22 Feb 2015

A Farewell Note From Oregon

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GaltsGulchPostcard1a

Travis is Going Galt.

5 weeks ago, I received a letter from the State Assessors, letting me know that my small two-man company was now subject to ‘Central Assessment’ for property taxes. We’re facing a fascinating new realm of taxable things known as ‘intangibles’. Things like brand recognition, goodwill, potential coverage area. Stuff that isn’t actually making me any in-hand cash yet, a tax on future effort I haven’t carried out!

The second action, this at the Federal level, is what really cements it for me. Many will have heard of the ongoing Network Neutrality / Title-II legislation being worked on by Congress and the FCC. On the face of it, it’s spun as ‘good for Internet Freedom’ and ‘levels the playing field’. The reality of it, is reclassification of ALL US broadband providers as Public Utilities at the Federal level.

So, a company I and my friends built from scratch, that doesn’t receive public subsidies or use public rights of way, will become public property. The American population has been groomed to such a level of entitlement that they see Internet service as a human right, like air or water. They feel they have a right to what I provide, a right to my labor, and the government is only too happy to oblige.

While the FCC assures small providers that wage & price controls are not part of this legislation, those of us who can read legalese can dig into the next round of this, scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017, and see that they do indeed plan just that. They aren’t calling it that of course, but it’s de-facto Nationalization. There’s one little factor they haven’t considered though, and that’s whether I’ll stand still for it.

I won’t! When this goes through, I’m out. I’ve joined an Entrepreneurial community project in the Lakes region of Chile, Fort Galt, and am pouring the same energy into it that enabled me to build an ISP from scratch. I am already seeing it becoming a buzzing-with-creativity hub, with the potential for creating the seeds of decentralized civilization.

For those doers, makers or creators who are still putting off their exit strategy, please reconsider. For those feeling that you have too deep of roots, thinking they won’t come for your industry, they will. They just came for mine.

Read the whole thing.

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