Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New Hampshire Begins Open-Data Efforts

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the creating-a-meatspace-api dept.

Government 164

Plugh writes "The Free State Project was created to move 20,000 small-government activists to New Hampshire (here's the Slashdot story from 2002). IT people, with our ability to work anywhere, were some of the first to move. Now, with over a dozen Free Staters elected to the NH legislature, these geeks are starting to affect government data-sharing policy."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Free Staters? (5, Informative)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134474)

I remember a quote about them, something like "they confuse freedom for corporations with freedom for people". Corporations aren't people, and so the tax rate for corporations (one of the reasons to pick New Hampshire I think) should be either irrelevant, or, a place with high taxes for corporations should be better (if it translates to lower taxes for real people).

Ahem, back on topic:
I think it is wonderful that at least one government is providing information in open formats (ahem, 'nerd-friendly, "pipe-separated" files'). I can't see the connection though between the "New Hampshire Liberty Alliance" (the group that seems to promoted the change according to the article), and the Free Staters.

Indeed, The Free State website [freestateproject.org] says:

We are not a political action organization. We are not tied to any political party or organization; we do not run candidates for election, we do not financially support or endorse candidates, and we do not oppose or endorse legislation. All these things will be done by local activist organizations with which many Free Staters are involved.

Re:Free Staters? (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134544)

Corporations are made up of people... just thought you might like to know.

Re:Free Staters? (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134568)

Less true with each passing day.

In fact, it is possible and plausible that we'll have many billion dollar corporation with less than a dozen employees within the next 10 years.

It's called "capital intensive". Lots of machines and automated processes. A few short term jobs setting it up. Some slave wage offshore labor.

But otherwise a nearly pure pump of wealth from the mass market into the hands of a few people. Even out of that dozen, probably half of them will just make "good" salaries while almost all the benefit of the corporation is gained by a few people.

That's really the pattern now. Multi billion dollar corporations where most of the profits go to a few employees-- not even to the shareholders.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35134582)

You think we're approaching the likes of the Tessier-Ashpools, eh?

Re:Free Staters? (1)

schnell (163007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135854)

That's really the pattern now. Multi billion dollar corporations where most of the profits go to a few employees-- not even to the shareholders.

[Citation needed]

No, seriously, if this is not just an occasional occurrence but in fact "the pattern" now, can you cite multiple examples of this, where the majority of profits - not equity but profits as you say - goes to a few employees and not the shareholders?

Re:Free Staters? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136238)

Oprah, Tiger Woods, JK Rowling, Tom Cruise

Re:Free Staters? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136876)

Nice try, but these people depend on a vast infrastructure to make their money. A lot of people have jobs because these people produced entertainment.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35140204)

And yet, it is as the GP poster said: The majority of profits going to a few on top.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137796)

Bankers?

Re:Free Staters? (1)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134648)

Yes, and?

Corporations are used to hide people from both liability for actions (deliberate, negligent, and otherwise) that cause harm to real people. They are used to hide the income of real people. They aren't real people, and they should be done away with in their current form.

I am a "sole trader", I pay income tax. I can claim certain costs as deductions on that tax. I can work with others to do things, and share any costs or profit with them. I can employ others (not that I would) if I wish. What I can't do is hide from responsibility.

I could also go on about how corporations benefit the few, at the expense of the many, how they are basically psychopaths (and/or sociopaths, I can never remember), etc. I won't, as it would be pointless I imagine. Basically, fuck corporations.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137088)

I hear a bunch of whining, but I don't hear a reason for getting rid of corporations. Used as a shield to protect passive investors from risk? It's a feature not a bug.

Limited liability doesn't shield you from bad decisions you make personally. If you know Evil Inc was doing something criminal, then you're guilty of being an accessory to the crime even if you're just a shareholder.

Limited liability is to shield you from bad decisions by the people who you gave the money to and which you have no knowledge of nor control over. You'll still lose some portion, perhaps all, of your investment.

I could also go on about how corporations benefit the few, at the expense of the many, how they are basically psychopaths (and/or sociopaths, I can never remember), etc. I won't, as it would be pointless I imagine.

It's pointless because it would be very wrong. The structure of corporations allows the business to have access to capital and hence, the means to hire more people, buy and sell more goods and services, and in general spread the wealth around. That means far more people benefit than the timid situation where any investment comes with unlimited liability and hence, most current investment would not happen.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134828)

> "Corporations are made up of people... just thought you might like to know."
Yes, and nations ruled by dictators are made up of people, too, but that doesn't mean the "decisions" of the nation reflect what the common people want.

Corporations are not organizations of equal members. Their decisions are made by upper management. This means they reflect the business interests of the rich and serve to perpetuate the corporation. In fact, the whole reason unions exist is so that the common employee can protect itself against the corporation that they work for. Which is another way of saying that the interests of the corporation and upper management are often at odds with the interests of the common employee. Acting like corporations are "just people" ends up turning our democracy into a plutocracy.

Re:Free Staters? Separation of State and Dogma.... (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136444)

‘Separation of State and Dogma...’ was (I believe) the intention of the USA Founding Fathers and Authors of The USA Constitution.

Political, religion, corporate dogma (script-beliefs) must be kept separated from ever becoming governance of The People by the leading plutocrat/oligarch of a special-interest dogma (Tokemata, Falwell, Jim Jones, Pope, Hitler, Stalin, Ms Mao, C*Os, Democrats, Republicans).

‘Organizations of unequal membership are carelessly dogmatic. Professionally trained dogma regurgitive elite superiors make their decisions. This means they reflect the dogmatic interests of their lords and masters, and serve to perpetuate dogmatism.’

Re:Free Staters? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137194)

So what? They're also voluntary organizations which means that a) they have to pay you in order to keep you, and b) you can leave at any time, if you don't like what's going on.

Which is another way of saying that the interests of the corporation and upper management are often at odds with the interests of the common employee.

This is the kind of stupid stuff that keeps getting said over and over again in these threads. Almost all businesses. incorporated or not, have this structure. There's nothing magical about corporations in this respect. Nor does the structure of corporations encourage "organizations of unequal members". You can incorporate co-ops and non-profits as well and it's common for such organizations to be incorporated.

