Publisher’s Note: I think Jesse has penned another great essay but I have one slight disagreement. Total tax burden on all individuals in the aggregate is closer to 50-65% of income when all factors of government theft and regulation are factored in. Even those who are paying rent are bearing the burden of the property tax on that rental price as a factor passed on by the landlord to the renter. Absent he EPA and fuel taxes and surcharges at every level, gas price in the US would be one third of what they are now. -BB
Voluntarism is the desire to be left alone by the state many see this behavior as an advantage when compared too living in a state run society. Many statists will make the observation that we will go away if we are not happy with the rules, laws or strictures of the nation or country we currently reside in. This opinion often precedes a case involving passion without reason. My purpose with this article is to give a reasoned argument against the statist’s argument that we should just leave if we are unhappy here. I will also express my personal approach to the idea of motility or immobility.
As a lifelong resident of these United States, it is necessary to address the efficacy of motility, or the ability to move freely. Regardless where a person currently resides the options for change to a more liberty saturated environment is not always a possibility. The current per capita income per individual living in the United States is approximately $27,000 (Census Bureau, 2011). With a 27 percent median income tax rate and other miscellaneous sales, property, fuel; additional cost of living taxes taken out; the average individual in the United States may have 30-40% of their income as available for normal living expenses.
The average cost of a home in the United States in 2010 was $272,900 (Census Bureau, 2011). The average family size was 2.59 persons, meaning that the average family has a potential disposable income of $27,972 after taxes. With the average cost, of a home at around 100 times the average family’s disposable income choices often must be made. Does the family live in a house or an apartment, do they pay for health insurance or waive that in the hope that nothing will happen, do they purchase a vehicle that will bring them to and from work or use other forms of movement? The average voluntarist family is one where decisions are made based on need not desire.
In our house, the combined income is considerably less than the average reported income. We have two children and two adults, a dog and care for an elder member of the family. We live comfortably but not in a manner that is outside of our means. Due to current laws in the United States there are certain avenues that are closed to us and others that are available. While this does little to improve our efficacy of motility, it does allow for better planning and by extension life. Moving to another location is physically and monetarily out of the question. Certain physical detriments invalidate the potential for transfer to a potentially harsher climate. Monetarily, while we are secure by some standards, we are far from wealthy and do not have the necessary financial resources to move.
Even if with a voluntarist mentality; the average family in the United States would, unfortunately, not have the funds needed to go to a new location, whether it is in the confines of this country or outside of it. The Free State Project© has over the past decade been actively promoting the progress of liberty minded individuals to New Hampshire.
This Shire project as it is known to some, currently has 1006 members residing in New Hampshire with 11,633 individuals signed up to participate (Free State Project, 2012). It is a worthy goal, but unattainable for many. Due to the climate alone, my family for one would never be able to move. Second to that is the clear fact that New Hampshire is surrounded by the largest population density per square mile in the United States, and being someone who studies history, trains in tactics and looks at long term survivability that is a recipe for disaster should a natural or man-made event occur? Unlike others, this project is not based on religious ideals and as such appeals to me in that regard. Unfortunately, its members tend to be somewhat politically active which I personally see as detrimental to freedom.
The following procedure was recently presented by the author of the Survival Blog, James Wesley-Rawles. The American Redoubt, this area encompasses the rural-high country of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, eastern Washington and Oregon. And while Mr. Rawles has made it clear that he does not advocate politics or religious extremism (as does the FSP) he also clearly outlines his religious ideals regarding this Redoubt. He states, “So be it. I am a separatist, but on religious lines, not racial ones” (Rawles, 2012). While Rawles, has some decidedly reliable information available on his Survival Blog he and I disagree quite vehemently on his religious and political stances. He has made it clear that he is a CONstitutionalist, as well as a religionist, and as a result, I would not be happy living in or around any of those who may be predisposed to support his ideas.
Lastly, there are the promoters of the foreign location movements. New Zealand, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina and more have growing numbers of expatriate Americans who value liberty over citizenship or place. These are valid locations; and having lived in some parts of Latin America myself, I would be quite happy returning there, if funds permitted it. Unfortunately, one would need to be quite financially independent as opportunities for income generation are not as realistic in these locations. The climates are beneficial in many of these areas, though Argentina would stay out of reach for me given its respective cold nature in many places.
This leaves those like me with but one choice. Remain where we are and train in a way that is beneficial to ourselves and those we have become friends with in the immediate area. I have been fortunate to make some esteemed friends, and many admirable acquaintances, in my local area, and this I see as a cornerstone to the planning for natural or man-made events.
Understand the local area, train in place specific survival, plant and animal identification, water location and tactical survival. What I learned as a child through my current adult state is that regardless of place one can live if one has the necessary skills, information and want to do so. Build strong relationships with friends in your local area, regardless of where you live disagreement does not benefit anyone. Understand the benefits that each brings to the group dynamic, and avoid power structures; each person is unique and if each person understand their capabilities and limits than a real group dynamic is likely. As with all animal species there is safety in numbers, and one can be a part of a group without being a drone or follower.
Survival is not a situation based activity but a mentality that must be adopted and adapted to. Adjust your lifestyle, adjust your spending, saving, and preparation. And remember, while the grass may seem greener on the other side is not always so. As a final note I would suggest that those who are voluntarist in nature and desire liberty and currently live in major metropolitan areas or areas of with a high population density, move. Or at the very least ensure that you know what will happen given historical precedents in high population density areas.
Liberty is but a thought away, free the mind and the body will follow.
The preceding article includes information from the following sources, as with every article I write an extraordinary amount of care was taken in assuring that the information presented was factual in nature. I encourage others to research, understand and check all facts presented as they may come to alternate conclusions.
Census Bureau, U. (2011). Housing Prices. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/const/uspriceann.pdf
Census Bureau, U. (2011). Per Capita Income. Retrieved from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/meta/long_INC910210.htm
Free State Project, .. (2012). A new strategy for Liberty in our Lifetime. Retrieved from http://freestateproject.org/
Rawles, J. (2012). The American Redoubt — Move to the Mountain States. Retrieved from http://www.survivalblog.com/redoubt.html