Dec 27 2013

New Libertarian Community Promises Self Sufficiency, Freedom in Chile

galts gulch 2

Welcome to Galt’s Gulch Chile, a 6,874-hectare site in Chile founded by a group of libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, and anarchists. It sits in a secluded valley 17 kilometres from Curacavi, Chile, and 45 minutes from the local airport. The community boasts a large organic farm, natural wells, and has 430 lots for sale. Ken Johnson, the project’s founder and partner, also hopes that the community will run entirely on Bitcoin sometime in the future. Also on the bill is a shooting range, equestrian services, child and adult education, a gym, and an Agora Center – a clinic offering medical, dental, and various other services by liberty-minded providers and residents. Johnson hopes that if and when the economy collapses, residents who have bought plots can move into the community and enjoy total self sufficiency.

A Galt's Gulch guest house

A Galt’s Gulch guest house

The largest parcels of residential land already have electricity, running water, land-based phone lines, cell phone services, and the Internet in place. All services are expected to be run using solar energy. The farm currently produces lemons, key limes, avocados, as well as a number of other fruits, vegetables, and spices. Buyers can pick up parcels of the farm land itself, or buy residential spots for future homes at $75,000 for 1.25 acre. 20% off discounts are available for those paying in Bitcoin.

Only 12% of the lots have been sold, but nine buyers have paid for their land completely in Bitcoin. However, Johnson warns, the community is not meant to be a sovereign state. “We pay our taxes, we obey the law,” he says. “Our goal is to lessen the effect of the rest of the world without telling the world to go take a flying leap.” Individuals can acquire citizenship after five years or buy property in Chile as a tourist, but still would need a tourist visa that must be renewed every 90 days by leaving the country (which supposedly can be done by riding a bus to a nearby country and returning immediately). Future residents can also choose to apply for a temporary residency visa, which requires individuals to live in the country for at least 180. After nine months of temporary stay, one can apply for a permanent residency visa.

Chile was chosen as the location for the community due to its climate and position at #7 on the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom Index and is one of the ten freest economies on the Index. Other considerations, according to the Galt’s Gulch website, are lower taxes, limited government, and more open markets. Chile does, however, have an income tax, and a broad definition of “income.” Chile also has gun control laws more restrictive than those found in the U.S., and while concealed carry is possible, permits are nearly impossible to obtain. Home permits are “easy” to obtain, but only allow two handguns registered per person. Anything more requires a sportsman’s license, with total costs of about $800 USD per year. Importing a gun also requires a process of registration, dealing with the police, military testing of the firearm, and customs processing.

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