The hierarchical "unequal" organization keeps appearing because it works to make a successful business that is profitable for the owner(s), not because it is a feature of corporations.

Re:Free Staters? (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135096)

Corporations are made up of people... just thought you might like to know.

People who, when acting under the aegis of the corporation, have certain powers and privileges which they do not have when acting as individuals. We, the people, grant these powers and privileges conditional on good behavior, and have both the right and the duty to revoke them when the people exercising them break the rules. The rights of the individuals who make up the corporations are in no way affected by this.

Short version: corporations aren't people, and it's damn well time we stopped acting as though they were.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137290)

People who, when acting under the aegis of the corporation, have certain powers and privileges which they do not have when acting as individuals.

No, they don't. I can't believe the ignorance that shows up over and over again in threads about corporations.

We, the people, grant these powers and privileges conditional on good behavior, and have both the right and the duty to revoke them when the people exercising them break the rules.

Fine, if you're really interested in following the rules. I find way too often, that people who complain about this sort of thing, want to take away those privileges because they're either just jerks or because members of the corporation do things they don't like. After all, it's not "breaking the rules" to disagree with you.

Short version: corporations aren't people, and it's damn well time we stopped acting as though they were.

News flash: we never have acted as if corporations were people. Once again, the reason for "corporate personhood" is that it is a legal fiction that enables the people who make up the corporation to exercise their rights. That's it.

Made of people (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135642)

Just like the meat in the supermarket is made of dead animals. The problem is that a lot of people don't want to know that and wilfully ignore that fact. Also, there are complete systems that help the ignoring, like the stock exchange.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135742)

Corporations are made up of people... just thought you might like to know.

Not true. In a legal sense, corporations are independent entities; in most jurisdictions the only "person" requirement is that the company have a Director and Secretary, and often these can be the same person. That person is often a lawyer acting on behalf of other corporations, and he is contractually obligated to not have any free will to make any decisions on behalf of the corporation. These corporations may employ no one, and exist physically only as "brass plates" [bbc.co.uk] at the lawyer's place of work or post office:

In June 2008, the high street chemist, Boots, which has a 150-year history in Nottingham, moved the registered head office of its parent company, Alliance Boots, to Zug. On its website the company gives its address as Baarerstrasse, a central street in Zug. But a visit to the address, an office block, opposite a pizza takeaway and a hotel, revealed that there is no physical office location in the town. Instead, the registered office is housed in a Swiss post office - in an anonymous post office box alongside dozens of others.

Of course, offshore tax avoidance is completely legal.

Re:Free Staters? (2)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136234)

corporations might be just like soylent green, but they're also a real-world artificial life that operates on algorithms that are at times profoundly indifferent to human welfare (at best) and even actively inimical to our welfare. they are not our friends, or our pets, or even our servants, they are a competing (artificial) life form. they use loopholes in our legal and financial "operating systems" to serve their own interests, not ours (and those interests include entrenching those loopholes and creating new ones to strengthen themselves).

the legal fiction of corporate personhood makes them a kind of cellular automata that treats humans as both a) just another resource to be exploited, and b) as competitors for other resources.

btw, before you (possibly deliberately) misinterpret what i'm saying: this is not intended to be some mystical nonsense about supernaturally self-aware corporations. it's just an inevitable emergent behaviour from the complex legal rules that we have constructed around corporations.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134548)

Corporations are simply groups of individuals who freely enter into an agreement. A marriage is a corporation of sorts, and so is any charity, club, community Web-site, etc. Any corporation consists of an explicit list of members, and acts on the basis of their rights as individuals.

New Hampshire actually still has the highest business tax rate in the nation [watchdog.org] , which is what's keeping it from being the wealthiest place in the world, and something that I hope my fellow Free States will soon be able to change.

Don't confuse Free State Project as a central organization, which just promotes NH as a destination for libertarian political migration, with the much broader decentralized Free State movement that is now forming in and about New Hampshire.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134584)

Corporations are simply groups of individuals who freely enter into an agreement.

But a corporation acts in its own interest, for the sole goal of producing wealth. It may actively undermine the peripheral interests of its shareholders or employees, so long as it generates a return on their investment.

A marriage is a corporation of sorts

Between two individuals who have inherent rights. Arguably, marriage and its recognition is a human right and thus not a valid comparison.

Any corporation consists of an explicit list of members, and acts on the basis of their rights as individuals.

The individual having rights does not necessarily imply that a legal fiction has or deserves rights, nor that it inherits them from the people it is composed of.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137968)

But a corporation acts in its own interest, for the sole goal of producing wealth. It may actively undermine the peripheral interests of its shareholders or employees, so long as it generates a return on their investment.

So what? It's not like conflicts of interest are a new or mysterious thing. The shareholders and employees are responsible for defending their interests.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134688)

A corporation should have no more rights than the constituent members. It's income should be treated as income for the members. If it does something that damages others, then the members should be liable.

A corporation should not be used as a shield.

If you were truly about freedom for all, then you would recognize that corporations are used almost exclusively by the rich to shield said rich from the acts (such as pollution) that affects everyone, but only serve to, well enrich the rich!
If an individual killed someone, they would be punished by the state. If a corporation kills someone, it gets told not to do it again, or at most a slap on the wrist. Fuck corporations!

On a different note, I'll also note that a truly free market would not have corporations, nor would it have capital accumulation. A truly free market cannot be capitalist. (Capital distorts markets, e.g. buying power affects the price of goods.)

Re:Free Staters? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136960)

A corporation should have no more rights than the constituent members

I can agree to this, there are certainly abuses in the current setup for corporations that could be resolved by closing loopholes in the tax and legal code that allow the abuses to continue.

It's income should be treated as income for the members.

Impractical and misguided, without sweeping tax overhauls. You have a janitor who makes $18 an hour, and a CEO who makes $5 million a year. What's your corporate tax rate?

If it does something that damages others, then the members should be liable.

A pretty notion, but in practice, completely impossible to enforce fairly, if at all - any idea how massive every legal document would be if you had to sue every employee of Toyota individually for the damage to life & property caused by your stuck gas pedal? How would you ever reach a resolution, with THOUSANDS of defendants? Who truly bears the blame? The engineer? The CEO? The factory workers? Can you really level a 5 million dollar judgement and expect to recoup any of your damages against the line worker who screwed up assembling a couple parts, who makes 35k a year? The mechanical engineer who miscalculated a tolerance but makes $110k a year? And how do you sue some engineers in Japan, some factory workers in Canada, and some executives in the UK, when you live in Ohio? Got deep pockets for legal fees, and navigating the endless complexities of other countries' legal system in addition to your own?

