Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Freedom anywhere helps freedom everywhere

Freedom anywhere helps freedom everywhere. It is a statement that should motivate anyone who values their freedom. This is a statement that is agreed to by statist and libertarians alike.

An example of a statist promoting this statement happened in New Hampshire where an "expert," Ross Gittell, was brought in to discuss the impact of a sales tax in New Hampshire. His suggestion was that New Hampshire have a sales tax that is no more that half of the minimal sales tax of a bordering state. Do you see what he did there? His recommendation was lower based on the lower taxes of bordering states. More freedom in bordering states makes tyrannical recommendations less onerous. I am glad to report that Dr. Gittell's recommendations were not adopted. New Hampshire remains without a sales tax. There's a pesky meals tax of 9% on prepared food. There is no sales tax. It's hard to express how the freedom to buy something without a tax affects your psyche.

Dr. Gittell's argument works in reverse as well. Because New Hampshire has no sales tax, there is less motivation for surrounding states to raise their sales tax. The argument is that the higher sales tax encourages people to do their shopping in New Hampshire, which is counter to raising state revenue. Massachusetts once considered lowering sales tax in towns that border New Hampshire. Freedom anywhere promotes freedom everywhere.

It makes no difference how far away the freedom is obtained. Over here, we hear of offshore bank accounts, or Swiss bank accounts, although the US government has applied pressure to make Swiss bank accounts less free. Guess it works in reverse too: statism anywhere encourages statism everywhere.

What does this mean? It means that when one place obtains more freedom everyone who values freedom should rejoice. We shouldn't be upset that we don't live where more freedom is obtained. We should rejoice. In today's world maybe we should be thinking about how we can profit from this new freedom. We should be happy when apartheid falls in South Africa. We should be happy when Estonia obtains more freedom. We should be sad when Estonia joins the EU.

How should this affect our actions? It is clear, freedom should be supported everywhere. We should still do a bang for buck analysis of what we do. What do we get compared to what do we loose (money, time, etc.) When we think this way it is clear that we stand to gain the most by working locally. Also, there is the least cost associated to working locally. So freedom lovers should work locally. Now there is some opportunity for promoting liberty elsewhere, the easiest way to do that is to donate money. So if you have a lot of bucks maybe that should be considered as well. Do your homework, don't donate to an organization without vetting them first!

What "freedom anywhere helps freedom everywhere" should mean is that we should all take joy in each others' accomplishments toward freedom. If some amount of freedom is obtained somewhere, then we all gain. We should be building a supportive community globally, and celebrate freedom however and wherever it comes.

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