initiative created by Jack Spirko where citizens are encouraged to pull up stakes and to move to a more open and free state -- to vote with their feet. States are broken down into two categories, the naughty list and all the rest. People moving out of oppressive states are asked to post a goodbye letter addressed to the state and state government officials regarding their decision to move out of their state. Forum groups for the non-naughty states are used to welcome people considering or actually moving to that state.
For a few years I have worked with and supported The Free State Project of New Hampshire http://freestateproject.org/ "While it is not in the cards for me to move to New Hampshire the concept to me is the hallmark of a republic. Individual member states band together to form a Federal Republic of States. In our case we call this "The United States of America". Citizens have freedom of movement from state to state and the citizen is seen as the most sovereign entity with the most rights, next in the chain is the sovereignty of the member states and at the bottom of the sovereignty chain is the Federal Government.
Much of this system is broken today, the Federal Government is filling many roles it isn't supposed to fill (see Tenth Amendment). State governments then fail to stand up for their citizens or worse they often pile on more restrictions and encumbrances upon liberty. There is one component of the system though that is still functioning, movement between the states. The final act of a citizen voting in a republic is to vote with their feet. While I love the work being done in New Hampshire, I realized like me there were many people who just can't for one reason or another move there. What dawned on me then though was if we simply create an exodus from the 5-10 worst states it does many things.
- It sends a message to ALL state governments, your citizens understand a republic and their power and are damn well willing to use it. Oppress your citizens and your most valuable producers (citizens and companies) will leave for a better environment.
- States with more liberty like Idaho, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Arizona, etc. will attract more liberty oriented individuals. Not for the purpose of transforming their new home states states but to at minimum hold the line and prevent said states from becoming less libertarian.
- It makes the entire movement far larger then just The Free State Project or other groups like Free State Wyoming or the American Redoubt movement. By gaining maximum exposure and reach, Walking To Freedom, is a rising tide that will float all boats. It will actually bring more people to states like Wyoming and New Hampshire by fostering competition among the member states.
- Most current oppression in the US is actually at the Federal Level. There are a handful of states that go above and beyond that, it is easier to target those 5-10 on the naughty list and let the other 40-45 states make their case as to why you should move there, then it is to try to get anyone upset with their state to choose a single option as a way out.
- Freedom is highly personal. To some tax freedom is the main concern, others are more concerned with freedom over types of housing, some with freedom to keep and bear arms yet others simply want what I call operational freedom. Operational freedom is simply the freedom to conduct business. Many entrepreneurs are less concerned with the overall tax rates and more concerned with the permits, fees, hoops one must jump though just to open the doors.
- By fostering competition among all the states not on the naughty list we have a much larger influence. It brings public awareness to the issue and starts making many states that are at the far end or middle of the spectrum to start thinking about the consequences of being on the naughty list or having the list grow just because they have encouraged us to do so. Yes the list can get bigger in time if necessary. We use "disapproval voting" to establish the list.
When I consider all of the above it is clear to me that Walking To Freedom is a true manifestation of the principle of a republic. Sure many states may not make the naughty list that many of us feel should. We can only hand out so many demerits you know but, the other side is those states will find that far less citizens choose them as a place to move to. I am quite sure in time that this movement will result in tens of thousands of "goodbye letters" to state and local officials. While that is half of the equation, I wonder how the Chamber of Commerce of say a state at the bottom of the receiving end will feel if they see hundreds or even thousands choosing state relatively close to them.
I also want to help with yet another problem. I have constantly heard in this debate how citizens of State X leave and move to State Y due to being fed up. Yet they turn around and then try to turn State Y into the very State X they just left behind. Perhaps if citizens were to move for more than one reason this would be mitigated? By fostering conversations between movers and for lack of a better term stayers (perhaps recruiters) those who are fed up can find a state that is most closely aligned with who they are.
It is often the case that a person will move over a fiscal issue but not agree with a social issue where they land. The state where they moved to may resent them and feel they are trying to turn where they moved to into the place they just left behind. The reality though is different, they likely have no desire to increase taxes they just want more social freedom, they don't necessary want you to pay for it. If such a citizen were able to find both more fiscal freedom and more social freedom, likely they and their new neighbors would be more happy. In the end we all must learn to get along but good match making is a great place to start.
The key is either way, the oppressive state loses a producer and are denied the opportunity to tax them and denied the privilege of having them conduct business and participate in commerce within their state. Did you get that word? Privilege! Yes the states should understand when citizens have freedom of movement, the presence of a productive member or society in that state is a state's privilege not a states right.
In the end I feel our members will agree that it is relatively easy to identify the 5 or so worse offenders when it comes to liberty. The states that are just a few shades above them are not something I feel we need to be very worried about. Likely free states are going to attract quite a few of their citizens anyway. The key is to zero in on a small naughty list and give the citizens of those states a message, your fellow Americans would love to have you as neighbors. We all have some unique things to offer, each state has pluses and minuses but flatly about 40 of us look like entirely different nations then the 5-6 at the very bottom.
For instance I have no desire to return to my home state of Pennsylvania, it has fallen too far for my taste from the ideals of our founders. Yet if I compare Pennsylvania to New Jersey it is like Comparing East and West Germany during the Cold War. I mean if you are a freedom loving citizen of New Jersey I would love to have you in Texas and I am sure the folks in New Hampshire would as well, but to be blunt the Delaware river isn't the Berlin wall! Escape is easy and not far away. If Pennsylvania is as far as you can manage it is still a move away from one of the most oppressive governments in the nation. A state where you can't even have a unloaded and cased gun locked in your trunk without being considered a felon. Hell for that matter New Jersey is a state that won't even let you pump your own gas.