A truly free market cannot be capitalist. (Capital distorts markets, e.g. buying power affects the price of goods.)

Sorry but this just sounds like Newspeak. "Free markets must be tightly controlled by the government in order to force them to be free! Black is white! Bad is good!"

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the free market; profit is sent to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses and companies.

How is any of that at odds with your assertion that "capital distorts markets"? If I own a factory, and somebody with a lot of money offers to buy in bulk at a huge discount from my normal retail price, I am not obligated to enter into that agreement if it would come at a loss to me; if my factory normally runs at a lower volume, but has a much higher capacity, giving a large purchaser a discount on the normal price to keep my factory running and my workers employed in return for a lower per-unit cost to the purchaser might actually be a very good thing.

Capitalism describes a system where "decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors" - it says nothing about achieving a single set price for goods irrespective of the purchasing power of the buyer and the willingness to negotiate price on the part of the seller.

But yeah, "fuck corporations," I know.

Re:Free Staters? (2)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134854)

Corporations are simply groups of individuals who freely enter into an agreement. A marriage is a corporation of sorts,...

Um, no. "Corporation" is explicitly defined in law. If you have been registered with the government as a corporation, you are a corporation. Otherwise, you're not. There is no informal sense of the word. Is your marriage a legally recognized third person that shields you and your spouse from any debts incurred by the "marriage" person? Then it is nothing like a corporation.

New Hampshire actually still has the highest business tax rate in the nation [watchdog.org], which is what's keeping it from being the wealthiest place in the world,

It's also cold, mountainous, landlocked, largely inaccessible, and a host of other things that make it not the place where people would establish a trading center or do anything requiring a lot of manpower or inexpensive access to resources.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

tprox (621523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135926)

It's not landlocked, and it's connected just like any other state. It's close to the 128 corridor in MA, and hosts a whole bunch of companies (Velcro and Brookstone to name two). What's your beef with them?

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135936)

Nashua and Manchester have tech companies: Transparent Language and HP a few years back(not sure if they still have a campus there.) Raytheon has multiple campuses in Nashua.

Software development, Engineering R&D, and Help Desks seem to be the biggest; there is an airfield in Nashua(small airport with private jets.) I went to school next to it(Comp Sci with C++ because that's what Raytheon and HP were after for the longest time, Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Air Traffic Management, much more.) before the schools president decided to sell it to ITT Tech(thanks for turning our degrees int TP and ending the long running flight school.)

If we are seeing IT savy people in the NH legislature it's because of tech companies. Raytheon makes sense, and I think a competitor has a campus there too: or just as close as Boston.

*Posting AC for former school location.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137210)

It's also cold

In the southern areas (Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth), where a vast majority of the population actually lives, it's no more cold than any other New England state. In fact, in the Nashua area, winters tend to be slightly milder than our neighbors in central Massachusetts to the south, largely due to the way the weather systems flows through & around the mountains here.

mountainous

OH NOES. TEH MOUNTAINS, THEY DESTROY BUSINESSES. I guess California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and the entire eastern seabord, through which most of the Appalachian mountains run didn't get the memo that nobody wants to establish businesses in states with mountains!

landlocked

Um. No, no it's not. Somebody failed 4th grade geography. Portsmouth, NH, sits on the ocean. It's a small coastline, but a fairly active port all the same.

largely inaccessible

I live in NH, in one of the towns between Manchester and Nashua. I can be in downtown Boston in 45 minutes from my home. I can be parked and in the terminal of an airport served by Southwest in 20 minutes, less when the finish a new highway interchange that will bring you almost directly into the airport from Route 3. I can be at an MBTA train station (boston's public transit) in about 25 minutes, and on my way into Boston, with access to the entire Amtrak system from there. This area has an active FedEx and UPS distribution center. The highways in New Hampsire are *markedly* better than the roads in our neighbor to the south, Massachusetts. Some areas are relatively inaccessible, but the areas where there is any business of note are quite accessible by highway and/or air travel and freight.

and a host of other things that make it not the place where people would establish a trading center or do anything requiring a lot of manpower or inexpensive access to resources.

You speak as somebody who has never even visited, much less lived here. Your image of New Hampshire as "bearded mountain men living off the land in hand-built log cabins on the border of Canada" is laughable.

Fidelity Investments, BAE Systems, HP, Dell, UPS, FedEx are all very large corporations with significant presence here doing business. You can easily find more examples if you actually wanted to dispel your idiot notions.

Re:Free Staters? (3, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134888)

"Corporations are simply groups of individuals who freely enter into an agreement."
What nonsense. That's like saying everyone who lives under a dictatorship approves of the leadership because they could've emmigrated elsewhere. Corporations reflect the attitudes and desires of the upper management and the stockholders. If corporations were merely an agreement between equals then there should be no such thing as unions. Unions exist to protect the 'common employee' against the upper management, which is another way of saying that they know their interests are not always aligned.

"New Hampshire actually still has the highest business tax rate in the nation [watchdog.org], which is what's keeping it from being the wealthiest place in the world"
So, what you're saying is that New Hampshire has the highest business tax in the US, and the fact that it's the 6th richest state in the US is a complete mystery to you because it "should be" the 50th richest state based on having the highest corporate tax?
* Source: http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/28/real_estate/wealthiest_states/index.htm [cnn.com]

Re:Free Staters? (3, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135118)

Corporations are simply groups of individuals who freely enter into an agreement.

If you truly believe that's all corporations are, you are too ignorant to have a meaningful opinion on the subject. People acting as agents of a corporation do not act solely "on the basis of their rights as individuals," and anyone who pays any attention at all is well aware of this fact. Now, if the people of New Hampshire decide to stand up for themselves and start granting corporate charters which grant only the same powers and privileges as those possessed by any married couple or "charity, club, community Web-site, etc.", I'll cheer them on ... but I'm reasonably sure that weak-minded propagandists like you won't be the ones to do it.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135192)

People acting as agents of a corporation do not act solely "on the basis of their rights as individuals," and anyone who pays any attention at all is well aware of this fact.

