Montana governor wants libertarians to move to Idaho ..

Russell Turpin deafbox at
Fri Apr 25 05:15:22 PDT 2003

Jeff Bone:
>How about one of the U.S. Virgin Islands? ..

Hmm. Interesting idea. On the upside, the population
is small -- I think there's only a little over a
hundred thousand, St. Thomas and St. Croix both.
If enough libertarians moved there, they could just
declare the islands independent.

On the down side, there's not much economic
opportunity outside the tourist industry and its
derivatives. Every other store in Charlotte Amalie
sells duty-free watches and jewelry. The USVIs
cater to the large cruise ships, which makes them
overtouristed by the worst kinds of tourists. The
native population gives the feel of being new
immigrants, and there's little sense of it having
its own culture. There is a lot of crime and
drugs. Charlotte Amalie closes down after
midnight, except for the bars. It's pretty eerie
walking back from a bar late at night -- and
there aren't many towns that do that to me! I
was only there for a day, so this is a narrow
impression. (I didn't visit St. Croix.)

Of course, it might be a better place after
20,000 libertarians move in. But how are they
going to make a living? The island economies live
in the tides made by the big nations. In theory,
there should be local economies in things like
food. But the US heavily subsidizes food exports,
and this has killed a lot of the local economies
in some of the islands. I don't know any way for
the local community to fix that, except perhaps
by bucking the World Bank and imposing import
tariffs. Of couse, that's unlibertarian.

If the Free State group wants a Caribbean island,
Montserrat might be an easier target. Half the
population fled after the volcano erupted a few
years ago:

I suspect the government might welcome immigrants
in the near future, as long as they speak French
and they are willing to help rebuild a tropical
paradise. I think it's estimated to be another
decade before the southern part of the island is
habitable. That gives some time to plan. And to
find some virgins. ;-)

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