Charter Cities, modelled after Hong Kong or Shanghai, can foster development in third world countries, suggests eminent scientist Paul Romer. Basically, Neo-colonialism: a piece of land in a third world country is given to a first world country to create a charter city to establish the rule of law. That city then has the best of both worlds:

  1. a secure legal system for investors, and
  2. access to third world cheap labor.

There will be no democracy, voting is with feet: if you like the system you can go there. If you don’t like it, don’t go there.

Sources:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article7009691.ece
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/can-charter-cities-change-the-world-a-qa-with-paul-romer/
http://www.chartercities.org/concept
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/0,1518,668449,00.html
Spiegel article comments (very creative and intelligent)

Human-Stupidity comments” on Charter Cities

  1. Very creative idea countering conventional human stupidity.
    • countering the anti-colonialism dogma: poor nations have proven already that they cannot get efficient administration. So an efficient administration bound by British, Canadian, German law is being provided
    • countering the “democracy dogma”: inhabitans of the charter cites do not vote, they can vote with their feet only to come or to leave. Democracy in poor third world nations has shown to be rife with populism and voting for corrupt politicians.
    • Billions in developing aid that is funnelled into corrupt nations could be applied more safely in
  2. There still are stupidities in Romer’s suggestion. Devil’s Advocate thinks Romer is optimistic in several points or does not dare to face certain facts.
    • colonial powers in the past were world powers without qualms to use their might.
      • Most third world nations would not tolerate a successful rich foreign city on their soil for 99 years. Either a populist president would invade it, or use threats to get concessions. Or
      • it could not be defended against marauding gangs Somali Style, or
      • invasion by the poorest of the poor with no skills, slum style.
      • Romer’s suggestion to use toothless nations like Canada or Germany might backfire. Cuba is more likely to respect Guantanamo in US hands then governed by Canada. Of course, even a world power might not  be willing to militarily defend a charter city that does not bring power,status or exploitation profits like original colonies
    • Modern democracies’ laws might not be a viable example. Modern democracies are rife with welfare freeloaders, criminals exploiting human rights, unskilled immigration overload etc. Devil’s Advocate enjoyed the suggestion of a Spiegel reader to allow China to set up a Charter City in Germany.
    • I barely dare to mention racial differences because now I lose 95% of my readers who subscribe to the unproven but firmly defended credo that “all races are equal”, or worse, “races don’t exist”.  All successful examples like Hong Kong were in Asia, with highly intelligent and socially well behaved Asians. Respectable research (discredited by political correctness) on racial differences shows that Asians are most intelligent, closely follwed by whites, and, unfortunately blacks trailing. So a model like this might have serious difficulties in Africa, especially if these intrinsic problems of genetic propensity to lower intelligence, less respect for order and more violence are not taken into consideration. This was pointed out by Nobel Prize winner James Watson who got shunned for telling scientific truth. I believe that the Paul Romer’s model can be successfully applied to Africa, but chances for success are greater when the model is based on scientific truth and not on well meant fiction.

Human Stupidity wishes success to Paul Romer’s Charter Cities. A refreshing idea against conventional stupidity.

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2 Comments

  1. Phoenix Summer Camps says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The whole notion of no democracy, as in democracy of the feet, whoever likes the system walks in, and whoever doesn’t like the system can walk out… Where would this actually work without it turning into a civil war almost. I think this would raise several conflicts not just country wide, but also within that specific area as well.

    Kacey  Sorrenson
    Webmaster, iDTech Summer Camps

  2. selena says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    i tihnk i have to agree with you phoenix – it would almost certainly lead to conflict.

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