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To learn more about the free state project: FreeStateProject.org
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Greetings and thank you for joining us at futuremoneytrends.com. I’m here with Mark Warden of the Free State Project. He’s of the house of representatives in New Hampshire. Thank you for joining us sir.
Mark Warden: I’m glad to be here, thanks for the interview.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Happy to be at the Freedom Fest. So the Free State Project is just introduce people to – what is it?
Mark Warden: Yeah, thanks for asking. The Free State Project is an amazing idea and concept that is just now coming to life. It’s a geopolitical movement with liberty-minded people, we could call them “small l” libertarians, some anarchists, people who really truly believe in less government, lower taxes, and more individual freedom, are moving to the state of New Hampshire. The original concept would say, “Okay let’s choose a small state that’s relatively low population,” and the original people who that committed to make this move chose New Hampshire as the destination. So eventually we’ll get 20,000 people to move. Once we have 20,000 people who have signed up, then that triggers the move, and people will start moving. However, some of us didn’t want to wait that long and we just went. So I moved from Las Vegas, Nevada six years ago, and 1,200 others have moved from all over the country and other parts of the world to New Hampshire to bring about liberty in our lifetime.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Now it seems that a republican is easier to convert to libertarianism ideas or freedom ideas. They’re more open minded to it, and I don’t want to make it a right/left thing, but from outsiders looking electorally, New Hampshire seems to be kind of a safe blue state. Wouldn’t it be easier to take a red state and flip it rather than a blue state? It seems like it would be very hard to make progress. Are you seeing any progress in this project?
Mark Warden: Yeah, we are as a matter of fact. Now that’s talking about the electoral process and working within the system politically. There are other ways to reach people’s hearts and minds, like through the arts, or through media, or education, and certainly I’m keenly interested in the political process. I’ve been elected in the state house twice in New Hampshire, and I served on the planning board at the local level. So we found them to be very receptive actually. The state of New Hampshire has the greatest state motto which is “Live free or die.”
Mark Warden: On every license plate. So there’s a long standing history and tradition of the sort of “leave us alone mentality,” the Yankee conservatism which has a libertarian streak. So the Free State Project has been very well received there by people, other than the political class, who don’t like any – they don’t like people questioning or challenging their authority, right. But the general public, they really like this.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: So as far as your political ideals, you would consider yourself a libertarian, but you ran as a republican?
Mark Warden: Right, exactly. I certainly consider myself a “small l” libertarian, and everyone knows that in the republican party there, because I’m not alone. You have to realize if you’re not from New Hampshire, people there in the political class, and the conservatives and the republicans are more fiscally conservative than they are in other parts of the country. So, for example, a Nevada republican is a lot different then a New Hampshire republican. So the New Hampshire republicans believe strongly in both their state constitution and the U.S. Constitution. They’re all about limited government, they’re all about people being self-reliant. So they agree with the libertarian views on 80 to 90 percent of the topics. So then it’s a real nice synergy there.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Let’s get to the highlights for New Hampshire. You’ve got no state income tax.
Mark Warden: No state income tax, no state sales tax.
Mark Warden: So those two have been a big draw for people, and they’re protected in the constitution that way, so they’re not gonna change it any time soon. So we’ve seen a lot of people that are tax refugees. A lot of people from California, New York, New Jersey moving there also because of the latest gun grabs by the federal government. You know, people like Obama and Bloomberg, these people are doubling down on anti-gun efforts, so that’s really scaring a lot of people out of other states, and they see New Hampshire with its very pro-gun traditions and laws as a safe haven.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Now what’s the – where does the income come from? From real estate I assume, right?
Mark Warden: Right.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: So what’s the property tax?
Mark Warden: Property taxes are relatively high compared to other places, certainly out west here.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: But like in 3 percent range or higher?
Mark Warden: About 2 percent.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: 2 percent? So that’s pretty competitive with, actually, Texas who still has the sales tax.
Mark Warden: Yeah, right.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Okay, so is it one of the tax friendliest states if you were to do a Google search and look for the tax friendliest? Or is new Hampshire getting their taxes somewhere else besides the income and sales tax?
Mark Warden: Overall, if you look at it we’re in the top ten of the states. Top five or ten depending on the report you look at or the study. But overall it’s considered a low tax state, and we’re trying not only to keep it there but to make it better.
FutureMoneyTrends.com:Okay, how cold does it get there? For somebody who wants to live there.
Mark Warden: Well if you love skiing, come to New Hampshire. If you like snowmobiling, snow-shoeing and snow skiing, that’s a great place. The winters are cold, we get a lot of snow, but it’s not as bad as parts of Michigan or Minnesota, or some of the Great Lakes region. And as I joked earlier, we like to light the fires of liberty to keep warm in the winter. And I don’t mind putting up with a few months of cold weather to escape some authoritarianism in other places.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Totally, couldn’t agree more. And I’ve looked into other countries, but then you lose your culture, and I didn’t realize that was even important to me until I was actually in a country or a region where I just knew I was – just, nobody was westernized. I’m not saying anything’s wrong with that, but it is easier if people speak English, are familiar with Starbucks, and you know, the U.S. dollar, of course.
Mark Warden: Well that’s a big part of it, the culture, the language, the government systems we’re used to, a common currency, all that’s very important. And as hard as it may be to move to New Hampshire, some may think, it’s twice as hard to move to a different country.
FutureMoneyTrends.com: Sure is. Thank you so much for your time.
Mark Warden: Thank you.