But I note you provide no examples....

Re:Free Staters? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138630)

Corporations are simply groups of individuals who freely enter into an agreement.

Well, sort of. Corporations are legal agreements whereby a group of people are given exemptions from legal responsibility for their actions as a group, in order to promote business ventures. But, since anyone who passed Ethics 101 knows that responsibilities and rights are linked, the removal of one should naturally lead to the removal of the other. When a group of people form a corporation and that corporation does something negligent and people die, we don't throw all the shareholders into prison. Since they are not held responsible as individuals, neither does it make sense that they should have the rights of an individual when acting in the capacity of a corporation.

Perhaps you might want to look at it another way. Corporations are created by the government as a matter of law. As such, the government is responsible only for promoting the common good. If corporations are not serving the common good, the government should butt out of it and stop writing laws that form corporations and let individuals form whatever groups they want, but not be exempted from their responsibilities as individuals.

Free? Start by using Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35134668)

Then anyone can just root the machine and take all the data. Sounds pretty open to me.

Enough with the "corporations" canard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35134758)

Corporations are neither created nor run by robots or space aliens or zombies. They are created and run by people, with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure. Corporations are merely a legal device for lowering risk of entrepreneurial activities by people.

Various celebrities with no actual business experience or real-world economics credentials have created a mythology in which corporations are some kind of soulless malevolent chthonic entities intent on enslaving the people. While the effects of communal and organizational structures on human behavior are indeed non-trivial and can be surprising to the human subjects themselves (e.g., Milgram's experiments or the Standford prison experiment), this applies equally to any structures, not just corporations. Indeed, willful blindness of these very same mythologists to Orwellian absurdity and cruelty of various "collectives" and "people's movements" that achieved the lows of dehumanization unheard of in mere corporations is mortal proof of this.

It is time to put this myth of the special, extraordinary evil inherent in corporations to rest. Corporations are no more evil and dehumanizing than any human organizations, including governments, political parties, ideology activist groups, etc.

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35134802)

Corporations are neither created nor run by robots or space aliens or zombies. They are created and run by people, with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure. Corporations are merely a legal device for lowering risk of entrepreneurial activities by people.

Merely? That might have been the intent, but you know the old truism, give somebody an inch, they'll take a mile?

Well, the corporations have done that, continue to do that, and are doing their best to get us to give them a couple of more inches.

See, here's the thing you don't get. Most corporations are not a co-operative, they're actually a very pyramidal structure with control and influence at the top, and nothing but mistreated workers beneath.

I would give some names to describe your Utopian view of the Corporation, but I'll be honest, I don't care to buy into your mythology enough to look them up.

Also those people's movements? They were cults of personality masquerading under another name. Nothing new there, that's for sure. But at least their excesses were obvious, and not masked under the bland face of corporatism.

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137468)

Merely? That might have been the intent, but you know the old truism, give somebody an inch, they'll take a mile?

[...]

See, here's the thing you don't get. Most corporations are not a co-operative, they're actually a very pyramidal structure with control and influence at the top, and nothing but mistreated workers beneath.

Are you really trying to convince us that if we eliminated or neutered corporations that the "pyramid structure" of control would stop being the dominant form of business structure? Are you really that stupid?

Also those people's movements? They were cults of personality masquerading under another name. Nothing new there, that's for sure. But at least their excesses were obvious, and not masked under the bland face of corporatism.

You seem to ignore the point of business. It is to make stuff that people want, not to create "cults of personality". If that "cult of personality" delivers value to its customers legally, then that should be good enough for you.

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134908)

with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure.

Which is unfair to others.

Corporations are no more evil and dehumanizing than any human organizations, including governments, political parties, ideology activist groups, etc.

Actually because of the law, which treats them specially, they are. In particular, they insulate many people from risk that they should be responsible for and distorts the market. Risk doesn't just simply disappear, it is unfairly transferred to those who deal with the corporation - buyers, sellers and junior employees.

---

It's wrong that an intellectual property creator should not be rewarded for their work.
It's equally wrong that an IP creator should be rewarded too many times for the one piece of work, for exactly the same reasons.
Reform IP law and stop the M$/RIAA abuse.

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135036)

Corporations are neither created nor run by robots or space aliens or zombies. They are created and run by people, with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure. Corporations are merely a legal device for lowering risk of entrepreneurial activities by people.

Corporate shield suffers from the same problem as anonymity on the Net, and for the same reasons - it brings out the jerk, or worse, the sociopath in the person, as they do not suffer consequences for their decisions.

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135076)

They are created and run by people, with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure.

Which makes them free to cause as much destruction as they please. After all, your tax dollars [wikipedia.org] will clean up after them.

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135980)

Corporations are neither created nor run by robots or space aliens or zombies. They are created and run by people, with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure. Corporations are merely a legal device for lowering risk of entrepreneurial activities by people.

You remind me of Al Franken as the chemical company spokesman on an old SNL skit. "Here you are, enjoy this nice, refreshing glass of H2SO4!"

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (1)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136288)

"Here you are, enjoy this nice, refreshing glass of H2SO4!"

where's the harm in that? it's got H2 and O in it!

Re:Enough with the "corporations" canard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138454)

They are created and run by people, with the express purpose of shielding these people from losing everything they own in event of their business failure. Corporations are merely a legal device for lowering risk of entrepreneurial activities by people.

In other words, they are formed in order to get a special favor (freedom from having to pay for consequences of their actions through the corporate proxy) from the government which individuals do not receive. Quid pro nothin'.

You're right, that's not evil. But giving it to them at our expense in exchange for nothing is stupid (and government being stupid on purpose is evil). And any claims on their part that they deserve it for nothing as though it were a right, are dishonest.

I'm not saying get rid of corporations; I'm saying make them earn their special perks. If you have limited liability, then yes, pay extra tax or otherwise do something that makes people other than the stockholders (the ones who most benefit the most from the privilege of limited liability) profit. And if the stockholders don't want to do that, that's fine; I don't think I'm entitled to benefit from their business. All they have to do is reject limited liability and run their business as a non-corporation.

