State-Based Escapes from Restrictive National Labor Laws

The free market works. The top safest, most prosperous nations in the world employ some variant of a free market system, and the United States’s success is often held up as symbol of the success made possible by economic liberty. However, there are a few flies in the soup of American prosperity, one of which is federal labor regulation.

What’s wrong with federal labor law?

The regulations surrounding labor enacted in the 1930s before and as part of the New Deal are far too many to summarize here, but include provisions such as wage and overtime requirements. Most importantly, they include a plethora of strict rules regarding collective bargaining and union power. While many of these infringe on the right of employers and employees to make whatever arrangements they see fit, the worst part is mandatory union membership. This is bad for businesses because it limits hiring arrangements that may be necessary for the company’s business model, such as keeping costs low by hiring inexperienced, elderly, or disabled workers in order to keep prices low (Walmart, for example, which actually shut down a store to avoid unionization in order to preserve their model). It can be even worse for workers, who can be forced to pay dues, face layoffs or hiring freezes by an employer no longer able to afford to pay them under new conditions, or be forced to support and contribute to political causes that they may personally find reprehensible.

Unfortunately, if you live in one of 22 US states that have not enacted right-to-work laws, forced unionization passed down from the federal government is a sad reality. Fortunately, there’s a few potential ways of dealing with this issue.

[Read more…]

This Week in Concord – Cannabis Legalization, NH Independence

The author is a New Hampshire state representative committed to advancing the cause of liberty

This week there are a number of bills scheduled for their public hearings that affect many Granite Staters. All of the hearings on these bills are open to the public but the hearings on these bills this week will be the only chance for members of the public to give testimony until the bills crossover to the Senate. I strongly recommend attending any of these committee hearings if you are able. [Read more…]

Did You Honor Secession on July 4th?

indy

This year, did you truly honor the meaning of Independence Day?

No, this isn’t one of those terrible 4th of July guilt trips. Did you have a barbecue? Good. Did you stuff greasy food into your face until you could barely move? No problem. Get so drunk you almost thought hitting on your bikini-clad cousin was a good idea (bonus points if her significant other was there)? Perfect. Did you completely forget about the troops for a blissful, fleeting day? Great, those bastards have already inserted themselves into every major holiday. However you had a blast, you were doing it right. Liberty means being free to have a good time, no matter how you may do that.

I’m talking about the spirit with which you commemorated the occasion. The reason for the festivities. Because whatever flag-waving, America-loving, patriotism-pimping vibe courses through Independence Day, let’s not forget what it’s all truly about: secession. [Read more…]

Government Only Understands Force

bundy grave

“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” – Mao Tse Tung

Behind every eloquent speech, every lofty ideal, every claim of legitimate governance, there lies a wicked undercurrent of deadly force. Behind all resistance to the purportedly legitimate system there also lies a steely backbone. We saw that steel on full display at the Bundy Ranch.

The state realizes its edicts through force. Disobey a law and you’ll be fined. Refuse to pay the fine and you’ll be arrested. Resist arrest and you’ll be shot. It’s that simple. Upset enough people, though, and you’ll quickly find yourself facing down an angry mob the likes of which you can’t disperse. A government must therefore exert only as much coercive control as it can without provoking the entire populace to revolt. That’s the eternally delicate balance between man and state.

Some states, namely those with a disarmed populace, push the balance further than others. We saw that during the 20th century in communist countries as well as the Third Reich, where untold millions of innocents were rounded up and murdered by their governments. All because they didn’t have the means to defend themselves, to dissuade the state from carrying out the worst of its planned atrocities. [Read more…]

Domestic Cold War

Riot_Control_Marines

The battle lines are drawn. The great war between America’s government and her people fast approaches.

No, this isn’t some dystopian near-future science fiction scenario. This is present-day America we’re talking about. There’s a growing hostility between the U.S. government and certain incorrigible freedom-loving citizens, with the live-and-let-lives caught on the side of their more rowdy fellows, despite best efforts to bury their heads in the sand.

But where are all the battles? Where are the troops filling the streets? Where are the tanks rolling across the countryside, steamrolling all dissidents in their path? In waiting, that’s where. This isn’t a traditional armed conflict I’m predicting; at least, not yet. It’s a cold war. Each side is building up its record of hostile actions against the other, all stopping short of the point of no return. [Read more…]

The Two New England Towers

towers

A separation is fast approaching. A great schism looms on the horizon, threatening to split a region in twain. Sooner or later, New England is coming apart.

Most people probably think of New England as a single, semi-homogenous area, all centered around Boston. When the denizens of the great, free western parts of the United States rant and rave about everything that’s wrong with America today, they point to New England. They point to high taxes and high cost of living. They point to crowded cities full of crime. They point to smothering government regulations on anything and everything.

And they’re right. And wrong. Such gross generalizations would be appropriate for half of New England, but completely inappropriate for the other half. The two sides of this region, the less-inhabited Arcadia to the north and the major population centers in the south, can be like night and day. We could go back and forth all day long with state-to-state comparisons across the whole region, but why not embrace a flair for the dramatics and cut right to Massachusetts vs. New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is relatively sparsely populated, while Massachusetts lives up to the steretype of overcrowded New England, having over five times the population density. With the aforementioned density comes a higher crime rate, which is around three times that of its northern neighbor. To top it all off, Boston’s notoriously-high cost of living contrasts sharply with Manchester a mere stone’s throw away, which managed to top Forbes’ list of cheapest cities to live. We’re clearly not talking about the same animal here.

Where the contrast between the two really shows is in their opposing philosophies of governance. On top of federal taxes, Massachusetts has a sales tax and state income tax rate of 6.25% and 5.25%, respectively. New Hampshire’s rates, respectively, are 0% and 0%. Prospective Mass. gun owners must navigate through a morass of laws, permits, and regulations in order to purchase, possess, and bear any arms. Go right across the border and you can buy a gun from a friend and immediately thereafter display it in public with pride, all without Johnny Law hindering your peaceful gun-toting exuberance. Finally, on public service, Massachusetts boasts 160 state representatives (one for about 40,000 people), paid almost $60,000 a year each. New Hampshire’s 400 state reps (one per approximately 3,200 citizens), on the other hand, are each paid a comically-low $100 per year.

We could go on and on, but the point stands: we’re clearly not talking about the same New England. Denizens of the free Arcadian north have been trying to make this case for years. The Free State Project in particular has even compiled a list of reasons why New Hampshire is far superior to its southern neighbors, especially in the domain of a free and independent society. Massachusetts, on the other hand, gets stuck with the gleefully mocking Free Lunch Project. The whole affair ressembles bickering siblings living under the same roof; siblings who could be well-served to move out and go their separate ways.

The face-off between the two New England towers will happen sooner or later, and it would be wise to adjust accordingly now. The Arcadians will go their separate way, free from Boston’s grasp. And it will be a welcome divorce.