"What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven." ~ Friedrich Hoelderlin
Welcome to Anderson, Alaska!
Exclusive to STR
March 22, 2007
Here's what you won't find here: there is NO: sales tax; "income" tax (Alaskans won't buy into the Feds' fraud--bravo to them!); property tax (that's right--absent any mortgage, you own your home and land free and clear!); gun control (though Alaska does ban certain types of "exotic" shotgun ammunition; Vermont is one up on the Last Frontier there).
What you will find very little of, after that, is crime and motor traffic.
And it's all yours for only $500, courtesy of the town of Anderson .
In order to encourage growth in this tiny burg of barely 200 souls, 1.3 acre plots are being sold off by local government for the aforementioned price, provided purchasers construct dwellings on those plots within two years of purchase.
Virtually zero state taxes is goddamned appealing, no question about it. But I've already got 8.65 acres here in Vermont , it's probably just as rural and scenic as Anderson (which does offer a splendid view of Mt. McKinley ), and I don't like that ammo ban one bit. Moreover, winters in Vermont are bad enough (as I write this, there's a March blizzard going on all around my little chalet). Anderson is known to drop down to -60F in the dead of winter. Let's just say I still like the oxygen in my lungs to remain gaseous while I'm breathing, okay? Summer brings occasional temps of up to 90F--and likely lasts a grand sum of about six weeks out of the year. All this is to make account of the fact that I'm not planning a move Northwest at present. Yet, for something being offered by government, it's still enticing. It could indeed make folks think twice about the Free State Project (I'm not trying to discourage those good folks, mind you--my penchant for New Hampshire-bashing notwithstanding). The only other serious obstacle would be availability of jobs for the non-entrepreneurial--including the struggling kind . . . like writers, for instance.
While there is no doubt that Alaska likely delivers more liberty on measure at present than any other American State , this is not entirely due to the more laissez-faire posture of its political class. There is a factor which I'm continually amazed is overlooked by many if not most freedom-seekers.
In a word, it's population.
Think about it: Where is there more personal liberty--in downtown Manhattan , or in the Wyoming woods?
On a farm in Montana , or on North Avenue in Baltimore ? Let's be yet more even-handed: the little town of Monroe Bridge , Massachusetts (just south of the Vermont border), or the Beacon Hill district in Boston ? Even within the context of a like political confine, rural proves freer than urban. Less cops. Fewer local rules.
Who has not, after all (and this is a bit presumptuous; there may well be many of you who are neither horror fans nor such latent sadists as myself), fantasized about living in the post-plague world of Stephen King's The Stand, wherein the State, its military, police, and courts are no more? A world freed from war, pollution, overcrowding, mortgage payments, the IRS ? Darkly enticing escapism this is. Dangerously so. But you'll recall the catalyst in King's novel was the bungling State. Most fitting.
Aside from such science-fiction, places like Anderson (though there are tragically few as free from State encroachment) are where we find the best in what's left of America : rugged independence, coupled with and characterized by a yearning to live in freedom. In Alaska , they say, "North To the Future!" I'm not excluding Hawaii , you understand, but let's hope the future also spreads south to the Lower 48.