A person that sings the praises of limited liability is singing the praises of handouts. If you're a right-wing corporate apologist, you might want to think really hard about just what it is you really believe in.

OTOH, if you're a lefty, it makes sense; you're thinking in terms of some people (the ultimate "victims" whenever a corporation defaults on its liabilities) subsidizing the needy (the risk-averse) for the common good. Good for you, comrade.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135264)

I can't see the connection though between the "New Hampshire Liberty Alliance" (the group that seems to promoted the change according to the article), and the Free Staters.

Easy. NHLA and FSP have a substantial overlap of membership. Something not made obvious by the article, I know, but true nonetheless. It's one of those "local activist organizations with which many Free Staters are involved".

Re:Free Staters? (1)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135534)

Yeah, I gathered. I'm sure you realize that your "real choice" is just racist bullshit, and probably fascistic at that.

The American Third Position exists to represent the political interests of White Americans.

Oh look, Wikipedia has an article on your racist, fascist party [wikipedia.org] .

Real freedom includes the freedom to cross artificial lines, and to intermingle with anyone, regardless of such things as the color of a person's skin.

But, whatever.

(Yes I do know what fascism is. Opposing labor unions and being against "globalization", along with the racist claptrap promoted by the bullshit party mentioned above (though racism isn't required for fascism) are all signs of fascism. Being "third positionist" is a really big sign of fascism.)

Re:Free Staters? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139308)

Labor unions have a history of extortion, bribery, arson, murder, and a host of other nasty behaviors.

Real freedom includes the freedom to cross artificial lines

Such as picket lines.

Opposing labor unions is a sign of bravery, civility and free thinking.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139852)

Opposing labor unions is a sign of bravery, civility and free thinking.

So is being a member of a union, but I see your point.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137320)

Don't click on the sig link of "Third Position". That shit is worse that goatse . . .

There is only one race. We call that race "Earthlings".

Grasshoppers, tigers, you and I, all of us, share a common fate, a common home. All of our survivals are intertwined.

When you start looking at yourself as seperate and express a will to put your group above the rest, you have become the enemy of the rest of the world.

My money is on the rest of us and I beg you to reconsider your position on this issue of "race".

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137982)

Not. [youtube.com] So. [csmonitor.com] Fast. [foxnews.com]

Re:Free Staters? (0)

greap (1925302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135976)

Higher corporate taxes lower the salaries of individuals working for organizations, particularly if those organizations are SME’s where margins are much tighter. Also in the retail sector higher corporate taxes translate to higher price points. There is simply no such thing as distinguishing between individual economic freedom and corporate economic freedom, they don’t exist in separate vacuums. Restrict individual and there is less investment capital available for organizations, restrict corporate and the buying power of employees drops.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

backdoc (416006) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136360)

Thanks for clarifying this for gp. You are absolutely correct.

Re:Free Staters? (3, Interesting)

Plugh (27537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136250)

In fact, some Free Staters are working to explicitly rule that corporations are not people:
HCR1 - establishing that human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights [nhliberty.org]

I say "some" because while all Free-Staters agree with the general goal of reducing the size and scope of government, the specifics and tactics differ widely.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137604)

Corporations don't pay taxes, their customers do. And with corporate tax rates at 0%, consumers end up spending much less for the things they need and businesses find it easier to expand and hire more employees.

Why corporate [customer] tax is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139136)

Corporations don't pay taxes, their customers do.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Suppose one of the slight risks of a widget is that they just might explode, and there are two companies that sell widgets.

The Widget Company is not a corporation, and they can sell widget for $10. If their widget explodes and the company doesn't have the funds to buy the customer a coffin and burial service, the owner has to sell his car or house to pay for it. Sucks that the customer died, but at least things got taken care of about as well as is possible.

On the other hand, Widgets Inc pays corporate income tax. Alas, this causes their widget's pricetag to be $13. If their widget explodes and the company doesn't have the funds to buy the customer a coffin and burial service, then the owner says, "that's a shame," puts a closed sign on the front door and starts form a new widget company. The taxpayers end up buying a coffin, though the surviving family manages to pay for the funeral, though the hardship then causes them to go on foodstamps, again at taxpayer expense. Fortunately, the taxpayers got that extra $3 to help pay these costs, but was $3 the right amount? Now you've got to have taxpayer-funded lab guys assess widget explosion risks in order to set explosion probability so that tax*probability is about equal to the cost, politicians spending time to pass a bunch of new regulations in order to manipulate explosion probability, and so on.

One scenario has people paying things directly and one has a lot of indirection and middlemen and big government. Ain't hard to guess which is most efficient, and who has the incentive to do the best job on widget quality control.

Corporate tax, by making customers pay it, encourages them to do business with non-corporations. How can that not be a good thing?

And with corporate tax rates at 0%, consumers end up spending much less for the things they need and businesses find it easier to expand and hire more employees.

That's horrible, because now the customers who didn't even buy a widget, are having to pay for the coffins and burial and foodstamps when they pay their taxes. You're proposing that Widget Inc's non customers subsidize their customers. *sigh* You Widget People, with your handout entitlements! Dude, I don't know how to tell you this, but widgets are lame and outdated; some of us have moved onto Gadgets. Get your hand out of my wallet, commie-luddite.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139674)

No, actually corporations DO pay taxes. Or they're supposed to. You can pretend that the corporation doesn't exist in this context. But then I can say, "Corporations don't make money -- their shareholders and managers do," and insist that all the people using S-corporations to dodge paying income taxes and Social Security taxes be forced to pay their fair share.

If these special organizations are going to be allowed to exist, under charters granted by our democratic, representative government -- i.e., us -- they need to be subjected to certain rules for the benefit of society.

Re:Free Staters? (1)

odigity (266563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138058)

The official organization known as the Free State Project is simply the bus. It's job is to get people to New Hampshire, not to tell them how to pursue liberty after they get here. (Really, the FSP's only real job is to host the website with the "statement of intent" and the signup and move counters.) Hence, there is no official connection between the FSP and the NHLA, or any other pro-liberty organization started by Free Staters.

However, the NHLA is primarily founded and run by Free Staters.

Re:Free Staters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139266)

How come it's all white folks on that website?

Re:Free Staters? (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139998)

A Corporation is not capable of spending money for consumption purposes, only the individuals who make up the corporation are, so why tax the entity at all?

