How would our economy survive without being in the union?

Currently, New Hampshire seems to have the best economy of all 50 states in the union, judging by income, unemployment, and opportunity. The average income per resident in the live free or die state is 20% higher than the union’s average. The largest limiting factor is economic regulation, most of which comes from the federal government. Without infinite job-killing regulations coming from DC, New Hampshire’s economy would likely soar to unprecedented heights.

Farmers and growers in New Hampshire produce a large amount of corn, potatoes, apples, maple syrup, dairy products, cattle, and hogs. New Hampshire’s top industrial outputs are machinery, electric equipment, rubber, and plastic products. Hospitality and tourism are major components of the economy, as well. The state’s largest economic sectors in 2018, based on contribution to GDP, are: 15% real estate and rental and leasing; 13% professional business services; 12% manufacturing; 10% government and government services; and 9% health care and social services.

The Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear reactor in New England and provides 57% of New Hampshire’s electricity generation. Approximately 32% of New Hampshire’s electricity consumption came from renewable resources (including nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and other renewable resources). New Hampshire is a net exporter of electricity, exporting 63 trillion British thermal units (18 TWh).

According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing International, New Hampshire had the 8th-highest percentage of millionaire households in the United States, at 6.48% of all households. In 2013, New Hampshire also had the lowest poverty rate in the union at just 8.7% of all residents, according to the Census Bureau.

NH economy (Carsey UNH)

Once we cut ties with DC politicians, the state’s economy would explode into unprecedented prosperity for one large reason and for one massive reason. First, each worker would save around $30,000-50,000 per year once federal taxes no longer exist. These savings alone would more than make up for the 2-3 billion dollars sent from DC to the state government annually. The massive reason we’d prosper is regulation. Without DC politicians being our Lords and once we are no longer forced to obey the immeasurable number of federal laws and regulations, our businesses would be free to do what businesses do best: Create wealth. Currently, federal regulations cost American businesses OVER 2 TRILLION dollars per year, according to a 2014 study. In 2022, regulations might cost businesses 3 or even 5 trillion dollars per year. 

Considering that New Hampshire has 1.4 million people, this would amount to a savings of $10 billion for New Hampshire businesses annually. Considering the exponential nature of business growth, New Hampshire could be trillions richer within a few years. 

One concern that I heard raised by a Liberty Block reader was whether commuters and federal contractors would need to find new jobs once New Hampshire separates from DC and begins to govern itself. This is a valid question.

Again, I cannot predict the future, as I have no idea what federal politicians would decide to do once New Hampshire severs ties with them. On the New Hampshire side of the issue, I cannot imagine a majority of our legislators supporting a wall, sanctions, or a prohibition against workers commuting to states in the union or working with federal contractors. Our legislature is very much pro-free-market and even more pro-travel and pro-immigration freedom. Likewise, I cannot imagine DC politicians (or legislatures of union states like Massachusetts) constructing a wall between them and New Hampshire or prohibiting the free movement and labor from our residents. They have been preaching the virtues of freedom of movement and condemning the concept of walls and movement restrictions for years. They could not possibly prevent people from moving across what they consider to be arbitrary and meaningless borders in order to earn a living.

However, in the likely-impossible worst case scenario of the DC politicians imposing a full on blockade of all trade in or out of New Hampshire (which itself is a literal act of war), we would still survive. We may not be the most prosperous nation in the world if we are forbidden from trading by the US military, but we would survive. As mentioned earlier, we have a relatively complete economy within our own borders. We have plenty of farms, animals, and other forms of food. We have lakes, rivers, and oceans for fishing. We have many large forests and plenty of animals. We produce many critical materials and we have a tremendous technology sector, which is increasingly important in today’s world. We would be just fine. 

Even if the US military sent all of their soldiers to our borders to block interstate trade, they could not totally stop us from earning money from others around the world. Granite Staters could still sell all sorts of virtual products and services (classes, virtual assistants, advertising, consulting, editing, video, music, etc.) to people all over the world as long as they have internet access. And those people could pay the Granite Staters in crypto-currency, which the government cannot stop without shutting down the world’s internet. There is nothing DC politicians would be able to do about our internet-based economic prosperity. Considering that New Hampshire is one of the crypto-currency and technology capitals of the world, this bodes very well for an independent nation. 

One of the millions of federal regulations that an independent state would no longer be burdened by is the Jones Act. This federal law was passed in 1920 and purportedly serves as a protectionist policy to help keep American jobs from going abroad. In reality, this insane policy hurts everyone, including Americans. It hurts us financially and it kills people when they are forbidden from receiving disaster relief and other aid as efficiently as possible. 

The federal law restricts shipping between U.S. ports to ships that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-built, and U.S.-crewed only. Explained another way, the counter-productive law makes it a crime to ship anything from one American port to another (think California to Florida or Maine to Texas) unless the ship was built here and is owned and staffed by Americans. Only 99 ships are totally American. This means that the other 60,000+ commercial vessels throughout the world cannot ship anything from one American port to another. Yes, this means that ships coming from any US state cannot provide disaster aid to our compatriots in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Key West, or another American place by sea unless we have one of the increasingly rare all-American vessels at our disposal. This means that secession would make the lives of everyone in New Hampshire – and every other state much easier overnight. The day after we declare independence and are no longer part of the union, we can ship anything we want to any place in the world on any vessel. Considering that the population of New Hampshire is the most libertarian and charitable, we would likely be eager to provide all of the assistance we could if people in any nearby place were experiencing a tragedy. Post-secession, Granite Staters could easily send aid to islands like Martha’s Vineyard or Vinalhaven if disaster strikes them. Due to federal law, it would likely be illegal for any vessel to bring items from mainland Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard (a trip of around 9 miles) or from mainland Maine to Vinalhaven (a trip of around 10 miles). But New Hampshire could send any ship to those islands because it will no longer be bound by harmful federal laws. 

This is but one example of the literally millions of laws and regulations that restrict what otherwise free individuals may legally do, including helping others. Imagine how much more prosperous we could be once the majority of the world’s ships are allowed to depart and dock at our ports.