I’m always dismayed when people try to pass the civic debacle known as Detroit off as a libertarian city as this sorely misguided news anchor has:
As I wrote back in July, a failed government does not equate to a lack of government. Failed tyranny doesn’t equate to autarchy. Detroit isn’t a libertarian city, but it should be. If we really want to help Detroit, we shouldn’t be throwing away good money after bad through welfare and bailouts, we should be helping Detroit help itself.
And now it appears that some fairly important people are on board with the idea. US Senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul has launched a campaign to make some of the government-induced blighted areas of the country into “Economic Freedom Zones.” These zones would have dramatically lower taxes and looser immigration rules in order to encourage economic activity.
“We hope to create taxes so low you essentially are able to bail yourselves out,” Paul said.
Even the neo-liberals in New York are catching onto the fact that government taxes and regulation hinder economic growth and thus, hinder the general welfare of their constituents. A new campaign by New York Mayor Cuomo is touting economic zones free of business, corporate, state or local taxes, sales and property taxes, or franchise fees:
This idea is not new. After witnessing the astonishing economic success of the economic free zone Hong Kong, China implemented several other zones to encourage its economy. The result has be an unparallelled expansion of the Chinese economy and the lifting of half a billion people out of poverty.
If it can work in China, it can work in Michigan.
As I wrote in Gods of Ruin, it would take a disaster for the state and federal government to allow a charter city within its borders and to forgo taxation, but what is Detroit if not a disaster? Some of the pictures from it look more like Nagasaki after the atom bomb dropped instead of a North American city. It’s time to do something about Detroit. It’s time for America to have its first charter city. Who knows, when government gets out of the way in Detroit, they might even get street lights that work.