Director Michael Moore Passed Away Today, Aged 56 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35134694)

A dramatic rescue ended tragically in Los Angeles, a rescue so difficult firefighters say they have never seen anything like it.

It happened late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning at the home of a 600-pound man who was having trouble breathing. Rescuers went in not knowing how difficult it would be to get him out. 56-year-old Michael Moore was literally stuck to his couch and had to be removed surgically at the hospital.

Authorities estimate he had been on the couch anywhere from two to five years.

Los Angeles County Fire and Rescue crews faced what seemed to be an impossible mission. Everyone going inside had to wear protective gear. The stench was so powerful they had to blast in fresh air.

They tried to cut out the front door, but at four-and-a-half feet wide, it wouldn't work. They had to cut plywood since a normal stretcher wouldn't do.

An ambulance was too small, so they brought in a trailer to get him out. While rescue crews came up with a back-door rescue plan, detectives secured what had become a crime scene, questioning family members about how it got so bad.

Using planks, they loaded Moore on to the trailer, still attached to the couch. Removing him would be too painful, since his body is grafted to the fabric. After years of staying put, has skin has literally become one with the sofa and it must be surgically removed.

Detectives are investigating whether they have a case of neglect, or if it is simply a very sad story.

Moore was taken to the Martin Memorial hospital where doctors removed him from the couch, but he died in spite of all the attempts to save his life.

Small government? (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134870)

In New Hampshire they'll still be living under the large federal government. If they really want small government they should really think about emigrating altogether. Although they won't find many first-world countries where the government isn't significantly involved in the regulating society and running public services.

Re:Small government? (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135042)

Well, there's always the option of secession. Remember, New Hampshire shares a border with Canada, and has coastal access to the Atlantic ocean. It could do very nicely for itself as a small nation in it's own right. I believe those were some of the reasons the Free State Project chose it.

Re:Small government? (1)

PotatoFiend (1330299) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135142)

Secession is an adolescent fantasy, not a realistic option in the United States of America post-Civil War. Sure, your legislature can vote unanimously in favor of it. But the Federal Government will, in the end, take your state back by force and make you pay reparations for the next few decades.

Re:Small government? (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135222)

No, it's not currently a realistic option in the United States of America. OTOH, nothing last forever, including large powerful nations. See "Soviet Union" for example. Six months earlier, not much of anyone expected their breakup, either.

Re:Small government? (1)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135618)

Forget revolution, The States real power is nullification. They can remind the federal government what their limits are without throwing out the entire union. The States still have the power, they just have to exercise it. The union serves the states, and the states serve The People.

Re:Small government? (1)

spanky the monk (1499161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136052)

This is true and more people need to talk about it. The states nullified the Real ID act which shows that it works if the people are politically active enough in their states.

One of the best ways to beat the federal government is to ignore it.

Check the progress of current nullification efforts here:
http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/the-10th-amendment-movement/ [tenthamendmentcenter.com]

Re:Small government? (1)

iamcadaver (104579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136798)

The states nullified the Real ID act which shows that it works if the people are politically active enough in their states

In point of fact - Free State Project early movers were largely behind NH nullifying Real ID. The other states followed NH's lead.

Nullifying RealID is a point of pride in the NH legislator and you hear them refer to it over and over again in committee hearings.

Now pardon me, I've got to get back to work writing Drupal Feeds plugins to parse that nerd friendly data dump so citizens can get cell phone alerts for every move their Representatives make. With their reps email and cell phone number, of course.

Re:Small government? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136140)

I'm not sure invading a seceding state would be politically viable for the federal government. Its entire legitimacy comes from the fact that it governs with the consent of the governed. You describe it as a fantasy, but it's a very common fantasy. Even among people who have no desire to secede from the USA, they like the comforting belief that they could, if they wanted to, and that they are only staying part of the USA because they choose to. Can you imagine the uproar if Fox News and CNN are showing pictures of the US Army invading a US state? The only way of legitimately invading would be not to recognise the secession so, from a legal standpoint, this would be the Federal Government using the army against a state, which seems more likely to prompt more attempts to secede than anything else.

More likely, they would just impose trade sanctions. I doubt the economy of NH could survive without any trade with the USA, while the US economy would suffer a lot less.

Re:Small government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139596)

There is a history to this, Abraham Lincoln thought long and hard about blockading the South's seaports during the Civil War, as no nation would blockade itself, thus recognizing the South as an independent nation.

New Hampshire, on the otherhand, does share a border with Canada, has international airports, and coastal access. It would be interesting to see what happened if NH did secede.

Re:Small government? (2)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135154)

He said -

Although they won't find many first-world countries where the government isn't significantly involved in the regulating society and running public services.

You said -

Well, there's always the option of secession.

