>From: Tim Condon <tim@...>
>Subject: And now for the *rest* of the story....
> Having argued yesterday in favor of Delaware because of its
> proximity to major population centers, its mild climate, it's
> business-friendly atmosphere, and its long coastline and coastal
> access...now let me argue the other side, and, like Heinlein's two-headed
> man, try to refute myself.
> In continuing to think upon the matter, four things about
> Delaware really stand forth for me: Its milder climate, it's coastline,
> it's small size, and it's proximity to big population centers.
> 1. Milder climate: That's nice, but to many people a more
> rigorous climate is actually a *plus*, since serious climate variations
> will tend to discourage what I call "the lazies and the crazies" (you
> don't face *death* in Florida if you refuse to work and refuse to make
> minimal, normal, human plans for climactic changes coming in the near
> future). In addition, there ain't no mountains in Delaware (if you
> consult your atlas, you'll see that the highest point in the state is up
> near the northern state line, at about 650-feet elevation), and many
> people love mountains, and even can't stand living at sea level (I hear
> you, Phyllis). So the milder climate attraction of Delaware is...mixed.
> 2. Coastline: Nic has argued strongly in favor of Delaware,
> citing the long coastline as being a very important consideration (for
> trade reasons, for international contact, for freedom, etc.). But in this
> era of instantaneous broadband communication and supersonic jets, is
> having a state with an area where the land meets the sea really so
> important? When it comes to conducting business and trading, with the
> advent of the broadband Internet, FedEx, and USP, anything can go from
> just about anywhere to anywhere else with a minimum of time and expense.
> A coastline might be seen as important by some as a possible "escape
> hatch" or "opening to the world," but others may see it as superfluous,
> especially if the alternate Freestate under consideration has an
> international border with a foreign country, as do Vermont, New
> Hampshire, Maine, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. In addition, hey,
> we're not living in a real police state, however much some of us like to
> exclaim over developing political realities. America IS still a democracy
> of sorts, and if you think this country is repressive, try out Cuba,
> North Korea, or any communist country when the commies were in control.
> So while it may be bad and getting worse, most people don't think
> Freestate citizens are going to have to flee for their lives or call in
> foreign military assistance to resist the federal government. The
> Freestate, as laid out by Jason and his helpers, will be a relatively
> gradual "ameliorative" alternative to the present reality in the rest of
> the United States, and we're just as likely to find that the rest of the
> country is begging us to show them how it's done because they want to be
> more like us, as opposed to being blockaded and overrun with outraged
> federal SWAT teams. (In that sense, the Freestaters are the *most*
> patriotic of American citizens, because we want the country and its
> people to succeed in a far greater way than it is at present, by getting
> back to its root beliefs and obeying its Constitution.) Looked at that
> way, Wyoming and South Dakota are just as acceptable as Alaska and
> Delaware with their long coastlines.
> 3. Does size matter? Delaware is the smallest of the states
> remaining on the "serious list" of the FSP. Small size isn't often used
> as an argument *for* a state, other than the fact that it may facilitate
> libertarian change because of a small voting population (although giant
> Alaska and big Wyoming have smaller populations than Delaware). However,
> some people argue against smaller states because they tend to have
> heavier population densities, and many Freestaters are vociferously in
> favor of plenty of "room to roam" and personal privacy (as in having the
> closest neighbor several miles away; that was the genesis of the
> "misanthrope/misogamy/misandry/misogyny line of discussion a month or two
> ago). Since I plan to live in a town or city with plenty of people
> around, this is not a big issue for me. However, it *does* occur to me
> that the Freestate may be an extraordinary, historical occurrence, and
> may succeed far in excess of some of our expectations. In short, it may
> become, as I've said before, a "new Hong Kong," and involve an explosion
> of creativity, invention, wealth-creation, and freedom such as the world
> has never, *ever* seen in its history. If that happens, little states
> like Delaware, New Hampshire, or Vermont could soon find themselves
> swamped. I mean, do we *really* want to live in a place with a population
> density comparable to that of Hong Kong? For many of us, *NAH!* is the
> immediate reaction. In addition, if the Freestate is as spectacularly
> successful as I think it may be, larger size with plenty of land will
> become increasingly important, if not essential. All of a sudden,
> Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming start to look better and better for the
> long haul.
> 4. Finally, what about the necessity of most of us having to
> work. We've got to support our ourselves and our families, we've got to
> "make a living." If we're in the middle of nowhere, that could get tough
> (as I argued when speaking in favor of Delaware). During the time of the
> "free nation" projects in the 1970's, I asked Edith Efron once what she
> thought of them (she was an author and member of Ayn Rand's "inner
> circle" in the 1950's and/or '60's). She didn't think much of them;
> talking specifically about the Minerva Project, she said "What are you
> going to do once you get there, trade coconuts?" But wait! When we talk
> about comparatively "isolated" states such as Alaska (which I opted out
> of, but now have decided to opt back *in* to) or Wyoming, we're still
> talking about geographic entities situated in North America, still the
> richest and fastest-growing continent in the world. So *what* if we end
> up in Wyoming or North Dakota? If the Freestate starts spiraling upward
> into becoming a "new Hong Kong," no one at *all* is going to have any
> trouble making a living. In fact, the scores or hundreds or thousands of
> businesses and corporations scrambling to relocate to the Freestate will
> be *begging* for manpower and talent. Thus, the proximity of Delaware to
> Philadelphia, DC and Baltimore (and other centers of socialism and
> collectivism) begin to look like net negatives, rather than net positives
> as I argued yesterday.
> Bottom line? Beats the hell outta *me*! Keep on debating,
> everyone. I'll avidly follow the partisans of every region, location, and
> state closely before deciding how I'll vote when the 5,000 are aboard. In
> the meantime...I'm totally undecided. Tim C.
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