Calling New Hampshire “libertarian” state would be inaccurate. It would be far more precise to say New Hampshire has a noticeable libertarian streak. There are many factors that would render labeling New Hampshire as “liberal” incorrect as-New Hampshire has the nation’s second-highest average property tax rate, 2.15 percent behind New Jersey.
New Hampshire is an alcoholic beverage control. While you can buy beer and wine in supermarkets and convenience stores, liquor can only be purchased in state liquor stores and a select few special licensed stores. The state basically monopolizes hard liquor.
Bernie Sanders is popular in New Hampshire, and social democratic opinions are prevalent among the people of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire was ranked 28th best state for company, so it’s not precisely among the nations’ most business-friendly states.
New Hampshire’s most popular governor in modern times was John Lynch, a Massachusetts liberal Democrat, who was widely elected and served for four terms from 2005–2013. New Hampshire’s congressional delegation includes four democratic congresswomen.
New Hampshire has won in every presidential election since 2004. A democrat runs New Hampshire’s largest city, Manchester. New Hampshire has 3 roads. 66% of New Hampshire’s population supports stricter environmental regulations despite New Hampshire is the 8th most environmentally conscious and friendly state in the nation.
Generally, it’s regarded as rude not to allow hunters to hunt or individuals to roam wherever they please, including on your own territory. It’s a component of our land-sharing idea. New Hampshire is not a libertarian paradise.
While it’s good to have no sales tax or income tax, we have wildly elevated property taxes, toll roads, and state liquor shops because we know that to have our well-functioning state government, superb public schools, and clean winter roads, we have to pay our share to the government.
New Hampshire’s culture is a strange blend of self-sufficiency and communitarianism, creating an exciting dynamic. What New Hampshire has done is to maintain the values on which this nation was established.
One of the world’s biggest parliamentary bodies. There is one representative for every 3,291 New Hampshire residents, America’s smallest such ratio. High respect for individual freedoms. A citizen-active, trained population.
Most New Hampshire high schools often require citizen education. New Hampshire is the nation’s least religious state with Vermont. Here, religion is segregated from politics and social conservatism is non-existent.
New Hampshire is renowned for its town hall meetings where residents can decide on town budgets. This is one of America’s finest examples of direct democracy at the job.
A state that operates for the individuals, literally run by the individuals. Most New Hampshire government legislators are just everyday individuals who come from all walks of life instead of being a career or political dynasties. New Hampshire isn’t libertarian, it’s just doing a pretty good job trying to live up to the values this country was meant to follow.
The issue is put backward. What we consider remarkable in New Hampshire— no income tax, no capital gains tax, no sales tax, no seat belt legislation, etc.— was once prevalent in all countries. The true issue should be: what occurred to the other 49 nations that gave up their freedoms?
The nature of representation shows one possible factor: Looking at the number of inhabitants represented by each state representative, New Hampshire has the nation’s smallest percentage, 3291 inhabitants per representative.
California’s largest percentage is 465,674 per representative. In New Hampshire, Town Meetings, a form of direct democracy, decide budget appropriations.
When the individual who wishes to increase taxes faces his constituents at the grocery store every week, it makes a difference. Citizens have more impact than interests.
At about 8 percent of total state and local income tax, New Hampshire is not especially small and not the highest. That honor came to Wyoming in 2011, the recent year that provides full information, at 6.9%. Most New Hampshire taxes are gathered by property taxes. Nationally ranked 3rd in that category.
Likewise, New Hampshire’s cost of living price is nearly 20 percent above the domestic average. Part of that is the low-quality New Hampshire highways, like a hidden tax on everything you purchase. Factor in New Hampshire schools ‘ decreasing quality over recent years and the miserable winters. Also, New Hampshire shopping is lousy. New Hampshire ranks 2nd in taxes paid to other countries as a proportion of complete tax burden after Wyoming.
Consider choosing where to live on an isocost basis. For instance, you may choose to live outside a major city in a semi-rural region, but you may incur expensive commutes, pay high energy prices, and give up easy shopping access. In other words, people bump and jostle to attain approximately equal utility.
That is, individuals choose their crap-to-dollar ratio to live with. So what you might say is that New Hampshire residents pay significantly reduced taxes because New Hampshire residents suck enough in other respects that if they raise their taxes too, many individuals would either leave or kick a political dust storm.
I’d be allowed to murder my neighbor in a completely free state without punishment if he annoyed me too much. I understand it’s an extreme instance and it’s not what a libertarian would promulgate, but I point it out because whenever you talk about liberty, you have to address the boundaries that society chooses to impose on liberty.
To use a less severe instance, how does a state pay for highways that benefit most but not all? Some may not want highways in their backyards. Some wouldn’t pay for building highways. Some don’t like cars and don’t want to pay for highways that make locations simpler for cars to go. Others, however, want highways.
Similar instances abound, like cell phone towers, energy plants, water treatment facilities, courts, police, and anything else that benefits individuals at the cost of others. (For instance, my family lost a lot of precious property on a highway that brought noise and traffic to a quiet region, but made it much quicker to travel a frequently traveled road.)
Whatever method individuals choose to construct highways, what types of roads to build, or how to pay for them, somebody will feel that their liberty has been usurped.
So the distinction between, say, New Hampshire and California is about how individuals choose to go through their representation scheme. There are two problems here: whether the representation scheme does a great job of reasonably representing people’s opinions (and that’s always hard to evaluate because it’s so elusive to define fairness) and whether individuals prefer what limitations to put on themselves and each other.
Having lived in six different states, which differ across the map with respect to these issues, I would have to say that there are benefits and disadvantages of each strategy and although I prefer how it should be done, I still have to see any state or nation doing stuff precisely the way I would like them to be done.