I say -
~~~Woosh~~~

Re:Small government? (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135204)

He also said

If they really want small government they should really think about emigrating altogether.

Which was the point I was responding to.

Whoosh, yourself.

Secession? (2)

Plugh (27537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136282)

Some Free-Staters (again, not all) actually have been working hard on the notion of State Sovereignty; see the FSP page [freestateproject.org] on this topic.

Also, a new bill has been introduced this session:
HCR19 - Affirming States' powers based on the Constitution for the United States and the Constitution of New Hampshire. [nhliberty.org]
There are also a few bills in play this session asserting the NH manufacturing shall not be regulated by the federal government. Longshots? Well, with over a dozen Free-Staters elected to the NH House of Representatives, maybe less long-shot than in other states....

Re:Secession? (1)

iamcadaver (104579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136838)

Some Free-Staters (again, not all) actually have been working hard on the notion of State Sovereignty; see the FSP page [freestateproject.org] on this topic.

Also, a new bill has been introduced this session:
  HCR19 - Affirming States' powers based on the Constitution for the United States and the Constitution of New Hampshire. [nhliberty.org]
There are also a few bills in play this session asserting the NH manufacturing shall not be regulated by the federal government. Longshots? Well, with over a dozen Free-Staters elected to the NH House of Representatives, maybe less long-shot than in other states....

Or even http://www.nhliberty.org/bills/view/2011/HB324 [nhliberty.org] which is having a hearing today.

AN ACT relative to lawful commerce in goods and services sold, made, and retained in the state of New Hampshire.

Re:Small government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139194)

NH native here from Portsmouth, third oldest city in the nation (not counting Native Americans, of course)

Yes, we have coastal access. We also have the shortest coastline of any state not landlocked. Then, of course, how would Maine factor into the equation?

Oh yes, border checkpoint guard, we're just passing through, going to Boston.
Very well, enjoy your drive, and welcome to the great nation of New Hampshire.

Re:Small government? (1)

UnCivil Liberty (786163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136656)

NH has two large airports (Manchester and Portsmouth [and several smaller ones]), a power plant (Seabrook), and is not likely to be attacked on it's on if it adopts a foreign policy of non-interventionism and free trade (you know, like America was INTENDED to) - in addition we see $0.71 worth of services for every dollar we ship to DC, 47th out of 50 in the country (source: Federal Spending Received Per Dollar of Taxes Paid by State, 2005 - http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html [taxfoundation.org] ) - we no longer need the federal government and would do better on our own.

Re:Small government? (3, Funny)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137012)

Yeah, let's think about this. New Hampshire secedes, having infrastructure of its own. You know what happens next? Quebec. Now you have the lovable Habitants all riled up, seceding from the rest of Canada, and occupying a not insignificant stretch of land between Ontario and New Brunswick... and a border with New Hampshire. You see where this is going, right? Quebec, full of angry French (that the actual French don't actually like)? Now, I'm not talking about their inconvenient shipping lanes. They don't care about that, so they have no use for the stretch of land from Portsmouth to Seabrook. Get your head in the game.

The GAME. Those assholes have been looking for something, anything, to bring back to Quebec City for years. And you know what? If New Hampshire secedes, the Quebecois are coming. They're marching straight down the I-93, trashing Concord, and laying over in Manchester. The airport? Nope. The Manchester Monarchs. Bingo. Is the Republic of New Hampshire prepared to defend the Monarchs franchise? I think not, and now you have the best AHL action this side of Glens Falls going up North to the Democratic People's Republic of Quebec. Now you've fucking done it.

So the Monarchs are gone, and we've been driven back into Northeast Delta Dental Stadium - if it's even called that, since a fine organization like Delta Dental might not want to do business with a brand new foreign country. After all, we'd have no credit rating. Anyway, the Monarchs are gone and our problems are just beginning. After all, the LA Kings franchise trusted us to develop and guard that team. Implicitly, we agreed that their AHL affiliate would not just up and go to Quebec. And LA has a lot of firepower, as well as the ability to overwhelm us in other ways - Anze Kopitar, Paris Hilton, gangs whose names with which I am not familiar.

So New Hampshire wants to secede, huh? Are you willing to risk Quebec becoming independent, stealing the Manchester Monarchs, and triggering war with LA over that? I thought not. The Fisher Cats just aren't that good.

Re:Small government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137996)

This is a task for another ambitious project: http://seasteading.org

Re:Small government? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139530)

The problem with emigration is that it is less practical than freeing a single state. There are two choices, move to an established country or establish a new one. Most established countries are less free, have near-impossible entry conditions, or have other significant disadvantages. Starting a new country is difficult because there are too many existing nasty countries that would be all too happy to steal everything from a new country not yet able to defend itself.

Scraper (1)

tprox (621523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35134900)

What I found most interesting was the link in the article to opengovernment.org, which I followed on to this project: https://github.com/sunlightlabs/openstates [github.com] They provide the screen scrapers which feed the data to the main project. I"m sure that even with the gov't providing data freely there will still need to be formatting transformation required, and some screen scraping needed to get the full picture into some database somewhere. I'm sure there are other frameworks around that build up scraping/database/analysis applications. Does anyone have any experience with these?

Stop labeling people "geeks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135092)

IT people, with our ability to work anywhere, were some of the first to move. Now, with over a dozen Free Staters elected to the NH legislature, these geeks are starting to affect government data-sharing policy."

Please, stop unilaterally branding other people as "geeks." You may perceive them as members of your self-identified subculture, but many people who work in IT and other technical fields object to this stereotyping. Thanks.

An outcome of the Free State Project? (1)

binarstu (720435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135136)

If you RTFA, it doesn't claim anywhere that "Free Staters" are behind this initiative. Nor does it even mention the Free State Project. The assertion on the Slashdot summary that this is a result of the Free State Project might be correct, but it would be nice to see some evidence backing this up.

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (1)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135966)

The slashdot summary is not particularly well written and leads with a statement that is neither relevant to the bill nor present in the full article. I love the free state project. I like the bill. I just don't think this submission is particularly good.

In an case, the Free State Project does not officially support or propose legislation. Representative Seth Cohn is the primary sponsor of the bill. He is a Free State Project participant. (See here http://freestatenow.com/ [freestatenow.com] ).

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (3, Funny)

Seth Cohn (24111) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137386)

What he said. Of course, what do I know, I'm only the guy he's talked about, and sponsor of the legislation?

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137688)

An elected Representative posts on Slashdot (with a five-digit UID, no less!) Maybe New Hampshire is calling my name, after all.

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138468)

As mentioned in my sorta-sibling post, the wonderful thing about NH's state government is that the legislature in particular is made up of motivated ordinary people rather than professional politicians. The entire professional political class in NH generally consists of:
1. The governor.
2. 2 US senators and 2 US representatives.
3. 5 executive council members (a check on the power of the governor).
4. 24 state senators, who generally also hold other jobs.
5. A few mayors in major cities like Manchester and Nashua.

