In 2014, I was honored to be featured as one of NH Magazine’s “Remarkable Women.” Copied below is the full transcript of my answers to the questions presented. While this material is four years old, I hold strong in my belief that Free Staters are a net boon to New Hampshire. In case you haven’t noticed, the socialists are coming in droves, spending millions in out-of-state funds to destroy your quality of life. Your way of life–ranked the best in America due to low taxes and low spending–is under attack. I’m running for NH Senate in District 20 to stem the tide. You can read more about my campaign here.
“[I]f more and more big government types migrate to New Hampshire and bring their nanny statism with them, I fear NH will lose its advantage, and become more like a typical sluggish Northeastern economy. New Hampshire is proof positive that lower taxes and leaving more choices to individuals is a recipe for a high quality of living. Why anyone would come here for those benefits and then seek to undermine them is beyond me. Haven’t they heard of the goose that laid the golden eggs?”
Here is the entire Q&A:
1. Briefly, what are the best and worst case scenarios for FSP?
The Free State Project is a movement to attract pro-liberty and small government activists to New Hampshire. With more than 15,500 out of an ultimate 20,000 participants already signed up–and with more than 1,500 early movers–the FSP is building a beacon of liberty in the Live Free or Die state. We’ve progressed from academic theories to proven results. At current rates, we’re still a ways from triggering the big move, but the early movers are already getting incredible results. [In 2016, two years ahead of projections, the FSP “triggered the move,” reaching its 20,000th signer.] Why? Because many natives think like we do, and so a passionate activist can easily build networks and mobilize allies. From the booming Bitcoin economy to expanding civil liberties, it’s clear that concentrating liberty lovers in one geographic area does work.
The worst case scenario has nothing to do with the FSP. Rather, if more and more big government types migrate to New Hampshire and bring their nanny statism with them, I fear NH will lose its advantage, and become more like a typical sluggish Northeastern economy. New Hampshire is proof positive that lower taxes and leaving more choices to individuals is a recipe for a high quality of living. Why anyone would come here for those benefits and then seek to undermine them is beyond me. Haven’t they heard of the goose that laid the golden eggs?
2. What prepared you to lead such a “promised land” migration? Did it involve a burning bush?
Only the vision of a better future! As the daughter of a diplomat who lived on 3 continents growing up, and as an immigrant – I was born in South Africa and immigrated to America in the mid-Nineties after winning the green card lottery – I have always been conscious of being able to choose where I live rather than just accepting geography as fate. My forefathers left Europe for more freedom in Africa. They left the Cape in the Great Trek to get away from the British imperialists. I left South Africa for the promise of a brighter future in America. I left California, where I practiced law at Fortune 500 companies, for New York City to follow my dream of becoming a writer. After I completed my Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing at the City College of New York, and by this stage, having discovered the FSP, my husband and I decided it was time for our exodus to the promised land.
While living in New York, we visited New Hampshire often, usually during the FSP’s two annual events, Liberty Forum in the winter, and the Porcupine Freedom Festival in the summer. We fell in love with New Hampshire’s natural beauty, the quaint towns, the homemade ice-cream, even the seemingly never-ending penchant for “punny” shop names like “Heel the Sole” shoe repair. We moved in early 2008, I organized PorcFest in 2009 and 2010, and became president of the FSP in 2011.
Having grown up under the repressive government of apartheid-era South Africa, I am hyper-vigilant about abuse of power. After 9-11, you could literally see the police state taking hold in New York, with camouflage-wearing, machine-gun-toting armed officers holding back snarling German Shepherds on street corners. Next came the unconstitutional searches of subway riders, then having to take your shoes off and having your water confiscated to fly. The unjust wars, the torture programs, the surveillance state, the TSA, the NSA, the Patriot Act… the list goes on. When the economy tanked in 2001, hitting Silicon Valley hard, I started to research what had caused the Tech Bubble, and what caused it to burst. (Hint: Malinvestment caused by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy – the same thing that caused the Property Bubble to burst in 2008 – but I won’t bore you with the details.) This research ultimately led me to the Free State Project. And the rest, as they say, is history!
All I ask is that folks consider it a compliment that Free Staters are choosing to move to New Hampshire based on shared values and a belief that the “NH Advantage” is worth preserving…
I’m currently reading a book about the history of New Hampshire, “NH: Crosscurrents In Its Development,” and I’ve been struck by two things in particular. One, everyone comes from somewhere, and for the 40% of New Hampshirites who can say they were born in-state, their forefathers came here from somewhere else, oftentimes moving to NH for more opportunity or to escape repression where they originally lived. And two, these new transplants were often treated poorly by the folks who came before them. Perhaps a way to think about Free Staters is that we are the next wave of refugees seeking safe haven, hoping for a better future for ourselves and generations to come.
3. FSP is all about changing the political game for the state and country. Any hard evidence that it’s already working?
It is important to remember the FSP does not have a specific policy agenda. Its only mission is to garner 20,000 liberty-minded pledgers, and encourage them to move to New Hampshire. What individuals do once they are here is up to them. Some do run for office and get involved in politics, and they’ve had what I personally consider to be great successes, like passing jury nullification or helping to bring marriage equality to the state. Other participants come as students and stay, some start pro-liberty organizations like the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, or private charities like Shire Sharing, or start businesses like the brothers in Manchester who founded Lamassu, the world’s first Bitcoin ATM. The early movers I know are productive people and good neighbors, people who take pride in the Granite State and consider it home.
Please consider donating to my Senate campaign. Thank you.