Well, if Sunni can reply to this thread (without being an official voting Porcupine) I suppose I (as an FSP "friend" but not member) can too.
Perhaps a year or so before Jason Sorens wrote that first FSP essay, I had a similar idea. I lived with my family in California, and it occurred to me that California was pretty far down the list in the freedom category. Surely there must be better places to live?
I did a little research on my own, and came up with (1) Alaska, (2) New Hampshire, and (3) Wyoming as my top freedom picks (in that order). Note that unlike the FSP, I based these choices solely on existing conditions for a single family moving in, not on the potential for 20,000 activists. And I can't claim to have done research that afternoon anywhere near as extensive as what's been done for the FSP.
Reasons having nothing to do with freedom (employment, etc.) were also pushing us to move, and on those criteria, New Hampshire came out on top.
So while I was born in California, grew up in California, had lived in California my entire life (and had never even used a snow shovel) my family and I moved to New Hampshire a little over two and a half years ago.
I have to say it's one of the best decisions we ever made.
I didn't agree to sign on with the FSP because I feel like I've already been through the exercise, made my choice, and voted with my feet (all recently) --- and I can't imagine any other state (Alaska excepted) being anything other than a downgrade (in the freedom category) from where I now currently live. Signing up and opting out of eight or nine states also seemed, well, a little slimy.
With that said, I wish those 20,000 the absolute best of luck, and if another state starts to look significantly better than New Hampshire because they've moved there and started fixing things, in the final analysis I'd probably go join them anyway.
I also have to confess feeling like a kid two days before Christmas wondering how this vote turns out.
The one thing I *don't* get is this East-West bias. Objectively speaking, pro-freedom and anti-freedom states (to the degree they are already pro or anti-freedom) certainly don't fall on anything close to East-West lines. Look at California in the West (vs. say Nevada). Look at New Hampshire in the East (vs. say, Massachussetts.) Two states that are geographically close can be miles apart politically and culturally.
Is it an issue of opting for the familiar over the unfamiliar? (Ok, well, maybe so. It didn't really occur to me to move to, say, Costa Rica for precisely that reason.)
Anyone want to explain the East-West thing to me?