That's it. Judges are appointed, rather than elected, so they're generally insulated from the political fray. The rest of the state and municipal government is run by amateurs, and they do at least as good a job as the professionals do in other states. It's a system that among other things is extremely resistant to the sorts of common bribery that's going on in state capitals almost everywhere else in the country (not to mention Washington DC).

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (3, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136184)

As someone born and raised in NH, this probably has very little to do with the Free State Project. There a bunch of other reasons NH would implement this kind of thing:
  * The Republican base in NH are generally very libertarian-leaning. That's a major reason why the Free Staters picked NH as the place to go in the first place.
  * The NH Democrats agree with the Republicans on personal liberty issues and ensuring that the citizens control the government rather than the other way around.
  * The state takes great pride in its citizen legislature, and there's very few professional politicians. To give you an idea, the Speaker of the NH house spends a lot of her time running a day care center, and another state rep works as an elevator operator. Each rep only represents about 3000 constituents. That means they really need to listen to even small groups of citizens.
  * The longtime secretary of the state of NH, Bill Gardner, is probably one of the most non-partisan public officials in the country. He has a well-deserved reputation for fairness and competence, and as a result has been kept in office despite several changes in both the legislative majority and the governor's party affiliation. He knows a good idea when he sees one, and has a lot of trust from both Republicans and Democrats, so if he supports a good common-sense proposal it's likely to get implemented.

The state has its flaws, but its state government is very responsive to good ideas.

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (3, Informative)

Plugh (27537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136292)

As someone who was at the meeting that created this "open government data initiative", I can tell you that it was 1 Free-Stater State Rep and one NH native State Rep that made this happen.

Re:An outcome of the Free State Project? (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136638)

If you RTFA, it doesn't claim anywhere that "Free Staters" are behind this initiative. Nor does it even mention the Free State Project.

Even within New Hampshire, you hardly ever hear about the Free State project. They were completely inconsequential in the recent election, even though the statehouse ended up packed with small-government Republicans. About the only thing anyone's heard from them lately were some ornery demonstrations [concordmonitor.com] to legalize marijuana [wikipedia.org] .

Better watch out (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135202)

This "free state" stuff can backfire [wikipedia.org] on ya...

IT People != US Libertarian Nutters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135914)

I think you'll find that in other parts of the world, most of us think that government is part of the solution as well as being part of the problem.

Re:IT People != US Libertarian Nutters (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136056)

Even here in the US they're merely an extremely vocal minority. Unfortunately they do tend to end up in influential positions, since they are the ultimate rich wannabe/asskisser types, and we end up with a lot of righttards mouthing off and a lot of people who don't feel free to respond due to the minority of asshats who are in a position to make others miserable. It sucks big time and I can't fucking wait for the poli-fashion to swing the other way. Maybe the 8-year-olds of today will have a '60s-style party in 2020, 'cause right now it's like the new '50s.

Re:IT People != US Libertarian Nutters (1)

spanky the monk (1499161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136088)

I'm in IT and I'm a libertarian nutter. Government "solutions" are the problem. Get the government out of the economy!

So you're saying law is not government? (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136516)

Good luck with your economy when there is no civil or criminal law relating to it. You may think it is easy to draft a civil law that does not involve some kind of regulation, but the experience of the developed world over the last hundred years or so is that you are wrong. Countries with no tradition of Government-made and enforced civil law - China, Iran - are pretty much shit holes for the great majority of the population. But of course as a "libertarian" you're identifying yourself with the 1-5% whom you think worthy of having liberty.

Re:So you're saying law is not government? (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137570)

Good luck with your economy when there is no civil or criminal law relating to it.

Because reducing the extent of government power in society can mean only one thing: complete elimination of all government presence and the dissolution of the society into anarchy. I hope you do realize there is a huge false dilemma here?

Just because the US has a regulation banning the sale of incandescent lightbulbs past the year 2014 or so, IIRC, doesn't mean that if we got rid of that regulation, then there'd be no civil or criminal law left.

Countries with no tradition of Government-made and enforced civil law - China, Iran

That's nonsense. They have a long history, going back at least two millennia each, of civil law. They are shit holes because that law is selectively enforced and government bureaucracies have the power to invent new, selectively applied law on the spot, not because they don't have it in the first place.

The Sponsor speaks... (3, Informative)

Seth Cohn (24111) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137492)

Glad to see Slashdot pick this up...

The actual bills:

Open Data: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0310.html [state.nh.us]
Open Source: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0418.html [state.nh.us]

I'd love to see this legislation copied in every state... patches are welcomed, btw. I can't grant commit access, but bug reports are always welcomed.

I'd also be glad to answer questions, if anyone has any.

Re:The Sponsor speaks... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138676)

On the Open Data bill:

Section 3-I-g: Non-proprietary -- This one gives me some issues.

First, a data format that is an ANSI, ISO or IEEE standard technically is under the control of a single entity. The standards body is a single entity, even though the body may have members from other organizations. You might want to clarify to explicitly mention national (ANSI) or international (ISO, IEEE) published standards.

Section 3-I-h: License-free -- it says the DATA must be license-free, not the format. An example is MP3. While I may be able to play the audio without a license under FOSS software, I can't legally ENCODE data in MP3 format without obtaining a license. Ditto for MPEG video. You might want to specify the format itself be available license-free, such as PDF, JPEG, Vorbis, RTF, etc.

Re:The Sponsor speaks... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138822)

While focusing mostly on Federal Government, you might want to get in touch with Open Source for America [opensourceforamerica.org] .

Re:The Sponsor speaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138824)

Isn't a bunch of people moving to establish a homeland for people just like themselves kind of nationalistic and xenophobic?

RAAAAAACISTS!!

Re:The Sponsor speaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139516)

Actually, since the FSP refuses to let racists in (read the guidelines of the org), that's not what this is about...

It's about being a minority everywhere, and wants to find a place to be less of one. Kinda like Slashdot for geeks, or Israel for Jews. The power of collaboration, like BarCamps, and expressly using The Law of Two Feet to move from places you aren't getting what you want, to finding a place where you are.

Really the Free State Project is one big BarCamp idea.

Re:The Sponsor speaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35139668)

Kinda like Slashdot for geeks, or Israel for Jews.

You left out "Europe for Whites". But since libertarians are usually the biggest advocates of open borders (at least for white nations), I thought I'd take this opportunity to point out your hypocrisy to you.

So basically... texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138844)

Ahh yes, the Libertardian utopia of no taxes and yet somehow maintaining a working society. Texas beat you to it, and its working out wonderfully [reuters.com] .

Re:So basically... texas? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35139688)

Texas has a sales tax over 6%. Looking at your article, it seems that a large part of Texas's problem is social welfare programs. It is ironic that you chose the word "working", it's precisely those who don't work that are "society"'s problem.

In the 1950's, Connecticut had no income tax and a sales tax of only 3%, and had no budget problem. High taxes aren't needed to keep a place pleasant and civil, high taxes encourage people to try to grab some of the booty rather than work.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?