In the end though liberty is personal, it can only really be defined at the individual level. Yet when some governments encroach too far measures must be taken. Our founders knew all governments do this, they founded a republic so the citizenry would have many options. You can vote with dollars and do business with companies you agree with. You can vote with a ballot and elect your leaders. When you serve on a jury you have a final check on unjust law and a jury can indeed nullify such a law with a simple vote of not guilty. The ultimate vote though is simply walking away. The states on the naughty list are already by and large on the verge of fiscal crisis if not all out bankruptcy, they can't afford to have their most productive citizens leave. Yet they should all be warned that the citizens well, they can by and large very well afford to leave. Not only can they afford to but they can often increase their quality of life by doing so. In other words they need you a hell of a lot less then you need them.
The vision of Walking to Freedom is simple, to encourage tens or even hundreds of thousands of citizens to simply walk away from the most oppressive and fiscally irresponsible states in the union. To allow them to find the best new home, to find friends, jobs, churches, communities, etc that will welcome them with open arms. Many people feel moving is too hard to accomplish, we simply want to show them that it is far more difficult to live in oppression and abuse than to rent a U-haul and make some new friends.
Once the naughty list is established we will move into action. All the naughty list states will have a dedicated "goodbye letter" board. Where we encourage all of their citizens to leave a letter to their governor, state and federal reps, local officials and local news outlets telling them why they are leaving and what is being lost by their exodus. All other states will get a board where their citizens, officials, chambers of commerce etc. may freely make a case as to why their state is a good choice. Those looking to move can discuss what different states have to offer, job availability, local communities, finding housing, etc.
If you are an official in a state on the naughty list be warned. This movement may seem like the vision of one "red neck in Texas" to you, but this red neck isn't alone. He is also smart enough to know this is bigger then himself or his state of Texas. As much as I want my fellow Americans to join me in the Lone Star State, I want them to leave behind oppression even more. If I could throw a level that moved 5 million productive freedom loving people out of the five most oppressive states tomorrow and Texas wouldn't get a single one of them, I would do it at once.
In summary I always say a fight for liberty anywhere is a fight for liberty everywhere. While that is true it is also a fact that when oppression is sufficient, everywhere but where you are is better. For those on the naughty list that is the choice you have given to your citizenry, we simply aim to help them make the best choice for them and assist them with their walk to liberty. Simply put for those states on the list, this isn't something we did to you, it is something you have done to yourselves, we are just shining a light on it.
Quotes about the Welfare-Nanny-Policy State - Why you Walk to Freedom
- "Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone." -- Frederic Bastiat
- "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy…" -- Alexander Fraser Tytler, Scottish lawyer and writer, 1770
- "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis
Vote with Your Feet is Antidote to Incremental Gun-Grabbing of the Nanny State
This Second Amendment Foundation video is the formal response to Hollywood's Demand a Plan gun-grabbing propaganda video. The video shows one of the main differences between liberal gun control Nanny states (Blue states) and conservative and/or libertarian Second Amendment-supporting "free states" (Red states). This video shows why we vote with our feet:
Naughty State List
- California - Diane Feinstein (worth $41.78 million), Nancy Pelosi (worth $26.43 million), Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Howard Berman, Bob Filner, Jane Harman, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Tom Lantos, Susan Davis, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
- Illinois - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (worth $12 million with $6 mil salary), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)
- Massachusetts - John Kerry (worth $193 million), Ted Kennedy (was worth $163 million), Barney Frank [D, MA-04]
- New York - former Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York City former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (worth $31 billion), Charles Schumer, Mario Cuomo, Jerrold Nadler, Anthony Weiner, (sexting scandal), Gary Ackerman, Steve Israel, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Jerrold Nadler,
- Vermont - Bernie Sanders
- Washington - Maria Cantwell (worth $5.56 million)
If I Wanted to Save America
Jack answered with his podcast on "If I Wanted to Save America" (http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/help-spread-the-word-and-share-if-i-wanted-to-save-america): TSP Episode 890 - Listener Calls for 4-27-12.
For one's long-term survival from the threats of the Nanny State-Police state, Jack Spirko created Walking to Freedom. Walking to Freedom is a libertarian initiative by where sovereign citizens are encouraged to pull up stakes and move from the tyranny of the Naughty states to a more open and free state -- to vote with their feet through strategic relocation.
- Walking to Freedom search
- Big Government-Police State-Nanny State-Welfare State-Statist - Walking to Freedom#Naughty List
- Walking to Freedom
- Vote with your feet
- Strategic relocation
- American Redoubt - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington
- Free State Wyoming - Molon Labe! by Boston T. Party
- Strategic Relocation-North American Guide to Safe Places by Joel Skousen
- Rawles on Retreats and Relocation by James Wesley Rawles
- Cumberland Redoubt - Tennessee and Kentucky
- Texas Redoubt - Jack Spirko's State
- Free State Project
- http://walkingtofreedom.com/forum/index.php?topic=4.msg4#msg4 Accessed January 17, 2014
- http://walkingtofreedom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2.0 Accessed March 28, 2014
- http://www.rollcall.com/50richest/the-50-richest-members-of-congress-112th-2012.html Accessed March 29, 2014
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_richest_American_politicians Accessed March 29, 2014
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_members_of_the_United_States_Congress_by_wealth Accessed March 29, 2014
- http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1426034.html Accessed March 29, 2014
- http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-brie Accessed March 28, 2014
- "If I wanted America to fail", Published FreeMarketAmerica (http://FreeMarketAmerica.org) on Apr 20, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ-4gnNz0vc. Discusses Global warming carbon credit, environmental movement, Public school culture liberal values, socialist Big government-Nanny state-Police state of Obamanomics-Obamunism Accessed April 9, 2014